ZAGNY Udwadia Fund Raiser

WZCC-NY convened for the annual ZAGNY Udwadia fund raiser on Sunday, October 16, 2016. The fund raiser has been held for the last two decades and was sponsored by Lovji & Mehru Cama and Hanoz and Minaz Munshi and their families.

In addition to the regular Jashan with five esteemed priests and lunch, this year we honored Erach Munshi’s contribution towards the cause with “The Erach Munshi Memorial Lecture”.

Navroz D. Udwadia is the Co-Founder and Partner of Falcon Edge Capital. Prior to founding Falcon Edge, Navroz was an investment professional in Eton Park’s Emerging Markets team in London (2005-2011). During his time at Eton Park, Navroz played a key role in Eton Park’s public and private investments in emerging market geographies and sectors. Navroz was also responsible for Eton Park’s day-to-day activity in commodities from 2009-2011.

Prior to joining Eton Park, Navroz graduated from Harvard Business School (MBA, Distinction). Prior to that he spent time at both JP Morgan (private equity) and Goldman Sachs, where he was an investment banker in the Financial Institutions Group and worked on the Firm’s internal strategy team, reporting directly to Eric Mindich.

Navroz graduated from Columbia University (BA, English) and subsequently completed a Law Degree (MA, Law) at Oxford University, which he attended as a Rhodes Scholar from India. Navroz was a national and internationally ranked tennis player (#1 ranked junior in India) and captained both the Oxford University and Columbia University Men’s Tennis Teams. While at Columbia University, he received an NCAA Post Graduate Scholarship, the Arthur Ashe Sports Scholar Award and was voted an Academic All-American (District Team). He led Columbia as Captain to their first EITA Championship in a decade in 1997.

Navroz talk was entitled, “Reminiscences On Life’s Lessons, India & Giving Back”. Navroz talked about his life’s lessons enabling him to succeed in his business endeavors at a young age. He also discussed the business environment in India with associated investment opportunities and risk. Finally, he also gave his take on ‘giving back’. Navroz outlined five key lessons and principles which have always guided his life.

While quite a success, Navroz began by disavowing his success and instead highlighting the achievements of those who inspire him. His first lesson is to find and pursue what one loves in life, not merely what one can do well. Real passion must lie behind one’s undertakings. Navroz related that he became interested in finance after studying English literature. His passion for finance led him to take the risk and adventure of studying and entering a new field without looking back.

His second principle is to fill every minute with a full sixty seconds. Aim to do more, not less, and fill time with all small and large goals it can cover.

Thirdly, do the best, do what is excellent, in all things. Navroz spent a summer excursion together with a US Navy Seals team in order to challenge himself. He related how the Navy Seals bring excellence into everyday tasks, small and large. Even in as small a thing a making one’s bed in the morning, there is a way to bring excellence to the effort. Cultivating a steady demand of excellence in one’s efforts allows one to control processes, in contrast to the outcomes of action which one might not control.

Fourth, Navorz wished people to know that all obstacles can be overcome. Pain and failure are only transitory things and should not limit the size or hope in one’s endeavors. He related spending ten days in silent mediation from early morning to late night and how the experience instilled strength.

Fifth, Navroz is committed to a life devoted to larger things than himself. He advises us to live for purposes bigger than one’s own life. Each of us is fortunate enough to be able to vastly uplift those who are not as fortunate. Navroz devotes energy in helping to relieve poverty in India where his actions can have an exponential impact. He is excited about the capable political environment and forward-leaning outlook of Indian society. In concluding his talk, Navroz thanked those people who make the strongest impact upon him; his father, mother, sister and wife.

Questions for Navroz came quickly. His views on India’s government, aiming towards happiness in one’s ambitions, and how to really find one’s passion in a deliberate way were subjects of discussion. He summarized that his models in life, such as his father, continue to work and strive even in the later stages of life. Navroz mentioned that he encourages an American tradition of philanthropy, a “giving back”, among major leaders in India.

WZCC President Edul Daver invited and introduced Navroz and organized the event. Darius Jamshidian, WZCC-NY Chapter Chair, reminded us of Erach Munshi and remarked on Erach’s help and welcome to Darius personally. Darius thanked Navroz for his talk and Navroz was given a gift, flowers, and pin from WZCC-NY. Team member Arnaz Maneckshana provided membership information, WZCC periodicals, and recruited new members. Team member Rusi Gandhi assisted with luncheon tasks. Team members Meher and Dinyar Hodiwala greeted guests and eagerly participated in the days’ activities. Team member ArZan Wadia recorded and photographed the talk. Nearly eighty people attended the event and several came with young children who could learn more about WZCC and the memorial events.