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Sep, 10 2010

CATWALK FROM BEAUTY TO BUSINESS

Former Miss Universe and Bollywood actress Sushmita Sen has Clinched another crown by taking up the franchise of Miss Universe Pageant.

What inspired you to take up the India franchise of Miss Universe pageant?

It was pure destiny. The franchisors found me. I feel that life has come a full circle, from winning the Miss Universe title for my country 16 years ago to today being the exclusive licensee holder for the 2010 Miss Universe India pageant.

What are the terms of your franchise agreement?

The franchise agreement is like any other American franchise which is renewed annually.

What are the pre-requisites of Miss Universe franchise?

One definitely needs to have a sound business record, which thankfully, we had. Another very important achievement that worked in my favour was the fact that I had won the title in the past. Across the globe, the Miss Universe pageant is offered to women who have won the title before because it works better for them and their respective countries.

As a franchisee what will be your role and responsibilities?

As a franchisee, I need to make sure that the Miss Universe guidelines are followed with utmost precision and every requirement in terms of rounds, sub-contests, jury, etc are fulfilled. And, last, but not the least, to mentor all contestants and help find a suitable candidate to represent India at the '2010 Miss Universe' pageant.

How is 'I AM She' different from other beauty pageants in India?

'I AM' is the mother brand, which is a very generic statement. What makes 'I AM She 2010' different from other beauty pageants are the people behind it. Each one is different and unique and yet each one brings to the table what the other cannot. I cannot imagine 'I AM She 2010' without each one of my partners or groomers. We have also attempted to break many barriers and one of them is language. Now a girl from Punjab who can't speak the English language can participate in this pageant because we have translators for each one. Also, there are scholarships for the winners being offered by Marangoni, one of the most prime fashion institutes of the world, and New York Film Academy for better future.

‘I AM Foundation’, another vertical of 'I AM,' has, for 2010, attached itself to five organisations i.e. TERI (The Energy and Resources Institute), ANI Foundation, CPAA (Cancer Patients Aid Association), The Research Society and Bal Asha Trust. All the five 'I AM She 2010' winners will be dedicating time and resources to meet their respective targets aligned to each of the I AM Foundation associations at the beginning of their reign.

Besides Tantra, do you plan to foray into any other business segement?

'I AM', as mentioned earlier, is the mother brand. Being an entrepreneur, I have many plans for this mother brand, though they are still on the drawing board. They are as follows:

'I AM Cultus'  Fashion clothing line

'I AM Bodhisatva'  Spa line

'I AM Foundation'  NGO

'I AM Imagine'  Publication!

'I AM Aim'  Education.

Any advice for women entrepreneurs?

“Thoughts become things… go for it!!!”

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