Pune’s First Ladies

I am ecstatic. And why shouldn’t I be?  In a first-of-its-kind article on Pune, the September issue of “Hello!” Magazine features “Pune’s First Ladies”! Shows that you can’t keep this city out of the spotlight for long!! Methinks this is just the start, so take a bow Shribala Choradia, Michelle Poonawalla, Jahanvi Dhariwal, NamitaThappar, Nivedita Saboo & last but by no means the least Swapnali Bhosale.

Most of the time (and unfairly so), a lot of us conveniently begrudge their success by attributing it to their Lineage, or to their super successful husbands. But look closer, behind all that razzmatazz lies a steely resolve to grow their business, contribute to the less fortunate, and unconditionally support their families.   The Pune Girl saluteseach of them for being role models in their own unique way.

So just what goes into making these icons. Let’s take a closer look.

thepunegirl - punes first ladies

Namita Thapar, Mischelle Poonawalla, Nivedita Saboo

Namita Thapar, Mischelle Poonawalla, Nivedita Saboo

Janhavi Dhariwal, Swapnali Bhosale, Sribala Chordia

Jahanvi Dhariwal, Swapnali Bhosale, Sribala Chordia

Shribala Choradia, Panchshil Realty’s Regal Matriach

Hard-working:Jointly assisting in the family’s Real Estate Development Business. Also a Director in Numerous companies ranging from Interiors to Engineering. CHECK

Charitable: One of the Managing Trustees of the Shri Firodia Trust, an NGO which supports education scholarships directed towards rural children. CHECK

Educated: Masters from Oxford University, United Kingdom. CHECK

Family Woman: Mother of two. Effortlessly manages Work and home. CHECK

Passionate about: Reading Poetry and Travel (So here’s someone who can really differentiate Wordsworth from Keats :) CHECK

Fashion Statement: Mostly, you will find her dressed in ethnic Indian outfits. She loves her structured bright dresses and denims are her favourite casual wear. CHECK

Sribala Chordia

Michelle Poonawalla, Lady of ThePoonawala Family

Hard-working: Involved in the management of the Poonawalla Group Engineering Companies. More specifically, she looks after HR-related activities and also helps her husband Yohan in production-related activities. CHECK

Charitable: She, along with her family supports the Red Cross Society of India and events with a good cause. CHECK

Educated: An HonoursGraduate in Interior Design from the American College in London.CHECK

Family Woman: Michelle & Yohan enjoy working together on their new expansions.They remain truly committed to spending a lot of time with their children and make it a point to cherish every moment during their growing years.CHECK

Passionate about: Art & Fashion (Don’t we love this bit), Landscaping. CHECK

Fashion Statement: She likes being stylish and elegant. Chances are you’ll find her amidst top designer brands. She adores the Peter Pilotto, Mary Katranzou, Balmain and Erderm apart from the classics such as Hermes, Chanel, LV, Gucci, Dior and Alexander McQueen  CHECK. CHECK. CHECK. :):):)

Michelle Poonawalla

Michelle Poonawalla


Jahanvi Dhariwal,the young lady of the Manikchand Group family.

Hard-working: Following her father’s footsteps, Jahanvi is associated with the RMD Foundation and heads their offset commercial printing unit, Oxyrich, electrical, switches and the construction division. CHECK

Charitable: She is closely involved with the group’s activities in philanthropy across castes and communities and believes that one should help the underprivileged to prosper

Educated:Decorated with only a B.Com degree from BMCC, Pune young Dhariwal says, “Do not intend to study further. There is no point in studying what you cannot implement.”See! Now here’s someone who believes in implementation over plain education. That’s my girl. CHECK

Family Woman: Daddy’s girl all the way. :):):) CHECK

Passionate about: her work CHECK

Fashion Statement: She loves experimenting with different cuts n styles.  You will always find her wearing the latest trends in Fashion. Her favorite designers are Shaina NC, Stella McCartney, Lanvin and the likes. CHECK

Jahanvi Dhariwal

Jahanvi Dhariwal

Namita Thappar, Emcure Pharmaceuticals

Hard-working: is currently heading Emcure Pharmaceuticals as their CFO (Now here’s a woman who really knows her numbers). She also happens to be ONE of just two women members of the Pune Young Presidents Organization (YPO) Chapter. Her dad is her role model who taught her that there is no substitute to hard work. At 36, she is still as driven and energetic as she was at 16. She is very patriotic and strongly feels that we owe it to our country to give back & make a difference.CHECK

Charitable: At Emcure, Namita sees Social Initiatives as an integral component of Corporate Social Responsibility. Their investments in the community have gone beyond the adhoc disbursement of funds, to planned programs in areas of healthcare, education and environment.

Educated: a Certified Chartered Accountant and an MBA from the Duke University, USA. CHECK

Family Woman: She makes sure she makes time for family. Loves travelling and shopping with her husband, Vik. CHECK

Passionate about: Fitness!!! So while we are still in la-la land dreaming about our next Dior Bag, Namita’s daystarts as early at 5:30am with a workout.

Fashion Statement:“Fashion must reflect your own personality”. Namita loves her Judith Leber & Alexander McQueen clutches. Also highly inspired by her mother who herself is very stylish. CHECK

Namita Thapar

Namita Thapar


Nivedita Saboo, the designer behind these beautiful ensembles worn by the ladies

Hard-working: The former Head of Design at Arvind Mills, today has her own label “Nivedita Saboo Couture”. CHECK

Charitable: She supports women empowerment and makes sure they not only employ, but also support and teach girls right from the basics of stitching, embroidery & quilting

Educated: NIFT Graduate. CHECK

Family Woman: She works closely with her husband, Badal Saboo& we see them spending time together at social dos as well. CHECK

Passionate about:Her work and building her brand.CHECK

Fashion Statement: She adores classic styles with intricate designs. You would normally see her in basic denims and different styles of shirts. It’s dresses for glamorous evenings.CHECK

Nivedita Saboo at her Kalyani Nagar store

Nivedita Saboo at her Kalyani Nagar store

Nivedita Saboo's Kalyani Nagar store

Nivedita Saboo’s Kalyani Nagar store

Nivedita Saboo

Nivedita Saboo

Swapnali Bhosale, Scion of ABIL

Hard-working: Swapnali, is the Director of ABIL Group. She contributes in the designing and construction ultra-luxurious residential & commercial projects. The hospitality wing of ABIL is a budding one and they have aggressive plans of growth for the same. The Group is also into infrastructure and ‘own’ the Pune Fashion Week as well. CHECK

Charitable:  A value-based corporate entity, the ABIL Group believes in relationships beyond business.  A part of the Group’s profits are utilized for Social Welfare initiatives that are carried out under the aegis of the ABIL Group Charitable Trust. Swapnali has been actively working towards the Green & Clean initiative for Pune city.

Educated: Graduate from the Harvard Business School CHECK

Family Woman: Recently married to Vishwajeet Kadam, educationist, politician, social worker, industrialist and an avid sportsman, Swapnali loves spending time with the family CHECK

Passionate about: Swapnali is fond ofher brands  and likes to travel CHECK

Fashion Statement: The petite &graceful is Swapnali’s statement for fashion CHECK

Ladies! You do us proud :)

Swapnali with her husband, Vishwajit - NEWLY WEDS!

Swapnali with her husband, Vishwajeet Kadam – NEWLY WEDS!

Swapnali Bhosale

Swapnali Bhosale

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