At Royal Ascot, AWM snatched 10 minutes with international screen goddess, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan, to talk about business, branding and Bollywood.
Ever since the 21-year-old architecture student Aishwarya Rai was crowned Miss World on a warm South African night in 1994, she has captivated the hearts and minds of an international audience. As one of the world’s best known beauties – not only for her film work but also for her long list of endorsements for brands which include L’Oréal, Longines and De Beers diamonds – it might be easy to think that Aishwarya is just a pretty face.
Having married into the Bachchan Bollywood dynasty, and having a young daughter to care for, one might be forgiven for thinking that this screen queen would have her hands full. However, there is still a lot going on behind the scenes.
Have you thought about turning your on-screen success into success behind the scenes, maybe in a business role? Perhaps setting up your own modelling agency, or producing movies?
There are a lot of prospects and there has been a lot of discussion. I have always said that I am only committing to as much as I can at this point in my life. And that’s why you have seen various aspects of my life phase themselves out. I’m sure in the near future you will see me dabbling in a few businesses, but at this stage in my life they at the stage of being planned. You will know when they’re ready!
It must be difficult to fit your family life in with your career…
Exactly, and I have already so many brands that I’m endorsing, that I’m committed to. I have as well, my philanthropy – that’s ongoing. I am working with the Aishwarya Rai foundation and now I’m working with UNAIDS, at the United Nations, so there is a lot that I’m productively committing my time to.
You’re here at Royal Ascot as the Longines Ambassador of Elegance. In your opinion what makes a luxury brand really desirable for a consumer?
I think anything that the consumer will be able to really connect with, and feel a personal sense of comfort, I think that’s extremely important in any kind of product or brand to stand the test of time. Comfort is just such a huge factor for a consumer and I understand and relate to that.
And what do you think makes a good brand ambassador?
*laughs* You can’t be asking me that question! For my part, when you’re here representing a brand it has to come from a place of integrity and that to me personally is a very important virtue to have when you do associate with a company to go on to represent them.
And does that put a lot of pressure on you, to become a brand? It seems, these days, that somebody with celebrity status is a walking billboard for brands.
No, I think that’s your choice. It’s your and the brand’s choice. I think if it’s easy then it reflects itself, and if it is not then it shows, too. No, I’m not one to take on unnecessary pressures in life.
The presents are under the tree, final touches are being made to luxury menus, and invitations to exclusive parties beckon. But underneath the classy packaging, how are AWM’s friends celebrating. MORE
John Athwal OBE, is founder and managing director of Premier Decorations. He tells Melissa Stewart how he made his fortune and why he likes to give back to good causes. Step. MORE
Future generations of students are set to benefit from a £1 million gift from Pharma giant Dr Bhikhu Patel and his wife Shashi. The generous gift by the co-founder of Waymade. MORE