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Uzma Irfan, scion of the Prestige Group, is helping spearhead the company’s foray across a broad range of asset classes and business segments. A special report.

UZMA IRFAN
POWERING THE BRAND

Over the last decade, the Prestige Group has fi rmly established itself as one of the leading and most successful developers of real estate in India by imprinting its indelible mark across all asset classes. Founded in 1986, the group’s turnover has today crossed Rs.2000 crores. The sharp rise has been inspired by CMD Irfan Razack and marshaled by his brothers Rezwan Razack and Noaman Razack. Having completed more than 171 projects spanning 52.39 million sq ft., today they have 63 ongoing projects covering 59.47 million sq ft and 28 upcoming projects covering 31.96 million sq ft of world-class real estate space across asset classes. In October 2010, the Prestige Group also successfully entered the capital market with an initial public offering of Rs. 1200 crore.

The company has diversifi ed over time into a number of related / non-related services, each of them spearheaded by individuals with adroit capacity. Services are as varied as the interior designing done by Morph Design Company (MDC) and the redefi nition of elegance in men’s formal dressing by Prestige Fashions (P) Ltd. They are also the only developers in South India to boast of such a diverse portfolio covering the residential, commercial, retail, leisure and hospitality segments.

With over 150 landmark developments across the city, the company has now extended its expertise to major cities across South India including Chennai, Hyderabad, Kochi, Mysore, Mangalore and Goa, giving each city an unparalleled experience with landmark malls on the lines of ‘The Forum’, large townships, tech parks, hotels, luxury villas, and SEZs. The company already has several successful completed and ongoing projects in Chennai to its credit, spanning the commercial and retail seg- ments. Prestige Cyber Towers and Prestige Palladium are two completed commercial developments, which have received an overwhelming response. Among other projects, Prestige Polygon, another commercial development, is currently under construction. The Prestige Group launched Chennai’s fi rst township project – a Rs. 1,000 crore development in partnership with the Rattha Group in 2012. The company has also recently launched Prestige Silver Springs – the fi rst-of-its-kind luxury villas in the city.

The Prestige Group today has become a name that is synonymous with innovation. The company has pioneered many landmark developments and introduced many fi rsts to South India:

1) Prestige Acropolis: A tribute to classical Greek architecture, one of the fi rst Premium residential developments in Bangalore

2) Prestige Ozone: One of the fi rst gated communities in Bangalore

3) The Forum mall: Pioneered the retail revolution in Bangalore. Globallyrecognised and probably the fi rst successful retail mall in the country which created new benchmarks in modern day retailing.

4) Forum Value Mall: South India’s fi rst real outlet mall featuring international and national brands

5) The Collection, UB City: South India’s fi rst luxury mall (Partnered initiative with Vijay Mallya – UB Group)

6) Prestige Golfshire: South India’s fi rst golf villa development set against the picturesque Nandi Hills. Spread across 275 acres, the property comes complete with ultra-luxurious mansions, a Clubhouse – Falcon Greens, a luxury spa – Quan, a private lake and an 18 hole, championship-sized golf course. With this project, the Prestige Group has also introduced the worldclass 5-star, luxury resort hotel – The Marriot International to Bangalore.

7) Prestige Shantiniketan: South India’s fi rst wholly integrated township development Inspired by the unmatched success of The Forum mall, the Prestige Group is redefi ning the concept of shopping in malls by taking the ‘Forum’ brand forward to several cities across South India. Three more Forum malls are currently under construction across Bangalore, Mysore and Kochi. The Forum Vijaya Mall, Chennai’s largest mall was unveiled in 2013. Recently, the company inaugurated the Forum Fiza mall in Mangalore. The Forum Sujana mall in Hyderabad will be inaugurat- ed in the coming quarter. The popularity of Forum Value Mall, the only outlet mall in South India, has encouraged the company to develop more malls along the same lines. On the hospitality front, the Prestige Group has been credited with introduc ing some of the most reputed international brands in the world to South India, such as the Hilton Group and Marriott International for hotels; the Banyan Tree for resorts; and Oakwood for service apartments. In association with Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, the company recently launched their hotel, ‘The Aloft’, in Cessna Business Park. The company’s world-class projects have attracted renowned clients such as Intel, Microsoft, Hewlett Packard, Oracle, IBM and Cisco.

