Category Archives: Notable Zoroastrians

Oral History of Ratan Tata


This interview reflects the life history of Mr. Ratan Tata, former chairman of Tata Sons who took control of the Tata group of companies from his predecessor, Mr. JRD Tata, winner of the highest Indian civilian medal, and during his tenure of about 20 years, transformed it into the largest Indian Multinational with a growth of more than 50X in total revenue to $100 Billions. This is remarkable because Mr. Ratan Tata, through his leadership, changed the structure of the Tata Group of companies, overcoming resistance from senior executives, thrust the Group into High Technology domains and dramatically changed the international footprint while re-branding the name of the large Group. He achieved this while adhering to the high ethical values of the Tata legacy and won many prestigious international awards – Honorary Knight Grand Cross of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire, Commander of the Legion honored by the French Government, among others. He serves on numerous Boards and continues to drive philanthropic initiatives, the true legacy of the Tatas. * Note: Transcripts represent what was said in the interview. However, to enhance meaning or add clarification, interviewees have the opportunity to modify this text afterward. This may result in discrepancies between the transcript and the video. Please refer to the transcript for further information – http://www.computerhistory.org/collec… Visit computerhistory.org/collections/oralhistories/ for more information about the Computer History Museum’s Oral History Collection.

Interviewed by Uday Kapoor on 2017-01-19 in Mumbai, India X8072.2017 © Computer History Museum

Serum Founder wins inaugural ‘Vaccine Hero’ award


Dr Cyrus Poonawalla congratulated for life-long commitment to boosting vaccine coverage in the world’s poorest countries.

MTR Vaccine Hero award

Dr Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, Gavi Board Chair, and Dr Seth Berkley, Gavi CEO, present Dr Cyrus Poonawalla with the inaugural Vaccine Hero award at Gavi’s mid-term review in Abu Dhabi. Credit: Gavi/2018/Oscar Saykens.

Abu Dhabi, 11 December 2018 – Dr Cyrus Poonawalla, Founder of Serum Institute of India (SII) and Chairman of Poonawalla Group, has been given the first ever Vaccine Hero award by Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance.

The Vaccine Hero award was inaugurated to celebrate global figures whose dedication to the Vaccine Alliance’s mission has played a key role in helping Gavi and its partners to protect hundreds of millions of children across the world

“Since Gavi’s inception Cyrus has been a steadfast supporter of Gavi’s mission,” said Dr Seth Berkley, CEO of Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance. “Under his leadership Serum has become the largest supplier of vaccines to the developing world, protecting hundreds of millions of children in the world’s poorest countries against killer diseases like measles, diphtheria and meningitis. Gavi simply would not have had the impact we’ve had without them. He is a worthy winner of this inaugural Vaccine Hero award.”

“I am truly humbled to receive this recognition for the humanitarian work that we have been doing at Serum Institute for the last five decades,” said Dr Cyrus Poonawalla. “it is recognition such as today’s that gives me and my team the strength to commit and continue the humanitarian work by making available immunobiologicals and vaccines at the most affordable prices to support the great efforts made by Gavi and other UN Agencies worldwide, especially now for much needed newer vaccines, such as Pneumonia, Rotavirus, Meningitis, HPV and Dengue.”

Dr Cyrus Poonawalla founded Serum Institute of India in 1966 and built it into the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer by volume, supplying more than one billion doses of vaccines per year to children in 170 countries around the world at affordable prices.

SII now supplies 40% of the vaccines funded by Gavi. Over the Alliance’s 2016-2020 strategic period, SII will provide more than half a billion doses for Gavi-supported vaccine programmes protecting children against nine diseases – measles, rubella, meningitis A, rotavirus and, through pentavalent vaccine, diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus, Haemophilus influenza type B and hepatitis B.

The award was presented at a ceremony in Abu Dhabi as part of Gavi’s mid-term review, a high-level conference celebrating Gavi’s progress and impact in the world’s poorest countries. By the end of 2018, Gavi will have contributed to the immunisation of 700 million people and the prevention of more than 10 million future deaths. This has contributed to an acceleration in the decline of global under-five mortality rates and brought wider impact beyond immunisation.

