Despite the exigencies of modern life, the saree is the go-to garment for many women. Indians have been spoilt for choice when it comes to the large selection of sarees—both in terms of style and craftsmanship. But a few names stand apart as pioneers in this sector. Kankatala Textiles, originally from Andhra Pradesh, but now available through multiple stores in Delhi, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, and Telangana, is at the forefront since 1943. Anirudh Kankatala, Director of the brand joins the Daily Guardian for a chat about their latest collections and the brand’s digital makeover.
Anirudh Kankatala, Director, Kankatala Textiles
A Kankatala Weave
Sonika Kankatala styles Kankatala’s floral printed organza saree with a statement belt
Valentine’s special red collection
Q. Tell us about the legacy of your brand and your role in its growth?
A. Kankatala has represented Indian handlooms for three generations. We take pride in the fact that we are doing our bit in keeping Indian handlooms alive and supporting artisans by being the bridge between them and the saree connoisseurs of the world.
Established in 1943, Kankatala Sarees is a 78-year-old, three-generation strong legacy brand known for its authentic handwoven sarees. The brand was incepted by founder and first-generation entrepreneur Shri Kankatala Appalaraju as a modest store nestled in the old town of Visakhapatnam during the pre-independence period in India. Initially, the sarees were sold door to door on a bicycle, but Kankatala has come a long way since then!
Emerging from the heart of Andhra Pradesh, we have created an omnichannel presence with 13 stores and a strong e-commerce channel—kankatala.com, that caters to the Indian diaspora worldwide. We ship to over 18 countries.
I am a third-generation family member helming this brand. I am a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, USA and briefly worked with Price Waterhouse Cooper in USA before returning to India to join the family business.
Q. What is distinctive about Kankatala sarees?
A. We bring authentic handloom marvels from more than 50 weaving clusters of India. Even after investing 78 years in the business, the way weavers evolve and innovate using age-old techniques continues to amaze us. While we also offer stoles and dhotis for our customers, recently we have noticed a fresh trend where weavers from various states collaborate to create fusion waves. This, I believe, is one of our unique offerings.
For these reasons, many celebrities, influencers, and women from all walks of life, favour our designs. Our patrons are called ‘Queens of Kankatala’ as they appreciate and adore our handpicked offerings. These include Karisma Kapoor, who recently launched our New Delhi store, Pooja Hegde, Tamanna Bhatia, Palak Tiwari, TV actresses Pooja Banerjee, Rashmi Desai, influencers Nisha Narayanan, COO, Director – RED FM, Masoom Minawala, Ms Coco Queen, Roshni Chopra and many more.
Q. Tell us about your latest collection?
A. We are constantly travelling the length and breadth of the country to handpick handloom marvels throughout the year which means we have fresh off the loom weaves to share with our patrons. We add around 200 exclusive sarees every week on our website and share our handpicked sarees on social media handles. In our stores, our inventory is constantly evolving and none of the designs is repeated. Every month, we introduce the weave of the month that is curated and handpicked by one of the family members and also introduce special collections like the Lehenga edition, a summer collection etc. Our fusion collection was our latest edition this year in January, followed by a Valentine’s Day collection called Prem Patra.
Q. What are you working on next?
A. We are curating fresh collections of handpicked sarees and working on expanding our retail presence while strengthening our online presence. Our next women’s day series is something I am particularly excited about. Stay tuned for updates on our Instagram handle @kankatala_
Q. What have been the biggest challenges you have faced so far?
A. First and foremost, with a brand like Kankatala, there is a legacy to be maintained. Once you prove yourself in the market as well as in the organisation, you can start making improvisations. My first venture was to take the brand online. This required a lot of training to adapt to rapidly changing market dynamics. It was only after the pandemic that we enjoyed the fruits of these efforts, as our offline customers continued to make purchases online, which they never did before. We also saw a rise in sales as we revamped our digital strategy to approach the new normal. Further, we launched stores in Hyderabad, Bengaluru, and Delhi. This geographic expansion too came with challenges that we continue to overcome with fresh strategies specific to each channel and market.
Q. What has been your biggest reward?
A. Our e-commerce division has been a huge success. During the lockdown, our e-commerce division sold at least one high-end saree every day. We also managed to sell a saree that was worth 7.5 lakh through our WhatsApp service. With 194k followers of our own and a very well-engaged community, we are well on the way to digital success.