UZMA IRFAN
THE ART OF THE MATTER

Ms. Uzma Irfan joined the Prestige Group in January 2007 at a crucial juncture when the brand was undergoing rapid expansion and diversifi cation. Uzma then took on the role of Executive Director, Corporate Communications in an effort to streamline all branding and communication related initiatives. Over the years, the Prestige Group has grown by leaps and bounds and she can be credited for single-handedly strengthening the public image of the company during this phase.

From systematically profi ling the company and its diverse interests in the media to assisting the company in its various networking forums, she has played an instrumental role in communication and marketing. Uzma Irfan is currently responsible for Marketing Communication, Corporate Communication, Branding and all image related initiatives for the Prestige Group.

Uzma has also successfully established a media-buying house ‘Sublime’ to help manage the diverse and voluminous advertising needs of the Group.

Other milestones include the conceptualization and design of the company’s brand manual. She has also developed the widelypopular Falcon News, the company’s quarterly newsletter which has grown to become a recognized magazine with a circulation of over 27,000, targeting customers and stakeholders, both in India and abroad.

Among the many hats she dons, she is also currently the Editor of The Luxury Collection, a luxury magazine. The Luxury Collection highlights the latest trends in fashion, luxury and lifestyle, with special focus on the international and national luxury brands within The Collection, UB City - a joint venture between the Prestige Group and the UB Group. In an extension of this role, Uzma also handles the marketing and promotional activities for this uber chic mall. Here, she has been lauded for her success in creating landmark entertainment properties such as

‘Art Bengaluru’, ‘Trousseau Week’, ‘Berserk’ etc. Under her leadership, UB City has grown to become the landmark destination for all things related to Luxury, Art, Culture & Lifestyle. She has been instrumental in Bangalore’s growth as a ‘Culture Hub’ for Theatre, Music, Films, Art and Fashion-related events.

Uzma also founded the Sublime Galleria - India’s fi rst Sky Gallery in UB City in 2010. The Sublime Galleria is dedicated to the support and promotion of fi ne arts and performing arts. To this end, it regularly organizes exclusive art pageants featuring the work of both young and upcoming artists as well as renowned masters of art. These shows and exhibitions are well attended by art connoisseurs and buyers from across India and offer budding artists a much-needed platform to showcase their talent. Uzma believes that fi ne art is an integral part of our rich culture and we should strive to keep these art forms vibrant and accessible to society. Another highlight of the Gallery that sets it apart from its counterparts is that it commissions art for high-end hotels, hospitals, offi ces and residences. Sublime Galleria is also involved in the procurement of art for private and independent collectors, exhibitions and auctions, specifi c to quality, price & artist profile.

Uzma hosts two charity art auctions every year where sought after masterpieces of renowned artists are included for auction. This initiative has not only helped the charitable organisations that she supports but also helped Bangalore carve a niche for itself in the international art market as a place to procure serious art. Many art patrons who earlier used to either travel abroad or go to Mumbai & Delhi to buy art are now also considering Bangalore as a serious art destination courtesy these Auctions.

For Morph Designs, the interior design company of the Prestige Group and Prestige The Man Store, the largest exclusive men’s apparel and accessories store in Bangalore, Uzma manages the external communication requirements including their online and advertising needs.

The Retail and Hospitality wings of the company are other divisions that Uzma has been actively playing a role in for communication support.

Uzma is also responsible for giving a facelift to the CREDAI magazine – The Real Estate Review, targeting the real estate industry.

During her stint, the Prestige Group has secured a lion’s share of various industry and media awards garnering both national and international recognition. Uzma has championed this effort and the awards’ list includes reputed organisations like FIABCI, CNBC, Cityscape, CREDAI and PRCI to name a few.

Uzma was honored with the FICCIFLO Award for ‘Indomitable Spirit’ in inspiring the modern woman in 2013. In a function attended by Jaipur’s prominent women, representing diverse walks of modern day India, Uzma Irfan was honored with this award, instituted in recognition of her numerous achievements that have in turn inspired many a woman. FICCI Ladies Organization (FLO) was set up with a view to encourage ladies to exploit to the maximum their own human potential as entrepreneurs, business women and lady professionals and serve the community and nation at large through activities of social welfare on the cultural and social fronts. Every year FLO recognizes the achievements of women who have excelled in their own fi elds and are icons of inspirations for the society. Apart from this, she was also recently awarded the ‘Female Real Estate Professional Of The Year’ by Bangalore Real Estate Awards 2014.

