Category Archives: Professionals

UK celebrity chef Todiwala becomes MCS ambassador

Celebrity chef and restauranteur Cyrus Todiwala has joined the Marine Conservation Society as an “ocean ambassador”, the charity has announced.

Todiwala, chef patron of Cafe Spice Namaste in London and one half of the UK’s BBC series ‘The Incredible Spice Men’, has already been a seafood sustainability campaigner for many years.

“I have been involved in the area of marine conservation since 1983 when I worked with the government of Goa [India] on a number of environmental initiatives, including helping to achieve protected status for turtles and dugongs,” said Todiwala.

“In the UK, like in several countries, people get addicted to certain kinds of fish only and will not deviate to trying other equally great fish. This puts serious pressures on certain species,” Todiwala added.

“It’s one reason why we must, as an island nation, support our fisher-folk and also ensure that we take precautions to leave a good legacy behind with an abundance of fish for an ever-increasing fish loving population.”

MCS said that Mr Todiwala was the first chef to become an ocean ambassador for the charity.

“His amazing knowledge of fish from catching to cooking and his reputation as a restaurateur is a fantastic opportunity for MCS,” said Nicole Greaves, MCS head of marketing.

Indian-American Neomi Rao Sworn In As Judge Of DC Court Considered Second Most Powerful After US Supreme Court

Indian-American Neomi Rao  Sworn In As Judge Of DC Court Considered Second Most Powerful After US Supreme Court

Neomi Jehangir Rao. (Wikimedia Commons)

Indian-American Neomi Jehangir Rao has been sworn in as US Circuit Judge for the District of Columbia Circuit Court of Appeals, widely considered to be the second most powerful court in the US, next only to the US Supreme Court, reports Press Trust of India (PTI).

With this swearing in, she became the second Indian-American after Sri Srinivasan to be part of the DC Court. Nominated by the Republican President Donald Trump, she will now replace Justice Brett Kavanaugh who was recently elevated to the Supreme Court.

Rao was confirmed by the US Senate last week by 53-46 votes. Joined by her husband Alan Lefkowitz, Rao was sworn in by the US Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas in the Roosevelt Room of the White House on Tuesday (19 March). “She is going to be fantastic. Great person,” Trump had said about her.

Accomplished Individual

Born in Detroit to Parsi physicians from India – Zerin Rao and Jehangir Narioshang – Neomi Rao received her B.A. from Yale University and her J.D. from the University of Chicago.

Before her elevation to the Court, Rao had served as the Administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs (OIRA) of the Office of Management and Budget.

In a previous stint, she was also a professor of structural constitutional law, administrative law, and legislation and statutory interpretation at the Antonin Scalia Law School at George Mason University.

Khushru Jijina Felicitated at EPC World Awards and Brand Vision Summit

Khushru Jijina Felicitated at EPC World Awards and Brand Vision Summit

·          Recognised as  ‘CEO of the Year’ at the 8th EPC World Awards

·          Conferred with ‘The Extraordinaire Game Changers’ Award at the Brand Vision Summit

·          In addition, Piramal Capital & Housing Finance receives as ‘Outstanding Company in Infra Finance’ at the 8th EPC World Awards

19th February 2019, Mumbai: Mr. Khushru Jijina, Managing Director, Piramal Capital & Housing Finance has been conferred with the ‘CEO of the Year’ award at the 8th EPC World Awards and ‘The Extraordinaire Game Changers’ award at the Brand Vision Summit. Mr. Jijina received these awards in light of his exemplary work in the field of financial services. In addition, Piramal Capital & Housing Finance received the ‘Outstanding Company in Infra Finance’ award at the 8th EPC World Awards.

EPC World Awards is an annual property of EPC World magazine which widely covers infrastructure and construction-related news, analysis and business information. EPC World Awards is one of the most widely recognised and credible awards that commemorates outstanding performers in the Indian infrastructure and construction sector.

Brand Vision is India’s highly coveted platform that honours individuals and companies who have done exemplary work and continue to be extraordinary. Brand Vision recognises varied personalities and companies from the fields of business, entertainment, sports, art & literature, philanthropy & media. These awards are widely recognised as they are chosen by the consumers and industry stalwarts.

