The Community has voted

Includes responses from Facebook Poll also – 
27 November 2018, 3.48 pm


A Counterpoint on the Parsee General Hospital issue

18 November 2018
We have read  with regrets , the Press Release issued by Mr. Homa Petit, which is identical in all the five newspapers. It may be a paid news, but the crux of the matter is the defense put up by Mr. Petit , that community must clutch with folded hands the Hong Kong offer of Rs. 150 crores or else the offer may be with withdrawn by 31st March, 2019. 
Mr. Homa Petit is a eminent Solicitor, and world surely understand that a Rs. 150 crores donation is subject to the new building being handed over only to Medanta for 45 years , with further rights over the old hospital as per the agreement with Mr. Naresh Trehan, signed by Mr. Petit claiming to be a President of a registered society,  and suppressing the fact that the Hospital is governed by the Trust Deed of 1906 , executed by Sir Bomanjee Petit and is filed on record , even presently with the Office of the Charity Commissioner , Maharashtra State . 
The community will appreciate that the entire contract with Mr. Naresh Trehan is a fraud on public trust , and it is no answer to say  that some of the BPP Trustees have later ratified this contract. It  is a cardinal principle of law that a fraud cannot be ratified, nor can any person can take advantage of his own wrong, as fraud  renders every action null and void. 
It would highly desirable that Homa Petit files a reply, before the learned Charity Commissioner, as it is not being done for last 7 months on some pretext or another, but instead the Press Release as issued, betrays lack of faith in the judicial process. We  now hope that the reply will be filed by the next date of hearing. 
Mr. Homa Petit has  misguided the community by claiming that Mr. Naresh Trehan will pay Rs  12 crores a year for use and occupation of the new building for 45 years. It is well settled that any administrator by whatever name called,  of a property of a public trust, has to act with prudence and care. However in the present case , no bank grantee of payment of Rs. 12 crores a year has been obtained from Mr. Trehan,  and in a mostly likely case, a default is likely to happen even in the first year itself under the excuse of lack of profit , as very well pointed out by activist Mr. Zoru Bhathena, and  the Parsi beneficiaries of the Trust will be without any remedy,  and will be faced with an impossible task of recovering possession , as all prudence of a man of business has been thrown to the winds by a secret agreement. 
I have written this reply with good will towards all,  in interest of the public charitable trust,  founded by Sir Bomanjee Dinshaw Petit for the benefit of Parsi Community. 
Khushru Zaiwala

Should Parsee General Hospital go ahead with its plans to build a cosmopolitan Hospital on its estate to support the existing facilities?



The B. D. Petit Parsee General Hospital (PGH) has been providing yeoman service to the community for the past 105 Years in the area of charity healthcare.  For the past few years, PGH has been facing many challenges largely due to the following reasons:-

1. Steady decline of the Parsi population.

2. Many young and middle aged Parsis settling either in the far-off suburbs or migrating to foreign countries.  With an aging population and lack of variety of disciplines, it is difficult to get Resident Doctors.

3. Poor infrastructure of the city necessitating people to seek medical attention nearer home rather than traveling long distances.

4. With Mediclaim and smaller Nursing Homes mushrooming in the suburbs, local hospitalization is preferred.

5. Due to very low volumes, the provision of holistic medical services such as CT Scan,  MRI, Path Lab etc. is not economically viable.

6. Approximately 60% of the occupied bed days are utilized either for free or subsidized patients, thus affecting the PGH’s  revenue stream, resulting in a recurring annual operating deficit of nearly ₹ 8 crore, for the past many years.

PGH therefore finds it extremely difficult to continue providing even the current level of healthcare services especially to the poor and indigent members of the community.

At a time like this, to ensure PGH continues to serve the community for at least the next 50 years, the benevolent couple, Pervin and Jal Shroff of Hongkong, magnanimously came forward to support PGH by pledging US $ 22.5 Million for establishing a state-of-the-art New Hospital on following conditions:-

1.The New Hospital be called Shroff Medical Centre of the B D Petit Parsee General Hospital.  It should be for a secular use, with special emphasis on cancer treatment.