On a personal note, her hobbies include traveling, meeting people, reading and cooking. Uzma holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration, with focus on Management, from the American Inter Continental University in London. She has graduated with Honors and a dual degree.

THE WOMAN
BEHIND THE BRAND

BUSINESS BARONS: How has the brand management function – through marketing and corporate communications – gained signifi cance in the real estate and hospitality sectors over the past few years?

UZMA IRFAN : In recent years, both the real estate and hospitality sectors have grown rapidly and are currently hyper-competitive with global players. In such an environment, customers are spoilt for choice and for fi rms to operate successfully, branding and marketing is crucial. Since these aspects essentially convey to the public the ethos of the company, intelligently designed brands, whose target consumers are able to relate to them, find maximum success.

BB: What are the challenges and opportunities such a crucial role offers? In what way did you prepare for it and how do you update your knowledge and skills on an ongoing basis?

Uzma : I consider every challenge an opportunity to learn more and hone my skills. This role requires me to be empathic to the needs of the company so that I can accurately convey the philosophy and quality of our work to the public through the lenses of marketing and corporate communications.

When I fi rst joined the Prestige Group, I interned with every department within the company to understand the various aspects of the company. It was at this time that I realized that there was an urgent need for a Corporate Communications department to streamline all branding and communication related initiatives. Since then, I have been responsible for Marketing Communication, Corporate Communication, Branding and all image related initiatives for the Prestige Group.

Whatever position you acquire within an organization and however many years of experience you may gain, at the end of the day, there is no end to learning and one must constantly keep updating themselves to keep abreast of new information, technology, strategies etc. to give their best in an ever-changing, dynamic industry like this. Towards this end, I read up regularly on all things related to my line of work and I also have weekly brainstorming sessions with my entire team. I welcome new initiatives and ideas from them as every person will think in a way unique to themselves, and we can get to learn a lot from everyone if we keep an open mind.

BB: What is it like to head up such an important department? Does being a woman present any advantages/ disadvantages ?

Uzma : It is a complex and dynamic task that keeps me on my toes with each day presenting different elements from the last. The nature of my department’s work requires me to work synergistically with multiple internal and external employees, stakeholders and agencies and results in a very diverse and engaging work environment. Moreover, I am responsible for the public image of the company and it is a tremendous responsibility to ensure goodwill among all patrons and stakeholders of the company.

In today’s world, women are on par with men and are in fact, competing with them in all walks of life. Real estate however, is still predominantly a male-dominated industry. Fortunately, I have never faced any disadvantages to being in this industry and have always managed to garner respect from my colleagues and seniors alike. I feel privileged to be one of the few women within this fi eld and hope to do more work that will encourage other women to enter this sector.

BB: As a woman and with your family background in real estate, what are the positives that you bring to your role and the brand perception of Prestige Group ?

Uzma : The Prestige Group was one of the fi rst developers in Bangalore and today, with over 160 developments in the city alone to our credit, we have changed the very skyline of the city. Though our developments speak for themselves, a large part of how we are perceived in public has been brought about by the various communication and marketing initiatives incorporated by us in recent years.

The Prestige Group understands the importance of connecting with their clients. Thereby, all branding and communication related initiatives are streamlined within the organization. The company and its diverse interests are regularly and systematically profi led in the media. Another strong tool of communication within the company is our award-winning magazine – Falcon News. The magazine keeps clients up-to-date on all developments within the organization. The company, in association with Sublime, also publishes a luxury magazine – The Luxury Collection. I am the editor of both Falcon News and The Luxury Collection.

At Prestige, we put immense thought, creativity and planning into each and every marketing and advertising campaign for the various offerings. The brochures for the various developments do not limit themselves to merely giving details of the properties. They are designed as works of art that give a potential client an actual feel of the property that is being launched. Testimony to this is the fact that the company has received several awards for our innovative approach to creating our brochures. The company has a strong online presence and all details and developments related to the company can be found on our website. Moreover, the Prestige Group provides an application where home-buyers of our properties can track the progress of the projects that they have invested in. This creates transparency while making the company more accountable to its clients. Billboards across the city also give information on Prestige’s latest offerings, further creating top-ofmind recall for the brand.

