Ashok and Neetu Shewakramani, one of the most well-known and well respected couples in Dubai’s upper crust are a force to be reckoned with.
Ashok is the Managing Director of Neeltex International Group of Companies, which is a textile fabric business with the Shewakramani family firmly at its core. The multi-faceted Neetu has also been extremely instrumental in launching TruEagle, their home grown fashion brand and alongside Ashok, she looks after the marketing and social aspects of the brand.
With three amazing boys, Nitesh, Akshay and Aayush, Ashok and Neetu believe in putting family before all else. They both hail from joint families in Rajasthan, which is why the spirit of family is something they cherish and value most. Having similar familial and educational backgrounds has definitely contributed to them being on the same wavelength for almost everything. Theirs is an easy camaraderie that is almost immediately apparent within minutes of meeting this gorgeous couple. They clearly complement each other seamlessly.
Though theirs was an arranged marriage, Ashok says it was definitely love at first sight. We got to hear more about their love story, their business and the inner workings of this amazing family as the evening progressed.
Warm and inviting, they instantly made us feel at home in their spacious Emirates Hills home and were unwaveringly hospitable. This photoshoot might have been completed in about half the time it took us in actuality, because this stunning family’s unbelievable candour and zeal makes one want to linger on.
Let’s just say that Saffron was deeply honoured to have been given that chance to get an insiders view into what is essentially the Shewakramani’s private space.
Elegant and tastefully decorated, this stunning home starts with a long winding driveway and a massive water feature and ends with sprawling lawns and a pool in the backyard. Great attention to detail has been paid in decorating each room. It took Ashok and Neetu almost 7 years to finish decorating this spacious abode because they didn’t want to compromise on any aspect whatsoever. The staircase, which is illuminated with blue and purple lights took almost 2 years to finish! Clearly, perfection is something this family strongly believes in.
Hailing from The Shewakramani family (a joint family) in Jaipur, Rajasthan, Ashok is someone who is deeply rooted in tradition while having a modern outlook on life. He learnt everything he knows about the textile business at his father’s knee back in Jaipur where textile is the core business. When he moved to Dubai, he realised the need to adapt his business practices and ethics to the working style of the city. Today, he is the Managing Director of Neeltex International Group of Companies and is into textile fabrics. They import and export to Eastern European markets such as Poland, Russia, Ukraine etc. while also sourcing raw materials from Far East countries like China, Korea and also from Turkey.
He is a man who has always been passionate about fashion and so launching TruEagle, his home-grown fashion brand
has been his biggest dream. “I have always wanted to create my own fashion brand and so we conceptualised the idea in 2012. With sheer hard work and dedication, we successfully launched our brand earlier in 2015 and it’s been amazing!”.
He credits a large part of his success to Neetu, who has been his constant pillar of strength and confidant. “Neetu
supports me in the office, especially, when I am travelling. She regularly gives her feedback and does the social media marketing for TruEagle along with Nitesh. Her contribution and support has been the biggest factor in my success. I truly feel blessed to have her by my side”.
His work ethic is simple; never give up, keep going. It is something that is clearly reflected in not just his business but also his very nature. His life ethic is something that comes from his father: honesty.
With a friendly demeanour, Ashok is warm and casual in his conversations. On being asked what he would be doing if he could do anything, he is quick to reply. “I love music. If I wasn’t a businessman, then I would have liked to be a singer, even though I don’t have a very good voice! I would have definitely tried it!”
On being asked about what a normal weekend looks like for the Shewakramanis, he says “We like to spend quality time
together on the weekends as a family. We watch movies or go out for dinner. We’re all big foodies so we enjoy trying different cuisines but we all especially love Japanese food”.
The future, to him looks bright and promising. “Neetu and I want to see TruEagle reach greater heights! On a more personal front, it is very important for us as parents to see our children happy and well-settled in their lives”.
