Heathrow’s Terminal 2. United Airlines inaugurated a new era at Heathrow International Airport on Wednesday, June 4 when it became the first carrier to arrive at the newly opened £2.5 billion Terminal 2. The aircraft, a United Boeing 767-300ER operating Flight 958 from Chicago, unloaded the first of what Heathrow officials project will be up to 20 million passengers a year to pass through the brand new terminal. The US carrier is the first to move into the terminal and will eventually operate 17 arriving and departing flights throughout the day as it gradually consolidates its entire Heathrow operations to Terminal 2. United Airlines will be joined by 25 other airlines in phases over the next 6 months comprised of 23 members of the Star Alliance along with Aer Lingus, Germanwings and Virgin Atlantic Little Red. When at full capacity, Terminal 2 will have 332 daily flights to 54 global destinations. Originally built in 1955 and famously incorporating the iconic Queen’s Building, Terminal 2 was designed for 1.2 million passengers. However, by 2009, over 8 million passengers squeezed through annually prompting the site’s closure, demolition and ambitious re-development. The terminal features a number of world firsts including the airport debut of British high-street favorite John Lewis along with more than 30 high end retailers and 17 gourmet food and drink outlets including a Fuller’s Pub serving London Pride and the Gorgeous Kitchen – a restaurant founded by four local female chefs. The new facility has been named ‘The Queen’s Terminal” in honor of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II who will perform the official opening ceremony on June 23 accompanied by the Duke of Edinburgh. Heathrow officials hope the intervening time between the arrival of the first flights and the official opening will provide ample time to tackle any early operating issues. The airport is ever mindful of the 2008 fiasco that followed the opening of Terminal 5 in which over 42,000 bags went astray and over 500 flights were cancelled. To avoid a repeat, the airport has performed 180 trials involving over 14,000 volunteers to iron out potential bugs. The trials included passing more than 100,000 bags through the terminal’s baggage system, and stressing it by handling 4000 bags per hour compared to an expected peak load of 2,500 bags per hour. To facilitate a smooth start, every employee at Terminal 2 has also been required to participate in familiarization and training sessions.
CUMULATIVE INDIVIDUAL RESULT220 (+7) Michaela Fletcher (RSA)225 (+12) Cara Gorlei (RSA)226 (+13) Josephine Ainley (Ken)229 (+16) Madina Iddy (Tnz)230 (+17) Naomi Wafula (Ken)233 (+20) Angel Eaton (Tnz)233 (+20) Magda Kruger (RSA)234 (+21) Hawa Wanyeche (Tnz)236 (+23) Melissa Nawa (Zam)237 (+24) Christina Engell Andersen (Ken) SAinfo reporter 13 June 2014 For the eleventh time since the All-Africa Challenge Trophy (AACT) was launched in 1992, the South African women’s amateur team claimed success in Africa’s most prestigious biennial championship on Thursday. Magda Kruger, Michaela Fletcher and Cara Gorlei showed the same tenacity, commitment and determination as their predecessors to ensure the country’s successful title defence at the Muthaiga Golf Club in Nairobi.Excellent final round Fletcher, from KwaZulu-Natal, birdied three par-fives and a par-four on her way to a closing three-under-par 68 to safeguard the team’s six-stroke overnight lead. Western Province’s Gorlei added an 80, while Kruger from Gauteng North signed for a non-counting 81. Rounds of 146, 148 and 148 secured an 11-stroke victory for South Africa on a winning score of 442.Runner-up Meanwhile, Kenya held up under huge pressure from Tanzania to combine for a final round of 151 to clinch the runner-up spot on 453. Tanzania took third on 456 after posting a final round score of 150, while Zambia claimed fourth on 472, finishing six strokes ahead of neighbouring Zimbabwe.Individual winner Pietermaritzburg’s Fletcher also claimed the individual competition on seven-over-par 220 after carding rounds of 79, 73 and 68, which was also the lowest round of the tournament. Gorlei, from Milnerton, took second, finishing five strokes behind her compatriot, while Kruger finished seventh overall on 233.