Biz Profiles Lite Blogs Profiles

TALK TO: Dr. Sahitya K. Chaturvedi

“Islam teaches the mankind to fulfil the obligations, to record in writing and observe the proper measurement without committing any fraud,” says Dr Sahitya K Chaturvedi, a business leader serving for a stronger association and social economics.

Chartered Accountant Dr. Chaturvedi, leading the business and financial functions in Ajmal Perfumes Group, is a seasoned veteran of Indian Business and Professional Council, IBPC Dubai the largest association under the aegis of Dubai Chambers. He has 22 years of international experience across myriad business categories – Luxury, FMCG (fast-moving consumer goods), Real Estate, Education, Medicine, and Investments – in medium to large enterprises in the Middle East.Post COVID-19, the zeal for social-economic advancement and diplomacy elevated Dr. Chaturvedi to the Executive Committee of IBPC, Dubai as Convener of Retail, SMEs, Large Enterprises and E-commerce Focus groups until the latest term since 2020.  IBPC Retail Conclave, the annual and signature event focused on Retail, Consumers and Technology is a flagship initiative curated by Dr. Chaturvedi that brings the industry stalwarts under one premise with community, media and government representatives. 

Born in a Brahmin family in the temple town of Mathura in Uttar Pradesh, Dr Chaturvedi had a zeal for knowledge and educational excellence right from his formative years. After passing the CA examination of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India and also the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales, Dr. Chaturvedi completed the Phd and a course on Islamic Finance and Commerce. He has a passion for Hindi Literature and Hindustani classical music, which is his favourite way to unwind after a long day of juggling with numbers along with active participation  in socially responsible endeavors in the domains of education, orphanages, hospitals, and skill development through non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and autonomous organizations like Mathur Chaturvedi Parishad, Global Business Federation, Ram Charit Bhavan USA, and Mercantile Hindu Committee of Thatta Dubai. Extracts from the interview:

What influenced you in the earlier part of your life, and how has it shaped you?    

My Childhood has been pampered by parents, grandparents, joint family, and school teachers whose ritual, cultural and spiritual values seeded me the truth, tolerance and socialism in my life style.

Tell us when for the first time, you thought consciously about your life and what it means?

I believe that the bitter is the best taste of experience that ignites the values, forces the  challenges and invites the opportunities. Certainly, It was unprecedented 2020 that changed my approach and attitudes from personal to the social economic consciousness.

How you consider Dubai and Middle East Countries in contexct of Indian culture and community ?

Dubai is the commercial hub of Middle East and recognised as golden Emarat of The United Arab Emirates. The social economic relations of India and Arabian Penninsula are thousands of years old and here until this modern age, the UAE communicates that “World Is One Family”. Latest Innougration of BAPS Temple on 14th Feb 2024 in Abudhabi is the excellent example of tolerance where the civilization is honoured with respect for faith.

What did influence or attracted you to study Islamic Finance after conquering the most prestigious qualification of Chartered Accountant ?

The principals of faith in the practices of commerce are the most influencing drivers of mine  to recognise that “Islam teaches the mankind to fulfil the obligations, to record in writing and observe the proper measurement without committing any fraud.”

I personally believe the unique principles and faith based practices in sharia compliant commerce are socially significant and economically important for a society to maintain a balanced chemistry among the stake holders of business and consumers in general.

The computation and payment of Zakat that is obligatory in Islam for those who have met the prescribed monetary and wealth in due law for every lunar period, is the 1st attraction that forced to learn the principal of honesty in perfection of my work.

May you please highlight the basic approach that differentiates the Islamic Finance than conventionally practiced banking and finance in the existing modern age ?

Being on faith and principals of honesty, the Islamic Financial system eliminates the interest and probabilities in the commerce in contrary to the conventional financial system that is primarily based on Interest, futures and hedging, yet establishes the common goal in achieving the same economic benefits as conventional finance offers to the society.

The history of Islamic commerce begins with the revelation of holy Quran and Sunnah of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) that contains legal principals and injections dealing with subjects such as ritual, marriage, divorce, succession, commercial transactions and penal laws. It is a believe held by religion that absolute ownership belongs to Almighty Allah and man as servant and vicegerent act in trust in administering wealth in a just and equitable manner.