Commenting on these achievements, Mr. Khushru Jijina, Managing Director, Piramal Capital & Housing Finance said, “I am truly humbled to have received both these awards for my contribution in the financial services space. I would also like to thank the jury for recognizing our efforts not only in real estate but also in infrastructure finance. These awards serve as a testimony of our evolution as one of the leading players in the financial services business that provides innovative and a customer-centric end-to-end financial solutions.  These recognitions motivate us to continue raising the bar in the industry, achieve newer goals and stay ahead of the changing times.”

KAINAZ Jussawalla wins Shiksha Award

KAINAZ Jussawalla from Bandra, an author blogger, journalist, travel vlogger and International flight attendant won the Shiksha award, at the 14 th ‘International press community awards.’

Her award for literature was given to her for her outstanding contribution to the field of writing, journalism and her recent successful debut novel – Coffee days, Champagne nights

The event was held at St. Paul’s media complex Bandra and was attended by few bureaucrats, officials  and film personalities including actress Nagma and singer Anup jalota 

Awards were also given in the field of radio, television and social work.

Facilitating Behavior Change in Complex Waste Management Systems – Natasha Zarine

A city view in India


Civic Response Team (CRT) is a nonprofit that started in May 2015 to build evidence-driven solutions to civic and environmental challenges. One of the biggest initiatives they’ve undertaken is transforming the solid waste management system in Aurangabad, India.

Solid waste management is the most pressing civic and environmental challenge in many Indian cities. Civic Response Team knew that they would have to get creative–and collaborate with local government leaders–in order to effectively tackle this issue. So they looked at solid waste management best practices in other cities and compiled a report, which they presented to the municipal commissioner of Aurangabad in the hopes that he would be able to concretely replicate some of these initiatives.

However, there were thirty years of waste management practices to shift. Open waste dump sites were still the norm. Sanitation staff worked without protective equipment and in hazardous and undignified conditions. The commissioner didn’t have the required resources to implement the recommendations made by Civic Response Team

As a result, the organization realized they would need to get more directly involved in overhauling the municipal waste management system and undertake a holistic approach that worked with multiple stakeholders and addressed root causes to shift behaviors.  After much hard work, they began offering coordinated waste management services and piloted their offerings with pilots of 500 households. Over time, they began serving wards of 1000 homes and today even work with full townships of 30,000 people.

Tackling the problem at this scale required a multi-disciplinary approach.

They needed to map the pain points, educate local communities on the benefits of improving solid waste management, make changes to bylaws and regulations, consider budget requirements, and modify the practices of the sanitation department team. 


Very early into this work, Civic Response Team realized it would be critical to consider the whole system surrounding this problem of waste management–rather than just trying to clean up trash from the streets in isolation from the larger community dynamics and political power structures.

Co-founder Natasha Zarine explains, “We knew that unless we think in systems, it’s all going to go back to square one.”

In fact, they initially found that changes implemented in a pilot group of 500 households would hold for about six months before falling apart. The changes didn’t stick “because it was a little oasis in a larger context, within a larger system that didn’t change.” The organization recognized that for the system to truly shift, they needed “the buy-in of multiple stakeholders, including the leadership of municipal leadership.”

Municipal staff is generally supportive of the changes but Natasha found it was critical “to manage relationships at the highest level of the municipal administration and elected representatives.”

She recounts the experience with one waste management supervisor who had been working for 30 years running 14 wards of the city. Although he had amassed significant political power over his career, it was only when he began collaborating with Civic Response Team that he began to feel that his work offered dignity. “It is the first time in his life that he feels good about his work, that he feels he can do his work effectively, that he feels he’s doing the right thing,” Natasha says,

Previously, he didn’t feel proud to ask his staff to do their work, but there were no alternatives. Now, “he’s like our star sanitary inspector. He ensures that all the staff is well taken care of, that the work is happening effectively, he proudly speaks about the amount of public money he’s able to save because of the way his zone is managed, managing our waste.”

Cultivating these relationships and finding champions within local government has been critical to Civic Response Team’s ability to durably shift waste management practices in Aurangabad.