The interviewer pens lifestyle articles for various publications and her blog www.nooranandchawla.com. She can be reached on firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Five Top Benefits of Buying Moissanite Jewelry
Moissanite jewelry has continued to become famous. If you love quality jewelry pieces, you must be aware of the many advantages, and impact diamond has in this industry. Diamond is an expensive gemstone. It’s rare and exists in small quantities. However, moissanite is a similar gemstone to a diamond. But, although moissanite is close to the diamond, they are not the same. It is a synthetic gemstone but with high durability and hardness features. There are many advantages of buying jewelry designed with this gemstone.
One distinct difference between these two gemstones is that diamonds are obtained through mining from the earth. However, moissanite stones are artificial. However, these two gemstones have many similarities, although moissanite has many distinct characteristics and is much better than diamond. It has carbon and silicon carbide. These elements are also common in all the other gemstones, including ruby, emerald, sapphire, etc. But, although the other gemstones are natural, moissanite is artificial, hence manually manufactured through different methods. This gemstone is transparent, has consistent color, and does not have impurities. Wondering if you could wear your Moissanite earrings? Below are the incredible benefits that this gemstone has to offer.
Jewelry designed with moissanite is strong and highly durable. They are resistant to scratches and abrasion. Although diamond is considered more robust than this gemstone, moissanite offers similar durability features. In addition, this gemstone does not break or chip easily, hence makes the best option for your everyday wear.
Easy to clean and maintain
Once you own a diamond, you know it is not easy to clean or maintain. This is because it gets dirty quickly. When you sweat, the diamond easily gets stained. However, moissanite gemstone is easy to clean. You can effectively use a soft cloth to wipe, and your jewelry will be sparkling clean. If you compare this with other gemstones, moissanite is extremely easy to maintain.
Moissanite is made of carbon and silicon carbide. These materials are solid, making this gemstone more durable than others. Hence, it can withstand extreme pressure, heat, and regular wear and tear elements. Thus, moissanite gemstone makes the best option for long-lasting jewelry, depending on your lifestyle.
Buying diamond jewelry is extremely expensive. But, moissanite costs half the price that you pay for the diamond. It is also cheaper than the other gemstones, including emeralds, sapphires, and rubies. In addition, this gemstone can be manufactured in labs, making the cost much more affordable than the mined gemstones.
Diamonds gemstones are heavy, 1oo times heavier than moissanite. Diamond is also huge, hence occupying lots of space. But on the contrary, moissanite gemstone is lightweight and still gives a brilliant shine. This makes it an excellent option for designing jewelry.
In addition, this gemstone is developed in labs, hence offering a vast selection. Unlike diamond mined, you can easily choose the grade and a style that suits your needs. If you could wear your Moissanite earrings, they come in different shapes and sizes. Whether you want the pillow cut, round or royal cut, or the emerald, orange, or blues, these are some options.
How green is the new black in fashion industry?
Fashion sustainability has been dominating the fashion industry for quite some time now. Yet, it was during the pandemic when humans were locked in from the outside world that they had the time to slow down and reflect on what they had done to the planet.
The fashion industry alone is responsible for a high impact on the environment when it comes to the use of chemicals to treat the fabric and it was the need to find alternatives to high waste fashion production that led to the emergence of sustainable fashion.
Fashion sustainability is driving advancement in a wide range of ways for certain significant brands leading the way. The Rising demands for designer brands to commit to environmental wellbeing have pushed them toward specific action plans moving to more sustainable production and selling. These incorporate eco-friendly designs, corporate social responsibility, sustainable assembling, and the use of honest raw materials and ingredients. However, with limited information and awareness, greenwashing issues, the absence of guidelines, and the general lack of execution, sustainability continues to face challenges.
Until recently, those wishing to purchase sustainable clothes had to buy from individual businesses at higher price points. While this has given rise to many bespoke boutiques and businesses, consumers often feel more comfortable with larger chains that they’re acquainted with. As sustainability has become more and more the need of the hour, buying economical clothes from well-known brands is now possible.