‘An exceptionally good job’ “We are very proud of this team, who did an exceptionally good job against some very tough opponents,” Women’s Golf South Africa president, Karen Olivant, said in a statement on Thursday. “The course was quite challenging, but they showed a lot of grit and determination and didn’t let the course deter them from their goal to defend the title. “Michaela and Cara both contributed two great rounds to boost our chances and Magda was the only player in the field over 54 holes to birdie the tough par-three second. “I am very proud of their performance and they were fantastic ambassadors for South Africa and Women’s Golf South Africa.”TEAM RESULTS442 (+16) South Africa 146 148 148453 (+27) Kenya 145 157 151456 (+30) Tanzania 156 150 150472 (+46) Zambia 156 159 157478 (+52) Zimbabwe 163 158 157496 (+70) Uganda 158 168 170500 (+74) Egypt 166 168 166514 (+88) Botswana 176 168 170535 (+109) Nigeria 181 176 178561 (+135) Cameroon 183 188 190564 (+138) Gabon 201 185 178569 (+143) Ghana 185 190 194571 (+145) Tunisia 187 197 187617 (+191) Malawi 209 203 205635 (+209) Sierra Leone 208 214 213644 (+218) Togo 214 213 217676 (+250) Rwanda 216 230 230
They embody a fresh promise. They possess the enviable ability to face challenges. And they have the temperament to think out-of-the-box. A sense of achievement is integral to their raison d’etre. They do not follow any hand-me-down lineage, but use their ideas and initiatives to jump to the corner office. They are on the road to achieve their goals and enjoy unabashedly what they do. This Women’s Day, we raise a toast to these eclectic bunch of talented and focussed women, who know what they want. Simply Punjabi celebrates the different hues of this smart brigade.A star for the stars: Ana Singh A costume designer whose Midas touch has transformed many a Bollywood star’s looks and destiny.With more than 900 films firmly tucked under her Swarovski belt, stylist Ana Singh has dressed the biggest stars in the film industry.The costume designer’s Midas touch has transformed many a star’s looks (think Karisma Kapoor in Raja Hindustani and Madhuri Dixit in Hum Aapke Hain Kaun). In fact, her two decades in the industry have run parallel to the evolution of costuming in Hindi cinema-from Maine Pyar Kiya (1989), Saajan (1991), Hum Aapke Hain Koun (1994) and Ghulam (1998) to Yaadein (2001), Ajnabee (2001), Umrao Jaan (2006) and the most recent Veer. The first Bollywood designer to float her own design studio (1995), Singh pioneered the concept of a style consultancy for high-profile celebrities.”I am not the only creative one out here. I’m just one of them. But, yes, I’d say that my spectrum is diverse. I’ve done entertainers, realistic films and period films,” says the proud Punjabi.Bagging two national awards for costume design, for Muzaffar Ali’s Umrao Jaan and Akbar Khan’s Taj Mahal: An Eternal Love Story, Singh received The Rajiv Gandhi Excellence Award for her contribution to fashion research in Mission Kashmir. The creative genius is also the only designer to be conferred with Rashtriya Ekta Award (2002) for pioneering fashion in the Indian Film Industry. “If it’s about sheer numbers, it’s tough to beat my record. I’ve had my fair share of critical acclaim. It’s a wonderful feeling really. Nothing is more joyous than making your parents proud,” she gushes.A gold medalist from JJ School of Arts, Mumbai, in Textiles Culture, Design Content and Commercial Art, Singh has done a year’s training in pattern cutting and a course on nonstructured garments from Florence School of Fashion. “As India’s first Bollywood couturier, I pioneered my fraternity. But for retaining success, I need to constantly update my skills,” she adds. Five years back, she did a fabric structuring course in Florence, Italy. Now, she wants to do a refresher course in London. “I strongly believe in widening my knowledge base,” says the designer.Singh’s tryst with design began with retailing fashion through Glitterati, a fashion atelier. But destiny had bigger plans for her, “In those days, there were dresswalas but no designers. My label survived on the racks only for six months. Discouraged by the response, I designed the clothes for my first film Khatarnak (starring Sanjay Dutt and Anita Raaj). By the time that was over, I’d already begun to get good offers to design for movies.”Singh’s clothes in Hum Aapke Hain Kaun, particularly, were remarkable in the way they filtered down to the streets, be it Madhuri Dixit’s red lace frock in the song Mausam ka jadu, the yellow dress of Maye ni Maye . “I’ve been doing