In advocating the form of economic activities under Islam, trade is encouraged, usury is prohibited, and acquisition of wealth should be achieved through lawful means that promote mutual consent and goodwill.

We are keen to know about mentors or personlities who inspire you to contribute for passion and profession both.

Firstly my sincere thanks to you for compliments to realise my diagonally mirror image. But whatever good or bad I have, the learning is my passion that come from my Father Dr. Shri Kushnath Chaturvedi my hero and the guru of my life style, arts and philosophy.

Secondly in the world of business and profession my mentor is no other than Mr. Amiruddin Ajmal, the chairman of Ajmal Group companies whoes teachings are my daily deeds and success stories. I shall also like to name Mr. Suresh Kumar, the Chairman of IBPC Dubai, CA Dinanth Chaturvedi, Auditor of Reliance Industries LTD, Late Shri Kanak Khimji, Chairman of KR & Sons, Mr. Abdulla Ajmal, Mrs. Manju Subhash Karani and my family members in the recent journey of my passionate life and career.

ALSO READ: PROFILE: Dr Abhinav Pandya

Lite Blogs Profiles

PROFILE – Shutter Maestro Fenil Shah

Hailing from Bombay, Fenil Shah’s journey as a photographer took an unprecedented turn when he was bestowed with the prestigious title of the “World’s Best Photographer” by the Eyeem Community…. writes Krishi Vora

 In the realm of photography, there are individuals who transcend the boundaries of skill and creativity, leaving an indelible mark on the world. Such is the story of Fenil Shah, a luminary in the field, who has not just captured moments but also hearts worldwide. Hailing from Bombay, Fenil Shah’s journey as a photographer took an unprecedented turn when he was bestowed with the prestigious title of the “World’s Best Photographer” by the Eyeem Community. Today, we explore the remarkable life and career of this maestro through the lens of his global acclaim.

The Accolade That Redefined Destiny: a young enthusiast, equipped with a camera and fueled by passion, embarking on a journey of self-discovery through photography. Fenil Shah’s story began in such a manner. However, destiny had grander plans for him. His meteoric rise to global acclaim started when he ventured into the heart of Europe, Germany, where his work was recognized and celebrated like never before.

A Picture That Immortalised His Craft:Fenil Shah’s legacy can be traced back to a single, awe-inspiring image. A photograph captured by him during his sojourn in Germany now adorns the walls of a prestigious museum, leaving onlookers mesmerised. This image, a masterpiece of composition and emotion, was the catalyst for his meteoric rise in the world of photography. It wasn’t just a photograph; it was an embodiment of his vision, passion, and skill.

A Triumph for India on the Global Stage: The title of the “World’s Best Photographer” is not easily earned. Fenil Shah’s achievement marked a momentous occasion for India as he became the first Indian photographer to be featured on the coveted Wall of Fame by the Eyeem Community. His triumph resonated not only within the Indian photography community but also garnered admiration and respect from photography enthusiasts around the globe.

A Catalyst for Creative Independence: With the world recognizing his talent, Fenil Shah’s confidence and courage soared to new heights. Armed with the belief that he could undertake projects that matched his artistic vision, he returned to Bombay. It was here that he embarked on a journey that saw him partnering with renowned brands, celebrities, and personalities. His artistry knew no bounds, and the world was eager to witness the magic he could create.

Building an Empire of Creativity: Today, Fenil Shah is not just a celebrated photographer; he is a visionary entrepreneur. He is the owner, photographer, and creative head of Fenil Shah Photography, Moving Still Studios, and The Wedding Vows. Each venture reflects his dedication to his craft and his commitment to delivering excellence.

A Portfolio of Excellence: Fenil Shah’s journey from a novice photographer to the world’s best is a testament to the boundless possibilities of passion and perseverance. He has worked with iconic brands such as Lakme, L’Oréal, Schwarzkopf, Wella, Tresemme, and many others. His lens has also captured the essence of celebrities like Kareena Kapoor Khan, Huma Qureshi, Sonakshi Sinha, Amira Dastur,  Urvashi Rautela  and numerous others.

