Category Archives: Notable Zoroastrians

Wadia Family Business Empire | Unstoppable Case Study

Wadia Family Business Empire is Rising since 1736, Ness Wadia is the 11 generation of the Wadia family. This video is about How Wadia is expanding its business empire for the last 300 years. You will explore “What is the business of the Wadia family?” & how they rose from a single business to more than 50 business You will also explore the Philanthropy of the Wadia family like “How many Colleges & Hospitals Wadia Family built”



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Sam Billimoria in America’s Who’s Who

Sam Billimoria is on page 99 of Who’s Who in America in 2023 as a distinguished listee.
There are distinguished listees, elite listees, and lastly listees.A very large part is due to “Zoroastrian Legacy” which was very unique to the publishers.

They had never seen that influence on America, and not surprisingly never ever heard of Zoroastrianism, till Sam gave them a “basic” lesson.

They were taken aback as to how can Iran be the bedrock of pioneering Freedom, but finally were convinced after he showed them the congressman’s proclamation.

Rasna Creator Areez Pirojshaw Khambatta Awarded ‘Padma Shri’ Posthumously

The late Areez Pirojshaw Khambatta, Founder and Chairman of Rasna Group, has been awarded the Padma Shri (Posthumous), 2023, for his work in Trade and Industry in Gujarat. One of the highest civilian awards in the country, the award comes in recognition of his lifelong work towards nation building. The award was accepted on his behalf by his wife Persis Areez Khambatta and his son Piruz Areez Khambatta.

It may be noted that Khambatta is the first Ahmedabad based Parsi to receive such an honour. He founded a “Made in India” company that went on to conquer the international market. Today Rasna International is known as one of the largest instant drink and beverages manufacturers globally having 80 per cent market share in India.

Areez Pirojshaw Khambatta has truly served the nation in various roles. As a businessman he has contributed to economic growth by creating many jobs. As a philanthropist, he has tirelessly worked towards the development of education and medical care for the less fortunate.

As a community leader he has worked to protect the interests of the Parsi Community in India and abroad, and as a Commandant of the Homeguard he saved lives and property of civilians with the spirit of nation first.

Living by the motto “Work work work” he always strived to inspire the future generations of entrepreneurs.

Commenting on this high honour, Piruz Khambatta, Chairman Rasna Group said “The Khambatta Family is humbly accepting this Award posthumously given for late Shri Areez Khambatta by the President of India. We are ever thankful for this gesture. I and my family have dedicated ourselves to follow in my late father’s footsteps towards Nation Building”.

In the past, late Areez Pirojshaw Khambatta has been awarded the President of India’s Home Guard and Civil Defence Medal as well as Paschimi Star, Samarseva and Sangram Medals. He has been honoured with the National Citizen’s Award for outstanding contribution in the field of Commerce by the President of India, Dr.Shankar Dayal Sharma.

He was also awarded Samman Patra by the Finance Ministry for his contribution to the National Exchequer as the highest taxpayer of Gujarat. He was also felicitated by the Ahmedabad Parsi Panchayat and was chosen as the first ‘Outstanding Parsi of Ahmedabad.

Coomi Nariman Wadia awarded Padma Shri – 2023

A moment of pride, humility and love! Padma Shri Coomi Nariman Wadia🌻



Music Conductor Coomi Nariman Wadia Awarded The Padma Shri

padma shri

Image: Twitter
India’s first female conductor of choral music, Coomi Nariman Wadia pursued her passion when it was rare, even in western countries, for women to choose this profession. Interestingly, she celebrated 50 years in this field in 2017, and as of now, with an illustrious career spanning over six decades, she has led more than 200 concerts globally.

Coomi lost her father at a young age, and her tryst with music began when one of her dad’s friends handed down a second-hand piano. She was 9 when she started playing it, and by age 15, she was participating in school and college choirs. She then went on to earn two diplomas from The Trinity College of London.