regular western glamour for a long time, the kind I did for Pooja Bhatt, Raveena Tandon and Madhuri,” she says. But with the easy availability of luxury brands, she says it’s no more a difficult task. “So most Bollywood designers today just mix and match. But as a costumer, I want work that utilises my talent,” she says. Today she would prefer a film like Once Upon a Time in Mumbaai, wherein Ajay Devgan’s costumes formed an important part of the film’s overall fabric.”Not a big fan of fashion in commercial cinema these days, Singh is gravitating toward period films. “While film costumes are a catalyst to move a film’s story forward in most films, they occupy a centrality in period films,” she reasons. Singh, who was recently in news for designing Salman Khan’s Rs 1.2 crore armour in Veer, says, “I still don’t know why such hype was created. Media made it seem like it was for one set of armour, whereas it was six sets that had to be created,” laughs the media recluse. Besides synonymying B Town fashion at its best, Singh brings her unique genius to everything she does. From churning out 11,000 clothes for the Commonwealth Games opening and closing ceremonies at New Delhi to being the official designer for Femina Miss India for five years, Singh designed the personal wardrobe for Michael Jackson when he first visited India. “I was going mad.” She says it was a huge number of clothes for both occasions and far more challenging than the several wardrobes she’s done for Miss India, Miss Universe and Miss World. “I slogged 24×7, but it was a wonderful experience,” she says.Known for her signature print dresses (Christian art line) and her Swarovski encrusted accessories, Singh’s passionate about costume jewellery, “While working for bridal costumes, I always laid great emphasis on jewellery and accessories to complete the look. Soon compliments started pouring in and I was inspired to introduce a special line of custom-made costume jewellery,” she says. Rekha once walked into her store and bought the entire range of Mughal jewellery. She has also launched a costume jewellery line called ‘Just about Jewellery’. “It’s for the people who can’t afford expensive jewellery but want to look as though they can,” laughs Singh, adding, “I use only semi-precious stones, crystals and beads set in polished or treated silver. It has an awesome effect, without hitting the purse strings.”But the couturier rues the lack of style icons in today’s Bollywood. “We are suddenly becoming too casual in our dressing. Unfortunately, in the bargain, there are no style icons. Well, you do have stylish people but no style icons.” Her personal favourites are Hrithik Roshan (“He’s fab, as of today”), Aishwarya Rai and Preity Zinta. “There’s going to be no Aishwarya Rai for 200 hundred years. She inspires me to go beyond myself,” says Singh.Her favourite film stylist is Patricia Field (of the famous shocking red hair) responsible for turning the HBO’s Sex and the City friends Carrie, Charlotte, Samantha and Miranda into international style icons. “I love the work that Patricia did on SATC…that’s very strong styling and for that I give her a thumbs up. She proved that style can sometimes win over substance,” she says. Anaita Shroff is one of her favourite Indian designers.The design maverick’s master work includes hand-painted accessory chests in devotion to legendary painter Raja Ravi Verma. And then, there’s her passion for body art, “It’s an ancient art that has roots in the tribal areas of Mexico and Rajasthan. I first flirted with this art in 1986, when I painted a falcon on Shroff’s macho torso for a magazine cover,” shares Singh.She believes in constant evolution. “Except for some wonderful moments I spend with my husband Jaiveer Singh, my father and my beautiful puppies, I’m raring to design most of the time. I love my frenzied fashion world madly. Maybe, I was born mad. But then, it’s good. Isn’t it?” asks the designer.Favourite filmsFor Singh, realistic films-Raincoat, Khakee, to Border and Refugee-brought out the best in her. She also loved creating the Lucknawi look in Umrao Jaan.Top designsVeer: Salman Khan’s shining bronze armour was a Singh creation.Mission Kashmir: Singh received the Rajiv Gandhi Excellence Award for her fashion research for Preity Zinta’s look.Umrao Jaan: Aishwarya Rai’s famous costume and look were made by Singh, too.Hum Aapke Hain Kaun: The purple saree worn by Madhuri Dixit