Inspiring Future Shutterbugs: Fenil Shah’s story is more than a tale of success; it is an inspiration for budding photographers worldwide. He encourages them to believe in their vision and to relentlessly pursue their passion, just as he did. His journey stands as a shining example of what can be achieved when one’s heart and soul are poured into a craft.

Fenil Shah’s remarkable journey from a young enthusiast to the world’s best photographer is a narrative that transcends borders, capturing the hearts and imaginations of people worldwide. His legacy is not just about the title but about the artistry, dedication, and vision that led to that moment. Fenil Shah, the maestro behind the lens, continues to inspire the world with his unparalleled talent and unwavering determination. His story reminds us that in the world of photography, dreams can indeed be captured, developed, and shared with the world.

Link to images shot by him :

ALSO READ-Fake Social Profiles Uncovered in IDF Investigation

Arts & Culture Lite Blogs Profiles

BANKIM CHANDRA CHATTERJEE: A Revolutionary writer and the author of National Song

His writings inspired many activists and revolutionaries during the Indian Independence Movement particularly his two novels “Ananda Math” and “Devi Choudhurani…reports Asian Lite News

Bankim Chandra Chatterjee (1838-1894) was an Indian novelist, poet and journalist though a Bengali writer his first novella called Rajmohan’s wife was published in English in 1864 and remains the only English novel so far. All his other writings that followed, though in Bengali but highly Sanskritised he wrote fourteen novels and many serious scientific and critical treatises for which he was given the title (Sahitya Samrat) Emperor of literature.

His writings inspired many activists and revolutionaries during the Indian Independence Movement particularly his two novels “Ananda Math” and “Devi Choudhurani.” Chatterjee was regarded as a key figure in literary renaissance of 19th century Bengal and was a source of inspiration to the likes of Rabindranath Tagore and many more. His national song Vande Mataram  was a wake up call to freedom fighters against the British Imperialist rule of India who were squeezing every penny out of India to enhance British Industrial Revolution in United Kingdom. The initial concept of Indian de-industrialisation was introduced by Sir William Bentinck the then Governor-General of India between 1833 and 1835 his policy significantly impacted the cotton, jute and tea industry of India.

From 1858, the Indian economy was ruled directly under the British Imperial rule till India become independent in 1947 by then India had already become poor more so because of the British divide and rule policy which created Pakistan in 1948 over the dead bodies of millions of Hindus and Muslims who were literally uprooted from their homes and families destroyed on both sides this was also Churchill’s dream plan to leave India dry and they were successful in doing so.

Bankimchandra’s Ananda Math or (Abbey of Bliss) published in 1882 the novel is inspired and set in the background of the Sannyasi Rebellion of the late 18th century to take up arms against the British colonial rule in India it is in this novel the song Vande Mataram plays an important role “Hail to the Motherland” Bankim also wrote this keeping in mind the great Bengal famine of 1770 where several millions died of starvation the British were directly responsible for this. Although Ananda Math was based on Hindu Sannyasi Rebellion Bankim idea very inclusive in the sense that to fight the British you would need to unite everybody regardless of cast, creed or religion it was a fight for the motherland. The idea of the fallen Motherland, the fusing of the political and the religious imagery was passed down from Bankim Chatterjee to Aurobindo Ghose and would be rebellion and certainly found resonance within Subhas Bose who during his political exile would go on to form Indian National Army (INA) besides Hindus there were more Sikhs and Muslims in his army and were strongly dedicated to the cause of liberating Motherland from the oppression of the British.

There are three versions of song Vande Mataram the first is in original Sanskrit the second is the 1952 Hindi film version popularised by singers Hemant Kumar and Lata Mangeshkar while the third version is composed by India’s ace music director A. R. Rahman which has also gained popularity in the recent times.

Devi Choudhurani published in 1884 after Ananda Math is yet another novel dealing with oppression of the British Empire here the protagonist of actual historical figure is a female character like that of Rani Laxmibai of Zhansi who fought the British single handedly. In Devi Choudhurani, Bankim boldly portrayed the struggle being led by a woman, the protagonist he uses the allegory of actual historical figures of valiant queens across India who had ably led their kingdoms and fought on the battlefields. This was a tremendous inspiration for scores of women in India to take up arms and fight for the Motherland. In this novel Bankim Chatterjee reinforced his belief that armed conflict against the British is the only answer to gain independence. This idea also inspired Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose tremendously and scores of other freedom fighters such as Bhagat Singh, Udham Singh and Veer Savarkar to name but a few.