As well as reviewing progress made since the last Gavi replenishment in Berlin in 2015, this high-level conference is also an opportunity to shape Gavi’s future and help overcome the challenges preventing children from receiving the full course of recommended vaccines. Immunisation is a cost effective and high impact intervention that is core to primary health care and provides a robust platform to deliver better health for all.

Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance is supported by donor governments (Australia, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, India, Ireland, Italy, Japan, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, the People’s Republic of China, Principality of Monaco, Republic of Korea, Russia, South Africa, Spain, the State of Qatar, the Sultanate of Oman, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, and United States), the European Commission, Alwaleed Philanthropies, the OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID), the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, as well as private and corporate partners (Absolute Return for Kids, Anglo American plc., The Audacious Project, The Children’s Investment Fund Foundation, China Merchants Group, Comic Relief, Deutsche Post DHL, the ELMA Vaccines and Immunization Foundation, Girl Effect, The International Federation of Pharmaceutical Wholesalers (IFPW), the Gulf Youth Alliance, JP Morgan, “la Caixa” Foundation, LDS Charities, Lions Clubs International Foundation, Majid Al Futtaim, Orange, Philips, Reckitt Benckiser, Unilever, UPS and Vodafone).

For more information click here.

https://www.gavi.org/library/news/press-releases/2018/serum-founder-wins-inaugural–vaccine-hero–award/

Exhibition of Parsi portraits at Ahmedabad


 Gujarat Mitra of Sunday 2nd December supplement on p.8 carries an article re exhibition of Parsi portraits of eminent Parsi men and ladies. Mr. Anil Relia, a serigrapher artist and collector of portraits is displaying his collection of Parsi portraits at Ahmedabad Gufa at Ahmedabad from 4th to 9th December. Parsi sethias of 19th century who went to China or Britain had their portraits made. Some of the portraits are by Raja Ravi Varma (1848-1906). A portrait of Rustom-Sohrab of Shah Nameh fame made in 1620 will be on display. Water colour and oil paintings of famous Parsis will be on display. This exhibition brings alive glimpses of times past.(see attachment to view some portraits)

Marzban Giara

Lord Karan F Bilimoria: How I turned Cobra Beer into a Global Brand: Harvard Business Review November 2018


Please see the attached copy of an informative and inspiring article in the Harvard Business Review, November 2018 issue, by our patron Lord Karan F Bilimoria CBE DL titled; ‘How I did it: Cobra’s Chairman on turning an Indian Beer into a Global Brand’. 

Yours sincerely Malcolm M DebooPresident – ZTFE

Cyrus Mistry makes a comeback, starts VC firm


Mistry Ventures LLP to invest in and nurture start-ups across the world

Making his comeback into the corporate world, Tata Sons’ former Chairman Cyrus Mistry has started a firm Mistry Ventures LLP that will invest in and nurture start-ups in India and across the world.

The venture capital firm will provide strategic insights and advice to businesses, incubate new ventures, and provide seed, early stage and growth capital to start-ups.

Incidentally, the announcement coincides with the second year of Mistry’s ouster from Tata Sons, following a boardroom coup on October 24, 2016.

“The intent to deliver profit with positive social impact will be embedded in each of the ventures we promote or partner with,” Cyrus Mistry said in a statement.

“Mistry Ventures will do more than just invest in companies. By interpreting some of the major global and local trends and understanding their impact on industries and companies, we will incubate new businesses, forge partnerships and make investments across sectors. Mistry Ventures will focus on providing mentorship and infusing unique capability sets to help start-ups craft the appropriate business experiments needed to validate, scale and bring products and services faster to market,” he said.

The VC firm is jointly promoted by Cyrus Mistry and his elder brother Shapoor Mistry, both promoters of Shapoorji Pallonji Group (SP Group), a conglomerate operating in the engineering and construction, infrastructure, real estate among others. The group also has presence in energy and financial services sectors across 60 countries.

The new firm has roped in Ashish Iyer, Senior Partner and previously Global Leader, Strategy Practice at the Boston Consulting Group, to lead the firm. “Iyer has worked with companies across sectors globally and brings deep expertise across domains and capabilities such as strategy, go-to-market, digital and innovation among others and I am very excited to have him on board,” Mistry added.