Coomi then joined Mumbai-based Paranjoti Academy Chorus (PAC), formed by Dr Victor Paranjoti, as a soprano. Under his leadership, she sang in many concerts and learned from him, until his death in 1967, after which she took over as music conductor. This was a challenge for her, but she persevered, and conducted her first performance in May the same year. She rose to prominence in 1974, when PAC represented India for the first time ever in the IX International Choral Song Festival, and ended up winning the first prize for Overall Excellence. At the 1981 Stuttgart Partnersingen Sister Cities Festival, she conducted the final concert with over 700 singers!

These are just some of the many amazing achievements of Coomi. The 89-year-old is known to be a taskmaster, a perfectionist when it comes to pronunciations and intonations, traits which have helped her troupe perform in over 20 languages, flawlessly. Her contributions in this field have helped put India on the global map, and we couldn’t be more proud of this dynamic lady.

Statue of ‘Lion of Bombay’ turns 100

It is perhaps Mumbai’s most famous statue in honour of a man described as the ‘Lion of Bombay’. Every day, thousands of tourists admire the imposing statue of Sir Pherozeshah Mehta outside the municipal headquarters building at CSMT in south Mumbai.
 On April 3, 1923, the bronze statue was unveiled by Governor of Bombay George Lloyd to commemorate the services rendered to the city by Mehta, who was the father of municipal government in Bombay.
A month after he died in November 1915, a public meeting was held in the Marine Lines Maidan where a memorial committee was appointed to raise funds. According to The Times of India, a sum of Rs 80,000 was collected and in October 1917, it was resolved that a statue be erected in his memory. A distinguished sculptor, Derwent Wood of London, was requested to make a bronze statue, which cost £4,000 or about Rs 60,000. The life-size statue showed Sir Pherozeshah in a pose during a “great oratorical effort either on the public platform or in the municipal council hall, and of his peculiar gesticulations when trying to emphasise his points’’.
“The spot on which the statue has been erected is on the south-east corner of the municipal office, which was tacitly acknowledged to be meant for Sir Pherozeshah’s statue for many years before his death and it has at served its destined purpose,’’ reported The Times of India on March 30, 1923.
 “The statue is all the more attractive on account of the elevated pedestal on which it stands and from which it towers over similar memorials in the neighbourhood. The pedestal has been designed by the well-known architect Mr George Wittet, and with its adjuncts has cost Rs 20,000,’’ the paper reported.
The ceremony to unveil the bronze statue was held on Tuesday, April 3, 1923, in front of a large gathering including Lady Mehta and George Lloyd, Governor of Bombay.
Mehta, the uncrowned king of Bombay and a prominent figure in local city politics, was involved with drafting the 1872 municipal reform Act. As one of its founding members, he also presided over the Indian National Congress in 1890.
Addressing the session, he said: “All movements of the kind in which we are concerned pass through several phases as they run their course. The first is one of ridicule. That is followed, as the movement progresses, by one of abuse, which is usually succeeded by partial concession and misapprehension of aim, accompanied by warnings against taking ‘big jumps into the unknown’. The final stage of all is a substantial adoption of the object of the movement, with some expression of surprise that it was not adopted before. Well, gentlemen, we have pretty well passed the first two stages. We have survived the ridicule, the abuse, and the misrepresentation…’’
Once when someone proposed erecting a statue of King George V in front of the Bombay municipal head office, Sir Pherozeshah roared: “What business has he to be placed in front of the corporation building? He has done nothing for the city.’’ The resolution was defeated by the corporation, but not before someone taunted him: “Do you want your own statue to be erected there?’’ Pherozeshah shot back, “Why not? I have served this city for 30 years.’’ Ultimately it did happen. Sir Pherozeshah’s statue was placed by unanimous vote on the spot where King George’s was to be—in all its imperious splendour.

Coomi Wadia & Areez Khambatta Conferred Padma Shri Awards 2023

On the eve of India’s Republic day, two Parsis are amongst those who are conferred the Padma Awards.

The Padma Shri awards are conferred to Areez Khambatta (posthumously) and Coomi Nariman Wadia

Areez Khambatta was conferred in the field of Trade and Industry and Coomi Wadia in the field of Arts.

Parsi Khabar congratulates the family of Late Areez Khambatta and also congratulate Coomi Wadia for this fantastic achievement.

