Shireen Sabavala: 1924-2017 – A sepia-tinted elegance fades to black  


Shireen Sabavala, wife of late modernist master Jehangir Sabavala, passed away on Saturday
shireen-unnamed-1The passing away of Shireen Sabavala marks the end of a chapter in the city’s tony history. The graceful wife of late modernist Jehangir Sabavala had been ailing at the Parsee General Hospital for over two months. The 92-year-old, survived by daughter Aafreed, breathed her last on Saturdayevening. Always nattily dressed, the rather articulate doyenne was a fond chronicler of a sepia-tinted Bombay that is slowly fading away. She was replete with delightful anecdotes and stories from the gilded era she belonged to. Artist Meera Devidayal knew the Sabavalas for over four decades. She shares, “She was the perfect consort for Jehangir from every point of view. She took the charge of the other side of his art life, which most artists neglect.“ Gallerist Geetha Mehra, who represented Jehangir in the latter half of his career, concurs with Devidayal. “She was very much part of Jehangir’s career; he painted from home and she was part of the discussion of every painting. They were a wonderful team. She was completely committed to his work and archived it meticulously.“In fact, Sabavala even ensured that the last six canvases of her illustrious husband, including an unfinished work that he created between 2009 and 2010, found a home at the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya. She also bequeathed a substantial, but undisclosed, sum to the museum to pay for the upkeep of these paintings.

“The works would just be sitting here, wrapped up,“ she told the Mumbai Mirror in an interview two years ago. “We’d rather share it with the city.“

The Sabavalas’ home in Altamount Road echoed of this generous sentiment. The tasteful apartment was an open house for young art enthusiasts and poets. “She always gave time for people, especially the younger generation. It’s a rare quality to see nowadays. She was warm and extremely hospitable,“ says auctioneer Dadiba Pundole. “Though we were part of the same community, I got to know her a little late in life.She was a practical woman and a no-nonsense lady, which was a nice thing about her.“

A great follower and a teacher of the Bihar School of Yoga, Sabavala would spend a lot of time at the centre in Munger and remained committed to this way of life right till the end.“It was through the Bihar School of Yoga that she grew concern for the larger cosmic frame of belonging.

“She had an independent sense of the world. She was a student at the London School of Economics and survived World War II. She picked herself up and went on with life,“ says poet and cultural theorist Ranjit Hoskote. “She was a woman of great strength.“

Reema Gehi

Zoroastrian Survey from Dr. Howard Gontovnick


This is to introduce Dr. Howard Gontovnick of the State University of New York in Plattsburgh, New York, and his very important survey of the current beliefs and practices of the North American Zoroastrian community.

Dr. Gontovnick writes: “As a professor of world religions, I am looking to better understand the current role of a religion in the daily life of Zoroastrians today. Over the past few years, even though my students would express their lack of knowledge about Zoroastrianism, they would genuinely convey a great appreciation of the tradition expressed in the ethical and lifestyle guidelines. Consequently, I made every effort to go beyond the usual text book description and strive to include more real life content.”
More and more researchers and scholars’ in the academic world have tried to understand the current practices as they all feel that, although ancient, our faith has more relevance to today’s world. Therefore it is my hope that you will promote the completion of this survey to the members of your community. This research will not only benefit an educational program, but also for the Zoroastrian community to reflect on it as well.

Homi D. Gandhi
President, FEZANA

SURVEY ADDRESS: https://goo.gl/forms/WMACvgNNFuPjhgSb2

Dear Friends,

I would like to take this opportunity to invite your participation in this very important survey designed to learn about the current beliefs and practices of the Zoroastrian community throughout North America. If you live outside North America and would like to share your thoughts, you are most welcome to participate and indicate on the survey that you live outside of North America.

My name is Dr. Howard Gontovnick and I teach World Religions at the State University of New York in Plattsburgh, New York. Zoroastrianism is a tradition that is an important part of my course and an essential tradition to understanding other global religions. It is my desire to better understand the current realities and expectations of Zoroastrians throughout North America and at the same time share this knowledge.