As we see the terrible hangman’s rope

We laugh a loud laugh of triumph

We are indestructible, we have no fear

                                             Nazrul Islam 

(Dilip Roy is a Fellow of Royal Asiatic Society UK and a researcher on Cultural and Literary subjects)

ALSO READ-PROFILE: Tasneem Khan By Shujaat Ali Quadri

Lite Blogs Profiles

John Mathew: A Saga of An Expatriate

It has been 60 years since John Mathew first set foot in Kuwait and and he believes that his retirement will bring him the very same comfort, joy and vitality that will carry him forward in his journey…reports Asian Lite News

In 1930s and 1940s, it was for the erstwhile British colonies of Singapore and Malaysia that the first waves of professionally qualified Malayali migrants set out. Newly independent India of the fifties and the sixties witnessed Indian-educated migrants leaving the country in pursuit of better career opportunities in the West. During the accelerated decolonization process in the Middle East in the sixties, with Kuwait gaining her Independence in 1961, several Middle Eastern nations sought to consolidate and independently control their oil wealth. It became imperative to hire both skilled and unskilled workers to extract, exploit, refine and move these resources and power their economies.

Water and electricity were unarguably absolute essential inputs where the generation of larger quantities of oil and the development of basic infrastructure were concerned. Kuwait had no natural freshwater sources of her own and in the early nineties, water for use in Kuwait had to be brought in from Basra in Iraq via dhow or even on the backs of donkeys. Desalination plants were later set up for the purpose of purifying seawater for both commercial and domestic requirements.

Seeking skilled workers to these massive electricity and water projects, Kuwait’s Ministry of Electricity and Water advertised these vacancies in leading newspapers in India. In 1962, John Mathew was recruited to the Ministry. His experience working as a chemical engineer at FACT in Kerala and the 2nd rank, he secured pursuing his Chemical Engineering degree qualified him to work at the MEW.

Three years later, he was hired by the Petrochemical Industries Company (then known as Kuwait Chemical Fertilizer). On the path of aggressive expansion, the company sent John Mathew to the US and the Netherlands to attend training programs as a fully salaried employee for 18 months. On his return, he would find himself working with top management at the organization.

An expat’s life is a kind of self-imposed exile. Out of necessity, they uproot themselves to find their way in strange new lands. They often find themselves unable to surmount the odds and adversities stemming from being subjected to this process but finds in themselves the strength to soldier on. For some, nations in the Gulf are often seen as transit points to other lands. Though Mathew was inundated with lucrative offers from multinational corporations in Western nations, promising even higher advancement up the corporate ladder, he realized that Kuwait was where he needed to be and chose to find his way here.

It has been 60 years since John Mathew first set foot in Kuwait and and he believes that his retirement will bring him the very same comfort, joy and vitality that will carry him forward in his journey.

When asked what brought him to decide to return home after sixty years of life abroad, he quips, “My social life has died, most of my friends have either moved back home or are no longer with us. I can literally count the number of friends I have here, while back home, I have too many friends and relatives to count.”

As a capital investor and board member in three companies in Kuwait, Mathew holds an Investor Status No. 19 visa, which enables him and his family to continue living in Kuwait as expatriates for as long as they wish. In 1981, with his entrepreneurial spirit taking charge and spurring him to strike out on his own, he started his own company, providing employment to more than 7,000 people in the years since.

The late K. M. Mani, a political strongman from Kerala, once humorously remarked on the Malayali’s penchant for creating factions within factions because he wants to lead his own pack. The desire to illuminate his identity and become a pioneer wherever he finds himself has been coded into the DNA of every Malayali that leaves home. Case in point, an overwhelming majority of the 300-odd Indian organizations registered with the Indian Embassy in Kuwait under the aegis of the Indian Arts Circle are Malayali organizations. While he was an active member of the Students’ Federation when he was at the university and later, member of the Communist Party’s trade union organization during his stint at FACT, Mathew was, however, neither actively involved with any of these Malayali organizations in Kuwait, nor sought to lead any of them.

