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Sponsored Feature: A-Class Pulse Changers

6th Oct 2014 6:47 pm

Mercedes A-Class stands for the new generation of achievers who strive for success in lifestyle and business. We celebrate their passion for excellence.


Mehernosh Pervez

A computer engineer by profession and an AV consultant by passion, Mehernosh Pervez has followed a ‘passion first, business second’ mantra. This began 20 years ago in 1994 when he opened Mumbai’s first laser disc library, Kino, in Bandra, quickly followed by a second branch in Juhu. But people soon lost focus on laser discs and he shut down the library. In 1996 though, he set up Sound Decisions — a consulting service that helps set up ultra luxury audio-visual systems for homes and offices. It lived up to its name.

Today, Sound Decisions is India’s only CEDIA-UK professional member. Mehernosh believes in delivering quality over quantity, and knows that his customers will be limited to a small percentage of the population that will understand what he can provide. To constantly stay ahead and deliver the best, he attends international trade shows and professional courses every year. As a result, he counts some of India’s largest business houses, architects and businessmen as his loyal customers.

Mehernosh knows that updating and enhancing skills is a constant process. His desire to always deliver a product of the finest quality without compromise has driven him to the top of the game. He, then, can definitely appreciate the evolution of form and function of the A-Class — a product of fantastic quality made without compromise.

Mehernosh Pervez, Uncompromising luxury.

Archana Vijaya

Passion and an ability to identify and then make the best of every opportunity has helped Archana Vijaya become one of the most familiar faces in the country. It all began when this shy Kolkata girl burst into the limelight after winning the first edition of Channel [V]’s Get Gorgeous.
Life soon became a whirlwind of walking down the ramp at some of the world’s biggest fashion shows like Rome Fashion Week; ad campaigns; VJing and hosting TV shows. What really stoked her passion, though, was the gritty Freedom Express on Channel [V] that let her travel across the country. In 2013, her passion for travel also led to Life Mein Ek Baar Season 2, where she had a bunch of once-in-a-lifetime experiences in South Africa. But her real claim to fame was appearing as the host of IPL 4, IPL 5 and IPL 6 in 2012, 2013 and 2014 respectively.

Even though she claims to “go with the flow”, Archana has worked really hard to get where she is today. She’s driven and believes “work is freedom”. Her athlete-like discipline and ability to work well under pressure have helped her shine. Maybe that’s why she can appreciate the A-Class, a car that can perform well in every situation you can throw it in.

Archana Vijaya, Passion and ability.

Akshat Verma

Growing up with parents who are professors of literature can have its side effects. You’re surrounded by a lot of reading material and fascinating stories. Little surprise then that Akshat Verma developed a love for story-telling. Naturally, he followed his interest and did some short stints as a journalist and an advertising copywriter.

But one of the best platforms for stories is film. So, Akshat applied to premier film schools in India, and promptly got rejected by all of them. For Akshat, it couldn’t have been better. The school that accepted him — UCLA — changed his life. After some odd day jobs and stints assisting some Hollywood biggies in LA, and another brief spell in advertising, Akshat came back to India to make one of the smartest comedies we’ve had in a long time, Delhi Belly.

Akshat loves film. It’s the only medium that lets him combine his love for storytelling, literature, photography, music and art. The books he read as a child inspired a curiosity about whether he could do the same. Could he spin fascinating tales? In college, he was inspired by the storytelling styles of Woody Allen, Coen Brothers and Akira Kurosawa, and wanted to use their styles and form in our movies. Maybe that’s why Akshat will truly appreciate the A-Class, which brings some of the best styles, designs and heritage stories to India.

Akshat Verma, Local Stories, International Standards.

Asif Azim

Asif Azim has come a long way — and not just from his home in Bangladesh. His first break came in 2002 as a gig with Indian designer Sabyasachi, who’d set up a show in Dhaka. He was later noticed by South African photographer Neo Ntsoma, who was in Bangladesh shooting a documentary. Her photographs of Asif appeared in a magazine called Saolo in 2002. Asif has also walked the ramp at a number of fashion shows in Spain and Australia.

Asif says he once met style and fashion guru Prasad Bidapa, who recognised his potential and suggested he come to India. He also offered to provide direction to Asif. Although Asif didn’t take up Bidapa’s offer immediately, he never forgot about it. A few international shows later, Asif remembered Bidapa’s suggestion and came to India to make his mark. The rest is history. He has now modelled for India’s best designers and has appeared in several international magazines. Recently, he also made an appearance on the popular Indian TV show — Big Boss 7.

Today, Asif is considered to be one of the leading models around the world. He has achieved quite a bit in a short time. What he loves doing, though, is helping out back home. He believes that if you share what you have, you experience contentment. So, he’s using the opportunities he has got to help secure the future of those who need the support. Asif would definitely appreciate the A-Class, because beyond the looks and the style, there’s a lot more going on beneath the surface.

Asif Azim, More Than Meets The Eye.

Shabnam Gupta

Shabnam Gupta didn’t plan to become a fantastic interior and architectural design consultant. She first assisted at a production house when she was 18. Unsure of what she wanted, she signed up for a course in interior designing. She soon found her calling as an interior and architecture designer while interning at the offices of a prestigious firm. In 2003, she set up The Orange Lane, a company that undertakes projects as design consultants.

Since then, her growth has been almost exponential. In 2004, Shabnam was voted one of the Leading Ladies of 2004 by Elle India. In 2009, she was named among the 10 Young Innovators in Design and Architecture by CW.

Forbes India declared that she was one of the 10 Best Designers to Watch Out For in 2010. She’s also received multiple awards from the Institute of Indian Interior Designers in Residential, Retail and Hospitality in 2011 and 2012. The list keeps going on.

Despite all the accolades, Shabnam’s philosophy is simple. She draws her inspiration from nature. She surrounds herself with things she finds beautiful and stylish. She loves things that combine practicality, reliability and lifestyle. Balance in everything is extremely important. Just like the A-Class, where beauty, power, style and reliability find perfect balance.

Shabnam Gupta, Style and Substance.

Raj Kamble

Raj Kamble isn’t happy. He says once you’re happy with something, you usually stop working on it. But he’s always looking for something better. Raj believes there’s always a better idea that hasn’t been thought, a better visual they haven’t drawn, or a better line they haven’t written. That relentless drive and passion has contributed to making Raj Kamble one of India’s most successful advertisers. And he’s had to work very hard to get to where he is today.

After graduating from art school, Raj started off as an Art Director in Mumbai. He went on to become the Creative Director at Lowe London, then Mumbai and then New York for almost a decade before returning to head BBH in Mumbai. He then became head of the Mumbai office of StrawberryFrog, the world’s first advertising agency dedicated to movement marketing. Raj also set up the Miami Ad School in Mumbai — a world-class ad school. He then decided the time was right for him to start his own agency and bought out the Mumbai office of StrawberryFrog. It’s now called Famous Innovations.

Raj believes in doing exciting things over taking risks. His approach of fearlessness, perfectionism, curiosity and focus on delivering brilliant work has clearly worked for him. Maybe that’s why Raj can appreciate the drive, spirit of perfectionism and passion that goes behind creating the Mercedes A-Class.

Raj Kamble, A Creative Movement.

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