became a staple in every Indian woman’s bridal trousseau. Thanks to Singh.Grooming guru: Priyanka Khosla A globetrotter who endeavours to groom the youth for a smarter India.Flying sky high is a way of life for aviation connoisseur Priyanka Khosla, Managing Director and founder of Flying Cats, country’s top-notch aviation school. “I’ve always aspired to inject a scoop of glamour in the professional lives of my students. With interaviation, retail and tourism sectors buoying, my focus has been to train smart and well-groomed students in these areas,” shares the grooming guru,” says Khosla.Also, the penetration of career opportunities from the metros to smaller cities has been Priyanka’s forte. Today, her fashion school INIFD has a global presence and is the official knowledge partner to the prestigious Lakme Fashion Week (LFW). “Our students from small towns like Moga and Ludhiana are leading the LFW and other international fashion events,” smiles Khosla.Having graduated in Applied Arts and PGD in Fashion & Interior Design, Chandigarh-based Khosla is no stranger to the world of glamour, “I was quite the girl next-door,” she says, but with a passion to dress well and look different, she signed a few commercials. She adds, “Soon I shifted to choreography and directed shows featuring Preity Zinta, Katrina Kaif, Bipasha Basu, Lara Dutta, Priynaka Chopra, besides mentoring several others. However, since the lady joined her husband Anil Khosla in his fashion education business almost a decade back, she felt the need for grooming fashion students. Today, she has trained over 25,000 students across the globe.From a shy, innocent girl who spent most of her childhood in a boarding school, to becoming a successful entrepreneur, a sensuous Priyanka today looks much younger than her age and is the role model for many. While she needs her fix of Coco, Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Cavali and Neeta Lulla for Indian formals, the charming and affable lady drives immense inspiration from Simi Grewal and Swami Vivekananda. This diva has her kitty full with many prestigious ventures and is constantly planning newer projects.Her favourite brands She needs her fix of Coco, Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Cavali and Neeta Lulla for Indian formals. She drives inspiration from Simi Grewal and Swami Vivekananda. She exercises regularly and is often mistaken as her daughter’s friend on parent-teacher meetings.Super planner: Divya Dhanda The woman who has exposed Punjab’s chi-chi set to luxury labelsShe orchestrates shopaholic dreams and makes luxury lineups come alive. As Punjabis get increasingly brand savvy and move beyond home-grown designers to embrace A-List international labels, 40-year-old Divya Dhanda is becoming a much sought after name among the region’s swish set. Organising glitzy trunk shows in cities like Ludhiana, Jalandhar and Amritsar at frequent intervals, Dhanda has successfully brought world’s finest luxe labels at an affluent Punjabi’s doorstep.”A Punjabi’s penchant for everything lavishly flamboyant is unparalleled. Right now, with the growing international exposure and affluence, they are living it up with international luxury labels,” she says. Dhanda says many leading global luxury brand marketers have started taking our market seriously. However, Punjabis had to pack their shopping bags and head for the metros for luxury shopping earlier. Therefore, the concept of a one stop label event was guaranteed to succeed. “It’s basically about cutting down on travel time to grab global luxury,” muses a glamorous looking Dhanda, whose Trunk Shows are an amalgamation of world’s most renowned names in the luxury and fashion.Feeding the sheer love of fashion in Punjabi women since 2006, Dhanda has brought plump luxury labels Louis Vuitton, Jimmy Choo, Christie’s, Brioni, Aigner, Judith Leiber, Poleci, Just Cavalli, Kenzo and Valentino as well as Indian designers Malini Ramani, Gaurav Gupta, Shantanu-Nikhil, Mirari, Maheep Kapoor and Manish Malhotra to Punjab. “Luxury labels management is as much an art as science. The creative challenge here is to create a demand for something that is not really needed,” quips the immaculately dressed Event Coordinator.Coming from an army background, Dhanda grew up living and being schooled in various parts of the country. “This made me meet different people, make new friends and also absorb the exposure to