Recognizing the significance of this research, I wish to highlight what I believe this survey can accomplish;

  1. To provide a clear and current understanding of the beliefs and practices of adult Zoroastrians living in North America in 2017.
  2. In some respect I believe this can be considered a measure of the future of Zoroastrianism in North America – revealing the expectations of the community
  3. To provide the Zoroastrian and academic community (scholars and students) an up-to-date picture as to the role Zoroastrianism plays in a practitioner’s life.

This survey was created in consultation and the helpful assistance of Dr. Dolly Dastoor, (Editor of FEZANA Journal) Ervad Gev Karkaria, and Homi D. Gandhi, (President – FEZANA). The data attained from this survey will only used to provide a better understanding of the community and its supportive role for the practitioner in North America. Upon completion, my goal is to share all my findings with the Zoroastrian community and hope to present a paper on this theme to an international conference on religion at some future date.

If you have any comments or suggestions, I would greatly appreciate hearing from you at any time on any issue. I wish to acknowledge my sincere appreciation to everyone who participates in this educational project and recognize the individuals previously mentioned who have been vital to developing this research project. If you would like to contact me, please do so at the following email:  hgont001@plattsburgh.edu

Best wishes & thank you for your cooperation,
Professor Howard Gontovnick, Ph.D.
Adjunct Professor
State University of New York (SUNY)
Plattsburgh, New York
Interdisciplinary Studies
101 Broad street,
226 Ward Hall, Plattsburgh
New York, 12901-2681

SURVEY ADDRESS – https://goo.gl/forms/WMACvgNNFuPjhgSb2
*Please keep in mind that this survey will conclude at the end of April 2017.

Nostalgia on toast: Remembering Polson’s butter


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There was once a brand of butter far more popular than Amul. Roshni Nair recalls tales of her family’s love for Polson’s

If I were to down a shot for each time amma said, ‘In our day’, I’d be worse off than a commode-hugging drunk. No complaints, though. For someone who thinks the present is more tedious than the past and the future, it’s great having family members double up as time machines.

On one occasion, amma regaled me with tales of breakfasts that equalled fresh bread sourced from friendly neighbourhood bakers. Unsliced bread, she said, was the best thing since sliced bread. And the accompaniment giving it wings was either Polson’s or Anchor butter – but almost always the first.

Reams are written about the fallen behemoth that was Polson’s. Ruth Heredia’s The Amul Story chronicled the Polson’s-Amul war like few did, until Verghese Kurien told all in his I Too Had a Dream. Giant-killer-turned-giant Amul may have booted Pestonji Edulji Dalal-owned Polson’s from the market, but it can’t do so from collective memory. Kurien was forced to use diacetyl and salt in his butter to cater to a market so used to the Polson’s flavour, it wouldn’t look any other way.

Polson’s USP wasn’t just its taste. Amma fondly remembers the gift coupons that came with each pack. It wouldn’t be wrong to say that Polson’s was a forerunner of the gift coupon redemption system here. “The more you collected, the more you redeemed. If you had enough, you could buy a mixer or toaster,” says actor, author and food show host Kunal Vijayakar, harking back to when his grandmother – like thousands of Indians – made Polson’s coupon collecting a habit. “She collected boxes of them. So she was obviously going for the kill,” he jokes.

Sometime in 2012-13, Polson’s fans went into a tizzy after hearing the butter was coming back. Some thought it was an urban legend by people stuck in a time warp. “I’d walked into a shop selling Polson’s! Nobody believes me when I tell them I’d seen it,” Vijayakar reminisces.

This shop is none other than 125-year-old Farm Products in Colaba, Bombay’s oldest cold storage. And Ronald Rocha, who mans the store with mum Luiza, confirms that Polson’s had indeed made a comeback. The butter was relaunched by a Polson’s relative, but the rest of the family, he says, wasn’t amused. So Polson’s died, yet again. “People bought eight, 10, even 15 half-kilo blocks in the six months it was there. I used to wonder where they’d keep all that butter!” he laughs.