2.The pledged amount be used only for erecting the New Hospital Building, to be owned by PGH, so that the financial benefit flows to PGH, which in turn would help the poor and needy of the community on a long term sustainable basis.

3.The New Hospital to be a multi-specialty Hospital to be operated by a professional organization having the latest state-of-the-art facilities.  Such professional operator to have a pan-India presence and operating revenues of not less than ₹ 1000-crore with at least 1000 beds under its management in Tier I & II cities and no other operating Hospital in Greater Mumbai area.

4.The operator to pay an annuity as also a certain percentage of gross billable revenue to PGH.  

5.The Architects, Contractors, Operators etc., to be appointed by PGH only after obtaining  approval from the Donors.

In substance, the Donors are gifting to the Hospital a new building to be used only for the specified purposes.

In accordance with these conditions, the Architects, Contractors, Operators etc. were finalized after taking into account their technical and financial qualifications and competency by PGH jointly with the Donors. Accordingly, M/s. Somaya & Kalappa were appointed as Architects.  Tenders were thereafter floated by the Architects and M/s. Premier Construction Co., were appointed as Contractors, after following the due process, for execution of the Project. Likewise, Municipal Architects, M/s. Sunil Ambre & Associates and other Consultants too were engaged.

Since the Donors were very particular about appointing a reputed party to equip, operate and manage the New Hospital, several Hospital Groups were invited and interviewed.  The selection of Medanta was made after various lengthy detailed discussions in Mumbai between representatives of PGH, Donors and Medanta.  The final selection was made only after the Donors personally visited Medanta’s facilities in Gurugram and satisfied themselves about their medical expertise, caliber and professionalism.

In October 2017, PGH was proud to announce its association with Global Health Private Limited (a Company belonging to Medanta Group) to operate, equip and manage the New Hospital to be constructed by PGH on  an earmarked area of the PGH property at Bomanjee Petit Road, Cumballa Hill, Mumbai, which is less than 6% of total land area of PGH, from the munificent pledge of $ 22.5 million from Jal and Pervin Shroff.


PGH was earlier restricted by confidentiality provisions in the Agreement.  However, it appears from an Article in Times of India, that the Agreement was somehow already in public domain.  In any event, PGH has now obtained the consent of Dr.Trehan to put the broad terms of the Agreement before the public as under:-


(a) The New Hospital Building of a value of approximately ₹ 150 crore will be erected and owned by PGH. This will be an accretion to the Community assets.

(b) The state-of-the-art multi-specialty New Hospital will be a seven-storey building having an area of 225,000 Sq. Ft. for secular use to be constructed and owned by PGH, but equipped, managed and operated by Medanta.

(c) No part of the land on which the New Hospital is to be erected will be alienated but will continue as a community asset. Medanta will only have operating, equipping and management rights for the New Hospital. Medanta shall have no rights to the New Hospital Building, nor the land.

(d) Medanta, at its own substantial cost, will equip, operate and manage the New Hospital with state-of-the-art healthcare facilities, equipment and services.  Diagnostic facilities like MRI etc. will thus be available on the PGH campus itself.

(e) Medanta will initially place an interest free cash deposit of Rs.4 crore from the date of Commencement  Certificate until the date on which Medanta commences operations of the New Hospital. Simultaneously, a Bank Guarantee of Rs.2 crore to be given by Medanta which will continue till Medanta commences operations.

(f) Medanta will pay a yearly annuity of Rs.12 crore for the first 30 years and if the period is extended, then will pay an yearly annuity of Rs.18 crore for the next 15 years.

(g) Over and above the annuity, Medanta will pay a sum equivalent to 1% in the first three years, going upto 5% on and from the 8th year of the gross billable revenue without any deduction on any account. This concept to take care of inflation over the period of the Agreement because if the revenue increases, the percentage receipts also increase.

(h) PGH will not be involved or be responsible for any operational and management matters in the New Hospital and Medanta alone will be responsible and liable for day-to-day operations and management and quality of care provided at the New Hospital.

(i) Medanta to give preference to poor, indigent and weaker section of patients referred to Medanta by PGH.

