“Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity” - Kalyani Chawla

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One look at her and you would pooh-pooh the fact that she is mother of a teenage daughter! One of the most prominent figures within India’s luxury retail circle, this gorgeous Bengali lass is the epitome of elegance and class, as is the company she represents. Meet Christian Dior Couture India vice-president, marketing and communications Kalyani Chawla.

Also donning the hat of Dior's social brand ambassador in India, Kalyani exudes an air of confidence. In a t?te-?-t?te with Indiantelevision.com’s RITWIKA GUPTA, she speaks about her family, online shopping and the perks of being the brand ambassador of an international label.

How has your journey been so far in the industry?

Nine years in this industry and I can say that it has been challenging but extremely rewarding. Dior is a serious contender in this nascent market, investing in the opportunity for immense growth, which we believe exists in the near future. The resources, which are at hand for me to invest in marketing, are unique as no other brand in India does that. This only helps to take this brand to international standards.

How do you keep a work-life balance?

My 15-year-old daughter is in boarding school but comes home often enough, which is when we bond. But I have a focused 10 am to 6 pm day, which really extends to 10 am to 8 pm most of times and on weekends too. Socializing and attending events is an integral part of my work too. So, it’s a great balance, which I think I’ve managed well!

How do you relax?

Massages are my biggest indulgence. I also love reading. Both these activities are so time consuming but the most relaxing.

Where do you draw your energy?

I meditate everyday, which is what keeps me focused.

Who are your favourite authors?

I love South American and Japanese authors particularly. Amongst the Indian authors, I adore Jhumpa Lahiri for her sensitivity and Calcutta settings, which I relate to. I like Firdaus Kanga for his dark humour and Rohinton Mistry's A Fine Balance completely shook my ground.

What kind of films do you love watching?

I love Woody Allen for his brilliance, Anurag Kashyap for his genre and Karan Johar for his late 80s type of movies, which we still laugh and weep over.

How would you define your personal style?

With a growing teenager, I am bending towards classic now but intrinsically with a twist! In terms of brands, I go for what suits me and what is age appropriate. More than being brand focused, I dress up according to the occasion.

Where are your favourite places to shop?

I love high street shopping. I have my best pieces from the high streets, which are always such great value for money and style! I also shop online from international websites but you land up paying more tax. There are great online shopping opportunities available in India like rocknshop.com, which offers an EMI option and hence you do not feel the pinch… to an extent! 

What would be an ideal weekend escapade?

Any beach is great for me...I am a complete beach bum!

Do you have a daily beauty regime?

I have been blessed with great genes. So, I don’t really feel the need to follow any regime. I am a typical lazy Bengali and a good moisturizer for day and night is all that I am regular with.

Who are the biggest influences in your life?

My greatest influences have been my two sets of grandparents. They have defined my character, my drive, my interests and who I am today. My motivation is my daughter, Tahira Tara Chawla, who keeps me focused. I want to provide the best for her and give her the best education. To be able to afford that, I need to be successful in my field of work.

Where do you see yourself in the next five years?

I live for the present and try to make the best of it. Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity. The future is unpredictable but we have to be prepared. That is the key.

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