The taste of Polson’s sour butter may be fresh in the minds of some, but Vijayakar thinks the love for it runs deeper than that. The Polson’s memory, he feels, is one of a better time, a simpler time…

… and a better Bombay.

http://www.dnaindia.com/lifestyle/report-nostalgia-on-toast-remembering-polson-s-butter-2105891

List of Trusts for Medical Aid


If anyone needs MEDICAL FINANCIAL HELP  contact following trusts directly…medical-aid-download

  • Sir Ratan Tata Trust Bombay House, Homi Mody Street, Mumbai 400 001 Call:  022-66658282
  • Reliance Foundation (Previously Ambani Public Charitable Trust) 222 Maker Chambers IV, 3rd Floor, Nariman Point, Mumbai 400021 Call: 022-44770000, 022-30325000
  • Amirilai Ghelabhai Charitable Trust 71, Gitanjali, 73175, Walkeshwar Road, Mumbai  400006
  • Asha Kiran Charitable Trust C/o Radium Keysoft Solutions Ltd, Call: 022-26358290,  101, Raigad Darshan, Opposite Indian oil Colony J.P. Road, Andheri (w) Mumbai 400 053
  • Aspee Charitable Trust C/o America! Spring and Pressing Works Pvt. Ltd P.O. Box No. 7602, Adarsha Housing Soc. Road, Malad, (w), Mumbai 400 064
  • Aured Charitable Trust 1-B-1 Giriraj, Altamount Road Mumbal 400 026, Call: 022-23821452, 022-24926721
  • B. Arunkumar & Co. 1616, Prasad Chambers, Opera House, Mumbai – 400004
  • B D Bangur Trust, C/o Carbon Everflow Ltd., Bakhtawar, 2nd Floor, Nariman Point Mumbai 400021
  • Bombay Community Public Trust (BCPT) 5th Floor Regent Chambers, Nariman Point, Mumbai 400021, Call: 022-22845928 1022-22836672
  • Burhani Foundation 276 Dr. D. N. Road Lawrence & Mayo House Fort Mumbai-400001
  • Century Seva Trust Century Bazar, Worli, Mumbal – 400025
  • Centre for Research & Development Shreyas chambers, Ground Floor, 175-Dr. D.N. Road, Fort, Mumbai 400 001
  • Chief Minister’s Relief Fund, Government of Maharashtra Mantrataya, 6th Floor, Nariman Point, Mumbai – 400020
  • Damodar Anandji Charity Trust 66, Vaju Kotak Marg, Near GPO, Mumbal -400001
  • Diamond Jubilee Trust Aga hail, Nesbit Road, Opp. St. Mary’s High School Mumbai 400010, Call: 022-23775294, 022-23778923
  • Dharma Vijay Trust C/O Kilachand Devchand & Co. New Great Insurance Bldg., 7,  Jamshedji Tata Road, Mumbai – 400020
  • Dharamdas Trikamdas Kapoorwaia 46, Ridge Road, Rekha No.2, 4th Floor, Mumbal – 400006
  • Dhirubhai Ambani Foundation, Reliance Industries Limited Reliance Centre, 19, A; A Waichand Hirachand Marg, Ballard Estate, Mumbal 400 038. Tel : 022-30327000
  • Dhirajlal Talkchand Charitable Trust Shailesh Niwas, Subhash Lane Daftary Road, Malad (E), Mumbal – 400097
  • Dhirapat Morarji Ajmera Charity Trust 37 – A, Sarang Street, Mumbal – 400003
  • Dipchand Gardi Charitable Trust Usha Kiran, 2nd Floor, Altamount Road, Mumbai 400006
  • Divaliben Mohanlal Charitable Trust Khatau Mansion, 1st Floor, 95-K. Omer Park, Bhulabhai Desai Road, Mumbai 400 026
  • Ekta Charitable Trust 4/444, PanchRatna, Opera House, Mumbai -400004
  • Eskay Charitable Trust C/O Caprihans India Ltd., Shivsagar Estate, D’ Block, 2nd Floor, Dr. A. B. Road, Worli, Mumbai 400018
  • Excel Process Pvt. Ltd. Charitable Trust 117 /118, Mathurdas Vasanji Road, Chakala, Andheri (E), Mumbai – 400093
  • Fazalbhoy Charitable Trust Near Liberty Cinema, Marine Lines, Mumbai -400020
  • Gala Foundation Behind Vakola Municipal Market, Nehru Road, Vakola, Santacruz(E) Mumbai
  • Garware Foundation Trust Chowpatty Chambers, Mumbai – 400007
  • Gokak Foundation Forbes Bldg., Forbes Street, Mumbai – 400023
  • Goodlass Nerolac Paints Ltd. (Trust) Nerolac House, A. G. Kadam Marg, Lower Pare!, Mumbai 400013
  • Govind Dattatraya Gokhale Charitable Trust, Kalpataru Heritage, 5th Floor, 129, M.G. Road Mumbai 400 023, Call: 022-22673831
  • Harendra Dave Memorial Trust C/O Janmabhoomi, 3rd Floor, Janmbhoomi Marg, Mumbai 400 001
  • Helping Hand Charitable Trust 3, Vidarbha Samrat Co-op Hsg. Society 93-c, V.P.Road, Vile Parte (West) Mumbai 400 056 Tel: 022-6147448
  • Hiranandani Foundation Charitable Trust, Olympia, Central Avenue, Hiranandani Art Business Park Powai, Mumbai 400076
  • Herdillia Charitable Foundation Air India Building, 13th Floor Nariman Point Mumbai 400 031, Call: 022-22024224
  • Hirachand Govardhandas 222, Maker Chambers AIV 3rd Floor, Nariman Point Mumbai 400 021
  • H M. Mehta Charity Trust Mehta House, th Floor, Apollo Street, Khushru Dubhash Marg, Mumbai 400001
  • H. S. C. Trust Ready Money Mansion, Veer Nariman Road, Mumbal – 400023
  • Jamnalal Bajaj Foundation Bajaj Bhavan 2nd Floor, Jamnalal Bajaj Marg, 226 Nariman Point, Mumbai 400 021, Call: 022-22023626
  • Shree Siddhivinayak Temple Trust Prabhadevi, Mumbal – 400 028, Tel. 022-24373626 Medical Ad Form is available on the Web. Please see their Web site for details – http://www.siddhivinayak.org/tenders.asp

