Ruchika Shah leads the web, social, and events teams. You will often find her checking, rechecking, tweaking, and rewriting headlines and all things text and multimedia. A postgraduate in journalism from the Xavier Institute of Communication, and a Psychology Major from Maharaja Sayajirao University, Vadodara, Ruchika has previously worked with NewsWire18 (now Cogencis), Business Standard, Autocar India, and DNA India where she has written on everything from commodities to the economy, and automobiles to sustainability. When she's not working, you will find her—in no particular order—cooking up a feast, planning a vacation, or furiously crocheting.
Image: (top left) Roland Folger by Mexy Xavier; Sudarsanam Gopu (bottom right) by Nishant Ratnakar for Forbes India
This weekend, get ready to indulge into all the good things money can buy as we bring you stories from our luxury issue that recently hit the stands! This year, we delved into the past, looked at the present and imagined the future of luxury.As Deputy head of desk, Jasodhara Banerjee, one of the anchors of the luxury issue explained, “What is luxurious today may well be mundane tomorrow. Or, what was commonplace yesterday could find new life in a more glamorous and covetable avatar today. For one of the most essential ingredients of luxury is availability, or the lack of it—that one factor that makes diamonds so treasured, and coal so base.” Fasten your seat belts and get ready for a ride in the time machine as we bring you the past, the present and the future of luxury.
1) Future Perfect: Stunners with wheels Futuristic concept cars from Mercedes-Maybach, Rolls-Royce, Faraday, and Bentley redefine the concept of luxury. The Vision Mercedes-Maybach 6 draws power from an electric powertrain that can travel 500 kms in a single charge. It has body sensor displays, that scans and monitors passengers and can adjust the seat climate, massage functions, ambient lighting and temperature. Its front windscreen doubles up as a transparent display for driving-related data and geographical information that can be controlled with gestures. The Rolls-Royce Vision Next 100 was a result of the RR design team seeking answers to - “What will a Rolls-Royce owner expect of his or her Rolls-Royce in the coming decades?” The concept “car will be digitally connected to every aspect of the owners’ lives and environment, and have a virtual assistant and chauffeur, ‘Eleanor’, who will work intuitively to advise on schedules and options, appointments and tasks.” Click here to read about concept cars rewriting the concept of luxury. Click here to read more
2) Striking the millennial chord It’s not easy to sell a product to a millennial. They have their own choices, a unique sense of fashion, an image of themselves, a mind of their own, and most importantly, a short attention span. In this scenario, it’s difficult to market to them and even more difficult to build loyalty for a brand. Well-established companies, in the last few years, have had to rethink the way they position their brands to capture and retain the attention of millennials. How are they doing it? Senior Associate Editor Pravin Palande talks to Harley-Davidson, Mercedes-Benz India, and Jaipur Rugs to find out. Click here to read more3) Guilty Pleasures of the rich and the famous When most things luxury are within the reach of the rich and the famous, what do they aspire to own? From private jets, and a chateau on the coast to timeless experiences, our senior copy editor Ruchika Shah spoke to businessmen and Bollywood celebrities to find out. Click here to read more
4) Holiday like a king: High on adrenaline and style Our senior correspondent Varsha Meghani tells you that travelling in the lap of luxury need not translate to a sedate trip. And to prove her point, she takes you through six adrenaline-filled indulgences you can experience. From freediving in the Maldives, going on a Himalayan Odyssey, Adventures in Antarctica, climbing dunes in Oman, and more. Click here to read