Mistry, who was the sixth chairman of the Tata Group between 2012 and 2016, was ousted following a board room coup on October 24, 2016. On December 20, 2016, through family-run firm Cyrus Investments he moved the Mumbai Bench of National Company Law Tribunal (NCLT) against Tata Sons and others for oppression and mismanagement.

In July this year, NCLT dismissed Mistry’s petition, ruling in favour of Tata Sons, following which the former chairman moved the National Company Law Appellate Tribunal (NCLAT) in New Delhi.

https://www.thehindubusinessline.com/companies/cryus-mistry-makes-a-comeback-starts-vc-firm/article25306530.ece

VP confers Lal Bahadur Shastri award on Fali Nariman


 

 

 

 

 

 

Stressing on probity in public life, Vice-President Venkaiah Naidu on Monday hailed late PM Lal Bahadur Shastri for his “integrity and moral uprightness” and said the education system needed to highlight contribution of leaders like Jawaharlal Nehru and Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel.

Addressing a gathering after presenting the 19th Lal Bahadur Shastri National Award for Excellence in Public Administration to eminent jurist Fali S Nariman, Naidu said Shastri didn’t have two sets of principles one for public consumption and other for personal life.
“Even after 52 years of his demise, we still remember him for his values, commitment, courage, and also dedication,” he said.
He said India has a rich tradition of respecting women dating back to the Vedas and Upanishads and that the country should not lose sight of such historical traditions.
Nariman said he was happy “not just because Lal Bahadur Shastri is a great name in India’s history, but also because it (the award) is to be presented by another great son of India, Venkaiah Naidu”.

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/vp-confers-lal-bahadur-shastri-award-on-fali-nariman/articleshow/66324619.cms

Serum Institute’s Founder Dr. Cyrus Poonawala Nominated For Nobel


Billionaire Cyrus Poonawalla, chairman of Serum Institute of India Ltd., sits for a photograph in Pune, Maharashtra, India, on Monday, May 4, 2015. Serum, Asia’s largest vaccine maker, will look at a possible merger with generic drugmaker Cipla Ltd. if the European venture between the two companies succeeds. Photographer: Sanjit Das/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Dr Cyrus Poonawalla, Founder of the world’s largest vaccine manufacturer, Serum Institute of India, has been nominated from India for the prestigious Nobel Prize ,said Dr Parvez Grant, Managing Trustee of the Ruby Hall Clinic. He was speaking in an event held in JW Marriot, Pune on Sunday to felicitate of Dr Cyrus Poonawalla who was recently conferred an honorary ‘Doctor of Humane Letters’ degree by the Massachusetts Medical School at Boston for his unparalleled work in the field of immunisation at the global level.

Dr Poonawalla was awarded the Padma Shri in 2005 for his contribution to medicine, and a Lifetime Achievement Award by the then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

http://thepost.co.in/english/serum-institutes-founder-dr-cyrus-poonawala-nominated-for-nobel/

 

 

Missing Sam – Paucity of Real Life Heroes today!


After the resounding success of ‘Raazi’, director Meghna Gulzar is all set to tell the story of Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw, who led the Indian Army during the Indo-Pakistan War of 1971 as Chief of the Army Staff. He was the first Indian Army officer to be promoted to the rank of Field Marshal.
Speaking about what prompted her to tell his story, Meghna told BT, “We have a severe paucity of heroes today. We don’t have any and definitely not from the real world. He was one such real-life hero. Even the slightest mention of him is held in high regard by generations who have known him. Hence, I think that subsequent generations need to know about his life. He was widely felicitated as he was one of the most decorated officers of our country, but it’s important for people to know about him today and not let a hero like him fade away in the pages of history.”

Field Marshal Sam Manekshaw

The acclaimed director adds, “What appealed to me the most about him is that he was somebody who would neither take himself or his huge accomplishments, or whatever difficulties he faced in his life seriously. He was someone who could face any situation with a smile. Even if a war was brewing, he wouldn’t snap or get frazzled. He was in complete control of the situation and a hands-on leader, who was aware of ground reality — whether it was about the logistical difficulties his most junior officers faced, concern for the jawans, their health issues or their pension. He was aware of the grass root reality, people’s strength and weaknesses. That’s what made him a great leader.”

