Team HELLO! has taken a comfortable flight from Mumbai and just landed in one of the most culturally nourishing and vibrant hotspots in the world — Singapore. We’ve arrived here for our latest shoot with five warm, sophisticated career women, who now call this beautiful place home.
We leave our hotel at the famed Orchard Road to drive to a beautiful home in Sentosa’s exclusive residential area, where we’re met with the ladies of the hour: Founder and Creative Head of Ren Home Design Renu Chainani; anesthetist Natasha Ghadiali; Co- Founder of Artitude Home Raveena Anand; Founder and Creative Director of floral company BasketCase, Gayatree Gupta; Head of Search Ads 360 Southeast Asia, Google, Ridhi Kumar; and Pamela Puja Kirpalani, neuro-linguistic programming life coach and author of Whole:11 Universal Truths For An Inspired Life.
Each of these fashionable women take great pride in their work. But what is perhaps most noticeable of them as a group is how they celebrate the true friendship they share by sturdily supporting and encouraging one another. We waste no further time and dive into conversation to get to know these ladies better...
HELLO!: Tell us a little about your personal and professional journey that has led you to where you are today.
Renu Chainani: I’m the Founder and Creative Head of Ren Home Design; my company is called Ren Home. I’ve been in the home accessories and interior space since 2000. I have a 4-and-a-half year old son and have been in Singapore since the start of the pandemic. I’ve been working in India as well as in Singapore the last few years.
Natasha Ghadiali: I’m an anaesthetist in the government sector in Singapore and have been in the profession for the past 25 years. I’m a Parsi who has lived in Singapore for most of my life. I was just a baby when my parents moved here, so this is home. I met my husband in Singapore, and we have two teenage kids who are amazing and are my motivation (smiles)
Raveena Anand: I’ve always been creatively inclined and eager to experiment with new concepts and ideas. Artitude Home is my latest endeavour — a creative and unique expression of art on candles and dinnerware. Apart from being a creative outlet to my design background, it also gives me immense drive in providing an additional revenue platform to the Latin-American artists we partner with and showcase in our art gallery, Artitude Galeria.
Gayatree Gupta: I’m the Founder and Creative Director of my floral company, BasketCase. Being a fashion design graduate from the National Institute of Fashion Technology, Delhi, led me to many different projects. After marrying into a media family, my husband Siddhartha and I moved to Philadelphia. where we had our first daughter, Nandini. After moving to Delhi, we had our younger daughter, Nivedita. Nivu, as we love calling her, was diagnosed with severe autism and our true journey in life began then... But this extraordinary twist has, in a way, made us work towards goals we never imagined we would. Today, we are invested in a private center for autism and volunteer in an organisation that helps support autistic children and adults. I later founded BasketCase because I needed a creative outlet, something to feed my soul.
Ridhi Kumar: I’m the Head of Search Ads 360 SEA, Google. I have worked In India, Switzerland and now Singapore, across strategy consulting, fintech and digital marketing. I did my MBA from the Indian School of Business in finance and marketing. I met my husband in business school; he’s a banker, and we have two boys, Shivaan and Kai (ages three and one). We’re British by nationality, Indian by origin but Singaporean at heart
Pamela Puja Kirpalani: I’m somewhat of a global nomad! I was born in the Philippines, where the paternal side of the family has been living since 1923. Shortly after my birth, my family and I moved to Indonesia, Africa, London, back to Manila, and then eventually India, until I got married. I now live in Singapore with my wonderful husband and two teenage kids, Samara and Yaash. From being an investment banker, to starting the export division of my father’s firm (a subsidiary of Page Industries), to becoming a neuro-linguistic programming life coach and trainer and then to an author and Instagram influencer — all in between four different countries — it’s been nothing short of a dream for me.
H!: When and how did you meet each other? What do you all have in common?
RC: I’ve known Ridhi from before I moved, and it’s been lovely that I’ve gotten to know Natasha, Gayatree and Raveena here. They are dynamic and extremely inspiring women who I learn a lot from every day.
NG: Since Singapore is such a small place, you eventually end up meeting or knowing everyone directly or indirectly. I met most of these ladies through other friends. Renu is the main connector among us. I think we all believe in working hard and doing our best in trying to achieve our goals, what with being family-oriented women, while also trying to maintain an identity for ourselves and having fun with friends.
RA: We meet at different junctures, birthday celebrations, evening gatherings and a few through common companions. We’re all ambitious, have goals and are constantly eager to learn more from one another in order to progress and achieve.
GG: The ladies in the group are absolutely fabulous. Each one of us has a very unique story. I think all us women have the strength and tenacity to stay in the game.
RK: I’ve actually known most of the ladies of the group quite well for a while now. Each and every woman in this shoot is managing work and home, which honestly is like having two jobs, and I respect each of them for it.
PPK: It’s amazing how we all came together organically! I truly believe that you’re inspired by your inner circle and are inevitably the result of the people you spend the most time with. All of us, in some way or another, have a deep drive and ambition for our work, while also being able to enjoy the intricacies of a balanced social life.
H!: How do you support each other as career women as well as good friends?
RC: All us ladies really come together and are great sounding boards for one another, both personally and professionally.
NG: I think the biggest support system is being able to talk and vent to friends and be reminded that it’s ok to have bad days together with the good ones when trying to juggle things.
RA: Women supporting women is the only way we can rise. Encouraging each other to share ideas and always being there for each other, whether you or someone else is succeeding or failing — and being there for more than just the big moments.
GG: I think the examples we set for each other are very important. When you’re in the company of women who offer so much substance and strive to be better... that’s what good friends are about.
RK: By being a cheerleader! I think women who support each other succeed the most!
PPK: Workwise, we are always there to lift each other up in private and public! We also share a common bond — we promote each other behind closed doors, which is so important today. Similar to family (and without formality) we can call each other for help at all times and not expect anything in return.
Photography: Diana J; Realisation: Avantikka Kilachand; Hair & Makeup: Shradha Agarwal & Team
This story has been adapted for the website from a story that was originally published in HELLO! India’s August 2022 issue. Get your hands on the latest issue right here!
- Quick links