How did the idea of getting into the restaurant industry come, after a Masters degree in event management from UCLA?
A Mumbai boy through and through, my youth in the ’90s was spent distressing over the lack of entertainment options in India’s Maximum City. At that point, in your leisure time, all you could do was watch movies or drive up and down Marine Drive or Worli Sea Face. Although I love my city, I always felt that Mumbai lacked options as far as leisure activities were concerned. Also, I was dating a girl at that point, and if we wanted to go out and have a chat, the options were either some Udipi restaurant or a five-star coffee shop. There was nothing in between. So, the problem was really very real to me. After doing a course in entertainment management at UCLA, I came back to Mumbai and became an entertainment consultant setting up bowling alleys, gokarting tracks and amusement parks. For me, it was always about creating these entertainment spaces. But the idea of getting into the restaurant business came to me much later, when I was on a weekend holiday in Panchgani with close friends. We were chatting over cups of coffee and sharing a hookah, which I had procured during one of my trips abroad. The weather was amazing and everything was just perfect. A friend of mine randomly said I wish I could bottle this moment and that was my Eureka moment. I thought to myself why not bottle the experience and also sell it? The seed of Mocha was planted in my head that night. Today, the Mocha chain has been through several avatars, but in 2001, when the first Mocha opened in Mumbai, the city had no coffee shop culture. It had just got its first Barista a month earlier.
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WOMAN OF METTLE
Full-time actress and a full-time mother, one wonders how she does it all and with so much passion; yet, one conversation with Uma Riyaz Khan is all it takes to know one can have it all! She is one of the few actors who love acting and takes cinema passionately and has shared screen space with some of the leading stars of Kollywood. For her acting is a craft and she proves her mettle every single time she’s on-screen and has been constantly juggling between many mediums of entertainment. The versatile actor speaks to RITZ about her career choices, her family life, and her experiences on and off-screen as a mother and much more.
THE POWER OF GRIT
Jewellery designer, socialite, philanthropist and now the President of Terroir - The Madras Wine Club, Minnie Menon has added one more feather to her colourful hat. Minnie, who is now on mission Terroir, speaks to RITZ about her passion, love for jewellery, her recent responsibility and what it took to get in there.
THE ART OF MAKING TEA
Kausshal Dugarr - Founder and CEO of Teabox shares how he took his Indian tea brand to 117 countries.
SPREADING MASSIVE WINGS
Zorawar Kalra, founder of Massive Restaurants speaks on how he likes to innovate and stay ahead of the game.
READY TO FACE THE ARC LIGHTS!
As a child, she was always under the limelight for her amazing performances at the Kerala Youth Festival. It came as no surprise that her very first film offer came from Sibi Malayil for Ishtam opposite Dileep. Though her parents were reluctant initially, with a little coaxing from her uncle, Director K Madhu, they agreed to let her chase her dreams and ever since, there has been no looking back for this beautiful actress. Her memorable performances during the early stages of her career in films like Nandanam, Kalyanaraman and Kunjikoonan made her one of the most sought after actresses in Mollywood. With close to 50 films to her credit in Malayalam, Tamil and Kannada, she is the recipient of two Kerala state film awards. Ritz is in conversation with the South Indian Star, Navya Nair, who after a hiatus of eight years, is making a comeback to Mollywood with her much awaited film, Oruthee!
‘Raftaara’ the song from the blockbuster Mollywood film, Lucifer went viral the minute it was released online. It came as a surprise to many that it was Malayalam Cinema’s very own Jyotsna, who had sung this fast Hindi number! The gorgeous playback singer herself didn’t expect to receive such an overwhelming response and she is thrilled that the song has topped the charts. Of late, Jyotsna has been busy with her independent projects such as ‘Krishna the eternal’ - which is an offbeat meditation album, her single ‘Enni Varumo’ which won the Mazhavil manorana music award for best independent song of the year and of course ‘Paranne’, an original, written, composed and sung by the melody queen herself! Ritz catches up with the brilliant musician, Jyotsna Radhakrishnan, who recently won the ‘Kochi Marriott Presents Ritz Super 8’ felicitation for her exceptional and inspirational work in Music.
