Nepal seeks Indian oomph to boost biz! | india | Hindustan Times
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Nepal seeks Indian oomph to boost biz!

india Updated: Aug 25, 2006 12:35 IST
Highlight Story

After Bollywood oomph girls Mallika Sherawat and Urmila Matondkar, it is now Miss India Earth 2005 Niharika Singh's turn to bring glamour to business in Nepal.

The second-runner up at India's best-known beauty pageant organised last year by Femina magazine, India's Vogue, is flying to Kathmandu on Saturday to launch a new institute for designs.

The International Institute of Fashion Design, headquartered in Chandigarh in India, opens its franchised centre in the Nepali capital Sunday to run courses in fashion, textile and interior designing.

Singh, now an upcoming model in Mumbai, is the brand ambassador for the institute and would be launching the Kathmandu centre on Sunday.

She becomes the third well-known face from the Indian glamour industry to be arriving in Nepal for business promotion in August.

Earlier this month, Rangeela girl Urmila Matondkar gave Kathmandu a dose of high glamour as she came with her family to inaugurate the capital's new and seventh casino, Casino Shangri-la.

Immediately after Urmila had left in a blaze of publicity, her compatriot in Bollywood, "Bombay" star Manisha Koirala, who is also the granddaughter of Nepal's first elected prime minister, the late BP Koirala, arrived quietly to celebrate her birthday with her family, during which she was roped in to open a dosa festival organised by the five-star Hyatt Regency hotel.

Before this, Bollywood's sex symbol Mallika Sherawat had been invited to launch a brand of computers, a move that resulted in a hefty boost in the sale of the assembled PC with admiring fans, both men and women, braving a shutdown to arrive at the hotel where she had a dinner date with the buyers.

Though Manisha, who carved out a niche for herself in Mumbai with films like Khamoshi and 1942: A Love Story, began her career in the glamour world as a model in Nepal, the Himalayan state still prefers to woo Indian celebs, especially for its fledgling fashion industry.

Earlier this year, another Nepali organisation for grooming models brought in Indian choreographer and trainer Koushik Ghosh, touted as the "godfather" of former Miss Universe Sushmita Sen.

Recently, another Nepal franchisee of Indian designing institute IEC held its annual fashion show that in three years has become Kathmandu's biggest catwalk event, where several models were from India.

Indian DJs and VJs continue to be the prime attractions at Kathmandu's night clubs and discos and Bollywood's "item" girls, like Shefali, Rakhi Sawant and Meghna, are earmarked by the casinos and the five-star hotels for big occasions, like New Year's Day, to add that extra sizzle to celebrations.

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