Finally, the company offers innovative, landmark developments with the highest quality and design at competitive rates, which ultimately creates the greatest connect with their target audience, as potential clients are assured of receiving only the best from Prestige.

BB: What is the USP that set the Prestige Group apart and how have you highlighted this on a sustained basis across platforms and forums ?

Uzma : The Prestige Group is today synonymous with landmark developments featuring international design and high-end quality and is recognized ubiquitously as the second largest developer in India. Symbolized by its trademark symbol, the mighty Falcon, the company took Bangalore under its wings and gave its real estate landscape an international semblance. With its signature creations that set it apart, Prestige is a name that is fi rmly etched across asset classes including residential, commercial, retail, hospitality, leisure, IT and SEZ categories. With its supremacy unrivalled in the city, the company has spread it wings and changed the skylines of cities like Chennai, Goa, Hyderabad, Kochi, Mangalore and Mysore in recent years.

The Prestige Group was one of the fi rst developers from the country to start participating in international and national real estate awards. I have always been extremely confi dent about the superior quality and design of our developments. I decided to enter our projects into international awards where they would be competing against world-class developments from several countries. As we kept winning numerous awards year on year, we started receiving global recognition for our brand. Also, we are regularly featured in all media across the country, further strengthening our reach to the people.

The company was also one of the fi rst to incorporate an in-house newsletter, ‘Falcon News’. On joining the organization, one of my fi rst tasks was to develop it into a fullfl edged magazine. Today, it reaches every customer and stake-holder who has ever been associated with the company.

Brand ‘Prestige’ has evolved with the times to ensure that we are trend-setters in the dynamic industry that we are a part of. From our unique marketing and advertising campaigns to our award-winning brochures, innovation has been the key word in all our ventures and initiatives. As the digital world takes everyone by storm, Prestige has upped the ante on our online presence to ensure that we are present on all important forums and anyone from anywhere across the world can not only study every detail of the company at any given time but can also contact us directly for any query, thus further strengthening the brand image.

BB : Communication and brand positioning have become much more technology driven with perceptions shaped in real-time due to social media. How have you ensured Prestige Group is in tune with tomorrow?

PERSONAL FACTFILE :
UZMA IRFAN
  • Favourite Destination: Vienna
  • Favourite Car: Bugatti
  • Management Thought: Passion is the secret to success
  • Favourite Fashion: Be yourself. If you are artifi cial, the wall will break at some time.
  • Favourite Quote: “The only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you fi nd it.” Steve Jobs
  • Success Mantra: Believe in yourself.
  • Favourite Dish: Paella (Spanish)
  • Favourite Leader: Steve Jobs.

Uzma: For all prominent companies in India, social media has today become an inherent part of their marketing and business initiatives. The products offered by the Prestige Group fall in a category that involves enormous amounts of research by a potential customer before a decision is made on a particular purchase. Social media addresses the need for those sharing views on past purchases, to encouraging discussions around new projects and so on. The Prestige Group is active on all the prominent social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, YouTube etc. We use social media for all our collaterals, sharing details on upcoming events as well as past ones, new launches etc. thus keeping our patrons updated about all activities within the company at any given point in time. Having a very strong NRI customer base, such sites also make it possible for us to address our client’s every need and give potential customers an opportunity to clarify their queries with the company. Considering that India is now conducting business with people from across the globe, the worldwide web has helped convert us into a global village, thus making it possible to communicate across countries simultaneously.

BB: What is the feedback you have received from your peers, industry representatives and those who ultimately take decisions based on your work, namely the end-users ?

Uzma : Given its strong track record of excellent quality and state-of-the-art design, complemented by timely delivery of projects and all this, at competitive prices, the Prestige Group has moved much ahead of its counterparts in garnering customer goodwill. The secret of our success is the immense appreciation, loyalty and goodwill that we receive from all our clients. Furthermore, a strong after-sales relationship has sealed our leadership position in the market. Any query/complaint from any client, past or present is treated with the same urgency and priority. A past client is never neglected just because the sale is over and neither does the client’s relationship with the company end there. We also get a lot of customer feedback through the Falcon News, which gives us further insights into our public image.