Consumers are now looking for purpose-driven brands—products and brands that line up with their way of life, health benefits and aspirational thinking. Consumer buying patterns have changed to reflect environmental conditions such as climate change, endangered species and preventative healthcare. Such buyers are additionally ready to change their shopping behaviour to diminish the impact of their choices on the environment by opting for more sustainable and recyclable clothes.
Buyers are progressively searching for items with explicit features that line up with their values, so offering the right combination is a key differentiator. However, high on the list of customers’ needs is a comfortable and easy shopping experience.
There is no question that Covid-19 was a gigantic leap in consumer behaviour and shopping trends in the fashion business. The circular economy, for example, gained a lot of popularity during this time. Brands and retailers are now effectively hoping to partake in this new economy in shifted ways to inculcate more recyclable materials and textures than plastics. Others are fashioning new ways consumers shop. Many patterns that were prevailing in the fashion industry before the pandemic were made considerably more prominent because of the situation and some were introduced freshly.
Roopam Gupta is co-founder of The Woman’s Company.
What will schools of tomorrow look like?
With everything changing at an incredibly fast pace, have you ever wondered what direction traditional schooling is set to take? Now that online mediums of education have been adopted so readily, what will the schools of tomorrow look like? The Ajeenkya DY Patil Group has an answer for you, in the form of its brand new school. GoSchool is billed as India’s first career-focused high school launched in partnership with international education leaders Pearson, iXperience, and UniDirect.
“This school combines high-quality teaching, personalised counselling, extracurricular activities, test preparation, counselling for university admissions along with cutting-edge skills to deliver a transformative high school experience. Our core philosophy is to provide the most powerful learning engine propelled by new-age Hyflex learning, which offers a hi-tech yet hi-touch model of delivering education. This usher in a new vision of education, for the next generation of students by deploying cutting-edge technologies to maximise learning,” Dr Ajeenkya DY Patil says, adding, “GoSchool is a leap towards forward-looking systems that deliver quality international education for all as a springboard for building futures. Supported by the vast ecosystem of technology partners, we are proud to deliver solutions that expand access to education, enhance student experience, improve engagement, and ignite innovation.”
“In our view, everyone is a unique individual. Therefore, we adapt our approach to each student offering them the specific challenges and customised support that brings out their best. We will endeavour to inspire our students with new ideas, to support them as they learn to think for themselves and then to challenge them to transform the lives of others,” says Sidney Rose, FRSA, Academic Director.
The school’s international partnerships provide access to an international curriculum that is focused on the skills of the future. They also set up internships and counselling for admissions to be best placed for leading universities in India and the world. Pearson brings with it a legacy of over 170 years and is recognised globally for successfully blending world-class educational content and assessment, powered by services and technology, to enable more effective teaching and personalised learning at scale.
The key attributes of GoSchool can be summarised as the following:
• HyFlex learning: It seamlessly integrates the experience of attending a brick and mortar school with the advantages of technology-led active learning methodologies.
• A strong foundation aimed at professional success: It inculcates 21st-century skills to prepare students for long-term success. By assisting students to develop critical thinking, complex problem-solving, and strategic decision-making, they profess to lead their students to assured success in their chosen careers.
• A pathway to the university of your dreams: It has inbuilt, personalised guidance on the pathway to the best universities within India and around the world. Through guidance, counselling and support we assist students to gain acceptance to highly selective universities.
• Best-in-class faculty: Rigorous instruction from experienced and inspirational global faculty with personalised assistance and progress monitoring helps students to excel and realise their potential. Student success coaches assist students to deepen academic focus while raising the bar.
• Encouragement in one’s chosen career path: They empower their students by delivering cutting-edge, in-demand skills and practical experience through global internships. Their students explore and experience different career paths from high school itself.
• Smart learning: Their holistic curriculum includes wellbeing, school clubs like art and film production and preparation for entrance exams. Peer learning groups and one-to-one mentoring ensure each student receives the best preparation for life.
The Ajeenkya DY Patil Group is known for seeing the world through opportunities, possibilities and potential. They do this by creating new concepts and new ways of thinking in a wide range of fields including sports, health, agriculture, and education. With over 200 institutes of learning along with five universities based out of Navi Mumbai‚ Pune and Kolhapur, the group also runs three hospitals and provides affordable healthcare and medical attention to scores of needy people. The DY Patil International Cricket Stadium in Mumbai is rated as one of the six best stadiums in the world and among the best sporting facilities in India. With this rich legacy, their latest venture GoSchool, located in Mumbai, is surely paving the way for what schools of the future will look like.
