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An Inspiring Writer, Poet and Novelist, Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni



Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni

Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni is an Indian born American novelist, poet, and Betty and Gene McDavid Professor of Writing at the University of Houston Creative Writing Program. She publishes books in a variety of genres, including realistic fiction, historical fiction, magical realism, myth, and fantasy, and she writes both for children and adults. She was created in India’s Calcutta.

In 1976, she graduated with a B.A. from the University of Calcutta. She travelled to the United States the same year to enrol at Wright State University, where she graduated with a master’s degree. From the University of California, Berkeley, she earned a PhD in English in 1985.

She worked as a babysitter, a retail clerk, a bread slicer at a bakery, a laboratory assistant at Wright State University, and a dining hall attendant at International House, Berkeley to pay her way through graduate school. At U.C. At Berkeley, she worked as a graduate teaching assistant. At Foothill College and Diablo Valley College in California, she was a professor.

Arranged Marriage, which received the American Book Award, the Bay Area Book Reviewers Award, and the PEN Josephine Miles Award for fiction in 1994, is one of her story collections. Another is The Unknown Errors of Our Lives (2001). The best-selling Mistress of Spices (1997), Sister of My Heart (1999) and its sequel, The Vine of Desire (2002), Queen of Dreams (2003), The Palace of Illusions (2008), One Amazing Thing (2009), and Oleander Girl are just a few of the numerous books she has written (2013). Her writing has been extensively distributed, translated, and collected.

The South Asian Literary Association’s Distinguished Author Award, the C.Y. Lee Creative Writing Award, PEN Syndicated Fiction Awards, numerous Pushcart Prizes, International House Alumna of the Year from the University of California-Berkeley, the Cultural Jewel Award from the Indian Culture Center in Houston, and the Light of India Award from the Times of India are just a few of the many accolades and awards she has received.


Ashish Kashyap: Revolutionizing Financial Well-being Through INDmoney



Ashish Kashyap INDmoney

Ashish Kashyap, the Founder and CEO of INDmoney, embarked on a mission to empower consumers by providing transparency and control over their financial lives. Recognizing the hurdles created by the lack of transparency in the financial services sector, he envisioned a fintech platform that would simplify investing in US stocks, mutual funds, and other assets. Launched in 2019, INDmoney has experienced remarkable growth, boasting over five million users and facilitating transactions worth approximately $2 billion in the past year.

A Vision for Financial Empowerment

Ashish Kashyap’s journey with INDmoney began with a vision to address a fundamental customer problem – the desire for financial control. He understood that most consumers aspired to take charge of their financial well-being but were hindered by the opaqueness of financial services. This realization fuelled his commitment to create a platform that would provide clarity and empowerment to users.

Exponential Growth Powered by Trust

INDmoney’s journey has been characterized by exponential growth, particularly over the last 12 to 16 months. The platform’s success is evident in the transactions totalling $2 billion, reflecting a growing trust between consumers and the platform. This trust acceleration has been a significant driver of INDmoney’s expansion.

Building Trust through Value:

While many financial service providers rely on cashback offers and coupons to attract customers, INDmoney’s strategy focuses on delivering exceptional value to end-users. This approach has not only optimized customer acquisition costs but has also attracted millions of users. According to Ashish, building trust and engagement should be cantered on the core value of the product rather than monetary incentives.

Rapid Value Delivery:

In today’s competitive landscape, customers expect quick and tangible value from the services they use. Ashish emphasizes the importance of providing value to users rapidly, often within the first few days of on boarding. Delayed gratification can lead to user attrition, making it critical for businesses to demonstrate their unique value propositions early on.

Navigating the Crypto Wave:

Ashish Kashyap is a proponent of crypto currencies and envisions them evolving into their own asset class in the future. However, he underscores the importance of government-backed regulations to safeguard consumers from crypto currency scams. Additionally, monitoring the source and movement of funds in crypto trading is essential to maintain integrity in the industry.