DIALYSIS can be done @ Mumbai’s Siddhivinayak Ternple for just 200/- only. Total 22 Dialysis Machines installed. Pis. fwd this so others can benefit. Thanks.

Boston marathon fund raiser – Support for Adil S Nargolwala


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In Nov 2015 Adil set a goal to run the major world marathon series and he has so far run the marathons in New York, London, Berlin, Chicago & will run in Tokyo in two weeks on the 26th of February.

Adil was recently listed in the Limca book of records as the national holder of running the maximum long distance races in a year.

The Special Olympics team has chosen him to run the final major marathon in Boston on the 17th of April 2017 with them.

Till date only 5 Indians out of 1292 marathon runners in the world have accomplished running all 6 majors marathons.

With your help he hopes to be the 6th Indian.

To accomplish his goal by running the final world major marathon in Boston is the icing on the cake.

He has committed to the Special Olympics team a fund raising goal of USD 8500. The special Olympics team uses funds for working with disabled athletes to achieve their goals.

To kick start his fundraiser he has donated USD 2000 and requests you to please donate generously to help him achieve his fund raising goal.

To donate click the link – https://www.crowdrise.com/SpecialOlympicsMassBoston2017/fundraiser/adilnargolwala

Nowruz: A Persian New Year Celebration at ZAMWI


Sunday, March 5, 11 am–5 pm

Sackler and Ripley Center — Smithsonian Museums, National Mall,  Washington DC
 Nowruz
Ring in the Persian New Year at our ninth annual Nowruz celebration! Featuring free attractions for all ages, this year’s festival includes storytelling, calligraphy, hands-on art activities, and more.
A program for Children and Families:
Metro Accessible at the Smithsonian Train Stop
Made possible by the Jahangir and Eleanor Amuzegar Persian Cultural Celebrations Fund.   

