OUTSTANDING ZARATHUSHTI PROFESSIONAL Jal Soli Shroff Jal was born in Shanghai, China, did his schooling in Hong Kong and went on to study Business at the prestigious institution, London School of Economics. Business is in the blood of Jal. He is the Managing Director of Fossil (East) Ltd. Hong Kong and Director of Fossil Inc., Dallas (USA) Jal was born in a rich Parsee family who migrated to Hong Kong from main land China. The family traded in silk piece goods, exporting them all over the world. After finishing his studies in England, Jal returned back to Hong Kong to join his father in his business. He switched his family business from silk and textiles to branding. His personal talent and hard work remained the main factor behind his phenomenal success in business and other spheres of life. To Jal, the days had gone when people had been content with the stuff they could get easily notwithstanding their material affordability. ”Today people are after the brands of commodities, the Brand symbolises quality products, which influence their likings for specific consumables." Jal started exporting watches under the brand name Fossil. The demand increased, resulting finally in the foundation of Fossil. As a result, the silk and textile business had to be curtailed. The demand kept growing and Jal had to set up a factory in China where 10,000 skilled employees are engaged in the production of Fossil, Relic and Zodiac brands. The factory also produces products for other renowned leading brands at the factory. It took the company 9 years to reach a sale of US$100 million, 7 years to reach 500 million and 5 years later it had reached 1 billion. By 2010 he hopes to hit US$2 billion. Jal has also made a distinct recognition in the field of sports, especially in cricket. He has had the honour of captaining Hong Kong and has played against the likes of Geoffrey Boycott, Gary Sobers, Polly Umrigar and Farrokh Engineer. In 1967 when the Cricket Club of India visited Hong Kong, the two facing captains were Polly Umrigar and Jal Shroff. Jal has also captained and played against Australia. Jal's social and community service is also highly noticed. He heads the Anjuman there and took over the task of rebuilding a Parsee place of worship. He is the President of the Incorporated Trustees of the Charity of Funds of Hong Kong, Canton and Macau. Jal is the Chairperson and on Board of many trustees. Recently the honour of 'Justice of Peace 'was bestowed upon him. Jal you have brought upon our community Pride and Pleasure. We are proud to honour you as our WZCC Professional for 2008.
OUTSTANDING ZARATHUSHTI ENTREPRENEUR Dr Villoo Morawala Patell Dr Villoo Morawala Patell is a mother, a wife, a scientist, a founder, a chairperson, a managing director and an Entrepreneur. There is not a lot more left to be said. Yes, there is, she is successful in whatever she undertakes and has proved that time over time. Her company Avesthagen which she started is globally recognised as a leading
systems biology company, focused on convergence of food, pharma and population genetics. Villoo has a side interest in studying the Zoroastrian gene, an ambitious systems biology project with the goal of finding out the secrets of Zoroastrian longevity. This Avesthagenome Project will compile a genetic, genealogical and medical database of our community In recognition of her entrepreneurial work, the French government honoured her with the Officer de l'Ordre National de Merite (Officer of the National Order of Merit). Villoo has numerous other awards to her credit: Kerana Tuhan Untuk Manusia, Universiti Teknologi Malasyia Indian Council For Small and Medium Exporters The BioSpectrum Entrepreneur of the Year Award 2006 The Outstanding Women Entrepreneur for the year 2005-06 from FICCI The GR8 Women Award 2005 for Science & Technology Villoo is on the advisory board and member of various international bodies. In her words, 'I'll continue to derive from history, leverage geography and use technology to deliver business' Avesthagen is an innovation driven company that will deliver products for predictive, preventive personalized healthcare, products in bioPharmaceuticals, bioNutrition and bioAgriculture, its contribution has been extraordinary to date. Research is Villoo's passion and her company is poised for more successes. Villoo we laud you for your achievements, you have made us proud. We wish you success in all your future ventures.
OUTSTANDING YOUNG ZARATHUSHTI PROFESSIONAL/ENTREPRENEUR Nowshir Rusi Engineer Nowshir hails from India but spent the early years of his childhood in Jakarta. He studied in an Australian school then American before moving back to India after 12 years abroad. After his graduation, Nowshir continued his studies in the computer field and dreamed of being the next Bill Gates. His true love however was marketing. He did a full time MBA course and says 'there is where it all began'. While studying for his MBA, Nowshir met up with two friends who suggested that they start an Institute for Media and Communication. He was in two minds but the love of marketing made him decide in its favour. He was only 23 years old then. It was a giant leap but he had the confidence in himself and took it. EMDI, the Institute for Media and Communication had been planted. It wasn't easy, no capital and hard work. It was not until 2003, two years later those things started to move. They opened offices in Mumbai, Pune, Bangalore, Cochin, Coimbatore and Hyderabad. It was a mistake however to take such a fast leap. The Cochin, Coimbatore and Hyderabad offices were unprofitable and had to be shut down. Inspite of the huge losses, they started again. Borrowing huge funds, they took on a partner and started their Dubai office. With the basic infrastructure in place, he started work. He called for a helper from India, that person is now the General
Manager of Operations in Dubai. From Humble beginnings, they now have training centres in Bombay, Pune Bangalore and Dubai. They have 500 students going through courses every year and the world today is Nowshirs for the taking. Nowshir also offers his services as a guest speaker, does charitable work, a member of WZCC Dubai. He met his life mate in the EMDI class room in Dubai. They are happily married. Nowshir you are a good example of people who have reached heights and kept and for this we are proud to extend upon you the title of The Outstanding Young Zarathushti Entrepreneur for 2008.