Alpana Kirloskar belongs to one of the most successful business families of India. Her husband Rahul Kirloskar, is the chairman of Kirloskar Pneumatic Company Limited, one of the companies of the 129-year-old Kirloskar group. In spite of belonging to this influential business family, Alpana over the years has established herself as an architect par excellence and has carved a distinct identity for herself. Born and brought up in Delhi, Alpana who acquired a degree in B. Arch (Bachelors in Architecture) from School Of Planning And Architecture, Delhi, is today the governing council member of the Ansal Institute of Technology and Management, and Kirloskar Institute of Advanced Management Studies. She is also the brand ambassador of Walter Knoll, a 150 years old premium German furniture company, in India. In a candid interview with Nation Next, Alpana Kirloskar speaks about being a Kirloskar and the Alpana Kirloskar Design Studio.
How would you define and describe Alpana Kirloskar?
I am defined by the relationships in my life; relationships are very important to me. I am somebody’s wife, somebody’s daughter, somebody’s mother and I value all my relationships. What also defines me is my creativity. I like to do anything that is creative – whether it’s designing a book, which I do regularly, or doing simple flower arrangement on my daughter’s birthday. Anything that I create, gives me a lot of satisfaction.
While you are an architect, you are also an entrepreneur and handling business at the Alpana Kirloskar Design Studio. Whom do you find more dominating in your personality – the professional or the businesswoman?
I’m more professional! But there have been times where there’s a clash in my mind of being a Kirloskar and being a professional. Since I’m very punctual and it’s always me who is waiting beforehand for the clients, at times when I’m sitting there waiting in a small building I feel, what am I doing here! I don’t need to do it, but alas this is my passion.
How would you define your style as an architect?
My style consists more of fusion. I mix a lot of the old Indian traditional elements in the contemporary vocabulary. Basic vocabulary is contemporary but I always do a few touches of Indian motifs or the Indian heritage we have.
You’re the brand ambassador of Walter Knoll, a 150-year-old luxury furniture brand. How is the association fairing for you in India?
It’s good. Walter Knoll is a very high end product and not everybody can afford it. We have certain clients like Cummins in Baner (Pune) who have opted to use Walter Knoll. I do not sell the products directly; Walter Knoll sells them through their dealers. I have to represent them at all the trade fairs, mostly international, where Walter knoll takes up a huge space and then for all the Indians who visit the water knoll counter, we have special arrangements. I know beforehand who all are interested in buying or can buy, so I have the job of sending them invites.
You have carved an identity for yourself with your work but you are still more recognized with your surname. Is it uncomfortable at times
Not at all, it’s a part of my identity. I enjoy being Mrs Kirloskar. I think it’s a perfect balance. A lot of people mostly know me as Mrs Kirloskar but they also know what I personally do.
What drove you to start your own business rather than joining the Kirloskar group?
The Kirloskar group is very different from what I have studied. I have studied architecture and my father was into construction. So, I have come from a family where I have always understood things about construction and architecture. My husband’s business is more about engineering so I did not want to get involved and he is also very happy with that.
Do you have any working relationship with the Kirloskar group?
I am only a shareholder in the group. I don’t mix these two businesses.
Tell us about the business and financial health of Alpana Kirloskar Design Studio?
It’s based on a fee structure. I am paid for my professional services which involves drawing and designing. For everything else, for example, for the plaster of paris, furniture, marble etc. the clients have to pay the vendors directly as I don’t get involved in that. Architects actually do not make much in the business sense, unless they take commissions. But I don’t do all of that. We get a certain architect’s discount at all the materials’ store, which I happily give to the client.
You are born and brought up in Delhi and you married and settled in Pune. What is your take on the similarities and differences in the Maharastrian and Delhi lifestyle?
Delhi is very warm and hospitable; the vibes there are completely different. Delhi is also very enthusiastic; you can just go with the flow of the activity that’s happening. In Pune, you have to make things happen for yourself. The energy in Pune is low in my opinion. You have to work hard for doing something in Pune. But in Pune, people are more educated and definitely give more respect to people. The best thing in Pune is that women are given their due respect and independence. That’s also the thing with Maharastrians and Punjabis, they value their women more.
Anil Deshmukh seeks court permission to visit hometown Nagpur, Delhi
Former Home Minister of Maharashtra Anil Deshmukh approached a Special Court on Thursday seeking permission to visit his hometown Nagpur and Delhi. The Bombay High Court, while granting Deshmukh bail, had put a condition that the latter should not leave Mumbai without the trial court’s permission.
The senior NCP leader, who’s out on bail in an alleged money laundering case, was arrested by Enforcement Directorate (ED) in November, 2021 and later by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in April 2022.
Deshmukh, who filed two separate pleas before the trial court through his advocate Inderpal Singh, said he was a native of Nagpur and has deep family roots there, apart from being the elected representative of an Assembly constituency in Nagpur district. In his plea, Deshmukh stated that he also needed to visit New Delhi to meet his lawyers.