FARHANG FOUNDATION AT THE 9TH ANNUAL NOWRUZ FESTIVAL


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For media inquiries, contact:
Roxie Sarhangi – Roxie PR
roxie@roxiepr.com
Tel: +310.666-1546

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

CELEBRATE SPRING WITH FARHANG FOUNDATION AT THE 9TH ANNUAL NOWRUZ FESTIVAL
Farhang Foundation’s daylong cultural festival moves to UCLA campus to accommodate Los Angeles’ most popular Nowruz event.
Los Angeles, February 15, 2017 – The most colorful festival of the year marking the arrival of spring, Nowruz (the Iranian New Year) is back. Bringing together joyous sounds and spectacle for all to enjoy, the event is bigger than ever for its Ninth Annual Nowruz festival. The Farhang Foundation debuts a new home at UCLA’s Royce Hall and Dickson Court, having outgrown the previous venue at LACMA.
The daylong festival is free and open to the public and will be held March 12. Last year, the cultural event was enjoyed by an estimated 20,000 guests. Part of a tradition dating back at least 3,000 years in Iran and surrounding regions, Nowruz translates to “new day” in the Persian language. It marks the vernal equinox and symbolic rebirth of nature. The holiday is also observed by nearly 100 million around the world, including the U.S. and in places as far-flung as Azerbaijan, Afghanistan, India and Turkey.
Farhang Foundation is proud to present a full day of cultural programming at its Nowruz festival for the L.A. community on Sunday, March 12, from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m., honoring not only a beloved Iranian tradition, but also a universally felt spirit of friendship, family ties, and renewal. The event features musical performances, Iranian dance, children’s activities, a traditional Haft Sin display, an annual Iranian costume parade open to all ages, and much more. The day concludes with a highly anticipated musical performance by renowned artist, Mohsen Namjoo. Hailed as “the Bob Dylan of Iran” by The New York Times, Namjoo’s voice is deep, his lyrics unexpected, and music revolutionary. Namjoo is known as the first artist to fuse classical Persian music with Western style, blending the traditional Iranian lute (setar) and electric guitar.
“Farhang’s annual Nowruz celebration has now become a true Los Angeles staple, showcasing Iranian culture and hospitality for the whole city and bringing us all together for a beautiful day filled with music, dance and cheer for the entire family,” says Hormoz Ameri, Farhang Foundation Trustee and Chair of Nowruz planning Committee.  “In our ninth year, we are excited to expand the festivities and move to our new home on the grounds of the beautiful UCLA campus, so even more guests can enjoy the celebrations.”
Outdoor activities will take place in Dickson Court North and South, which are adjacent to each other and to Royce Hall. With the exception of the Centerpiece Musical Program Starring Mohsen Namjoo at 5 p.m. in Royce Hall (tickets are $25, $45, $75 and $150), all other events are free and do not require tickets.
Here’s the day’s schedule:
12 p.m. to 5 p.m.
A variety of programming will repeat throughout the day on two stages outdoors on Dickson Court North and South.
Farhang’s Annual Iranian Costume Parade, at Dickson Court (starts 3 p.m. in front of the main stage at Dickson Court North)

Children and adults alike are invited to join in this year’s 4th Annual Costume Parade. Wear your favorite traditional colorful costumes. The parade will proceed through Dickson Court and the adjacent areas.

Djanbazian Dance Company (Dickson Court North Stage)

The Djanbazian Dance Company has toured nationally and internationally. For Nowruz, the group will delight audiences with a series of Iranian dances incorporating both traditional and modern themes.
Daneshvar Children’s Ensemble (Dickson Court North Stage)
The Daneshvar Children’s Ensemble lead by Parisa Daneshvar is part of the Persian Arts Society Music Institute, teaching Persian instruments, traditional and classical music, as well as music to children. Parisa Daneshvar and her children’s ensemble will perform a special Nowruz program.
DJ Arin (Dickson Court North Stage)
The popular, LA-based DJ will be spinning the best in Iranian music from past and present throughout the day.
Grand Haft Sin Display (Center of Dickson Court North)
In the center of Dickson Court, all can enjoy a Haft Sin display. The stunning exhibit features an eye-catching table laden with items used as symbols of spring and renewal, such as colorfully painted eggs, representing fertility, and goldfish swimming in a bowl, representing life.
Iranian Tea House (Dickson Court North)
Festival goers will experience a Persian style decorated tent. Inside the tent, purchase tea and Persian sweets to welcome the New Year.
Musicians and Dancers
Throughout the campus area, dancers from the Firuze Dance Company dressed in Iranian folk costumes and musicians playing traditional instruments will be performing, bringing a joyful sound and blur of colorful excitement to the proceedings.
Stilt Walkers
The character of Amoo Nowruz (“Papa Nowruz,” this bearded gift giver of folklore could be compared to Santa Claus) and Hadji Firooz (his sidekick) will be walking around the grounds on stilts, greeting guests.
12 p.m. to 5 p.m. Children’s Programming (Dickson Court South)
There will be dedicated area for children, with music, arts, and crafts, as well as a special puppet show.
Ziba Shiraz & Ensemble (Dickson Court South Stage)
Iranian-American poet, singer, songwriter, and storyteller Ziba Shiraz will perform an interactive musical story about Nowruz. This program is designed to appeal to both children and adults.
Puppet Show by Negar Estakhr (Dickson Court South Stage)
An actress, designer, and puppeteer, Negar Estakhr is best known for her “Kolah Ghermezi” fame, as the show is Iran’s most popular children’s program, similar to “Sesame Street.” She will be debuting a new puppet show specifically created for Farhang Foundation’s Nowruz celebration.
Mohsen Namjoo