The director also explained why the film isn’t a ‘biopic’ per se. She clarified, “I don’t even look at Raazi as a biopic, because we are not tracing the story of her life from her birth to death, in chronological order. You are looking at an event in her life. Similarly, Sam Manekshaw’s life is so vast and full that there is no way you can make a chronological biopic on him in two hours. What we are trying to do is tell the story of this man with utmost honesty, without making it sound like a historical document.”

Talking about the casting for this ambitious project, Meghna who is collaborating with Ronnie Screwvala on the film revealed, “I want to get done with the writing before I go down that road, or else I will get stuck with a name or a face and I don’t want that to influence the script.”

Maja Daruwala with her father Sam Manekshaw

Maja Daruwala, daughter of Sam Manekshaw, speaks about the film being made on her father

‘As a family, we are excited about Ronnie, Meghna and team taking on the important task of reintroducing Sam’s legacy to generations, who never had the chance to know him. His values were values that we all should carry forward. This film will play a great role in ensuring that.’

https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/entertainment/hindi/bollywood/news/meghna-gulzar-we-have-a-paucity-of-heroes-today-and-sam-manekshaw-was-one-such-real-life-hero/articleshow/64749044.cms

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Field Marshal Manekshaw was loving, gracious, playful and charismatic

https://indianexpress.com/article/opinion/columns/missing-field-marshal-sam-manekshaw-5234640/


Maharashtra honours Ratan Tata with top industrial award


Tata expressed his gratitude and thanked the state for the award.

Tata Group patriarch Ratan Tata was today felicitated by Maharashtra government with a special award for his contribution to the development of the state.

Tata, who served as the chairman of the salt-to- software conglomerate for over three decades across two stints, was presented the Mahaudyog Sanman, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis said on his twitter handle late this evening.

Fadnavis presented the award to Tata during a special awards ceremony to recognise his contributions to industrial development at the second day of the ongoing Magnetic Maharashtra investor summit.

He was accompanied by industries minister Subhash Desai, tourism minister Jaykumar Rawal and junior home minister Pravin Pote Patil.

Other categories from where entrepreneurs were felicitated included information technology, women, exporters and small businesses.

Valiant Parsis in War and Peace


I am happy to announce that my new book VALIANT PARSIS IN WAR AND PEACE was
released by Dasturji Khurshed Dastoor at Iranshah Udvada Utsav on 24th
December 2017.

You may take a printout of the outer jacket and display it at your nearest
agiary/colony notice board.

I am currently in Mumbai for three weeks.

Marzban Giara

SYNOPSIS OF THE BOOK VALIANT PARSIS IN WAR AND PEACE

VALIANT PARSIS IN WAR AND PEACE

320 pages, hard bound, illustrated, printed on art paper

Foreword by Air Chief Marshal Fali Major (Retired)

An index of names – surnamewise of 550 Parsi officers and men with 200
photographs.

Price:Rs.700/- plus courier chargesRs.200/- per book in India

Available from:

Marzban J. Giara,  WZO Trust Funds Senior Citizens Centre,  Pinjara Street, Malesar, Navsari,
Gujarat, India Pin 396445

e-mail: marzbang@gmail.com

Available from 1st January 2018 at Mumbai:

  1. Mr. Hoshedar E. Ichhaporia. Desai Building, ground floor, (opp. Bank Of
    India). 668, Katrak Road, Dadar Parsi Colony  Tel. 24124303

  2. Rustomfaramna Agiary Dadar

  3. Karani Agiary, Cusrow Baug, Colaba

  4. Tata Agiary, Bandra

  5. Mevawalla Agiary Byculla

  6. Parsiana book shop, K. K. Chambers, A. K. Nayak Marg, Fort, Mumbai Tel
    22074335/22074347

  7. Jame Jamshed office, 2282020223

The author Marzban Giara has documented the lives and contribution of Parsi
officers and men of the armed forces, police, fire brigade as a labour of
love. It has an index of names surnamewise of 550 Parsis and 200
photographs.