The one thing he has learnt from his children, he says is to be happy with the small things in life. “The kids of today’s generation are more practical, outspoken and they believe in transparency”.
Here Ashok can be seen wearing a TruEagle outfit, which is casual and comfortable. The logo of the brand is a testament to everything he and Neetu believe in; ‘Tru’ for the value of honesty that Ashok is a staunch believer of and ‘Eagle’ as a representation of Dubai; the city they call home.
Gorgeous, fit and naturally beautiful; it is almost hard to believe that Neetu Shewakramani is the mother of three grown boys. Shock and disbelief were the emotions we went through when we realised that her eldest son, Nitesh, is almost 22! Candid and incredibly sweet, Neetu was a delight to photograph. We were hard pressed to decide which photographs to use seeing as how every picture we took of Neetu was perfect.
Also hailing from a joint family, she is originally from the Bherwani family of Jodhpur, Rajasthan. After having studied in a convent school, she proceeded to graduate from Jodhpur University with a degree in Arts. Her creativity is clearly evident in every aspect of her life; from her home to her style and dressing sense.
If given the opportunity to do something else in life, she would still be doing something quite similar to what she does now. Her husband and kids are her priority at all times. “We have a very simple lifestyle, and Ashok and I truly believe in spending quality time with each other”.
The move to Dubai was a roller coaster ride to put it mildly, but she seems to have taken it in her stride. “Life took a complete 180 degree turn. I was a small town girl and suddenly moved to urban city life”.
Her sons, Nitesh, Akshay and Aayush have taught her the art of patience, she says. Neetu along with her son, Nitesh handles the social media and marketing of TruEagle; a venture that is very close to her heart.
As you can see in these pages, Neetu has impeccable taste, which is why she is a huge influencer when it comes to the design decisions of TruEagle.
Fun, bright and smart, 21 year old Nitesh Shewakramani is the perfect blend of his parents; but he is more like his father Ashok. “People say that dad and I have a freakishly similar laugh. But the similarity
doesn’t end there. We are the biggest tech nerds in the house”.
By his own confession, the future is a long way off for him. On being asked where he sees himself 10 years from now, he says “10 years is a long time! So much is bound to happen within those years…there is no doubt in my mind that there is room to expand, not only for me, but also for the family business. But we take it one day at a time. Once you focus too much on the future, you lose sight of the wonders of what happens during the present! But what I do know for sure is that we will reach new heights!”
His work ethic is simple. If he loves what he is doing then there is clearly a strong passion towards it and he will commit to it without fail.
An observation we made throughout the evening is that Nitesh has a deep love for the game of football. Despite there being a match on, he made the time for us and the photoshoot without any qualms and was perfectly happy to pose for us.
Ashok and Neetu’s love story is endearing and one that must be shared.
“It was an arranged alliance, but it was love at first sight. My father met Neetu’s parents and wanted me to see her and they asked me to fly down to Jodhpur from Dubai. I was meant to meet her the day after I arrived in Jodhpur, but she surprised me by coming to the airport with her parents to meet me. We spoke for a while whilst walking. I always carry Raffaello chocolates with me, and that’s how and when we said yes to each other; while having those. Her mother then gave me a gift as a token of our acceptance to get married to each other, and it all started from there”, he says.
The camaraderie between this couple is something to admire; after three children and many blissful years spent together it is no wonder they operate like a well-oiled machine, anticipating each others’ needs before they even come to the surface.
On being asked which of the kids is more like Ashok and which is more like Neetu, they laugh and say “Nitesh is more like Ashok, Akshay like Neetu and Aayush is a happy blend of both”.
A family that lives together and works together, they are truly amazing to spend time with. As we mentioned, we barely realised where the time went when we actually sat down to have a conversation with this gracious couple.
It is truly amazing to come across a family as humble and grounded as the Shewakramanis.
Photo Credits: Sarfaraz Ali
Editorial Content: Nupur Jaisinghani