When abroad, a Malayali employs only his politics of survival, will deftly maneuver his way through any occupation and will completely dedicate himself to his profession. This makes a Malayali an ideal global citizen.

Mathew is happy to have been of service in the capacity of Transportation Coordinator on the Volunteer Committee which was formed under the leadership of M. Mathews with the singular goal of safely repatriating over 125,000 Indians who found themselves turned into refugees overnight when Kuwait was invaded by Iraq.

Hiring Iraqi buses with donations from passengers to ferry more than 100,000 Indians by road to the Jordanian border without the help of a single government agency was a task fraught with risks and challenges. As he recounts these events, one can see the pride he carries in having participated in this humanitarian endeavor which is now regarded as the largest civilian evacuation in history.

Mathew also recalls that, in those days of uncertainty, a greater challenge was the protection and repatriation of domestic help who were abandoned when their Kuwaiti sponsors fled their homes in the wake of Iraqi aggression. John and his colleagues on the Volunteer Committee headed by M. Mathews boarded the last bus out of Kuwait only after ensuring that every last Indian who wished to go back home, including these women, was safely and securely on their way to the Jordanian border.

When NORKA was formed, the Kerala State Government appointed John Mathew as NORKA’s official Kuwait representative. At the time, John was actively engaged in ensuring that the petitions of those who were unable to apply at the UN Compensation Commission for financial reparations following the Iraqi occupation were collected and forwarded to NORKA; he collaborated with the Indian coordinator at the UN Commission in Geneva, Swashpawan Singh (former Indian Ambassador to Kuwait), and saw to it that those applying for compensation even during the final rounds were given their dues.

When asked about his opinion on the matter of the Kuwait government’s policy of not providing residence permits to those over the age of 60, John, now 84 and ready to return home after sixty years of expatriate life, says “The age of 55 to 75 years is that phase in a person’s life when he can function as contributing member of society using the good experience and judgement that he accumulated over the years. Any society would do well to utilize their experience. It could only be beneficial to the nation and society,” he goes on to say, “… even if I am back home, I will continue to be involved with the day-to-day activities of my business. I am a workaholic. I believe in working hard. Work hard and enjoy the fruits of your labor. Enjoy the luxuries you can afford. Live your life happily and harm no one.”

Mathew does not believe in an after-life or reincarnation. He has travelled to almost every country on the planet. He cherishes his travels and his books and is a regular invitee to the events conducted Indian writers in Kuwait. Penned by him, “A Saga of An Expatriate” is an English semi-autobiographical novel set against the backdrop of the Iraqi occupation of Kuwait. He has also authored three books in Malayalam.

ALSO READ-SPECIAL: Big Screen Awards 2022

Food Lite Blogs Profiles

Vdeliver Gathers Momentum

Vdeliver is a unilateral platform with different luxury cuisines available under one roof, with the ease of ordering through a website and an app.  Chef Sahil Singh meets Asian Lite’s Riccha Grrover to share his experiences on handling a multi-cuisine cloud kitchen Vdeliver, an umbrella platform for serving the best of cuisines that have been handcrafted with years of expertise with the finest restaurants across India and abroad. An exclusive for Asian Lite International

Vdeliver is an endeavour by Chef Sahil, he is recognised as one of the finest Pan-Asian and youngest Executive Chef in the country with over fourteen years of experience in the culinary domain. He was also involved in the launch of culinary landmarks such as Shanghai Club, TIAN Asian Cuisine Studio at ITC Hotels, Head of Oriental Octopus at India Habitat Centre and Chor Bizzare, Wasabi by Morimoto at Taj Mahal, Delhi, Brand and Cuisine creator of restaurants – PaPaYa, BoTai, and TYGR. EXTRACTS:

Chef Sahil Singh

RICCHA GRROVER– Tell us about your delivery brand and your cuisine offerings under that banner?