(j) Medanta will charge such concessional rates as may be mutually agreed by the parties, for specialized treatment to be rendered in the New Hospital which are otherwise not available at PGH.  Patients can have access to super-specialty facilities at the New Hospital and move back to PGH for post-operative stay, thus increasing the occupancy of PGH.

(k) Medanta will assist the PGH, free of cost, in training the nursing staff and medical personnel attached to PGH.

(l)  All these will be achieved without even one rupee of the Hospital’s funds being used and that the Hospital parting with any asset.


PGH has taken legal advice to ensure that it does not breach the provisions of the Trust Deed/Rules and Regulations of PGH by entering into the New Hospital Project. Legal advice received also opines that since there is no alienation (but on the contrary, there is an accretion to the PGH property), hence, Section 36 of the Bombay Public Trust Act does not apply and no permission of the Charity Commissioner is required.  The Trustees of the Bombay Parsi Punchayet have also given their wholehearted endorsement of the Project.

During last 3-4 months, a few persons from the community started raising questions on the viability of the New Hospital Project. They alleged that the project was ill-conceived and costs inflated. Besides, Medanta was not the right selection to operate the New Hospital. We did make attempts to clarify various issues raised by them and shared with them, in good faith, details including of the financials of the project. Regrettably, some gentlemen have now started personal attacks on social media on the President and some of the Executive Committee members casting aspersions on our character and integrity. We are contemplating appropriate action, including legal options.

An application challenging the New Hospital Project, has been filed with the Charity Commissioner’s Office wherein unsavoury allegations have been made, and this is also being responded to appropriately.

It will not be out of place to reiterate that the family of Petits have, over six generations during one century, nurtured PGH selflessly and with utmost care and diligence. We do not want to allow a handful of ill-informed and misguided persons to make personal accusations, whatever be their motive, and go scot free. We would rather call off the Project on our own, if our community is not with us, rather than allow anyone to point a finger at us and question our integrity. Community welfare is important but not at the cost of our personal integrity.

In the meantime, while both the Donors and Global Health Pvt. Ltd. have stated that they will not consider any amendment to the original Agreement, nor any counter-proposal, but if the community issues are not sorted out in the next few months, THE DONORS HAVE CATEGORICALLY CONFIRMED THAT THEY WILL WITHDRAW THEIR PLEDGE TO DONATE U.S.$ 22.5 MILLION OFFER AND GLOBAL HEALTH PVT. LTD. HAS STATED, THAT IT WILL ALSO TERMINATE THE AGREEMENT. In such a situation, the only losers will be the community and unfortunately the poor and needy, and the responsibility for this disastrous fallout will rest squarely on the heads of these self-appointed critics, for scuttling a well-conceived and thoroughly researched project that would sustain the Hospital for the benefit of generations to follow.

Now that the community is aware of the correct facts, they could not be misguided by false and misleading statements.  The Executive Committee of PGH, therefore, appeals to each and every member of the Parsi and Irani Zoroastrian Community to wholeheartedly support the new hospital venture. If the community chooses not to support the Project, all that we and the Donors can say is that WE TRIED OUR BEST, AND SADLY, AS MENTIONED ABOVE, THE ONLY LOSERS WILL BE THE POOR AND NEEDY OF THE COMMUNITY.




Three books on Tata Group launched in its 150th year, at Tata Literature Live! The Mumbai LitFest

Mumbai: In the 150th year of the Tata Group, three independently written books on the Group are being published. The books – ‘The Tata Group: From torchbearers to trailblazers’, ‘The Tata Saga’, and ‘Titan: Inside India’s Most Successful Consumer Brand’ – featuring interesting insights, case studies and success stories as also challenges faced by the Group, were launched today at the 9th edition of Tata Literature Live! The Mumbai LitFest at the National Centre of the Performing Arts (NCPA).

The book launch was followed by a riveting discussion titled ‘Tata@150: A Vision for a Nation’ between Mr. Harish Bhat, Brand Custodian, Tata Sons, Ms. Rama Bijapurkar, acclaimed business-market strategist, Mr. Vinay Kamath, author of the book on Titan and Dr. Shashank Shah, author of ‘The Tata Group’ book with Mr. Govindraj Ethiraj, journalist, as the Chair. The power packed panel held an insightful discourse on the challenges and opportunities facing the Group as it keeps in step with changing times in the current economic and social milieu.

