While it is popularly believed that pageants are mostly about beauty, Aditi Patankar (aka Aditi Gupta) redefines the myth of beauty and definition of pageants through her initiative Mrs India UK (MIUK). MIUK is the pioneer and trademarked pageant that recognises married Indian/British Indian women living in the United Kingdom. Asian Lite correspondent Ragasudha Vinjamuri speaks to her about the objective and the scope of MIUK.
Tell us about yourself.
I am an MBA-HR Graduate, a Post Graduate in Event Management, and a Professional Degree holder in Marketing and Integrated Digital Marketing. I am born and brought up in Mumbai. I have pursued my career with industry leaders in publication, banking, media and production in India and Singapore before moving to the UK about two years ago. I have also worked as model for brand shoots and fashion runways, as a voice over artist, events head and a performer. Though my father is a well-known sportsperson recognised in cricket fraternity in Mumbai, I have had a simple upbringing and my mother has invariably strengthened my personality. My husband and 6-year-old daughter continue to add strength to me in my journey now.
Tell us about Mrs India UK.
MIUK was launched in 2017 through the company BrandWok founded by me in London, currently in its third successful season. 30 multi-talented women from diverse backgrounds in different age and size categories are part of this third season of Colors TV UK launched on 13 January 2019. We marked the orientation & launch session at Hilton Group Hotel near Tower Bridge. This year, Mrs India UK team is committed to achieve more and aims to reaching new level of International standards. The chief aim of MIUK is empowering women and building their confidence.
Elaborate on the content of training.
There will be three-month sessions with a combination of Pageant training and Life coaching & Personality Development, assuring a training beyond pageant. As make-up, styling, stage presence, catwalk, choreography and much more adds to the finalists’ exciting journey, the networking throughout the journey of pageant allows them to connect with the community. They have also tied up with Ketto as crowd funding partner to raise funds for Indian NGOs and with Nainika Foundation for raising awareness on Allergy.
How do you feel yourself after the two-year journey so far?
Improvising from last two successful seasons upwards and onwards, and after raising country flags nationally and internationally, it gives us a feeling of immense pride to have incredible industry experts onboard for training and coaching the finalists of 2019. So far, competing with almost 40-90 countries, Mrs India UK winners have represented our country in Mrs Universe, Mrs Earth, Mrs International, Mrs Classic Universe and Classic International Woman and have successfully achieved titles across the International Pageants.
Winning may be the final destination and milestone every finalist may aspire for, but learning that benefits each and everyone is the main focus of our pageant. While auditions, pageant programme and fees play an important role for a robust process to secure a place, the worth of the pageant is significant and unique across the globe. The number of coaching sessions that finalists go through is the highest in the industry at present.
What do you see for future?
Healthy competition is most welcome, just as in any other field as then we continually try to carve a niche while trying to improvise and stand out. We are glad we have inspired others to have their own pageants following our example. We confidently believe that our own authenticity and credibility leads us into many more international wins. For this we thank our partners and the undaunted support we receive from different quarters.
Editor’s Note: Official announcement of the finalists 2019 will be coming soon on Mrs India UK social media page.