FUN, FOOD, FRENZY, FESTIVITIES, FIREWORKS & FINESSE
Thailand’s Elephant Boat Race and River Festival saw a spectacular adrenalinefilled weekend of paddlers, singers, music, food and tipple lovers, and some celeb spotting too.
FROM RAGS TO SHAYYA!
Pure Living is back with yet another incredible initiative. On women’s day this year, the firm that focusses on eco-friendly products and eco awareness, launched a special product titled ‘Shayya’, a handcrafted mattress that is being distributed free of cost to the poor and homeless. What makes it special is the fact that it is upcycled from cloth waste. Yes, the cloth scrap generated at fashion design or tailoring units that is usually burnt every single day is what is being used to make the Shayya. The result? Less pollution and a warm coz y surface for the poor and homeless! Read on to know more about this wonderful initiative by Lakshmi Menon.
DREAMS MAKETH A WOMAN
She’s a sensation in the wrestling ring. Sakshi Malik made India proud by bagging a bronze medal at the 2016 Rio Olympics. She was the first woman wrestler from the country to secure a podium finish. No highs or lows, or ups and downs stopped her from reaching her goals. Just one step short of the Summer Olympics 2020 in Tokyo, Sakshi seems to be fitter and stronger than ever before, thanks to the confidence, she’s gained from her last victory. Endorsing the partnership of Herbalife Nutrition with the Inspire Institute of Sport (IIS) as it’s sports nutrition partner, the young IIS wrestler spoke to us about her journey after Rio Olympics and her dreams for Tokyo Olympics.
Creating ENTERTAINING SOCIAL SPACES
Riyaaz Amlani, CEO & MD, Impresario Handmade Restaurants shares his journey on providing unlimited entertainment options.
Presence Fit is founded by Dr. Masaki Nakada and Robert Jadon. Dr. Nakada received his PhD from UCLA in Computer Science with an emphasis on human biomechanics, while Robert Jadon is a serial, technology entrepreneur.
Early struggles, mental toughness catapult UCLA’s Matt McLain to stardom
ROUND FOUR Darnay Holmes • CB • UCLA
The Giants added another young player to their secondary when they selected UCLA cornerback Darnay Holmes in the fourth round of the draft. General manager Dave Gettleman is proving that he recognizes the importance of rebuilding this unit by bringing in young players.
The Cosmic Chaos of India
Just like the cosmos, when you see India for the first time everything seems chaotic and yet every Indian person finds his/ her own order in that hustle which all goes in tandem. Pavan Rajurkar a freelance illustrator based out of Mumbai, capture this Indianness perfectly in his artworks for many different brands and studios. Some of his recent illustrations have been displayed here.
Doctor of Happiness: An Art Essay
SUKRITI VADHERA KOHLI is the founder of Doctor of Happiness, helping young people with depression and other mental conditions through her art and online platform. Here she speaks with VANESSA PATEL about what inspired her to open up this forum, and what a difference art can make to our well-being.
Meet with clients amid the city’s kaleidoscopic sights and sounds.
Daily Expressions Of Gratitude Can Boost Mental Health
It’s not uncommon to express gratitude on a day like Thanksgiving, but what should happen if we practice expressions of gratitude everyday such as keeping a daily gratitude journal?
Terence Blanchard [Talks Back]
In June, the Metropolitan Opera announced that it will stage an opera by an African-American composer for the first time in the company’s 163-year history.
UCLA Scientists Find Fountain Of Youth!
Scientists may have finally tapped into the Fountain of Youth!
West Side Story
If you’re an NBA player (or hoping to become one) who’s looking for the best pick-up run and/or training session in the L.A. area, the place to be is UCLA, and the person to speak with is Rico Hines.