Special judge RN Rokade sought a response from the ED and CBI and adjourned the matter to February 6.
Not a populist but a fiscal consolidation budget: CAMIT Chief Dr Dipen Agrawal
Dr Dipen Agrawal, President – Chamber of Associations of Maharashtra (CAMIT) reacting to the budget 2023 said that “Finance Minister, Nirmala Sitharaman has presented a vision document for India at 100”. In her speech she envisaged various new concepts and proposal to take forward India on its growth journey. She has attempted to provide something for everyone. Outlining the vision of central governments for technology-driven and knowledge-based economy with strong public finances and a robust financial sector, she said that this will be achieved by Jan Bhagidari and Sabka Saath Sabka Prayas.
Dr Agrawal said, the continuation of PM Garib Kalyan Anna Yojana (PMGKAY) for one more year; formation of large producer enterprises to support about 81 lakh women self-help groups; recognizing traditional artisans and craftspeople as Vishwakarma and conceptualizing new package scheme to improve the quality, scale and reach of their products; exploring untapped potential in tourism on mission mode will enable youth in fulfilling their aspirations and provide necessary imputes for growth and job creation.
It is to be seen how government works on the seven priorities ‘Saptarishi’ 1) Inclusive Development 2) Reaching the Last Mile 3) Infrastructure and Investment 4) Unleashing the Potential 5) Green Growth 6) Youth Power 7) Financial Sector identified as guiding factor, added Dr Dipen Agrawal.
The announcement regarding establishment of Digital Public Infrastructure for agriculture to provide farmer-centric solutions on host of farming related activities, massive decentralised storage capacity and government facilitated multipurpose cooperative societies, primary fishery societies and dairy cooperative societies in uncovered panchayats and villages will give boost to rural economy. Similarly establishing new nursing colleges in co-location to medical colleges established since 2014 will improve per-capita nursing staff in the country. While government is considering to introduce teachers’ training through various programs, the government should at the same time ensure that government education institutions are not under staffed.
Dr Dipen Agrawal welcomed the announcement of PAN being made common identifier for business entities; Unified Filing Process is proposed to be set-up to avoid duplication of compliance; National Financial Information Registry to be set-up as the central repository of financial and ancillary information; the Vivad se Vishwash scheme introduced to settle MSME contractual obligations said that these steps will have long lasting positive effect to improve business sentiments.
The announcement to ensure timely payment is made to MSME, government has linked the deduction under Income Tax Act for payments to actual payment to MSMEs. However, the deduction will be allowed on accrual basis only if it is within time mandated under MSMED Act, i.e. 45 days. In its endeavor to give relief to MSME government has inadvertently created compliance hurdle for other side i.e. large scale industries, this step will have large scale tax implication for them, added Dr Agrawal.
Now days there is nothing much expected from FM on indirect tax but people eagerly wait for announcement on direct tax front. FM has disappointed common man by announcing meager increase (Rs 50000) in basic exemption limit. However, FM has given substantial relief to middle-class individuals by increasing rebate limit from 5.00 lakhs to 7.00 lakhs. Similarly high net-worth individuals will be benefited by reduction in highest surcharge limit from 37% to 25%.
Overall, I see this budget as intelligent budget that focuses on key areas of infrastructure, employment while keeping fiscal deficit on track and on scale of 10, I give 7 points for 2023 Budget.
Also watch: Lesser know facts about India’s Union Budget
Social media not only helps me stay visible and relevant, but also have a source of income: Alaya F
Alaya F made her entry in Bollywood with Saif ALi Khan starrer ‘Jawaani Jaaneman’. And after a three year gap we saw her in Kartik Aaryan’s ‘Freddy’. Even though she was missing from action in those three years, social media kept her in the limelight for her fans. The actress, who’ll next be seen in Anurag Kashyap’s ‘Almost Pyaar With DJ Mohabbat’, gets vocal in a chat…
Talking about social media, which kept her connected to her fans during those three year gap, she said, “There’s no such mystery left in the life of an actor in today’s time, thanks to social media. Our fans have access to us a lot of time and I think that’s fine. Because we’ve signed up for it to be part of the industry. And I believe, as an actor, you’ll always want your fans or people to see you a lot more. So, I don’t worry about keeping any mystery on my social media. Whenever I want to take a break, I take a break. At least that’s in our hands.”
Moreover, Alaya feels it’s important for a celebrity to be on social media. It not only gave her visibility, but was a source of income too. “It’s important to be active on social media. It was a big blessing for me at least during the three-year gap between my first ‘Jawaani Janna’ and second film, ‘Freddy’. It helped me to not only stay visible and relevant, but also have a source of income. No matter how much I hate social media, I’m grateful for it as it gave me a great foundation that I managed to continue in Freddy. Now, I want to be active because I’ve realised that if you use social media correctly, it can be really powerful in the right ways.