Natasha and her colleagues also quickly recognized that they did not only have to consider powerful political figures if they wanted to change the system. They also needed to think about the downstream consequences that their seemingly positive interventions might have on some of the city’s poorest residents: waste-pickers.

In Aurangabad, there are approximately 600 waste-pickers who make their livelihoods by sorting through trash and finding bits that can be resold. Under the new, more efficient waste collection processes that Civic Response Team was rolling out, the trash pickers would no longer have access to waste coming directly onto the streets. Natasha realized that if they altered the current system significantly, there were going to be negative downstream economic consequences for some of the city’s poorest inhabitants.

To mitigate these unintended consequences, Civic Response Team identified the waste-pickers working in each ward and invited them to join a sorting facility.

They did not have the budget to pay a salary and at first wondered how they would effectively get waste pickers to shift their behavior and adapt to this new system. They discovered that if they concretely communicated to the workers that they would get direct access to 300 to 500 KGs of dry waste, of which 70% is recyclable, they were eager to adapt. An added bonus was that–because the waste was no longer soiled—workers could recover much more for recycling and selling.

As they began working at the sorting facility, waste-pickers were able to more than double their income. Previously, they earned about 210 rupees a day, or $3. However, now working at the sorting center they earn on average 450 rupees per day, or $7. They also benefit from more regular working hours, more family time, fewer cuts and bruises, and more dignity. Critically, they now also take pride in their work and are happy to tell people they work at the sorting center. Word quickly spread.

Civic Response Team has now trained over 1800 sanitation staff and worked with 105 waste-pickers.

One waste-picker who they met in the first pilot has done so well she was invited to speak at a UN conference in Paris about recycling to share how it has impacted her life and how it affects the environment.

This woman’s entrepreneurial spirit led her to take a leadership role, going on to recruit three friends to work at the first recyclable waste center. She soon started managing it and “is an owner in a way because she manages everything – she gets the profits, she distributes, she makes payments to the other waste pickers who are working with her. It’s been running for four years without anyone else’s intervention because she’s understood not only the business of collection and recycling but also managing a sorting center,” Natasha says.


One of Natasha’s most notable learnings is that waste management is all about people. You need to understand “their behavior, their relationship to waste, their relationships to each other, to their past, to their religion or their beliefs…It’s extremely complex.”

Natasha describes how complex challenges like these need a technical solution but mostly require adaptive leadership.

Adaptive leadership recognizes that both shared ownership and continuous learning are central to achieve lasting behavior change. As Natasha shares, when people think of solid waste management, they think you need, “vehicles for collection, composting machinery, biogas plants, etc. which are definitely an important part, but it’s all about people.”

The other element of behavior change that surprised Natasha is that people are ready and willing to make changes when they directly see how their actions are impacting the environment and each other.

Another way to promote behavior change is to keep the steps small and incremental. In the communities that Natasha works with, it would be too large a jump to introduce home composting right away, but they will work towards this goal since it’s the most efficient way to manage organics. Natasha points out how technical solutions come into play, “this is where technology comes in. If we have the right type of products to help people compost at home and store their waste a certain way it creates a better buy-in for the overall waste management system.”

CRT is still in the process of figuring out the best balance of centralized facilities with decentralized home management for waste, recyclables, and organics.


Natasha’s advice for others interested in exploring the link between social well-being, poverty, and environmental conservation is to “dive right in.”

Bringing together a team invested in the collective vision is essential to make change happen. Although CRT’s experience with recruited volunteers has been positive, especially for short-term commitments, CRT finds it necessary to set up the sustainable funding structures that can support paid staff positions.

Natasha explains, “You really have to stand your ground and insist on either getting funding or getting paid for your services because that’s the only way to be valued.” Even when doing important work, it will not always be recognized so holding the collective vision and having the necessary structures in place for financial sustainability allows the team to remain motivated and committed to moving the work forward.

Natasha speaks of the importance of using systems thinking, research, and on-the-ground experience to understand the nuances and complexity of the behaviors you are trying to change in a larger system you are working to address.

“There’s so much happening under the epidermis that covers everything, so be aware of that.”