The Prestige Group was the only developer from India in 2009 to win the coveted international FIABCI Award for Prestige Elgin. Over the years, we have received global recognition by being the recipient of an array of international and national awards including several interior design awards for Morph Design Company, Shrishti Good Green Governance Awards, numerous Asia Pacifi c Property Awards, Cityscape Real Estate Awards and Indian Realty Awards for their residential commercial, retail, leisure, hospitality projects and tech parks. Also the Pevonia Asia Spa Awards for Angsana Spa. Keeping up our winning spree, the Prestige Group once again was the recipient of a plethora of prestigious awards last year, including 10 Asia Pacifi c Property Awards 2012-13 across the residential, commercial and leisure segments and four Asia Pacifi c Hotel Awards 2012-13, apart from fi ve Indian Realty Awards 2013 including ‘Developer of the year’. The Forum mall, Koramangala – Bangalore’s fi rst mall was awarded the ‘IMAGES Most Admired Shopping Centre of the Year’. The Prestige Group and Morph Design Company have also won 5 Asia Pacifi c Property Awards 2013-14 this year.

BB: UB City is said to be your pet project, a pioneering concept that has transformed perceptions with unique events and worldclass luxury retail. How does it feel to have revolutionized retail in Bangalore ?

Sublime Galleria : State-of-the-Art

Founded in 2009, Sublime Galleria, located at UB City, is India’s fi rst Sky Gallery. Having hosted several successful exhibitions in the past, it is recognized for its contribution for putting Bangalore on the global art map. It brings in a regular contingent of eminent art experts, reputed masters as well as rising artists.

This reputed space is on a mission to further the cause of the arts and also place itself as a dynamic crucible for the next generation to develop and showcase their talent. For this, Sublime reaches out to upcoming artists and offers them a platform to showcase their talent, while making their body of work accessible to the art loving community of Bangalore. The Gallery is also associated with showcasing the works of renowned artists of international repute like Padmashri award-winning artist, Thota Tharrani, Thota Vaikuntam, Pallavi Foley, Pallon Daruwala and Vijit Pillai, among others. Sublime aims to showcase hitherto unseen/ the latest works of artists, both established and upcoming, to the art patrons of the city.

Another highlight of the Gallery that sets it apart from its counterparts is that it commissions art for high-end hotels, hospitals, offi ces and residences. The Gallery collaborates with the client to suit the technical requirements, aesthetic vision and budgetary details of the project. They work with the project’s interior designers to suit their vision and give art along those lines. Sublime ensures end-to-end realization of the designated vision. So far, they have commissioned art for ‘Aloft’, part of an international group of hotels in Whitefi eld, Bangalore. They have organized artworks for 190 rooms including Presidential Suites, Gallery Art and art for their lobby and restaurants. They are currently commissioning art for the Sheraton Hotel, Whitefi eld. Sublime Galleria is also involved in the procurement of art for private and independent collectors, exhibitions and auctions, specifi c to quality, price & artist profile.

Says Uzma Irfan, “UB City has been a destination for art lovers for many years now, with dedicated events such as ‘Art Bengaluru’, which has helped put the city on the global art scene. Hence, this was a natural choice to introduce India’s fi rst ‘Sky Gallery’, overlooking the spectacular panorama of the Garden City. The ‘Sky Galleria’ will be a refreshing concept providing visitors with a unique experience of being suspended in mid-air while browsing through Fine Art.”

Sublime Galleria has earlier also showcased the works of Aamina Shazi, Amit Bhar, Amit Sharma, Anoop H., Ashish Parmar, C.P.B Prasad, Devanshi (Tina), Farah Ahmed, Kalabhakesari, Laxman Aelay, Manoj Masand, Pallavi Foley, Pallon Daruwala, Pragya Jain, Priyanka Gupta Agarwal, Rachana Nagarkar, Ramesh Gorjala, Rupesh Patrick, Shukla Chowdhury, Simran K.S. Lamba, Sonu Mulchandani, Soraya Taher Merchant, Padmashri award-winning artist – Thota Tharani, Thota Vaikuntam, Srividya, Swati Pasari, Tala Afsin and Vijit Pillai.

Sublime Galleria, in association with The Collection, UB City also hosts three annual proprietary events ‘Art Bengaluru’, ‘Trousseau Week’ and ‘Berserk’.