various cities,” she says. Hence, her interpersonal skills were honed. She says she’d always been a creative child but her tryst with architecture enhanced her appreciation for the arts. She became an architect after completing her Bachelors in Architecture but could not pursue this career choice due to on-going riots at that time. The lady went on to join her husband’s bicycle business and as an export director, “My role involved travelling to various countries and exposure regarding the lack of luxury label availability in India. So, I thought of introducing luxury brands in the country,” she explains.However, organising trunk shows, store launches, art shows and promotional events for luxury brands is just one facet of this Ludhiana-based socialite’s personality. Balancing her love for luxury fashion with social responsibility; she regularly holds fund-raising events for Nirdosh School, which is run by the Inner Wheel Club. “My tryst with these kids began when I first visited a New Delhi-based NGO Akashay Paristham, and started organising fund-raising events on its lines in Ludhiana,” quips Dhanda whose multi stall exhibitions are part fundraisers for institutes looking after children with disability. The lady recently received a performance award from Inner Wheel Club at Ludhiana for contributing to NIRDOSH School for mentally challenged children.All in all, it’s been an exhilarating journey for Dhanda. Her trunk shows and exhibitions have garnered an overwhelming response. “An event is great if it makes all the people involved in it comfortable at the end of the day. It’s basically about constantly upgrading oneself, honing one’s leadership instincts to get jobs done and thinking out-of-thebox to get your brand the best possible exposure in the short span of time,” reasons Divya, who believes her greatest achievement has been putting together a consistent donation to the cause of disability in children.Having exposed Punjab’s chi-chi set to luxury labels, the lady’s herself an incorrigible branda-holic too, “I vouch for different brands for different things and occasions-while my faves are Rock and Republic, True Religion , j Brand for the wardrobe staple of Denims, Louis Vuitton, Prada, Jimmy Choo, Gucci, Bottega Veneta satiate my unending fascination for accessories. And of course, my all time favourite is the LBD from Dolce & Gabbana.” Swearing by hard work, discipline and the power of prayer, Dhanda’s daily routine involves around either yoga or gym during a day-break, sending kids to school, reading newspapers, taking care of her business events, social networking, reading and spending time with family. A glamorous socialite, and an ambitious entrepreneur, Dhanda is a fine cocktail of a bit of everything including a whole lot of brand-bling.Her brand brigade Dhanda worked on bringing plum luxury labels like Louis Vuitton, Jimmy Choo, Christie’s, Brioni, Aigner, Judith Leiber, Poleci, Just Cavalli, Kenzo and Valentino as well as Indian designers Malini Ramani, Gaurav Gupta and Shantanu and Nikhil.The transformer: Puneet Nilibar From a sports buff to a designer, fashion completes her.For most Punjabis, her name synonymies sensuous silhouettes with feminine appeal. Engaged exclusively with the designer segment and the website of Nilibar- Ludhiana’s famous boutique chain of women’s designer wear and bridal trousseau-she is responsible for the 50-year-old chain’s growing global appeal. Having grown up in a Ludhina-based business family as a sports buff who loved swimming and skating, Nilibar never thought that she’d become a fashion entrepreneur, until of course, she got married in the famous family, “As a child,I always took keen interest in dressing up myself. And I nursed a strange fascination for fashion though never thought that it would become my profession,” says Nilibar. However, she believes, it was a stroke of destiny that she got married into the Nilibar family and dived headlong into designerwear as a profession. And today she is the brain behind nilibar.com, that has made shopping accessible to Punjabis. Be it your bridal trousseau or an outfit for a party, Nilibar’s collection is just a click away.Starting out with lehengas, dupattas, pure Pashmina shawls, and other dress materials, the store chain was the first in Punjab to stock ready-to-wear besides high-end designers like Anamika Khanna, Sabyasachi, Suneet Verma, Manish Arora, Geisha designs and many