More about Areez Khambatta :

Rasna founded by Areez Khambatta is one of India;s leading brand and available across the length and breadth of the country and also available is 53 countries. Rasna has 9 manufacturing plants with ISO 22000-2005, 26 depots, 200 super stockists, 2000 stockists, 3000 sub-stockists, 7 regional offices and available in 1.6 million outlets. The company and the brand are recipient of innumerable awards and accolades.

Khambatta started India’s original start-up by creating the world-famous Rasna brand, which today also quenches the thirst of millions of Indians at an affordable price point of Rs 1,

More About Coomi Nariman Wadia:

Coomi Wadia is recognised internationally as a conductor of choral music, as a judge at music competitions, and for her definitive first performances of new music from across the world, especially from India.

At a time in history when female conductors were rare even in the West, Coomi Wadia was blazing a trail as India’s first female conductor   She rose to prominence with her innate talent and musical brilliance, bringing home the 1st prize for Overall Excellence at the IX International Choral Song Festival in Poland way back in 1974 Today at 89 years of age, she has been the Music Director and Conductor of the Paranjoti Academy Chorus for 55 years since the demise of founder Dr. Victor Paranjoti in 1967.   She was a woman on a mission: to introduce new western choral music into India and open the eyes of the West to the beauty and sonorities of Indian music.

She was a woman on a mission: to introduce new western choral music into India and open the eyes of the West to the beauty and sonorities of Indian music.  For western audiences it was exciting and ground-breaking to see sari-clad women and men in bandh-galas singing western and Indian music. Wadia raised awareness of Indian talent and has been a brand ambassador for India from the 1960s to today.

The musical excellence of the Paranjoti Academy Chorus under Coomi’s baton has been acclaimed internationally. At the “Stuttgart Partnersingen”, a festival of the sister cities of Stuttgart in 1981, Coomi was selected to conduct the final concert with over 700 singers.

Byram D Avari passes away

FEZANA is saddened to hear about the passing away of Byram Avari, the leader of the Parsi community in Karachi and Pakistan and one of it’s greatest businessman.

Byram Uncle’s contribution to the community we’re tremendous and his presence shall always be missed.

Garothman Behest to his ruvan and many condolences to his family and friends.

With deep sorrow we announce the passing away of our dear beloved,

Byram D Avari

Husband of Goshpi Avari,
father of Dinshaw, Xerxes and Zeena
in Karachi on Sunday, January 22nd 2023.

Paidus / Funeral prayers will be held at Khorshed Villa,

inside the compound of Beach Luxury Hotel

at 1pm on Monday, 23rd January 2023,
followed by Sarosh prayers at sunset
on Monday and Tuesday, 23rd / 24th January 2023





Two-time Asian Games gold medalist and businessman Byram Dinshawji Avari is no more.

Husband of Goshpi Avari, father of Dinshaw, Xerxes and Zeena passed away in Karachi on Sunday, January 22nd 2023.

Paidust/Funeral prayers will be held at Khorshed Villa, inside the compound of Beach Luxury Hotel at 1pm on Monday, 23rd January 2023, followed by Sarosh prayers at sunset on Monday and Tuesday, 23rd/24th January 2023.

In 1976 and again in 1980, Byram D. Avari served as Commodore of the Karachi Yacht Club. He won a gold medal in “enterprise-class” yachting at the Asian Games in Bangkok in 1978 alongside Munir Sadiq, and he repeated the feat in New Delhi in 1982 together with his wife Goshpi.

In 1978, he also took home a silver medal from the Enterprise World Championship hosted in Canada.

He was awarded with the Pride of Performance Award for Sports (Sailing) in 1982.

His wife Goshpi is the first Pakistani woman, a Parsi, to win a gold medal along with her husband in Asian Games in 1982.

Avari was a renowned name in the Pakistan business community. He owned and was the chairman of the Avari Group of companies.





Frene Ginwala (1932-2023): The Parsi who left an indelible mark on South Africa’s Constitution

The African National Congress leader became the first democratic speaker in the country’s National Assembly in 1994.

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