SAHIL SINGH: is a unilateral platform where we operate 10 brands under one Hood. We have almost 700 plus dishes on the menu where there is choice of European, Asian, Indian, Biryani Brand, Bakery, Pizza brand, Burger brand, Comfort Chinese brand, Rolls brand a brand completely dedicated for soya based cuisine.

RG– What have been the challenges to the FnB industry in Covid times and what difficulties have you overcome as a chef in these times?

SS– World is still facing the backlashes of Covid in FnB sector. In India restaurants have started to pick up as India people forget soon. Unemployment loss of revenues resulting in loss of Income for almost 9 months has been the after effects of Covid for me. Standing up on feet again all by God’s grace is what I am grateful for.

RG- How is a meal across cuisines from Vdeliver different from other speciality cuisine delivery services and restaurant home delivery? What makes it unique.


SS-I have given almost 3 months before starting off to get the packaging designed and customized. The entire facility is made as per 5 star Hygiene standards. Even the frying oil we use, veg and Non veg is separate. I have tried to bring a 5 star quality meal at your doorstep and we have been quite successful in doing that so. We also are emphasizing on catering to house parties and corporate events.

RG– What are the top 5 dishes say from your Chinese menu you recommend a first time diner to try? What can diners expect when they order a meal from Vdeliver?

SS-Being the first time diners I would recommend to go with hot and sour leeks and chestnuts, Crispy tofu with Fragrant chilli, Twice cooked pork belly with 5 spice and black beans, Turnip cakes, Crispy prawn open bao. Expect food prepared in Fully Hygienic conditions by chefs trained at the best hotels and restaurants and in wonderfully thought packaging.

RG-What words of advice do you have for budding chefs? What is it that keeps you inspired in your profession?

Chef Sahil Singh

SS-Love your job and forget the money. Money is a byproduct of your hard work and passion for your profession.

RG-What have been your biggest highs in the Vdeliver project and what is your vision for it in the future?

SS-Doing 10 brands in one kitchen were one heavyweight championship fight. Thinking, Execution, Building menus for 10 brands, almost 700 dishes and launching all 10 brands together is something I believe nobody has done in the history of FNB worldwide. The vision for the future is to expand it throughout Delhi NCR and take it International to Dubai, Europe and the US.

Vdeliver not just delivers the tastiest flavours in town. They also deliver the goodness of the finest ingredients along with good memories of delectable food and the best dining experience at home.

Biz Profiles Business Economy India News Profiles

ODISHA: Manufacturing Hub of Eastern India

Odisha is fast emerging as the ‘Manufacturing Hub of Eastern India. Chief Minister Mr Naveen Patnaik said the state government is embarking upon the second phase of value addition for development through its vision 2030 Plan, which aims at adding up to 50% value to the metals produced in the state, thereby opening up vast vistas for investment in the state… reports Asian Lite News

Naveen Patnaik, Odisha Chief Minister

Mr Naveen Patnaik, the Chief Minister Odisha, said the eastern state has shifted to a broad-based and inclusive economic growth from the pre-2000 era’s resource-dependent development.

He was addressing the 93rd Annual General Meeting of Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI). In the meeting, he highlighted the state’s industrial growth in the last two decades by perusing of sound industrial policies and transforming of the state by value-addition to the vast natural resources it is endowed with.

The session started with the welcome address by Dr. Sangita Reddy, President, FICCI, Joint MD, Apollo Hospitals, who spoke about the investor-friendly industrial climate of Odisha.

This was followed by a video presentation on how the state of Odisha, under the able leadership of Chief Minister Patnaik has transformed itself into an industrial powerhouse within two decades and how in spite of economic slowdown due to COVID-19, Odisha could get very high investments during this period.

The chief minister thanked FICCI for being the National Industry Partner for the 3rd edition of the ‘Make in Odisha’ Conclave

Hon’ble CM also stated that the state government is embarking upon the second phase of value addition through its vision 2030 plan, which aims at adding up to 50% value to the metals produced in the state, thereby opening up vast vistas for investment in the state.

The chief minister said the state is fast emerging as the ‘Manufacturing Hub of Eastern India.’