more. “Besides introducing Punjabis to the concept of designer bridalwear, ours is the first store in Punjab to have the lowest and fixed prices, and believe it or not, we have never gone on sale. We just don’t need to,” says Nilibar. So what’s more, with their customised online alterations and global home delivery? Nilibar claims her store to be the hippest ethnic wear address for NRIs. “Our online sale is four times more than our on-store sales,” says Nilibar. She has contributed significantly in the label’s rising popularity, not just in Punjab and Delhi but also among NRIs based in the UK, US, Australia, New Zealand, Kenya and Canada.Fashion for the lovely lady translates into something that completes her as an individual and makes her stand out, “My favorite brands are Chanel, Tory Burch and Jimmy Choo,” says Nilibar. Among the Indian designers, she prefers to adorn Anamika’s clothes. “Her silhouttes occupy the maximum space in my closet,” shares the lady who cherishes her shandleir lace sari, her j brand jeans and the jamma shawl handed over to her by her granny. Though Nilibar counts creativity and persistence as the core qualities of a successful fashion designer, she exclaims that overcoming her complacency has been her biggest challenge. “My husband is the wind beneath my wings and has always been my driving force,” chirps the diva whose day begins with yoga and ends with her family and friends. A huge fan of Roxette and Lady Gaga, the fashionista loves holidaying at the lake district in the UK and the French Riveria.Her claim to fame Among the most popular destinations of ethnic wear in Punjab, Nilibar has been showcasing her new lines at A-list international events such as chairty show, The Graffiti Ball in 2008. That was when she became the talk of the town.Dessert diva: Vibha Pahwa The lady behind delicious bakes for gourmands across North India.She ate her first chocolate before she turned one, baked a chocolate cake at nine and battled troubled teens believing that there is no problem that a chocolate cake can’t fix. No wonder, dessert diva Vibha Pahwa became Punjab’s youngest chef while in her twenties. Currently based in Delhi, the business graduate and Pastry Chef from London-based Le Cordon Bleu, one of the world’s best French culinary schools, is the young lady behind vAnila, which sells artfully created, delicious bakes for gourmands across North.Hailing from Ludhiana’s famous Pahwa family of Avon Cycles, she became Punjab’s first-and only girl -to embark on a career as a pastry chef. Pahwa admits that baking for her is a genetic bug of sorts, “I grew up in Ludhiana in a big, happy joint family. My mom, aunts and older sisters would constantly be cooking and baking and that is when I started getting interested in baking. I just took it to the next level by learning it at professional schools and making a career out of it,” smiles Pahwa, a self-confessed chocoholic. She believes that it was her parents who let her nurture her dream. “I still remember how dad used to eat the hard-as-rusks cakes I baked as a child. He not just ate them, but appreciated them too,” laughs Pahwa. And it’s after her mom’s name Anila, that she has got this fabulous idea to name her brand vAnila. “Without my parents’ support I would not have developed authentic French-style patisseries for food aficionados in Punjab and Delhi,” she adds.Pahwa’s stint at popular eateries across the globe also helped her in her new venture, “I travel quite a bit. Besides acquiring the finer nuances of baking their local specialties, I’ve taken extensive sugar work classes for top chefs in London and USA,” she adds. She says “I especially learnt a lot from two awesome sugar artists, Jude and Fibian,” says the 30-year-old entrepreneur, who worked with a Mumbai-based lady Juhi before branching off on her own to set up her desserts label vanila.Pahwa insists that baking is a highly specialised art, “Not that my baking-journey was a cakewalk. Though, starting out in a highly competitive market like Delhi was exciting but also scary. I slogged day and night for three years,” says Pahwa. She says in the beginning there were dry spells and then with the response warming up suddenly, there were sleepless nights and dark circles. “But now, people know me in the market and my clients keep coming back for more. I’m getting orders from Delhi and entire Punjab and am finally happy with where I am,” shares