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August 28, 2015

Verve’s Power Women: Feroze Gujral

Photograph by Anshika Varma

“It’s like the Olympics of the contemporary art world…” Feroze Gujral talks about being the sole Indian representative at the Venice Biennale

Feroze Gujral
49, Power Impresario

Feroze Gujral’s original claim to fame was her popularity as one of India’s top models. She has walked the ramp for various designers, endorsed products for a gamut of big brands, dabbled in Bollywood and even anchored a television show called Tonight with Feroze. Dipping her feet into the complex world of business, Gujral effortlessly managed successful design studios and event management companies. A vivid supporter of the arts, she has established the Gujral Foundation which funds higher education in the field of design, art, fashion and architecture. My East Is Your West, the art project supported by this foundation, was accepted as an official collateral event at the 56th Venice Biennale and was one of the most talked-about and awaited projects this year. As the director of Outset India, a non-profit organisation that encourages public art, Gujral is now the sole Indian representative at the Biennale. She plays a variety of roles and is a curator for TEDxDelhi, the Indian ambassador for WWF, a writer, philanthropist, sportswoman and, of course, a jack of all trades!

THE VENICE BIENNALE: “It’s like the Olympics of the contemporary art world, where the presence of India was missing. So without complaining about who’s not doing what, we decided to just get up and make a change, to showcase the best from the Subcontinent.”

STYLE MANTRA: “What I wear doesn’t necessarily have to be expensive or couture. I’m not obsessed with fashion, but I like good design. My style could be described as classic, fun and comfortable…but there always must be one element that is edgy.”

LEISURE AND REPOSE: “I think I work hard and I play hard. A lot of my unwinding is through sport — I golf, ski and scuba-dive, and my children love sailing so I like doing that with them, too. But I also just love to travel, visit historical sites and meet new people…I am a curious adventurer.”

THRIVES ON: “Dreaming. I’m a big dreamer, but I also believe in just getting up and chasing the dream, making it happen. I thrive on constant movement — I honestly can’t stay still or just sit and look at a horizon like there’s nothing beyond it. I thrive on the future.”

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