Embracing Entrepreneurship in India:

Ashish believes that the current environment in India offers an exciting opportunity for budding entrepreneurs. With access to essential tools and resources and a wealth of engineering talent, aspiring business leaders can launch and scale their ventures. He encourages entrepreneurs to embrace failure as a part of the journey, emphasizing the need to learn from mistakes rather than being risk-averse.

Ashish Kashyap’s journey with INDmoney is a testament to his commitment to revolutionizing financial well-being in India. Through transparency, value-driven services, and a commitment to trust, he has established INDmoney as a platform that empowers users to take control of their financial lives. As he navigates the evolving landscape of finance and technology, Ashish’s vision for the future of financial services promises to continue driving positive change in the industry.

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Aakriti and Shaunak Chhaparia: Pioneering Clean and Vegan Beauty with La Mior



La Mior logo

When engineers Aakriti and Shaunak Chhaparia embarked on their entrepreneurial journey, they set out to make a significant impact in the world of cosmetics. Their passion for clean and vegan beauty products led them to establish La Mior, a brand that not only offers a range of high-quality makeup and skincare items but also champions ethical and sustainable practices.

Identifying a Gap in the Market

The Chhaparia duo initially aimed to launch a direct-to-consumer (D2C) brand for vegan products, driven by Aakriti’s love for makeup and Shaunak’s strong operational background. However, as they delved deeper, they realized a glaring gap in the market – the absence of home-grown manufacturers specializing in clean and vegan skincare products. This realization sparked an opportunity, and the couple decided to establish their manufacturing facility to fill this void.

Pooling their savings, the Chhaparias invested Rs 90 lakh to set up their research and development lab in Surat, Gujarat, in 2018. The following year, LAMIOR Pvt Ltd was founded, with a mission to provide not only their own brand but also to cater to the needs of other home-grown brands and salon chains.

From White Labelling to In-House Brand:

La Mior’s journey began with white labelling cosmetic products for various brands and salon chains, including the likes of Enrich Salon and Daughter Earth. This strategic move allowed the Chhaparias to build a strong foundation and gain valuable insights into the market. As the demand for clean and vegan cosmetics continued to rise, they saw an opportunity to introduce their own in-house label – La Mior.

La Mior’s product portfolio encompasses a wide range of clean and vegan beauty items, including vegan lipstick, eyeshadow palettes, foundation, moisturizer, and more. The formulations are predominantly derived from plants and super foods, in line with the brand’s commitment to ethical and sustainable practices.

Scaling and Future Aspirations:

Driven by their dedication and a growing market demand for clean and vegan cosmetics, La Mior witnessed remarkable growth. The company achieved a significant milestone, doubling its revenue to Rs 4.2 crore in FY21. Presently, around 40% of La Mior’s revenue comes from white labelling, while the remainder stems from its private label. In FY23, the company’s revenue soared to Rs 9.6 crore, and it has set its sights on reaching Rs 20 crore by the end of the fiscal year.

The Chhaparias attribute their success to a steadfast commitment to reinvesting profits into the business. Their vision for La Mior extends beyond financial growth; they aim to be a leader in the clean and vegan cosmetics segment in India, catering to the discerning needs of consumers.

Educating and Innovating:

As pioneers in the relatively nascent clean and vegan cosmetics market in India, Aakriti and Shaunak Chhaparia understand the importance of education and innovation. They are aware that consumers often perceive clean and vegan products as less effective than their chemical counterparts. To address this misconception, La Mior focuses on crafting high-performing products that provide tangible results, all while promoting the benefits of clean beauty.

Differentiating themselves from established brands, Aakriti and Shaunak leverage La Mior’s robust manufacturing capabilities as a competitive advantage. They envision the brand’s expansion into the salon industry, following a trajectory similar to successful ventures like Clinique. Collaborating with salon chains and exploring offline presence through a shop-in-shop model are among their ambitious plans to reach Tier I and II cities across India.