This book has an attractive outer jacket with colour pictures of all the
Parsi service chiefs on the front cover and Lt. Generals, Air Marshals,
Vice/Rear Admirals on the rear cover. It has a foreword by Air Chief Marshal
Fali H. Major (Retired)

There is a special section 24 pages with colour pictures of medals pre
independence and post independence and life sketches of the Parsi service
chiefs – Field Marshal Maneckshaw, Admiral Jal Cursetji, Air Marshal Aspi
Engineer, Air Chief Marshal Fali H. A. Major, as also Vice Admiral Rustom
Contractor, Director General, Indian Coast Guard and Khusro F. Rustamji,
Director General, BSF; Keki Dadabhoy of Black Cat Commandos and Lt. Col. Adi
B. Tarapore, the only Parsi winner of Param Veer Chakra.

There is a chronological record detailing the contribution and preparedness
of the Parsi community during the Second World War. Pictures of the two War
Memorials at Khareghat Colony, Mumbai are included. A list of Parsis who
died during World War II, Indo Pakistan Wars and Indo China War of 1962 is
also given. Date of disbanding of the Parsi Battalion is also given as also
obituaries of several Parsi officers and men.

—————————————————————————-

Table of Contents

Title

Dedicatory page

Table of Contents

Foreword

Preface

Introduction

Recipients of Awards and Medals

Pictures of Awards and Medals

Life sketches of Parsi officers and men (arranged alphabetically
surnamewise) 200 pages

Parsis in Police Service

Chronological record from 1919 onwards

Parsi Ambulance Division

War Memorials

Index of names – surnamewise

Press announcements

Bibliography

Acknowledgments

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Marzban Jamshedji Giara is the author and publisher of books on Zarathushti
religion and Parsi history.  In the eighties he helped Dr. Bahman Surti to
publish seven volumes of SHAH NAMAH OF FIRDAOSI in English Prose.  What
started as a hobby has become a full time obsession.  During the past 33
years he has produced many firsts including the first illustrated Global
Directory of Zoroastrian Fire Temples in 1998 and its 2nd edition in
December 2002, The Zoroastrian Pilgrim’s Guide in 1999, Parsi Statues in
2000, All India Directory of Parsi Institutions in 2010 and its 2nd edition
in 2015 and The Contribution of the Parsi Community during the First World
War (1914-1918). He has to his credit thirty six other books, some authored
or compiled by him, some translated from Gujarati into English.  He is
perhaps the only one who has had a track record of consistent performance in
bringing out new and informative publications that meet the needs of the
community and most of these with his own resources, without seeking any
sponsorship. A keen student of Parsi history and Zarathushti religion, he is
an independent thinker, writer, public speaker, free lance journalist and
research worker.

His parents and his teachers have been the inspiration for him.   Right from
childhood, his father ingrained in him the idea: “Son, be a creator and not
a spectator in life.  We must give back to society more than what we have
received from it.” These words have motivated him to pursue his noble work
of bringing out new and innovative books in the service of the community.
Married to Bapsy (nee Daruvala) since 1969, they have a son Zareer and a
grandson Farhad. The family’s support and encouragement from friends and
well wishers drives him to carry on with his work in his chosen field of
endeavour.

He has been featured in The Times of India, Jam-E-Jamshed, Afternoon
Despatch and Courier, Indian Express as also in Parsiana and was interviewed
on Doordarshan TV and ZEE TV alpha Humata Hukhta Hvarashta for his
publications. He is interested in devotional music and has compiled and
published two song books Jarthosti Gayan Sangrah, and Gaavo Maari Saathe
Singalong Treasure Trove of Parsi Songs and also produced audio CDs of
devotional hymns Zoroastrian Melodies, Khushaline Bandgina Geeto, Ame
Chhaiye Parsi.

Mr. Rusi M. Lala has acknowledged his contribution in his book For The Love
Of India biography of Jamsetji N. Tata. His article Through the Lens on
Parsi photographers co-authored along with Dr. Nawaz B. Modi is included in
Vol. III of the tome Enduring Legacy published in 2005. His article “Statues
in the making of Bombay” has been published in the tome Threads of
Continuity by PARZOR in March 2016. He has presented slide shows on Parsi
statues highlighting their contribution to humanity.

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