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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.

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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.

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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.

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