Kiran Chhabria is better known in the UAE and India as the Director of Jumbo Electronics and a former Non-Executive Director at Shaw Wallace. Kirans’ father, Manohar Chhabria was well known in business circles. He was the Chairman of various companies such as Jumbo Electronics in Dubai (which he started) and Shaw Wallace, Dunlop India and many other blue chip Indian institutions. After his untimely demise in 2002, Kiran’s mother, Vidya Chhabria stepped into the role of Chairperson of these companies and was featured in both Forbes International and Fortune International in their “Most Powerful Women in the World” lists for a few years.
As Kiran grew older and graduated from Boston College she was groomed to take on a leadership role at Jumbo. She was a management trainee in the company for 2 years during which one year was spent learning the business from the ground up, and another year was spent shadowing her Father, so in essence, from the top down. Post all the training Kiran was appointed Director in the company and managed it for several years until they got a CEO in to run the show, giving Kiran the freedom and liberty to follow her own interests, like writing.
Despite Kirans business background, she says, “my passion for writing was apparent from early childhood when I started rhyming limericks around the same time I learned to string sentences together. Somewhere along the line, I stopped writing fiction and got very involved in penning articles either for my blog, or as a columnist for 2 of the leading dailies in the UAE- Khaleej Times and Gulf News. One day however I decided to cheer myself up and wrote a story that I thought I’d publish online anonymously as a blog, and put up chapter by chapter. There was no pressure, as I never thought it would amount to anything except for amuse me and take my mind off a few things I was going through at that time. Next thing I knew it, I had a book! It has been my first foray into writing fiction in decades.’’
Her blog, called Kiran’s Corner, had a strong fan base for the three years she maintained it for till she retired it to work on her first novel, Kitty in the City.
Having grown up in Dubai with a few years spent in Mumbai, Gstaad and Boston, she now splits her time between her “soul city” NYC and her beloved hometown of Dubai, which is where Kitty in the City is based. Kiran adds, ‘’I am relatively anti-social in Dubai and like Kiki (the protagonist of Kitty in the City) also have 3 best friends who (like Kiki’s friends) are Pakistani. I spend a lot of my free time with them, of course going out with a few other close friends occasionally. If not with them, I spend my free time reading, occasionally writing, and also playing the piano, as I’ve been learning the instrument for the past 5 years. During the summer however I pack my bags and move to NYC for a few months, where I have a lot more fun and feel I can let my hair down.”
Kitty In The Kitty in the City is a fun filled book laced with humour, opulence, love and unexpected twists based on a few real life experiences lived by author Kiran Chhabria and her struggle towards self discovery, fighting norms, female empowerment and finding love in more than one sense.