Noor Anand Chawla pens lifestyle articles for various publications and her blog www.nooranandchawla.com. She can be reached on email@example.com.
‘THE LEGENDS OF TOMORROW’ TO ENTHRAL AUDIENCES
The motto of Pracheen Kala Kendra is to spread the knowledge and love of art and culture and to support deserving artists. This series provides a platform for young talent to display their talent along with veteran artists.
Lovers of art and culture are spoilt for choice with so many amazing things happening in Delhi at the moment. One event that should definitely be on everyone’s cultural calendar is Chandigarh-based Pracheen Kala Kendra 16th quarterly Baithak with its ‘Legends of Tomorrow’ series.
Deepankar Roy Choudhury.
“This is one of the most highly appreciated programs that everyone waits for. We are all set to organise Legends of Tomorrow on a big scale and welcome you all with warmth. Many eminent personalities will be performing for the attendees,” says Sajal Koser, Secretary of Pracheen Kala Kendra.
The event takes place on 14 May 2022 at 6:30 pm at Triveni Kala Sangam in Mandi House, Delhi. One will be able to enjoy a Guitar Recital by Deepankar Roy Choudhury accompanied by Ustad Rafiuddin Sabri on the Tabla, a Vocal Recital by Sankumay Debnath accompanied by Pradeep Chatterjee on the Tabla, a performance by Nafeez Ahmed on the Harmonium, a Kathak Dance by Dr Garima Arya accompanied by Ashish Mishra on the Tabla, a recital of Dr Shyam Rastogi on the Sitar, and Jay Dadhich on vocals and Harmonium.
Talking about the Kendra, Koser says, “In olden times, music, dance and fine art used to command a place of pride and prominence due to the classical and technical perfection and excellence that was associated with the performing and visual arts. People used to admire these art forms the world over. Indian classical music and dance had been developed by sages as a medium to display adulation for the gods and as a beautiful way of expression. In a way, these arts covered the entire gamut of emotions and feelings of human beings. We aim to preserve these art forms for generations to come.”
‘Legends of Tomorrow’ is finally back in its physical avatar, after its online iterations during the pandemic. The motto of Pracheen Kala Kendra is to spread the knowledge and love of art and culture and to support deserving artists. Hence, even during the pandemic, they organised many programs.
“When we started this series, one of our aims was to bring up young talent to the stage along with senior artists. Our main aim was to provide newbies with a stage to show their talent,” explains Koser.
Speaking about how people are returning to physical formats of events in large numbers, he says, “Art and culture events can’t be watched online. Through offline events, you can connect with the artist and it is easier for the audience to understand and enjoy the performance on stage.”
Applauding their experienced team for putting the event together in record time, Koser highlights that they have never faced any major difficulties in organising programmes. Next, they will be organising the Karnataka Utsav at Bengaluru from 4 to 5 June. “There is a chain of events that are coming up in various parts of the country. This is our legacy, as the Kendra has been doing lots of events since 1956,” he says.
Triveni Kala Sangam is one of their strongest supporters from whom they always receive a lot of help and appreciation. He signs off by highlighting, “Pracheen Kala Kendra in Chandigarh, is the premier educational organisation which is doing yeoman service for the promotion, preservation, and dissemination of the Indian classical arts of music, dance and fine art (painting) since its inception in 1956. Today, it is one of the oldest affiliating and examining bodies of India with its headquarters in Chandigarh, an enormous sister set-up in Mohali in Punjab and a zonal office for the Eastern region at Kolkata in West Bengal besides zonal/liaison offices at Ludhiana and Bhubaneswar in Odisha. It conducts examinations spanning over nine years and awards certificates and diplomas of Prarambhik, Bhushan, Visharad, Bhaskar and Churamani to the successful students. The Kendra has grown with each passing year. Today, it is the only cultural and educational organisation in the country dedicated to the promotion of art and culture. In the last 50 years, we have worked to provide quality education and job opportunities to lakhs of students, and given a platform to hundreds of performing artists by organising various cultural events in different parts of the country. We feel that Kendra’s efforts for the promotion and preservation of Indian classical arts and artists are unparalleled in the country.”