“The State is implementing path breaking technological reforms to reduce physical interface for availing Government services,” he added. “My Government’s transformational initiatives under ‘5T’ Charter and ‘MO SARKAR’ have played a major role in creating a conducive business environment in the State by inculcating professionalism and behavioural change in the State Government agencies. 

“I am happy to inform all present here today, that as part of my government’s initiative to reduce regulatory burden on industries, new end-to-end online systems for over 30 Government to Business services have been developed by various departments of the State. To further ensure that the service delivery is prompt, the timelines for the services have also been included under the State’s Right to Public Services Act. The State has also developed a dedicated land bank with over one lakh acres of land available on a GIS-based platform for easy site selection by industries. 

“Odisha has been recognised as an investment destination of choice over the years. Odisha was ranked number 1 in terms of attracting investments during April-September 2019, and is poised to continue this leadership position. 

To attract new investments in the identified focus sectors, our officials have held discussions with institutions and industries from Japan, Republic of Korea, USA and Vietnam to showcase the business ecosystem and investment opportunities in the State. I am happy to note that the investor sentiment towards Odisha is extremely encouraging.  Even during these difficult COVID pandemic times, I am happy to inform you that Odisha has been able to attract new investments of over Rs.1 lakh crore across multiple sectors.”

Concluding his speech, the chief minister thanked FICCI for being the National Industry Partner for the 3rd edition of the ‘Make in Odisha’ Conclave and requested them to nominate dedicated sectoral teams to work with the respective departments in the Government of Odisha especially in important sectors such as Food Processing, Chemical, Metal and metal downstream, Textile, Tourism and IT.

Industry leaders Mr. Harsh Pati Singhania, MD, JK Paper Limited and Mr. Sandip Somany, MD, HSIL were all praise for Hon’ble Chief Minister, Odisha for his visionary leadership and shared their experiences about robust industrial facilitation in Odisha and the support from the state government for industrial investments. 

Mr Uday Shankar, President-Elect, FICCI offered vote of thanks to the dignitaries and thanked the Odisha Government for helping the industries during the testing times. He also thanked Hon’ble CM for considering FICCI as the National Industry Partner for the upcoming Make in Odisha conclave and assured all the support from FICCI.

Also Read: 2020s Belong To India: TATA Chairman

Also Read: India vows to exceed Paris Agreement targets

Read More: Walmart To Aid Indian MSMEs by tripling Exports $10 Bn

Biz Profiles Business Profiles

Julien Geffard: Ola’s New Director of Electric Business

Ride-hailing major Ola on Friday announced the appointment of Julien Geffard as the Director of Go-To-Market Strategy for its electric business in Europe, as the company gears up to bring the first of its range of electric scooters to the European market in the coming months.

Geffard, who brings to the new role over 15 years of experience across some of the world’s leading automotive companies, will be based out of the company’s Amsterdam office.

Before joining Ola, he was the Global Commercial Director and a member of the Board of Management at Peugeot Motorcycles.

Geffard had a successful stint at Bentley Motors Ltd as their Head of Sales and then as Head of Retail Marketing, Europe. He had also worked with Alpine and BMW.

Julien Geffard, Director of Go-To-Market Strategy for Ola’s electric business in Europe

“As we gear up to bring the first of our range of electric vehicles to markets around the world, Julien’s expertise will be key to building our electric business across Europe,” Bhavish Aggarwal, Chairman and Group CEO, Ola, said in a statement.

In his role at Ola, Geffard will be responsible for building and growing Ola’s European operations for its electric business.

“Europe is a key market for us and our tech and digital expertise, coupled with the unique customer experience, will be key for us as we launch our products across Europe,” Geffard said on his appointment.

Ola said its electric scooter comes with sophisticated design and a banana shaped battery that is easy to remove and charge anywhere.

The company said it is in advanced stages of setting up a scooter manufacturing facility in India to cater to the global demand from customers around the world.

Once completed, it will have the capacity to produce over two million scooters a year, the company said.

The two-wheeler EV market in Europe has seen double-digit growth in 2020, with customers looking for differentiated products that are stylish, smart and lightweight, available at competitive prices.

Also Read: Uber expects to recover after $1.1bn loss in Q3

Also Read: EU readies contingency code to face Brexit talks failure