Nadir Godrej: Keynote Address at WZCC Global AGM in Hong Kong

The following is the keynote address delivered by Nadir Godrej at the Awards Gala at the conclusion of the Global Annual General Meeting of the World Zoroastrian Chamber of Commerce, hosted in Hong Kong on Saturday December 17th, 2016.

A new millennium was about to dawn
Seventeen years ago.
An organisation was then born
But little did we know

That where community seniors led
Everyone would go
And WZCC would spread
And over the years would grow.

And I was there to sing it’s praise
On that fateful day.
And back to Houston if we gaze
This is what I did say,

“The Internet is now at hand
And all can have a shot,
If only we can understand
What latest trend is hot.

Now Parsis are spread everywhere.
And they can choose their land.
If you in the Diaspora dare
Then once again we’ll stand

In the big league of enterprise
Renowned in every place.
I know we can attain the prize
If we just join the race.”

What I said then, has now come true
The Internet is hot.
Disruptive models that are new
Can strike at any spot.

And politics is not immune,
Big data plays a role.
It’s possible to fine tune
A message for a goal.

And truth is of no consequence
In using this technique.
And lies that seem to make some sense
Are all that readers seek.

Both Trump and Brexit won this way
And Russia played its hand.
What will come next we cannot say
But we must understand

The world’s becoming very strange
And nothing is for sure,
Except that we will see much change
A fact we must endure.
The markets took an upward bump
Much to my surprise.
They very warmly welcomed Trump
But still it would be wise

Not throwing caution to the wind
And being circumspect.
For mavericks cannot be pinned.
Who knows what to expect?

Indeed it may turn out quite well
And yet an ill thought tweet
Could be enough to quickly fell
The euphoria on Wall Street.

And climate change will be denied
And coal and oil will gain.
An energy rush will be supplied
But followed by great pain

Unless businesses take the lead
With green technology.
Fortunately they can succeed
For certainly we’ll see

Technology that paves the way
For a future that is green.
Technology can save the day.
Great progress will be seen.
November eighth is the date
That saw the rise of Trump.
But on that date, such is our fate
Our Mody chose to dump

All bigger notes. He thought it bold
With just a little pain.
The economy began to fold
With little sign of gain.

Most benefits were soon disproved.
The opposition screamed.
The goalposts then were quickly moved.
To most of us it seemed

The secrecy was overdone,
The planning was at fault.
The endless pain was no fun.
Our wounds were rubbed with salt!

The GST might be delayed,
A heavy price to pay.
And when the pros and cons are weighed
There’s little good to say.

And China’s debt is mounting high.
The risks are growing fast.
All sorts of props they can try,
I doubt their growth can last.
And China says that it is one.
Its military is strong.
But Trump will try and have his fun
And who will say he’s wrong?

Trump now thinks he is the boss
And boldly spoke to Tsai.
Convention then went for a toss.
And what will he now try?

Of course I may well be wrong
But Trump could up his game.
His next call might be Hong Kong,
Much to China’s shame.

World affairs will zig and zag.
And business must adjust
Quite rapidly without a lag
Or they might well go bust.

Sudden change will come about
And some will see a threat
But others will then work it out.
The challenge will be met.

Entrepreneurs must be prepared
For a changing world.
They can’t be unduly scared
As new threats are unfurled.
Agility will be required
And innovation too.
Entrepreneurs should be inspired
By trying out what’s new.

But those in WZCC
Have nothing much to fear.
For everyone can clearly see
That here there’s much to cheer!

New training courses are at hand
To help the members out.
Experienced hands that understand
Show how to get about.

Experts are there to give advice.
And they know how to spot
Young talent, which is very nice.
The awards that they have got

Encourage them to rise and shine
And serve the community.
All this of course is very fine

I hope that we will see

That these awards will quickly bring
More youngsters in the fold.
I also hope the Women’s Wing
Will make our Ladies bold.
Those with drive might need a skill
As well as good advice.
A course in business basics will
Most certainly suffice.

When they see it can be done
Some novices will try.
Though it is hard, it can be fun.
Soon more will try to fly.

As a consequence of the China trade
Parsis came to Hong Kong.
And their philanthropy’s what made
This city very strong.

Star Ferry had a Parsi role
As did HSBC.
Hormusje Mody’s funding goal
Was the University.

And to this day they are known
For their Philanthropy.
Their global charity has grown.
A model for all to see.

What better place for us to meet
Than beautiful Hong Kong.
If we work hard and stay upbeat
We will be very strong.

Our numbers now are in decline
But our impact could be great.
If we try hard, we will be fine
Let’s not think it’s our fate.

A prize might stimulate the mind.
Good thoughts should be applauded.
Solutions we will surely find
If action is rewarded.

And some day at a future meet
We will cross a million.
That would be quite a feat.
But there’s no hope for a billion!

Our journey has been truly great
From Houston to Hong Kong.
Together we can contemplate
Becoming very strong!