In a market that is evolving towards conscious consumption and sustainable choices, Aakriti and Shaunak Chhaparia’s La Mior stands as a testament to the power of entrepreneurship and innovation. With their dedication to ethical practices, commitment to education, and a relentless pursuit of excellence, the couple is poised to lead the charge in shaping the future of clean and vegan beauty in India.

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What Are Your Legal Options for Mesothelioma? Exploring Lawsuits



Mesothelioma, is an aggressive type of cancer that grows in the mesothelioma, the thin layer of tissue that encases most internal organs. While treatments are available, mesothelioma is often fatal. Mesothelioma is the result of being exposed to asbestos, most typically breathing in the microscopic particles. Asbestos was used as a fire-proof insulation for decades before the dangers were discovered and the damage done to the body by exposure typically does not manifest itself for many years.

The courts have maintained the companies that produced asbestos may be held legally libel for damages to those affected. The three types of compensation for asbestos exposure include trust-fund claims, lawsuit settlements and court verdicts. However, victims must meet certain criteria to file a claim, and an experienced attorney will be able to help determine if you are eligible and which type of settlement is best for your situation.

Trust-Fund Claims

Trust funds were set up for asbestos companies that were found negligent and have subsequently filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. The money in the funds is earmarked for current and future claims of Mesothelioma lawsuits who rightfully deserve compensation from the damages caused by the company’s products. Depending on the situation, mesothelioma sufferers may be able to file a claim against more than one company and receive money from more than one trust fund.

According to the 2016 Mealey’s Asbestos Bankruptcy report, the amount of trust-fund payouts have an average value of $180k and range from $7,000 to $1.2 million. Each asbestos trust assigns a “schedule,” or claim value, to different types of asbestos-related illnesses. The schedule takes several factors into account, and the amount of a payout depends on the specific type of illness, the payment schedule that was established for the trust and the trust’s current payment percentage.

Out-of-Court Settlements

Mesothelioma settlements occur when a plaintiff has filed a lawsuit, typically through an attorney, and the asbestos manufacturer agrees to pay the plaintiff a negotiated amount of money to settle the claim. The amount of the settlement is negotiated between you and your attorney, and the asbestos company. While most settlements occur before the case goes to trial, it is not unheard of for a settlement to be reached after a trial has started, but before a verdict is rendered.

While the law does not require a victim to use an attorney, the asbestos company will typically have a team of lawyers working for them so it is wise to consult with an attorney who has experience in mesothelioma lawsuits. Settlements are legally binding actions and offer guaranteed compensation. However, while settlements do provide for a quicker payout than waiting for a verdict and often multiple appeals, the compensation from a court judgment can sometimes be substantially higher, but it is not guaranteed. Most mesothelioma lawsuits do result in out-of-court settlements.

Trial Verdicts

Trial verdicts are determined by a judge and/or jury at trial. Court judgments can often result in larger amounts than settlement agreements, but appeals can drag on for months if not years, and the judgment may be reduced or even overturned completely by an appeals court. There are two types of lawsuits for mesothelioma damages. Personal injury lawsuits are filed by those who have suffered injury from receiving a mesothelioma diagnosis. Wrongful death lawsuits are filed by family members to receive compensation after a loved one has died from mesothelioma.

Jury awards consist of compensatory and punitive damages where compensatory damages are to compensate victims and their families for medical expenses, lost wages and reduced quality of life, whereas punitive damages are meant to punish wrongdoing. Court records show that mesothelioma filings accounted for over half of all asbestos lawsuits in 2022, totalling 1,900 mesothelioma suits of 3,550 for all types of cancer-related injuries.


Negotiating the legal waters of mesothelioma injury cases should not be taken lightly, and an attorney experienced in these types of cases is an invaluable asset. A qualified attorney will know the best course of action, prevent costly mistakes and will almost always be able to get you a larger settlement or judgment. Additionally, personal injury attorneys work on a contingency base so, win or lose; there is no cost to you.

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