Monthly Archives: September 2015

Ratan Tata invests in food tech start-up Holachef

Announcing the investment of an undisclosed sum, an overjoyed Saurabh Saxena, Co-Founder and CEO of Holachef, said, “Ratan Tata’s name and body of work is synonymous with trust and consumer focus. With his guidance, Holachef is sure to become a leader in the food-tech space, with customer delight at its core. By winning his trust, we have raised the bar of quality and excellence for ourselves.”

Launched in September 2014 by Saxena and Anil Gelra, Holachef has been rapidly increasing the customer base in Mumbai and more recently in Pune.

Ratan Tata. AFP

The company had raised Series A funding of Rs 20 crore in a round led by Kalaari Capital in June 2015 and raised a seed fund of Rs 2 crore from India Quotient in February 2015.

The start-up was launched for retail consumers in September 2014 in Mumbai’s Powai area. Currently, its services are available in Mumbai and Pune. One can place orders through the website ( or mobile app on Android and iOS.

This is the 14th startup investment  Tata has made in his personal capacity after his retirement in 2012. At the time of his retirement, he had said that he wanted to reach out to people and have them draw from the Tata Trust’s expertise to give a strong push to new businesses.

Just like the salt to tech conglomerate that he headed, his investments also encompass a wide range of sectors, from health to women empowerment to technology.

“What I look at while investing in startups is the quality and intelligence of the entrepreneurs,” Tata had said explaining his investment rationale after joining Kalaari Capital, a venture capital fund, as an advisor.

During his acceptance speech at the Rockefeller Foundation where he received the Lifetime Achievement Award, Tata said businesses should be sensitive to the fact that they are making a difference in places where they operate and they have to do things to help the community prosper.

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“Turn the World UN Blue”

Marking the United Nations at 70
What is the Turn the World UN Blue initiative about?
To help mark the 70th anniversary of the United Nations, iconic monuments, buildings,
landscapes, museums, bridges, and other landmarks across the globe will be lit up blue
– the official colour of the United Nations – on UN Day, 24 October 2015. Join us in the
global celebration and choose blue on 24 October by lighting up a landmark in your
As part of this international event, images and videos of the lighted structures will be
part of press and social media outreach, and will be seen by millions of people around
the world. Citizens are also asked to get involved and take action by sharing their
“choose blue” images using the hashtag #UN70.
Why Participate?
Participating in the Turn the World UN Blue campaign offers the unique opportunity to
help unite global citizens, promote the message of peace, development and human
rights, and showcase your commitment to the ideals and principles of dignity and
prosperity for all.
How to get involved?
For information on this initiative and how to get involved, please contact the DPI/NGO
Resource Centre at, (212) 963 7234.
Click to see more ways the world is celebrating the 70th
anniversary of the United Nations.

Award of Distinction from UNESCO for JN Petit Institute

“Libraries are less in use and getting redundant, so this honour is great news for Mumbai,” admits Vikas Dilawari, conservation architect, whose efforts with his core team ensured that the stunning and iconic Jamsetjee Nessarwanji Petit Institute in Fort earned an Award of Distinction in the 2015 UNESCO Asia-Pacific Awards for Cultural Heritage Conservation.

The newly restored library at the JN Petit Institute, Fort. Pic/Sameer Markande
The newly restored library at the JN Petit Institute, Fort. Pic/Sameer Markande

In the 2015 cycle, the Award of Excellence for the Conservation was given to Sree Vadakkunnathan Temple, Thrissur in Kerala while Pune’s Parvati Nandan Ganapati Temple, received an Honorary Mention.

Thirty-six projects from 12 countries in the Asia-Pacific region were submitted for recognition in the field of progressing conservation in the region. Last year, Dilawari’s work at Esplanade House was awarded with the UNESCO Asia Pacific Award (Honorary Mention).

Built in 1898, and extended in 1939, the building stands as one of the stellar examples of the Neo-Gothic style in Mumbai. “We wanted to recreate the original grandeur of its interiors, its coloured glass, the detailing as well as the lighting inside the structure.

It was important to integrate it with the surroundings,” shares Dilawari, adding that being a public building, it was necessary to ensure that rich interiors and exteriors were highlighted. He adds how this restoration will also help students who throng the library during examinations.

The actual work took over two years, and is Dilawari’s 11th project to have received recognition from UNESCO. He spells out how they ensured that the restoration didn’t veer away from the original. “We used Plaster of Paris for the elaborate decorative ceiling that needed tending to.

Wherever glass was needed, we’ve used coloured glass to add to the Gothic flavour of the structure.” Despite being a functional space, with a full working public library, Dilawari and his team ensured routines weren’t affected. Bomi Umrigar, administrator at Institute is elated with the news, “We feel very proud with this recognition.

Dilawari has done an excellent job in ensuring that the building retains its former glory.” Umrigar also told us how members gladly offered to move from one section to another during restoration work, and thus made it possible to ensure that work continued.

“This project was like a root canal; it took longer than expected but the satisfaction of its completion, and now the recognition by UNESCO makes it worth every minute,” signs off Dilawari.

ZAH Library Event – October 9-11

The ZAH Library – home of FIRES – is holding its 12th annual gala event on October 9, 10 and 11. The theme: “Survival of Zoroastrians in North America: Potential for a Positive Outlook” is hotly debated these days. Our focus will be on how the diaspora in North America can thrive and remain a vibrant force for decades to come

We are fortunate to have two outstanding experts who have studied the issues and can present viable alternatives to address this important topic. Dr. Rashna Writer, author of several books and recognized speaker, will present the strategic planning required to ensure a thriving Zoroastrian community in the North American diaspora. Our second speaker, Roshan Rivetna has studied and researched this issue for several years and will present data on population trends, etc. that will highlight the problem before us. She will present action items that will inspire us to action, especially the younger generation. The two talks in the morning session will be followed by a panel discussion featuring younger member of our community in the afternoon. The panelists Zia Anklesaria, Nozer Dungor, Tannaz Macchi and Toshar Mondegarian will share with us their perspective of the future of Zoroastrianism in North America. The next day, Sunday, will be a 2-hour informal question-and-answer session.

Join Us!

Aban Rustomji
Houston, TX

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