Natasha Poonawalla's A-list inner circle: from Kareena Kapoor Khan to Christian Louboutin

The businesswoman and philanthropist made news with her Met Gala outfit this week

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As befitting anyone with a jet-setting lifestyle such as hers, Natasha Poonawalla's inner circle is filled with famous people. From the biggest celebrities (Katy Perry, Shah Rukh Khan, Aishwarya Rai Bachchan) to famous designers (Christian Louboutin, Dolce and Gabbana) and royalty (Prince Charles), they've all made appearances on her social media feeds.

Poonawalla is the wife of Indian billionaire Adar Poonawalla, the chief executive of Serum Institute of India, the world's largest manufacturer of vaccines. She serves as executive director of the company, as well as the chairwoman of the Villoo Poonawalla Charitable Foundation, named after her late mother-in-law, a responsibility that takes her to events around the world.

On Monday, she turned heads at the star-studded Met Gala, standing out with a sari-inspired look put together with designs by Sabyasachi and Schiaparelli Couture.

Here are some of the famous names that make up this Indian businesswoman's close coterie of friends.

Kareena Kapoor Khan and Karisma Kapoor

The Kapoor sisters are the most visible in Poonawalla's list, making numerous appearances along with their extended families over the years. From picturesque holidays to glitzy birthday parties, the Bollywood actors are a constant in Poonawalla's life. In their most recent post together in March, also shared by the actors, the friends were seen in the Maldives.

"Happiest near the ocean. Quick trip with my girls and their precious babies — a day of snorkelling, chatting, comfort food and posing (of course)," Poonawalla shared on Instagram.

In one post, wishing Kapoor Khan, who's married to actor Saif Ali Khan, on her birthday, Poonawalla referred to the actor as her "bestie".

"Watched you grow from strength to strength, unafraid to speak your mind, with your unmatched commitment to people and topics closest to your heart, always sensibly selective ... being that bestie who will never mince their words to ensure your people are the best versions of themselves. Your honesty and solidarity is priceless! You’re a star for juggling so many roles ... unfazed and more beautiful each day ... love you Bebo! Never change," she said.

On Monday, the Kapoor sisters were the first to share their friend's look at the Met Gala.

"The one and only. Ufffff. Love love love," posted Kapoor Khan.

Her sister Karisma posted: "That's my girl. Amazing."

Malaika and Amrita Arora

The Aroras, actors too, also appear regularly on Poonawalla's social feeds, often along with the Kapoor sisters.

In her last birthday wish for Amrita, she called her "a total sweetheart".

"She’s the one to help us bounce back from our binges, with strict exercise routines ... we laugh AT each other (and with each other!)," she shared.

Amrita reciprocated the love in a separate post, saying: "Love you mad hatter."

Priyanka Chopra Jonas and Nick Jonas

It's safe to assume that the Jonases are also close friends of Poonawalla's judging by the number of times they've been spotted together. In January, when the couple announced they were expecting their first child together via surrogacy, Poonawalla posted a congratulatory message along with a photo of herself with the happy couple.

"Congratulations PC and Nick! Thrilled for you guys … brace yourself for life’s greatest joyride! Wish you all the love and strength for this new chapter. From sleepless party nights to sleepless parenting nights — with you all the way!" she said.

Poonawalla and Chopra Jonas were also spotted at Wimbledon last year catching the women's singles final.

They also celebrated Holi, the festival of colours, together in 2020.

"My first Holi! So much fun celebrating with such incredible people here in my second home in India," Nick Jonas shared, along with pictures from the festivities.

Christian Louboutin

Poonawalla often calls the famed French designer "my fav". The two are frequently photographed at events around the world.

"Walking into the new year with my super talented, smart, handsome, ever so hilarious @louboutinworld. Happy, happy Birthday! From health spas to red carpets to kids’ adventures … from intense conversations at long dinners to dancing /crawling (!) … ALWAYS the best time with you! Can’t wait for many many more adventures together! Miss you!," she posted in January.

In another post, she called him "a mad genius".

"Can’t wait to zip across the world with you, Christian. Miss your sharp wit, our endless laughter and red carpet shenanigans," she said.

For the Met Gala this year, Poonawalla completed her look with shoes designed by Louboutin.

Karan Johar

The Bollywood director, producer and talk show host is known for his close friendships with some of Bollywood's leading women, the same circle Poonawalla is entrenched in. It's no surprise the pair are spotted at parties together, often as each other's dates.

Poonawalla calls Johar her "OTT twin".

"Karan, my partner in many fashion crimes, your unabashed loyalty, honesty in your critique ensures everyone including yourself brings their best at all times ... I miss us lighting up airplane runways as if they were fashion runways," she once shared.

Sonam Kapoor Ahuja and Anand Ahuja

The Bollywood actress and her entrepreneur husband Anand are regularly seen with Poonawalla and her husband Adar, often in London, where the Ahujas now live.

"A shining star with the sweetest tooth and an infectious giggle," Poonawalla has said of Sona. "Here’s to many more memorable moments and new experiences together, keeping conversations real and the fashion unreal!"

Best-dressed celebrities at the Met Gala 2022 — in pictures:

Updated: May 06, 2022, 6:18 PM
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