Pahwa, whose just created a Facebook page and vAnila already has more than 1,000 fans.Often dubbed as the cake goddess who sells smiles, she is quite a pro at rustling up anything. “My USP is the sugar creations, or sugar paste and fondant work that I do for kids cakes, wedding novelty cakes and naughty cakes to designer handbags, shoe cakes and human character cakes,” chirps Pahwa, who spends long hours cooking up delicacies in her kitchen and feels amply rewarded when she sees a smile on people’s faces.Her signature dessertsNew York cheesecake, the French tea cake, pies, Arabic cakes, Choux pastry, ice cream cakes and tiramisu to delectable cup cakes, chocolate mousse or the chocolate mud cakes, luscious tarts and designer cookies.Brand Candy: Sudeepa Singh The actor and supermodel, who never wanted to sizzle the ramps.Telly buffs remember Sudeepa as the fit and fab model in Kellogg’s weight loss challenge advert, the naughty executive in the Virgin Mobile ad and the lovely face in an Aircel Digital TV ad. Hardly 23, this petite model from Amritsar has already endorsed popular brands like Images Bazaar, Tide, Mentos, Big Bazaar, Pantaloons, Tele-shopping; besides having appeared in ads for Santoor, LIC, Amul ice cream and Emami. Having acted in Bollywood movie Action Replay starring Akshay Kumar and Aishwarya Rai, Sudeepa has played the lead in Punjabi movies Yaaran Naal Baharan with Jimmy Shergill, Juhee Babbarr and Gurpreet Ghuggi, Kabaddi and more recently in just released Ek Noor.The lovely lass was spotted by Gyan Sahay, the director of photography of the 2004 Zee Antakshari TV competition, who persuaded her to participate in an upcoming music show on Zee. “I had always been a shy, studious and introvert person and never thought in my wildest dreams that I’ll be a model and actress. I had lived in Amritsar all my life. Being a topper throughout, I had plans to join the civil services. However, after having pursued my graduation from Shahzada Nand College, Amritsar, I participated in the music contest only because the initial auditions were happening in my home town,” informs Sudeepa.Sudeepa was noticed by Gajindra Singh, during the auditions of Aantakshri, “He told me to participate in the Zee Cine Stars ki Khoj talent contest, where young, upcoming artistes battled for a title that would place them in a new show on the Hindi general entertainment channel,” informs Singh. She landed up as the first runner-up and from here began her modelling and acting journey. Later on she went on to bag Kabhi to Nazar Milao for Sony TV in 2006 and Ardhangini for Zee TV in 2007. Commercials for Virgin mobile and Aircel followed and people started calling Singh the ad queen. Having appeared in music videos for Sardool Sikander, Giipy, Ravinder Grewal and Sarabjeet Cheema, Singh is currently endorsing Karbon Phone, PC jewellers and Reid and Taylor. And yet, the Amritsar kudi remains a simple girl at heart. “I owe everything to my parents and Babaji. Being a small town girl, adjusting to Mumbai life at 18 didn’t come easy,” says Singh. In Mumbai, days as a struggling actor made her learn a lot of things.”I didn’t know where to go or whom to meet. But God has been very kind and opportunities kept coming,” says the pretty model who’s currently the hot topic of discussion at most kitty parties, “Women want me to marry their sons, brothers or whoever is eligible bachelor in their family. They keep sending a list of eligible bachelors to my family,” laughs Singh who confesses getting goose bumps on being flooded with marriage proposals every now and then.The lady describes herself as a big foodie, “Hailing from Amritsar, I can’t resist Punjabi food. But I put on weight real fast, so am constantly on the go and stick to my gymming and yoga sessions. The eldest child of her parents, Sudeepa confesses being deeply spiritual, a workaholic and addicted to Mango, Diesel and Zara; besides her Facebook account, that is flooded with friend requests.Attributing her success to reality shows, her Babaji and lots of hard work, with a little bit of luck thrown in, Sandeepa confesses having a soft corner for television industry, “I respect television from the bottom of my heart. It is giving a better future to thousands of people…and the exposure it provides these days is absolutely awesome. It is only by being a part of a reality show, Zee India’s Best, that I became what I am today. Nobody knew me but reality