5 p.m. Exclusive Centerpiece Musical Program Starring Mohsen Namjoo with Special Guests, inside Royce Hall

Hailed as “the Bob Dylan of Iran” by The New York Times, Mohsen Namjoo is an artist, songwriter, singer, music scholar, and setar (traditional Persian lute) player based in New York City. This visionary artist seamlessly blends the classical Persian setar with electric guitar, and rock and blues vocal techniques with Persian avaz (singing), fusing the sounds of the ancient world with the pulse of today. He has been touring the world to sold-out concerts at prestigious halls such as the Palace of Fine Arts, San Francisco; Walt Disney Hall, Los Angeles; Barbican Hall, London; and Kölner Philarmonie, Köln, Germany. His latest album, “Personal Cipher,” was released in 2016. Tickets for the Namjoo concert are on sale via Ticketmaster.
UCLA’s Royce Hall & Dickson Court are located at 340 Royce Drive, Los Angeles.
Please join us, and Eide Shoma Maborak, or Happy New Year!
About Farhang Foundation
 
Farhang Foundation is a nonreligious, nonpolitical and not-for-profit foundation established in 2008 to celebrate and promote Iranian art and culture for the benefit of the community at large. The foundation supports a broad range of academic activities in Southern California by funding university programs, publications, and conferences. The foundation also supports diverse cultural programs such as the celebrations of Nowruz and Mehregan, theater, dance performances, film screenings, and poetry readings in Southern California. And, in cooperation with various cultural and academic institutions, Farhang Foundation funds major programs and exhibitions about Iran and its culture. However, the content, viewpoints, or biases expressed by individual artists, academics, institutions, or events supported by the foundation belong solely to each individual party and do not necessarily reflect the views of Farhang Foundation. For more info visit Farhang.org.
Follow Farhang Foundation:
Like us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter View our videos on YouTube  
Farhang Foundation, P.O. Box 491571, Los Angeles, CA 90049

We bought stake in Dinshaw’s as we didn’t want a Parsi company to shut down: Jamashp Bapuna


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Jamashp Bapuna (Photo by: Kartik Thakur)

 

One of the oldest and the largest manufacturers of alcohol, the Bapuna Group, apart from producing their own alcohol beverages, handles the bottling for some of world’s largest liquor conglomerates such as Pernod Ricard, United Spirits, Radico Khaitan and Allied Blenders & Distillers. Bapunas in 2002 diversified by acquiring a stake in popular dairy giant company Dinshaw’s owned by the Ranas. Today, Jamashp Bapuna is the Director of the Bapuna Group and Joint Managing Director of Dinshaw’s. Apart from his business, Jamashp takes active participation in the management and activities at Gondwana Club, where he was elected as the President in 2015. In a relaxed chat, Jamashp Bapuna speaks to Nation Next at his office ‘Banaz’ in Byramji Town, which was once the Bapunas’ residence before they shifted to their three-acre palatial mansion adjacent Poonam Chambers. Jamashp in the interview speaks how his family business of alcohol trading and manufacturing started and also shares the reason behind acquiring stake in Dinshaw’s.

