Like Mother, Like Daughter
Tatler Hong Kong|March 2021
Entrepreneur Shalene Wadhwani is venturing into the food and beverage industry. Before the launch of her new businesses, she discusses how her mother, Rina, inspires her—and Rina reveals why Shalene makes her so proud
Tara Sobti

SHALENE WADHWANI You’ve recently launched a drink infusion brand, Secco. What inspired you to delve into the food industry? My brother and I decided to diversify our family business [Wadhsons Group, a fashion and textiles trading company] towards our true passion, which is food and beverage. We bring in niche products from South Africa that are healthy without sacrificing flavour. This is how we came across brands such as Secco [drink infusions], Mykonos Chilli Sauce and Cheaky Co [chickpea treats]. Being stuck at home this year gave us time to focus on how we were going to forge our own path. We are always on the hunt for new products, and what better food haven to launch in than the city we grew up in?

What was it like growing up in your household?

Family time has always been a priority in our household. We come from a big family and I never felt lonely growing up because of my bond with my cousins. There was always someone to play with or talk to. No matter what anyone had going on in their day, meals were eaten together without any devices. After school, mum would often whisk me away to high tea at the Island Shangri-La or Mandarin Oriental. We would never invite the boys as it was our little tradition. From sitting front row at my ballet recitals to cheering me on at tennis tournaments, she has always been there to support me.

What is your favourite quality of your mother’s and why?

Without a doubt, her sense of humour. She’s always been the life of the party and fills the room with laughter.

In what ways do you take after your mother?

My mother is meticulous and her attention to detail is second to none. Whether it’s putting together the most stylish outfit or chicest table setting, she never fails to amaze. I like to think this is one of the many traits I have inherited from her.

What is something you don’t see eye to eye on?

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