January 5, 2017

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In its pursuit of attaining its goals to promote Entrepreneurship and Professionalism, WZCC’S venue for this year’s Global Meet was Hong Kong – strategically located at the mouth of the Pearl River Delta in Southern China, with its lush green hill slopes, secluded beaches, leisurely rural landscape and rocky shoreline. The Global Meet was held from Friday,16 to Sunday 18, December 2016 and was attended by not only the Global Zarathushtis but also the Zarathushti diaspora from Hong Kong. The gathering was indeed of an International flavor. This was the first time a major Global Zoroastrian event was held in Hong Kong.

2016 Global AGM HK.pdf - Adobe Acrobat Pro

The Event was a great success and this was only possible because WZCC received tremendous support from the Hong Kong Anjuman led by its President, Mr. Neville Shroff, his wife Farida and his team of Trustees – Ms Dilnavaz Daver, Mr. Viraf Parekh, Mr. Rustom Jokhi and Mr. Homiar Poonawalla and of course, the Hong Kong Zoroastrian Community. The proceedings started on Friday 16, with a Pre-AGM meeting at the Zoroastrian Building followed by dinner hosted by the Hong Kong Anjuman. Mr.Sam Balsara and Mr. Mickey Mehta
graced the evening with interesting words of wisdom.

2016 Global AGM HK.pdf - Adobe Acrobat ProasOn Saturday 17the AGM proceedings, was again at the Zoroastrian Building. In his opening address, Mr. Edul Daver, who completed one year as the Global President mentioned about the new Board’s objective to make all Regions more inclusive and improve Global communication. He made it clear that all Directors need to participate in the working of their Regions / Chapters and make them successful. He informed the gathering that two new Chapters had joined the WZCC fold – Bangalore (India) and Florida (USA). He further identified other objectives which were in the offing such as a new improved Website, formation of a Business Fund and the increased focus on Young Adult involvement. Future major event announcements included:

(a) A Business Tourism Trip to Iran is tentatively being scheduled for October 1-10, 2017
(b) The 2017 Global AGM was awarded to Bangalore, India and is scheduled for December 15-17, 2017.
(c) WZCC will be playing an active part in the 11WZC , June 1-4, in Perth, Australia.

The formal proceedings were then conducted by the Corporate Secretary, Mr. Adi Siganporia and member of the International Board. This was followed by presentations from various Directors, who spelled out the immense opportunities for Zoroastrian Youth to launch out into business and professions in various fields.

The scene then shifted to the Panel discussion, the Moderator being Mr. Neville Shroff and the topic – “The Impact of Doing Business in a Globally Volatile & Political Environment – The
Challenges & Opportunities in Shaping Business Success”. The Panelists were – Mr. Siavosh Kaviani -Iran, Mr. Arzan Sam Wadia-USA, Mr. Jehaan Kotwal-India, Ms. Thrity Kenny-Hong Kong, Mr. Rasheed Shroff-Hong Kong, Mr. Danny Khursigara-Hong Kong.

2016 Global AGM HK.pdf - Adobe Acrobat Pro

The moderator, Neville Shroff, initiated the discussions, with strong opening remarks that it will be a challenging year for business in general, and that Technology is advancing at an unprecedented pace, and what worked 5 years ago may now be largely obsolete. He mentioned that businesses today are facing a continually evolving landscape, with regulatory changes imposing a strain on doing business. This was echoed by one of the panelists Ms Thrity Kenny, who agreed that the increasing compliance and governance issues are causing customers to be frustrated; but at the same time she said that it was absolutely necessary.  Rasheed Shroff found that consumer behavioral changes were motivated by the millennials and that on line shopping was escalating. Arzan Sam Wadia, spoke on utilising his technology skills and incorporating it into architectural splendor.