Excerpts:

 

The Bapuna family has a history that spans decades in the alcohol industry beginning with trading and gradually moving to manufacturing of alcohol. How did trading and manufacturing begin?

My grandfather hailed from a small village in Gujarat. When he moved to Nagpur around 50 years back, he use to work for a couple of people and he gradually began his own business. Thereafter, we secured a few tenders which made my father venture into the alcohol business. Our business just grew from there.

 

The Bapuna Group acquired 50% stake in Dinshaw’s in 2002. Despite having a strong foothold in liquor industry, why did Bapuna group opt for dairy business?

Mr Rana, who’s the Managing Director for Dinshaw’s approached us as he needed our help for his business. Co-incidentally, my grandfather’s name was also Dinshaw! When the Ranas approached us, my father immediately offered help because he never wanted a Parsi company to shut down. This is how even I started taking care of the business and eventually we diversified into dairy business.

 

Ranas have 50% stake in Dinshaw’s and you too are an equal stakeholder in Dinshaw’s. So, who calls the shots? 

For us, it’s like a family so everything is done and decided together. That’s how things work in the long run. If one person decides everything, things don’t work out. It’s like a marriage, where both have to work.

 

Dinshaw’s ice cream as a brand didn’t get a beating by either national or international brands like Baskin Robbins, Amul, etc. But Naturals seems to be giving a tough competition in the local market. Does it worry you?

It’s not that we never got a competition. We keep facing competition; it’s just about how we deal with it.  I have a simple philosophy – ‘Don’t let somebody grow so much that they sit on your head.’ I guess this has worked for us. What Naturals sells in Nagpur is not even 0.001% of what we sell in Nagpur. I wouldn’t say that we have a competition with them in Nagpur. Yes, it is a niche product but it doesn’t worry me, though competition in metro cities is much tougher. But then healthy competition keeps you on your toes and makes you improve.

 

You say that you would rather see your son pursuing a career in sports, as business is too tough. Why? When a Bapuna says so, doesn’t it give a gloomy picture of business environment? 

I have played club cricket in England and in South Africa too in the past. In fact in South Africa, I had a contract to play cricket for a period of time. But being the eldest of the siblings, and considering our parents’ mindset and generation, I had to set my priorities. But today, I feel that if my son is interested in sports and excels in it, I don’t mind him pursuing it. Right now he’s too much into tennis. One year down the line, if he’s still interested in tennis, I might send him to Florida. I’ll be happier if my son makes a career in sports. Our generation has accepted this kind of thinking and mindset, wherein a son doesn’t necessarily need to join his father’s business the moment he’s ‘business-ready.’ I want my son to be happy and do what he wants first.

 

Of late, you have lost a lot of weight. What drove you all of a sudden towards fitness? 

Once you have children, you want to be there for them. I would always take it as a joke whenever I visited a doctor for routine checkups and he would tell me that my weight is a problem. But when you see your kids growing, and you want to be with them for long, you have to take a drastic step like this. This has also worked for me in relieving all health complications in life. I feel good about myself. Today, I realize that doctors are not all that stupid; what they say does make sense! (Smiles)

 

For years you have had an active participation in Gondwana club’s management. You are now the President of the club. What motivates you to be a part of the activities at Gondwana Club? Doesn’t your business take a beating because of your involvement in the club’s management? 

I don’t take Gondwana club’s work as my duty. I do it out of passion and fondness for the club. Nagpur doesn’t have many options in terms of recreation. Over the years, members of Gondwana Club have become a family to me. At the club, we end up meeting so many friends; we see similar faces so it’s like a second home. Doing anything for your home is not work. Also, if you can do something about a place that has given you so much, why not?

 

Dinshaw’s brand is doing well in Maharashtra…

Today we have our presence in 13 states. Dinshaw’s business is growing at the rate of 15-18% per year. In today’s business scenario, if you have such statistics, I feel we are progressing.  We don’t spend extravagantly on advertisement. People love our ice cream because of the quality we offer.

Radhika Dhawad | Feb 14, 2017

http://nationnext.in/jamashp-bapuna-dinshaws-interview/