show gave me recognition.”In her kitty She has endorsed varous big brands like Tide, Mentos, Big Bazaar, Pantaloons, Tele-shopping; besides having appeared in ads for Santoor, LIC, Amul ice cream and Emami. Her recent achievement was a Aishwarya and Akshay starrer, Action Replay.Corporate trainer: Preeti Dhillon To escape the monotony of a 9-5 job, she has started her own corporate training company.This creative professional had been training entrepreneurs for nine years, when she decided to turn one herself. Having worked as the country head with the Asia’s leading education and human resource development company Global Talent Consultants, besides companies like American Express,Wiproand Hewitt Associates, 36-year-old Dhillon recently decided to set up her own training company EZnet consulting in 2010.”Though I’ve grown and learnt immensely working with these topnotch companies, I feel today’s active training firms are structured and more robotic in the delivery part. They bring light skinned people to add credentials to their workshops and create unnecessary hype,” says the Chandigarh-bred Punjabi pro with a decade’s experience in marketing communication, event and brand management and sales campaign management across multiple domains in different sectors and organisations. A vivid fan of the talent in India, Dhillon believes that Indian trainers have a better understanding of Indian culture and vast product knowledge, “As trainers, we should not just provide trainees their value for money but impart knowledge and confidence; and this is what my company aims to provide.” Dhillon feels that in today’s fast-paced competitive environment, unavailability of self tailored modules and industry specific trainings are a huge problem, “Students, executives and budding entrepreneurs identify the need of learning but can’t spare time to join any courses. Similarly, small to medium sized professional colleges and corporates have an amazing talent pool but do not have the budgets for an effective training department,” explains Dhillon, EZnet’s chief executive facilitator. That is the reason she works toward customised training modules for this segment that are cost and time-effective. Striving to develop organisations and individuals through motivational training, cultural integration, organisational designing and developing best workplace practices, EZnet consulting focuses on self-driven training practices to Punjab. “Right from the time when I mentored an OJT batch of about 40 employees for Spectramind Pvt. Ltd in 2003, I wanted to guide as many people to succeed which would lead to a bigger success of the organisation, state and eventually the country,” says Dhillon. Now she is finally at ease with that happening through EZnet. Dhillon is presently busy organising training programmes, workshops and internal sales enablement for the employees of th UK-based telecom giant.Her company’s tailor made modules have received immense positive response and now she’s busy training companies in Delhi and Amritsar. “I am currently working on collective training batches for Chandigarh,” says Dhillon. She has recently tied up with Bhutan Chamber of Commerce to impart training to professionals there. “I am excited about the fact that I will be meeting different people and it’s definitely going to be a good experience,” she adds. Dhillon has also tied up with Academy of Competence Exploration in Lucknow to train PGDMA batches with course materials that are industry specific. Having workedwith leaders like Padamshree Dr. Pritam Singh and Dr. Kiran Bedi, Dhillon draws inspiration from her late grandmother Dr. Prakash Kaur, the first woman minister of Punjab.She credits her exposure, however, to her childhood, “Since my father was in the army we travelled a lot and got acquainted with different cultures. During vacations at my grandmother’s home in Amritsar, there was a continuous flow of visitors from all walks of life extending support to her political career,” smiles Dhillon. All that turned her into a confident individual. Her greatest high, however, comes from training human resource and coming up with formulae she believes in.In her spare timeThe fitness buff also loves gardening, playing table tennis and practising yoga. But she strongly believes in digging deep into the logistics of training human resource and coming up with formulae she believes in.advertisementadvertisementadvertisement