Uzma : While UB City is today one of the city’s best-known landmarks and the only luxury mall in South India, the launch of The Forum mall way back in 2004, pioneered the retail revolution in Bangalore. Till date, it continues to be the city’s most popular shopping destination.

In the last 5 years since its inception, UB City has grown to become one of the bestknown landmarks in Bangalore, a familiar icon in the city’s landscape that has permanently changed the skyline of Bangalore. Apart from being a popular leisure destination for Bangaloreans, it has also become a tourist attraction for all visiting the city. Totalling an impressive 1 million sq. ft., UB City is the biggest mixed-use development in Bangalore’s Central Business District.

However, I have never treated The Collection, UB City as just a luxury mall. I have taken a different approach to build the mall into a landmark destination for all things related to Luxury, Art, Culture & Lifestyle. Through my various proprietary events in UB City as well as through my art gallery – Sublime Galleria, I have attempted to contribute to Bangalore’s growth as a ‘Culture Hub’ for Theatre, Music, Films, Art and Fashion-related events.

I have created three unique proprietary annual events in UB City – ‘Art Bengaluru’, ‘Trousseau Week’ and ‘Berserk’. These events have grown to become three of the most anticipated events in the country today and have set new benchmarks in terms of event concept and quality of experience.

Art Bengaluru, one of the most-awaited annual art festivals in the country today, is an exclusive event that is designed to showcase various types of art forms including ‘Wall Art’ (fi ne art, paintings, illustration, photographs) and ‘Stand-alone Art’ (sculpture, installations, product design). Art Bengaluru was fi rst launched in March 2010, and after four successful editions, has become one of the most respected platforms to showcase a melange of artists and over 100 artworks from across the country and abroad under one roof. Needless to say, the Tuscan architecture of The Collection, UB City complements the art festival by creating an illusion of fl uent expanse. Art displayed in this landmark area promises to enhance aesthetic awareness and create a sensory delight for the viewer. During this event, the Roman colonnaded corridors of The Collection, is transformed into a veritable paradise of all that is best in art in India. Art Bengaluru is gearing up for its fi fth edition between 21st and 30th August 2014. This year’s theme is European Art History and aims to refl ect upon the Renaissance period by highlighting some of the best works.

Trousseau Week is a one-stop solution for all Wedding Planning, Design and Consulting needs. Trousseau Week provides the best of wedding couture, wedding planners, designers, wedding photographers, banquets, tourism boards and international & national luxury brands, all on one platform.Trousseau Week, which has grown to become a landmark annual wedding festival for all brides and grooms to be, was also awarded the ‘Biggest Fashion Event of the Year’ by Deccan Chronicle in 2011 and ‘Lifestyle Event of the Year’ by WOW Awards 2014 for ‘Trousseau Week 2013’.

Sublime Galleria also introduced another proprietary event, Berserk in 2013. Berserk is an annual 3-day residential art conference for children. Categorised under the four key art verticals - Theatre, Dance, Music and Visual Art, Sublime brings the best in the art industry to mentor and guide these children. The programme involves identifying/ shortlisting students from the chosen city schools who will partake in a 3-day residential conference comprising of intensive workshops supported by sessions meticulously planned for each vertical featuring guest lectures and demonstrations by award winning professionals apart from other endorsements and benefits.

It is widely acknowledged that much needs to be done when it comes to promoting fi ne art in India. This awareness needs to be built from a grass root level where children interested in art can be nurtured and guided through its basics and other nuances. This common belief resulted in the creation of ‘Berserk’, conceptualised and created by Sublime to benefi t talented children in the city. The debut event resulted in bringing together some of the best minds in various fi elds of art under one platform. The expert mentors for ‘Berserk 2013’ were Jagriti for Theatre, The Lourd Vijay Dance Studio for Dance, Taaqademy for Music and 3 Peel for Visual Art.

After a phenomenal debut last year, Berserk is back with its 2nd Edition. The 3-day residential art conference will take place from 27 to 29 August with the Finale taking place on 30 August at UB City. The Berserk team will be auditioning children across 100 schools for this event. Open auditions are scheduled for 05 to 09 August 2014 at UB City for children between 8-14 years of age. The expert mentors for ‘Berserk 2014’ are Evam for Theatre, The Lourd Vijay Dance Studio for Dance, Taaqademy for Music and 3 Peel for Visual Art.

