The Audi Ritz Icon Awards 2015 dazzle Bengaluru
At an event like Bengaluru had never seen before, the 7th edition of the Audi Ritz Icon Awards 2015, took the city by storm with the star-studded line up on awardees, the launch of the all-new 2016 version of Audi’s Q7 and a ballroom that was packed with the city’s movers and shakers to witness this amazing event.
The stage lit up with the new Audi Q7 being unveiled by actors - Tamil superstar Chiyaan Vikram and Telugu idol Ram Charan, in the presence of Mr. Pankaj Parker of Audi India, Mr. K Subramanian, CEO Audi Bengaluru and Aruna R Krishnan, Editor/Publisher of Ritz.
Speaking on the occasion, Aruna R Krishnan made it a point to thank the people of Bengaluru for the tremendous support extended by them to Chennaities who were in distress due to the devastating floods that ravaged much of the city. She reiterated how trivial issues like the Cauvery dispute between the two states took a backseat and how heart-warming it was that Bengaluru went out its way to do their best to help their distressed neighbours.
Celebrating the highest level of achievers from South India, the Audi Ritz Icon Award 2015 was presented to stalwarts from across various genres, beginning with the award for Social Entrepreneurship to Ms. Lakshmi Pratury - Co-host of TEDIndia and Founder of INK Conferences , Entrepreneurship to Mr. Hari Menon - Founder of BigBasket.com, Art to Mr Riyas Komu - one of the two founders of the Kochi Muziris Biennale, Education to Dr. Maria Zeena Johnson of Satyabhama Universities and Fashion Design to Gaurang Shah for revival of ancient forms of handloom and weaving.
Followed by an unveiling of the cover of the December 2015 issue, which features billionaire infrastructure giant Mr GM Rao, the audience was mercerised by the simplicity and fortitude of the man himself as he took the stage and narrated his life story. Accompanied on stage by his wife Mrs Varalakshmi Rao, Mr GM Rao spoke from the heart and expressed his satisfaction at being featured on the cover of a magazine for the first time ever. His story of struggle and success left most people speechless.
The last part of the event concluded with five mega awards being presented to Mr Ram Charan, Mrs Vidya Balan and Chiyaan Vikram for their outstanding contribution to Cinema, the Business Icon Award to Mr GM Rao and the award for most inspiring politician being presented to Mr KT Rama Rao, Hon Minister for IT and Panchayat Raj, State of Telangana.
Business Icon Of the Year
Mr. GM Rao - Founder and Chairman GMR Group
List as one of the 100 richest men in India by Forbes, GM Rao, whose company headquarters are based in Bangalore, is one of the most successful businessmen from India. He is the force behind Delhi’s spectacular T3 and several other such massive infrastructure projects across the country. The 65 year old stalwart has great stories to tell about his success, his simple lifestyle, his business and how he feels it is of utmost importance to give back to society.
Inspirational Icon Of The Year - For Politics
Mr. KT Rama Rao - Minister for IT & Panchayat Raj, Telangana
A young and dynamic politician, son of Telangana Chief Minister Mr. K Chandrashekar Rao, KT Rama Rao is doing his utmost to put Telangana and its capital city Hyderabad on the global IT map. The dapper, politician, New York educated, is making the best of his double degree to bring his state to the most progressive levels possible. The launch of T-Hub, an incubator set up for start-ups, with state of the art facilities and a mentoring programme, is his newest baby which he is making huge efforts to hard-sell to start ups from across the country.
Icon Award for Social Entrepreneurship
Lakshmi Pratury, Co-Host of TEDIndia and Founder of INK Talks
After two decades in marketing, venture capitalism and social entrepreneurship, Lakshmi Pratury turned her focus toward linking her home country of India more tightly with the American community. Her firm, Ixoraa Media, runs meetings and events to spark dialogue and make connections. In 2009, she co-hosted TEDIndia and saw such a warm response to the conference that she founded The INK Conference, in partnership with TED, that would pick up where TEDIndia left off
Icon Award for Entrepreneurship
Hari Menon, Founder and CEO BigBasket.com
Hari Menon is one of the oldest players in the E-Commerce business in India having started off his initial online grocery portal fabmart.com way back in 1999. The BITS Pilani graduate, who dabbled in the IT Sector serving in companies such as ORG Systems, TVS Electronics, Wipro, Planet Asia before giving life to his entrepreneurial streak, says that his first experiment with a business in the online space came much before its time. Now the Founder and CEO of BigBasket.com, the company, in just a span of four years has grown into a Rs.1000 crore venture and has even managed to get one of the most iconic faces of Indian cinema to endorse their brand.
Icon Award for Cinema
Vidya Balan, Actor
Her name resonates with talent and success today. She is easily one of the best actors in B-Town. But her cinematic journey is a tale of grit, conviction and determination. From handling critics with utmost aplomb to essaying some of the grittiest roles in cinema, Vidya Balan is a class act, all combined in one spectacular package.
Icon Award for Art
Riyas Komu, Artist
He is one of those artists whose oeuvre is deep rooted in politics and realism. His paintings, to put it in his own words, carry a protest symbol one way or the other. Along with his co-founder of the Kochi-Muziris Biennale, Bose Krishnamachari, Riyas Komu was ranked 86 in the 2015 Power 100 list of most in uential people in the contemporary art world compiled by leading international art magazine, ArtReview.
Icon Award for Cinema
Ram Charan, Actor & Entrepreneur
When he debuted with `Chirutha’ eight years ago, comparisons to his legendary father were inevitable. His first lm didn’t exactly set the cash registers ringing but it was obvious that the star son could hold his own. With the spectacular `Magadheera,’ his second lm, Ram Charan Tej announced his arrival on the celluloid with a bang. The thunderous applause that began after the blockbuster’s release still resonates in T- Town and the writing was clearly on the marquee that a star was born, indeed. And then as is the trend in the south Indian lm industry, he was anointed with the annex ‘Mega Power Star’. That he was born to the camera and that he was a be fitting successor to his illustrious father Chiranjeevi and Uncle Pawan Kalyan has been established over and over again with his power packed performances.
Icon Award for Cinema
Christened as Kennedy John Victor by his parents, here’s one actor who has been acclaimed as one of the best in the country. Paeans have been written about him and awards conferred upon him. But he remains untouched. What matters most to him is to constantly challenge himself and ensure that the audiences get their share of entertainment. Vikram AKA Chiyaan and Kenny to his fans, is the winner of six Filmfare Awards, one National Film Award and Tamil Nadu State Film Award amongst other recognitions, and was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by the People’s University of Milan a few years ago.
Icon Award for Education
Dr. Maria Zeena, Educationist
She’s a force to reckon with in the world of education. Managing Director of the acclaimed Sathyabama University, Dr. Maria Zeena has made a name and space for herself in the education space, especially across South India. The daughter of the iconic Col. Dr. Jeppiaar, she leads her life based on the impressive ideals of her father and, following his edicts, strives to excel at everything the she does.
Icon Award fro Fashion Design
Gaurang Shah, Fashion Designer
The name Gaurang is synonymous with hand-crafted textile art. Gaurang Shah, fondly known as the master of weaves by his peers is a household name for his high-end jamdani sarees and outfits. Dating back in 2001, when the handlooms were fading in to oblivion, weavers were mired in debt traps, uncertainty and hunger deaths, Gaurang took up the challenge of reviving the traditional handlooms and bringing them back in vogue.