Neville concluded that what we could take away from the panelists was :

That 2017 will be a year of decisions from the outcome of Geopolitics of Brexit, and from the transactional dynamics of the incoming Presidency of Donald Trump; which will undoubtedly only lead to a higher degree of uncertainty either for the better or worse. And that there will be more of regulation in the financial sectors which is yet to come. This was followed by a sumptuous lunch at the Craigengower Cricket Club, Hong Kong.

Every year, WZCC honours achievers in our Community and present them Outstanding Awards of the year. At this year’s Awards Gala Nite, held at Regal Causeway Hotel, the Guest of Honour was Mr. Nadir Godrej, Managing Director, Godrej Industries Ltd. Mr. Nadir Godrej gave his Keynote Address in a verse form which was so apt as regards WZCC’s Objectives & Mission that one and all gave Mr. Nadir Godrej a standing ovation with a thumping applause.

There were two Chief Guests – Mr. Puneet Agrawal, Indian Consul General in Hong Kong and Mr. Mehdi Fakheri, Iranian Consul General in Hong Kong. There were also two eminent Keynote Speakers from Hong Kong – Mr. Stephen Ng, Chairman & MD of Wharf Holdings and Chairman of Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce and Mr. Y. K. Pang, Dy. Chairman of Jardine Matheson & Hong Kong Land Ltd. who spoke very highly of the Parsi Community and gave details of how great Companies in Hong Kong were founded by the Parsis in the 18th and 19th centuries.

2016 Global AGM HK.pdf - Adobe Acrobat Pro

Besides these dignitaries, this Event was attended by members from the five continents as well as an impressive contingent from the Hong Kong Zoroastrian Community.
The whole Awards Ceremony Nite was ably conducted by Chairperson, ‘WE’ Sub-Committee, International Board – Ms Behroze Daruwalla. Ms Behroze Daruwalla announced the Awardees as follows :

1.Outstanding Zarathushti Entrepreneur of the Year 2016

Ms. Delna Bhesania – Canada

CEO & Co-Founder of Bardel Entertainment Inc.

The Award was conferred for her entrepreneurial zeal, pioneering efforts, commitment and vision in the field of animation.

2.Outstanding Zarathushti Professional of the Year 2016

There were two Winners.

Dr. Arnavaz Havewala – India (Co-Winner)

She was awarded for remarkable Professionalism and high commitment towards providing superior and innovative Dental Solutions

Mr. Arzan Sam Wadia – USA (Co-Winner)

He was awarded for displaying rare professional qualities in collaborative Designs & Architecture Projects and also in the Field of Digital Media and Information Technology.

3. Outstanding Young Zarathushti Entrepreneur/Professional of the Year 2016

Mr. Hanoz Tarapore – India

He was awarded for achieving excellence in higher education and his ability to plan, process, connect & leverage relations across multiple geographies.

After the Awards Ceremony, the guests partook of a sumptuous dinner organized by the Regal Hongkong Hotel. But wait, the party was not yet over. All those present were treated to a magical entertainment. The magic was provided by Ms Zeenia Bhumgara (Merlin Award Winner) and her father, Mr Mhelly Bhumgara who is a Magician as well as a Mentalist. The dignitaries and the other guests were absolutely stupefied by this magical program which fascinated them and was
very well appreciated.

This remarkable event ended with a Vote of Thanks delivered by the Corporate Secretary, Mr. Adi B. Siganporia, who thanked the Hong Kong Anjuman Trustees and the Hong Kong Zoroastrian Community for their immense support and presence. He also thanked the Regal Hongkong Hotel, the advertisers in our magazine – SynergyZ and also Parsiana Executives who had come all the way to Hong Kong to cover the Event and many other well-wishers of WZCC.

Finally, on Sunday 18th the group took in the sights of Hong Kong along with valuable informal net working and ended with a dinner cruise of Hong Kong Bay.
We again thank the Hong Kong Anjuman and Community for making the 2016 AGM a truly productive and memorable event.

The above report was sent via email by WZCC. All photos courtesy Jasmine Driver (Parsiana)