BB: Your flair for multi-tasking is wellknown: how do you manage to don so many hats and manage such diverse roles ?

Uzma: Passion is the greatest driving force for any activity. If you do a job just for the sake of doing it, you will never really succeed in it or derive enjoyment from it. You need to be passionate about what you do and it is this passion that keeps me going and makes it possible for me to keep attempting new things, without getting discouraged by any challenges that may come in my way. Also, I don’t pressurize myself by competing with others. I benchmark myself against my own work and always try to better myself with each new initiative. Also, I believe that team work is an essential ingredient for success and encourage my employees to be team players at all times.

BB: You have also enhanced the image of the developer community as a whole, with your various intiatives. Do you feel the overall perception of real estate is changing due to the changes brought about by nextgen professionals like yourself ?

Uzma : In the past, real estate was treated with a considerable amount of suspicion and apprehension by the wider public due to the lack of regulatory oversight and a large number of unscrupulous developers who often took buyers’ money and either delivered poor quality fi nal products or, in many unfortunate circumstances, failed to deliver at all. The industry was crying out for ethical, dependable and transparent developers and I am proud to say that Prestige was at the forefront of that revolution. Today, our esteemed patrons turn to the Prestige Group for their residential and commercial needs with no hesitation or anxiety about whether we will deliver on our promises. It is on the back of these core principles that we, at Prestige, have grown to become one of the leading developers in the country today. Over the years, we have built a strong foundation of trust within our patrons and stakeholders, and to us that continues to be our biggest achievement till date. Our various initiatives have gone a long way in improving the overall perception of real estate and we endeavor daily to continue this trend for as long as we are in the business.

BB: Tell us more about your most recent initiative namely Sublime House of Tea ?

Uzma : My most recent initiative is the ‘Sublime House of Tea’. Started in 2013, ‘Sublime House of Tea’ aims to discover newer and better experiences of imbibing the divine brew of gourmet tea, while always staying in touch with its traditions and roots that date back to ancient times. ‘Sublime House of Tea’ is promoted by the Prestige Group and Sublime Galleria.

Ever since it was fi rst drunk, millennia ago, tea has been known for its benefi cial effects on the human health. The ancient Chinese believed it to be useful in the treatment of a wide variety of medical conditions. In modern times, studies show that tea, especially the white and green varieties, are rich in catechins. Catechins are a variety of antioxidants that help to counter the harmful effects of free radical cells in our body and lower cholesterol levels. Drinking tea thus can potentially be benefi cial in preventing diseases like cancer, neurological conditions and coronary heart diseases. Studies are being conducted the world over to determine the exact nature and extent of the benefi ts. My aim was to introduce and create awareness about certain varieties of tea that are extremely benefi cial for health but not easily available in the market.

Handpicked with care to value quality and diversity rather than quantity, Sublime’s portfolio of fi ne tea presents a mix of the classical, the popular and the avant-garde. From sought after bouquets such as Green Tea, Assam Tea and English Breakfast to intriguing localised brews like Moroccan Mint, and Seventh Heaven, eclectic admixtures like White Tea with Raspberry and the complex fl avours of herbal tisanes like Rose in Bloom and Chamomile, there is a tea to suit every palate and occasion.

‘Sublime House of Tea’ has been credited with introducing certain fl avours to the Indian market that were hitherto unavailable here, including exotic brews like Seventh Heaven, Wellness Brew and Green Long Ding, which are extremely sought-after in several places across the globe. Another differentiator is that the tea is packed in pyramid tea bags, rather than the regular fi lter paper tea bags, thus further enhancing the taste of the tea by giving the fullness of the liquor.

Currently, ‘Sublime House of Tea’ is available on the shelves of the Gourmet stores of Food World in MG Road, Bangalore Club and Whitefi eld. It is also available at Sublime Galleria (UB City) and Bon Vivanta. In addition, it is being served at Café Noir, Amande, Oakwood and Aloft Cessna Hotel.

In the coming months, the products will be available at Nature’s Basket (pan India), Food Hall (including other metros), West Side Gourmet and Namdhari’s. Café Noir will also retail the ‘Sublime House of Tea’ packs at their cafes including the one at BIAL.

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