Noor Anand Chawla pens lifestyle articles for various publications and her blog www.nooranandchawla.com. She can be reached on firstname.lastname@example.org.
OTT has widened the scope for an actor: Aamna Sharif
Actor Aamna Sharif recently joined NewsX for a fun conversation as part of our special series NewsX India A-List
Actor Aamna Sharif recently joined NewsX for a fun conversation as part of our special series NewsX India A-List. In the exclusive conversation, he actor opened up about her role in the series Aadha Ishq, what drew her to the role and much more.
Speaking about what attracted her towards ‘Adha Ishq’, Aamna said, “The title itself is beautiful. I believe all of us have experienced adha ishq once in our life. It is a beautiful love story between Sahil and Roma, the journey of Roma (played by Aamna). The story shows the ten years of Roma’s journey of what happens in her life. The interesting part of this love story is that a couple in love gets separated and later their children fell in love. It’s a different concept which is most exciting.”
Talking about doing a romantic genre, she said she loves being a part of such projects as she is a romantic person and loves watching love stories. Adding further, she said, “I have been playing different roles and was waiting for something like this to come, something as intense as Aadha Ishq.”
When asked about her experience of working in an OTT platform and the scope of digital platforms, Aamna said, “I am loving it, I think it’s a blessing for all the actors because of the kind of scope it provides to all the actors for performances. The last show, which I did, was also a very challenging role and Roma has so many layers to its character. It’s a dream for any actor to do such challenging roles and OTT is giving that scope and space.”
Aamna further shared that it is very important to watch other actors’ performances. She explained that she loves watchjing the work of other actors as it is important to learn as an actor.
When asked about her previous role Komolika, Aamna said, “I was scared to play Komollika as I have never played such role ever before, despite the fact that in ‘Ek Villian’ my character had shades of grey but not as much as Komollika in KZK2.”
While talking about her last two years’ experience, Aamna said “The last two years have taught us top value small moments in life and be grateful towards life.”
Aamna further stated that OTT is giving her the scope to perform different things as an actor and it is grateful that she is being able to be a part of all the three platforms.
Aamna Sharif stated that ‘Kahiin Toh Hoga’ was a game changing project for her as it changed her life.
Society needs a larger social fabric to see the larger picture: Dr RK Thomas
In an exclusive interview, the aviator talked about his experience in the tech sector and Indian Navy and a lot more.
Dr. RK Thomas, who is an aviator and the group CTO of Virenxia, joined NewsX for an intellectual conversation as a part of our special series NewsX India A-List. In the exclusive interview, the aviator talked about his experience in the tech sector and Indian Navy and a lot more.
When asked about his journey, he said “After my schooling in Delhi, I moved to the field of mechanical engineering. And one passion that always remained consistent was to be an aviator. So I joined the Indian Navy, went on to qualify in both marine and aerospace engineering, when I was selected and sent to the US for higher studies. That was when I also went on to qualify as an aviator.”
He also explained “ I love learning and competing, and it was this seed in me that made continuously pursue the frontier technology, and thereafter I obtained several doctorates and undertook pioneering research in computer science, quantum science, cryptography, network security, alternative medicine and technological advancement.”
Talking about how this journey has brought in changes and what all companies is has he been associated to, he said “In these 20 years of military service in aviation, I realized that society needs a larger social fabric to see the larger picture towards alleviating pain, poverty and humanity. Keeping this in mind, Technopilot was originated in 2013 with the motive of providing services of various nature from network security to business success coaching to energy based services to oranizations and individuals. Technopilot helps all organizations, whether big or small make profit.”
He further explained “ I am currently working as the group CTO of Virenxia which works on the motto to pioneer the world’s first for-profit socio econic empowerment company which is a paradigm shift in creating a sustainable technology solution alongside ensuring economic growth.”
He also explained how an individual, or any organization can avail the services from his company. He said “ Techno pilot is the only company in the world which used various principles of sciences to develop the security features of the future.”
He added “We’ve worked on different paradigms which are not presently commercially available.”
Lastly, he explained “We at Virenxia are trying to create simple metrics and tools and dynamic package of practices so that the farmer gets a 360 degree solution and we measure our success in how well we serve communities, protect our planet’s resources and make a difference in people’s lives in synergy with the sustainable goals of the United Nations.”
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