It is 9.30 pm and Ananya Birla sips on a cappuccino at a quiet corner of Willingdon Sports Club in Mumbai. At 24, the eldest daughter of industrialist Kumar Mangalam Birla and his entrepreneur wife Neerja is a star in her own right. She is a musical phenomenon (the first Indian artist with an English language single to go platinum), an entrepreneur running her micro-finance tech company Svatantra Microfin, and working with her mother to bolster her mental health awareness initiative, Mpower.

A vegetarian by choice, she builds stamina for her stage shows across the world. β€œI work out one-and-a-half hours a day, five times a week to strengthen my muscles and increase tone. My session has a mix of boot camp, sometimes quite intensive training.”

Ananya sings while running on the treadmill. β€œIt is tough, but I control my breath, which helps me when I perform live on stage.” She has never followed any diet, even while she was studying at Oxford University.

Shilpi Madan for The Hindu

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