Mr. Harish Bhat, Brand Custodian, Tata Sons, said, “The Tata Group is proud to be associated with Tata Literature Live! The Mumbai LitFest. This is in line with the Group’s commitment to the community. An important facet of this commitment is the nurturing of art, literature and ideas, which has always stimulated society to a greater good. A large number of books which are popular today are non-fiction titles about the corporate world. These business books provide us rich readings in relevant and interesting areas such as inspiring leadership, transformative management ideas and defining voyages of corporate history.

This year, as the Tata Group marks 150 years since its founding, we are delighted that three new books about the Group are being launched simultaneously, at this literature festival.  We hope this new trio of titles will soon become a welcome and essential addition to the canon of business books.”

‘The Tata Group: from torchbearers to trailblazers’ authored by Dr. Shashank Shah is published by Penguin Random House. Dr. Shah is a researcher with Harvard Business Review. Researched over ten years, the book presents an insider account of achievements, conflicts, adventures within the Tata Group, spanning various eras and how it has successfully sustained its diverse businesses over the years.

‘The Tata Saga: Timeless Stories from India’s most Iconic Group’, an anthology of the best writings about the Tata Group published by Penguin Random House, is dedicated to 150 years of the Tata Group and includes chapters by R M Lala, S. Ramadorai, Harish Bhat and others with a foreword by Mr. Bhat.The book talks about the legacy of J. N. Tata, J. R. D. Tata and Ratan Tata and the pioneering work done by them in steel, aviation, automobile and other sectors.

‘Titan – Inside India’s most successful consumer brand’, authored by Vinay Kamath, Senior Assistant Editor, The Hindu Business Line, is published by Hachette, with a foreword by Mr. N. Chandrasekaran,Chairman, Tata Sons. This is the first book ever on the journey of Titan and commemorates 30 years of the brand this year.

The Tata Group has always placed the community at the core of its businesses and has practiced strong business ethics coupled with social responsibility. Over the past 150 years, this vision has propelled the Tata Group into a global powerhouse, which has made an immeasurable contribution to India’s economic progress.

Jiyo Parsi scheme gains ground in Gujarat

The dwindling population of Parsi community nationwide has long been a cause of concern and was the primary motivation for the Jiyo Parsi scheme.

Funded by the Ministry of Minority Affairs, and conceived and promoted by Parzor Foundation of the Bombay Parsi Punchayet, the Tata Institute of Social Sciences and the federation of Zoroastrian Anjumans of India, its primary aim was to aid Parsi couples facing difficulties in conceiving with IVF treatment. After a sluggish start, it has finally gained ground in Gujarat, where as opposed to just one birth two years ago, the number has now risen to around 12.

In the past four years, a total of 168 babies across the country have been born under the Jiyo Parsi scheme, considered to be an achievement by the team working on this programme. Unfortunately, Ahmedabad has only had one baby till date. “Infertility is still a taboo in Ahmedabad. Also, most Parsis are quite well off to approach us seeking financial and medical help.” 

“However, the response from Surat and Navsari has been quite good. We are also trying to reach out to gynaecologists across the state, requesting them to direct Parsi couples visiting them, to us so that we can help them,” says Pearl Mistry, counsellor, Jiyo Parsi in Gujarat.

At present, the Jiyo Parsi programme is in the second phase that aims at getting Parsi men and women to rapidly marry and procreate in significant numbers. Last week, a Parsi matrimony meet was held in Ahmedabad, in which nearly 90 Parsis participated.

Under the scheme, a couples opting for IVF get reimbursement of nearly 8 lakh, covering expenses till the child is born. However, the biggest challenge is to counsel the couple as distraught couple lose patience as IVF can take multiple cycles. “Even as we encourage couples to opt for a second baby, we offer them Rs 4,000 per month for it to help cover cost of crèche for the first eight years.”

