Meet The Judges of Masala! Awards 2017

Meet The Judges of Masala! Awards 2017

Just like the awards, the judges’ panel this year is bigger and better too!

Just like how the awards this year are bigger and better, so are our stellar panel of judges. Hailing from the different backgrounds of expertise, the diversity on the panel this year will make sure only the best is shortlisted and then selected.

Here are a list of the judges:

Yogesh Mehta, CEO, Petrochem 

Yogesh Mehta established Petrochem in 1995 and ever since, the company has gone from strength to strength to become the largest independent petrochemical distributor in the Middle East. His passion for music and the arts have led him to patronise and promote Indian classical and artistic heritage with a rare vigour which has contributed richly to the cultural landscape of Dubai.

Celina Jaitly, Actress and UN Activist for Gender Rights

The fourth runner-up in the Miss Universe contest in 2001, Celine Jaitly used her considerable influence to espouse the cause of the underprivileged. One of the few Bollywood celebrities to talk about gender, human rights issues and women’s health and sex workers’ rehabilitation, Celina’s passionate involvement with LGBT rights, in particular, has been recognised by the United Nations.

Sarah Belhasa, Founder, Studio 8 Fashion studio and Vice-Chairperson, Saif Belhasa Group of Companies

Sarah Belhasa is equal parts fashion maven and trendsetter for women in the UAE. From being ‘The Face of The Year’ and ‘The Boutique of The Year’ in 2010 at the Masala! Awards (for the multi-brand store Studio 8), to being crowned the ‘Emirates Woman of The Year’ in the artists category in 2009, her pursuit for excellence in whatever she takes up, makes her a true role model for women. 

Manish Malhotra, Designer Maestro

Manish Malhotra recently completed 27 years in the industry, that has seen him transform several Bollywood starlets into dream icons, set trends for millions of aspiring fashonistas, dress up Hollywood icons, set up a 9000 sq ft store that occupies a pride of place in the Indian fashion landscape and contribute to reviving traditional Indian textiles through charitable projects.

Sima Ved, Vice-Chairperson, Apparel Group

Sima Ved, as Vice Chairperson of the multi-million dollar Apparel Group, a global fashion and lifestyle powerhouse, has broken the proverbial glass ceiling to emerge as one of the most inspiring female business leaders in this region. She is also a strong believer in giving back and has made significant contributions to several causes to empower the underprivileged.

Saher Shaikh, Philanthropist and Founder, Adopt-a-Camp

Saher Shaikh, the founder of Adopt-a-Camp, a charity which aims to improve the lives of thousands of workers, is a woman on a mission. Today Adopt-a-Camp Foundation is a UN recognized registered foundation improving the lives of over 57,000 labourers, families and communities. Additionally, the foundation distributes Ramadan care packages to thousands of workers.

Rita Mehta, Director, SELECTE’ Global Experiences

Rita Mehta belongs to the brave and bold school of media. During the course of her career, she interviewed eminent personalities like Mr. Rajiv Gandhi among others. Rita then started Cine Blitz, which went on to become one of India’s leading film magazines. She currently owns and runs Keynnote Media Pvt. Ltd, a content providing service to the Middle East and UK and is a Director at SELECTE’ Global Experiences, an International Celebrity Event and Brand Management Company specialising in Events, Talent & Celebrity Management with Consulting across the globe.

Harmeek Singh, Founder and CEO, Plan b

Harmeek Singh’s path to the top began with a plan B, who today employs over 300 people with its headquarters in Dubai and offices in Abu Dhabi, Delhi and London which includes Plan b Advertising, Plab b Events, SiO2 Events and the group’s PR, social media & strategy wing bSocial. He is also headlining a massive project – the Dubai Women’s Run in November 2017.