5) The high table and a lavish dining experience Would you spend Rs 1 lakh on a meal for yourself? How about Rs 45,000? Associate editor Anshul Dhamija writes, The Chef's Table gives diners an opportunity to go beyond the menu and taste the finest, most exclusive food. Click here to read more6) Time without end: Iconic timepieces with a rich history Ever thought that 100-year-old watches would be outdated and boring? Think again! These watches have been redesigned and fitted with the latest technology and innovations in the watch-making world, to reimagine them in different 'modern' avatars. Associate editor Salil Panchal brings you six such timepieces that have stood the test of time, literally. Click here to more 7) Flaunt value: Jewels worth cherishing From jewellery and bags to luxury pens and yachts, and watches, of course – Associate editor Aveek Datta brings you baubles to complement your love for luxe. Click here to read more 8) Heritage hotels: Rooms from the past Heritage hotels, rich in history and dipped in royalty, allow you to seep in the legacy of their locales while offering uber luxury lodgings and royal cuisines. Take a look at the Raj Palace Jaipur; Adare Manor, Limerick Ireland; Belmond Hôtel de la Cité Carcassonne, France; and Château de Fère Hotel Champagne, France. Click here to read more
9) Welcome to history: How royal dwellings turn into luxury Transforming storied heritage residences into luxury hotels is all about striking a balance beten conservation and commercial requirements. Deputy head of desk Kathakali Chanda takes you through the process, diligence and attention to detail that went into converting some properties into heritage hotels. Click here to read more 10) Classic four-wheelers and their enduring luxury Associate editor Monica Bathija brings you timeless four-wheelers that, even as they drive into the future, bigger and more powerful, carry along their storied past. From the 1967 Porsche 911, Aston Martin DB, the 1959 Ferrari 250 GT California Spider, to the Jaguar XJ series 1 – 1968, and their modern counterparts, click here to read more
11) To attain grand status, a brand must be a luxury player globally: William Grant & Sons CEO Assistant editor Paramita Chatterjee speaks to William Grant & Sons’ Simon Hunt, the CEO of the world’s third-largest Scotch whisky maker with signature brands like Glenfiddich single malt, Grant’s blended Scotch, The Balvenie single malt Scotch, and Money Shoulder Blended Malt. Hunt tells Forbes India that the success of a company is defined by its pioneering attitude and that consumers demand authenticity and quality when it comes to spirits. Click here to read the interview
*** This week was a busy one for us. We released the 2017 list of the 100 Richest Indians in the world. The cumulative wealth of the top 100 richest Indian businessmen is over a whopping $479 billion while the top 10 billionaires’ net worth touches $172 billion! We have got the entire top 100 list, their net worth, an overview of the top 100 richest Indians and the economy, and lots more from our coveted India’s Rich List. Here’s a list of all our Rich List stories 12) The complete India’s Top 100 Rich List Reliance Industries’ Mukesh Ambani topped the list for the tenth time in a row, with his wealth swelling to $38 billion in 2017. The total wealth of the top five billionaires stood at $107.9 billion and the top ten’s net worth grew to $171.2 billion. YES Bank’s Rana Kapoor makes a debut on the list and so does Paytm’s Vijay Shekhar Sharma. Click here to see the full list 13) India Rich List 2017: Despite slowing economy, India's rich get richer India’s turbocharged economy sputtered in the quarter ended in June, growing at a 3-year low of 5.7 percent, due to the aftershocks of last November’s demonetisation and uncertainties over the rollout of a nationwide goods and services tax. But in a disconnect from current reality, the stock market scaled new heights, boosting the fortunes of the nation’s 100 richest. Their combined wealth rose more than a fourth to $479 billion. Forbes Asia gives you a detailed overview of the businessmen on the list. Click here to read more
14) Billionaires 2017: The world’s 10 richest Indians Take a look at the top 10 Indian billionaires and their net worth, in pictures! Click here to read more
15) India Rich List 2017: Mukesh Ambani cements decade-long hold at the top The oil-and-telecom tycoon added $15.3 billion to his wealth last year, according to Forbes's annual list of the country's richest billionaires. Click here to read more16) ITI, India's oldest PSU, looks to startups for fresh lease of life State-owned ITI Limited is nearly as old as the nation. Established in 1948, the Bengaluru-based maker of telecom gear is independent India’s first public sector undertaking. In its heydays, ITI, which was the principal supplier to government-run telcos BSNL and MTNL, had 30,000-odd employees. Now, the ailing state-run maker of telecom gear has been clawing its way back, and is now partnering with startups in new sectors, our Editor (Technology) Harichandan Arakali writes. Click here to read more