World Zarathushti Chamber of Commerce – ME 8, R. N. Gamadia Polyclinic, Tardeo, Mumbai – 400007 – Tel 32968175 / 23521068 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.wzcc.net WZCC’s Dubai Meeting hosts key achievers WZCC‟s second meeting in Dubai this year, held at Crowne Plaza Hotel, on May 8, 2009, played host to some key achievers from the fields of biotechnology, banking and special needs. International Director WZCC and Chapter Chair Middle East Region, Meher Bhesania, recalled the successful earlier meeting which was attended by stalwarts such as Mr Fali Major, Sam Bulsara and Manish Sinha on the 27th of February 2009. The guests of the evening were Dr Villoo Morawala Patell and Mr Suresh Kumar from business and professional fields. Addressing the gathering, Dr Villoo Morawalla Patell, a scientist cum entrepreneur, and Founder, Chairman and Managing Director of Avasthagen Limited, a biotechnology company established by her in Bangalore in 2000, presented her spell binding success story, her single-minded determination, facing the challenges in a man‟s world, traveling to different countries for scientific studies, her research and inventions, and her achievements & awards. Dr. Patell is no stranger to awards. In March 2009, WZCC honoured Dr. Villoo MorawalaPatell as “Outstanding Entrepreneur of the Year”. Dr Patell received „The Parsi Entrepreneur Par Excellence‟ Award from the Bombay Parsi Panchayet in 2008. She is also the recipient of the National order of merit from the French Government in 2008. The WZCC Middle East group honored her with a memento. Avesthagen, a multidisciplinary company that has built integrated capabilities across most areas of biological sciences, has to its credit several unique projects, including Avesthagenome, a comprehensive genetic study of more than 60,000 Parsi (Zoroastrian) individuals. Avasthagen and the Harvard Medical School (HMS) Department of Genetics signed a Memorandum of Understanding to share knowledge and services in the field of Genomics on March 26, 2009, another cap in the feather of Dr. Patell. About AVESTHAGEN LIMITED AVESTHAGEN LIMITED (www.avesthagen.com) is India‟s leading integrated systems biology platform company that focuses on achieving convergence of food, pharma and population genetics leading to predictive preventive and personalized healthcare. It employs 450 people worldwide and is headquartered in Bangalore. Since its inception Avesthagen has grown into one of India's leading healthcare technology group in India, and its activities include, in addition to its agri-biotechnologies product pipeline, development of clinically validated botanical bioactivities, derived from Indian medicinal plants, as well as the development of a pipeline of bio-similar drugs. Mr Suresh Kumar, an eminent banker in the Middle East region, member of the Senior Management of Emirates Bank Group and Chief Executive Officer of Emirates Financial Services PSC, provided some interesting insights into the current economic situation in Dubai. Mr. Kumar recounted how things changed from greed to fear, from the investor speculative demand in real estate with low interest rates and banking sector‟s generosity, to the excessive valuations, huge amount of leverage, etc., culminating in the banks‟ freeze on financing and the slowdown on buying. Mr. Kumar, however, assured that all was not gloom and doom. Real economy in this region was still in a sound shape. With 4 trillion US $ reserves, it‟s a pretty liquid and wealthy part of the world! He said multiplication will happen in Private Equity if each one invests wisely. In three to five years, the private sector will grow in value considerably. He also urged that it was not the time to sell real estate if one has invested in property, as the value would rise again once the dust settles. Mr. & Mrs. Ruby & Burjor Patel, well known and loved in the Advertising and Theatre world, were felicitated, on the occasion of Mr. Patel, who served as the Worldwide Advertising Director at Khaleej Times, a leading English daily newspaper in UAE, retiring and returning to India. Mr. Patel‟s remarkable contribution to this organization was reflected in the ad revenue growing 6 times. Mr. Burjor Patel was one of the personalities who helped lay down the foundation of SynergyZ, and went out of his way to help, and sent 600 copies free of cost to India for circulation to members. Mr. Patel reminisced having spent 55 years in marketing, starting with Jam-e-Jamshed in 1954, before working with Adi Marzban, the famous theatre personality. Later he joined The Statesman. Mrs. Gulshan Kavarana, a woman achiever who is parenting a child with special needs, highlighted the plight of children with special needs and their groups. Gulshan related the tears and joys of raising a special child. Her daughter Zara suffers from a genetic disorder. Her support group „SFS‟ was started to help families having children with special needs. Zara has never spoken, though she is 12 years old. Gulshan, a recipient of several awards like the “Achievers Award, “Guardian of the Year” award and Princess Haya Award for “Outstanding Family of Special Needs”, has done a lot of work for the Dubai Center for Special Needs. Gulshan is an artist and has created masterpieces on art, thereby helping raise funds for the Center and art galleries. Mrs. Katy Madon, who had just returned after serious illness, was felicitated at the meeting. She earned the praise and support of all for her inner strength and willpower. The attendees were briefed on the happenings at WZCC‟s various Chapters across the world. It was announced that Eric Engineer from Houston had been appointed as the Youth Representative at the WZCC International Board. He would be coordinating with Nowshir Engineer from Dubai on youth matters. Nowshir Engineer disclosed that the Bombay Parsi Punchayet was providing 50% of the total cost of registration for 50 Youth in India who may wish to attend the Congress. An agreement was in place with Jet Airways for return tickets for Rs. 9,112 for the Congress attendees from Mumbai. Furthermore, hotel apartments in good properties were available at affordable rates so that families and friends could stay together. He also announced that Dolly Tavadia was negotiating with Emirates on good fares for delegates coming from North America, UK, and other sectors. Rumi Sarkari was working on a special package with Concord Travels for Hotel Apartments and visas. The attendees were briefed on the Youth Leadership Program that has been launched with the efforts of some of the active youth members in Dubai. Jasmine Tavadia spoke about the Right Advise facility created by the Youth Leadership Enhancement Team, consisting of herself, Homi Gandhi, Farzan Dalal, Homiyar Kateli & Parinaaz Navdar and coordinated by Cyrus Magol and Nowshir Engineer. The Congress website is the primary medium through which enquiries would be received and responded by the group. As usual Hanoz Navdar, a graduate in digital film production and specialist in compositing and editing, was there to capture the moments through his lenses. A riveting belly dance performance and a sumptuous dinner featuring a lavish spread laid out by the hotel‟s chefs brought the evening to an exciting finish.