Finally, where people and process interact for environmental change, managing relationships is everything. Relationships build trust, and trust is essential for any behavior change to take place. Natasha says, “If people know that you’re trying to bring about a certain kind of change, and not just coming from a certain agenda, then they’re much more willing to partner with you to take that change forward.”


Danielle Sutton is the Content Animator at Acumen where she surfaces stories to inspire and activate social entrepreneurs. In an age of information overload, she believes in learning ‘the right thing at the right time’ to intentionally design impactful social enterprises. You can usually find Danielle digging into the Acumen course library, playing in the mountains, or exploring marketing on The Sedge blog.

Danny Khursigara Awarded

Our Dear Clients, Friends & Family,

It is with great joy and humility that I inform you that our (tiny little) company, FreedomOne International Executive Coaching was awarded theMost Impactful and Upcoming Life Coaching & Corporate Training Brand for 2018 by Global Brands Publications UK, at an international awards ceremony that was held in Macau recently. I must admit that we were very pleasantly surprised that we won amongst a very strong and established peer group, I am told. 

There were representations from over 18 countries and 25 different categories of business lines.

I would like to express my deepest, deepest thanks and appreciation to all of you for your willing support, care and respect to us over the last few years. We could not have done this without each one of you and your trust in what we delivered for you. Thank you so much !

I was also a speaker at the event and spoke on ‘Branded for Success in the 21st century’ which was very well received by a diverse audience. The topic covered the 4 essential elements that companies would absolutely need if they aspire to go from being Good to Great in this modern age.  

We so look forward to serving you in 2019. 



Danny Khursigara

CEO, FreedomOne International Consulting 

Executive Coaching & Business Transformation, 

Award winning Author / TEDx Presenter / Emmy Nominated co-producer

L19, IFC , Central 

Cell: +852 93766672


Ruby Hall – reputed in Medical Tourism

Ruby Hall prides its reputation in medical tourism
Pune-based Ruby Hall Clinic is among the largest multi-speciality medical facilities in Western India. It has been in the space for over five decades. Ruby Hall Clinic, CEO, Bomi Bhote, shares his views with Pankaj Joshi. He talks about the drivers in the sector and where the company looks for growth.

Zar Amrolia gets noticed

XTX Markets, a three-year-old startup, had been named the third-largest market maker in the $5.1 trillion-a-day market, leapfrogging some of the world’s biggest banks including Citigroup Inc. and Deutsche Bank AG. For a company that ranked 12th the previous year, it was a coup.

XTX co-chief executive officer Zar Amrolia.Photographer: Felicity McCabe for Bloomberg Markets

Now the London-based company, which doesn’t have any human traders, is setting its sights on U.S. markets.

XTX aims to expand in stocks and Treasuries, markets in which it says customers aren’t getting a good deal. “We don’t believe that all markets are fair and efficient,” says Zar Amrolia, XTX’s co-chief executive officer. He points to U.S. equities in particular. “The speed is so high, it’s really providing no benefit to the market at all—it’s detrimental,” he says, adding that it raises costs for investors. Amrolia, who has a doctorate in mathematics from Oxford University, was co-head of fixed income, currencies, and commodities at Deutsche Bank AG before leaving in 2015 and starting XTX with fellow Deutsche Bank alumnus Alex Gerko, who also has a Ph.D. in math.

They’re looking to change the rules of the game. In a letter to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission in November, Amrolia and co-CEO Gerko called for a “wholesale rollback” of Regulation NMS—a landmark SEC rule approved in 2005 that accelerated a shift to electronic trading in the U.S. stock market. “The race for speed in trading has reached an inflection point where the marginal cost of gaining an edge over other market participants, now measured in microseconds and nanoseconds, is harming investors,” they wrote.

Their concerns echo those highlighted in Michael Lewis’s 2014 bookFlash Boys: A Wall Street Revolt. In it, Lewis describes how high-frequency traders use complex algorithms to rapidly move in and out of stock positions, making money by arbitraging small price differences and front-running other investors’ trades.

