Purveyor of the High Life
“Luxury, for me, is about the experience. It’s about how it makes you feel.”
Rita and Raja Dhody’s elder daughter, Aneesa, has her mother’s sense of understated style, and an intuitive understanding of the good life. Armed with a double degree in business and communication from Bond University, Australia, Aneesa had a watershed moment moving from the world of ad production to the world of luxury. From a stint at Kailash Picture Films, she joined the Murjani group, representing brands across their luxury division. “The learning curve was very steep, as luxury in India was in its nascent stages, and one didn’t have any experience dealing with luxury brands here. The challenge was aligning the expectations of the brand headquarters while still being relevant to the Indian consumer.”
Post this, she began freelancing and eventually founded Creative Co in 2011, with Diageo on board as her first client. The fledgling company executed around 20 events for Diageo in their first year, one of them being the successful Ciroc Sundowners, which put the brand on the map. What started out as a two-person team, working out of Aneesa’s father’s study with a single client and merely an event division, now offers a range of services: brand consultation, public relations, social media and events. Creative Co works with brands such as Gucci, Hèrmes, Christian Louboutin, Diageo, Lancôme, Clarins, Le Mill, and Pinakin.
Aneesa’s role in the company has grown to be a more holistic one – of being a mentor to her team and an advisor to her clients, while focusing on strategy and growth for the company as a whole. “I give my team a lot of flexibility and encourage them to develop their own minds and have continuous learning on the job. With my clients, I am always available should they need to bounce ideas off me or share thoughts on new developments.”
She spends her time working on deliverables or targets, checking in with her team, and meeting her clients regularly – juggling a busy day schedule with work commitments that occasionally stretch to late evenings. “The challenge is also to constantly innovate and not stagnate creatively. Marketing is all about coming up with new ways to engage consumers, so the work in itself is demanding.”
Aneesa’s personal style is “classic, feminine, and sometimes eclectic”. She treasures her grandmother’s coloured diamond necklace, where each stone is cut in the shape of a heart. Married to Harsh Mehta, who develops luxury villas in Alibaug, Aneesa loves to travel if she has a few days off and hits the spa every Sunday. She defines luxury as, “going away to the Maldives and switching off my phone for three days…or buying a pair of handmade leather sandals in Greece! As is opening a great bottle of wine, and sharing it with a friend.”
While ambitious people inspire her, she appreciates straight shooters: “I’m a ‘from the heart’ sort of a person. I don’t know how to be ‘fake’. Therefore, I attract similar people to my life, and it’s been quite rewarding so far.”