“The scheme is aimed at increasing the shrinking population and does not see a good response as most Parsi couples do not aim to have children. It is important to overcome the mindset and make them see reason. Only then there will be a change and they will go for early marriage and early kids,” says Rashna Daruwalla, manager, admissions, Anant National University, adding, “For every 200 new born, there are 800 dead. These figures are equally responsible for the decline.”

12 Births And Counting

  • In Gujarat, as opposed to one birth two years ago, it has now gone up to around 12 
  • Over the past 4 years, 168 babies born across the country under the scheme 
  • Couples opting for IVF get reimbursement of nearly 8 lakh per child till birth

Neomi Rao: First Parsi Judge Nominated on the D.C. Circuit Court in the United States.

Indian American Neomi Rao

President Donald Trump said on Tuesday that he’s nominating conservative lawyer Neomi Rao to replace Brett Kavanaugh on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

The president made the announcement, which came as a surprise, during a Diwali lighting ceremony at the White House, CNN reported. “She’s going to be fantastic—great person,” Trump said at the event.

Rao presently serves under the Trump administration as the administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, which is part of the White House’s Office of Management and Budget. In her position, Rao has been described as an “ally” to the administration in its work to strip federal government regulations, according to Politico.

Click Here for more


Zoroastrian Faculty Network (ZFN) collaborates with Alliance Française de Bombay to bring you SciencesPo open day on 20 November 2018. ZFN Core Team Member Farrokh Rustomjee, CEO, R D Sethna Scholarships, will present the Financing Opportunities available.

Date : 20 November 2018     Time :  6.00 pm

Venue : Alliance Française de Bombay, Theosophy Hall, 40, New Marine Lines, Churchgate, Mumbai 400020

Contact :

For more  regular updates – visit

Ratan Tata, CM lays foundation stone for cancer hospital in Ranchi

‘In the next 20-30 years, Tata Trust hopes to set up a pattern along with the Government to reduce the number of deaths taking place due to cancer,’ said Tata.

RANCHI: Tata Trust Chairman Ratan Tata believes that the Tata Trust in association with the Government would be able to set a pattern to reduce the deaths caused by Cancer in the next 10-20 years. Ratan Tata while laying foundation stone along with Chief Minister Raghubar Das for the world-class cancer hospital in Ranchi on the lines of TMH in Mumbai, also lauded the central as well as the State Governments for showing their vision to tackle cancer by springing up a number of cancer hospitals across the Country.

“In the next 20-30 years, Tata Trust hopes to set up a pattern along with the Government to reduce the number of deaths taking place due to cancer,” said Tata.

Lakhs of people die due to cancer and many have lost their will to live due to the high cost of treatment and the difficulty involved, he added. Tata said that since North East region have a lot of cancer patients this hospital in Ranchi will be a great relief for the patients coming from the region and also play a leading role to tackle the disease.

“Tata Trust was committed to make Ranchi hospital a success which will also be a symbol of prosperity and good health of the people living in the area,” said the Trust Chairman. Tata praised the initiatives taken by the Governments, both at the Center and States, to tackle the disease.

“I believe the government at the Centre and the state governments have displayed considerable vision in setting up a string up cancer hospitals for the screening of cancer early and treat cancer at a reasonable cost and provide access to State of the art hospitals in India,” Tata added.

Chief Minister Raghubar Das, in his speech, said that the demand for this hospital was raised during Momentum Jharkhand summit in the year 2017 so that people do not have to go outside the State for treatment of cancer and other illnesses.

“As I was quite aware of the problems faced by the people, I tried to improve health services in the State, as soon as I became Chief Minister and started construction for 6 medical colleges in the last 4 years along with a centre of All Indian Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS),” said the CM.

With the start of the work for a cancer hospital in Ranchi, one of his greatest wishes was fulfilled, he added. Initially, there will have a facility of 50 beds in the Hospital which will be gradually increased to 300. People of Jharkhand will be given priority in the hospital and given some special facilities in the hospital.

50 per cent beds of the hospital will be reserved for the people hailing from Jharkhand. The hospital will have 14 world class operation theatres with 28 beds Intensive Care Unit (ICU) and a blood bank.

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