XTX also criticized so-called latency arbitrage in its letter to the SEC, arguing for the introduction of speed bumps to slow trading and enable market makers to post better prices without getting picked off by high-frequency traders. “It is ambitious, but it’s also practical and timely,” says Eric Swanson, the company’s New York-based Americas CEO. He formerly served as general counsel and corporate secretary at exchange operator Bats Global Markets, which was bought by Cboe Global Markets Inc. in 2017.

Although it’s advocating for change, Swanson points out that XTX’s growth plans aren’t contingent on shifting rules. “In U.S. equities, we’re in this for the long haul,” he says. “We realize that the regulatory changes are a long game.”

This isn’t the first time the company has criticized market practices. In currencies, XTX advocated for changes to “last look,” a controversial practice that allows dealers to back out of losing trades.

It’s “absurd” that some market makers still retain the option to hold trades for as long as 200 milliseconds before striking a deal or pulling out, Amrolia says. XTX hasn’t done away with last look entirely, but it removed the holding time between a client’s trade request and its acceptance or denial of the deal.

That change is critical for one of XTX’s clients. Neil McDonald, head of trading and quantitative analytics at retail foreign exchange platform Oanda Corp., says he gets consistently good prices from XTX, which has the lowest rejection rate among the market makers with whom he trades. “I’m very impressed,” he says. XTX is more open about its operations and hungry to win business compared with some banks, which aren’t always attentive to customers, he says.

XTX’s rise comes in the wake of a price-rigging scandal in FX that prompted global banks to pay more than $10 billion in fines and penalties. Three British traders were acquitted in October of fixing prices in a chat room that was called the “Cartel.”

McDonald says XTX has also benefited from starting from nothing to build its electronic trading systems. “They’ve had the advantage of being able to build something from scratch and not try to fix the airplane while it’s flying, which is what the banks are trying to do,” he says.

XTX has 118 staff globally, including 10 people at its New York office in Hudson Yards, Amrolia says. Since he and Gerko founded the company, it’s increased trading volume to an average of $150 billion a day across stocks, currencies, fixed income, and commodities.

XTX’s office in the King’s Cross neighborhood of London is like someone’s fantasy of a tech company headquarters. Bar? Check. Sleeping quarters? Check. There’s also a replica Apollo 11 landing capsule, saunas, arcade games, and a self-playing piano. Staff perks include yoga classes and massages, as well as regular staff events such as a chess tournament in January.

The company made a profit of about £61 million ($80 million) in 2017, little changed from a year earlier, according to the annual report for that year, the latest for which data are available. More recently, its global cash equities volumes jumped 74 percent in 2018 from a year earlier, while FX volumes were up 46 percent.

Now that it’s established in currencies and European stocks, the company is focused on expanding its U.S. footprint. Recent events may have helped. XTX said it benefited from a surge in market activity at the end of 2018 as investors became cautious about growth prospects in the U.S. and globally, driving a 9 percent slump in the S&P 500 index in December.

“One of the great things about XTX is that it was built and expanded and gained dominance in a period of lower volumes and volatility,” Swanson says. “When we do have these volatility spikes, volume increases.”

Parsis offer interest-free loans, flexi pay options to its young entrepreneurs

A year ago, Parsi community came together to encourage young entrepreneurs and new start-ups and founded a programme to help deserving candidates with interest-free loans and a flexible payment schedule.
The India chapter of the World Zarathushti Chamber of Commerce (WZCC) tapped high net-worth individuals from the community and founded the scheme that already has three
They will have the option to repay the interest-free loan within a span of five years depending on their business model.
“The entrepreneurship scheme is a joint attempt of WZCC and World Zoroastrian Organisation (WZO) Trust Fund. As a community, we have never believed in asking for reservations or quota. So, this is our way to encourage youngsters to be enterprising, and contribute meaningfully to the community as well as the country,” WZCC India president Captain Percy Master told Mirror.
Before being selected, the interested entrepreneurs had to go through a rigorous three-stage process spanning five months, which included their businesses being scrutinised minutely and personal interviews with the business advisory committee.
The committee comprised ten industry leaders from the Parsi community in various fields.
“Our emphasis was to select businesses that are most likely to survive among the challenges of the modern world,” said Captain Master.

Read more at:

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.–vaccine-hero–award/

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