Wonderful Friday Evening yesterday at Bhabha, NCPA ~ to celebrate the Golden Jubilee 50 years of our dear friends who are the whole and soul of the Chartered Accountant Firm SKP & Co ~ serving hundreds of clients including over 200 MNCs in 47 countries
It was a beautifully planned event that began at 6.30 pm with Refreshments pre auditorium function and ended past midnight with Cocktails followed by a lavish dinner on the NCPA Lawns ~ An excellent Master of Ceremonies, or should I say Mistress ~ Vimi Chaudhari,~ began with the National Anthem being enacted by the Deaf & Blind Children of the Helen Keller Institute that SKP’ Founder, Sudit K Parekh, is also a Founder Trustee of ~ this was followed by a tribute to Lord Ganesha by the Girls of Vrindavan School at Badlapur, another NGO that is strongly supported by SKP & Co
Then came the Speeches…..
~ an emotionally controlled one by the Founder, Sudit Parekh who traced the humble origins of the CA firm from 1962 to the stature it has reached today and thanked all of us for being there to share his joy and the fulfillment of a Dream ~ he says he always followed his Heart and not his Mind ~ first in 1962 when he opted for Entrepreneurship over Employment after qualifying as a CA and then in 1992 deciding, despite caution from Friends and Family, to expand services for a global reach to capture opportunities opening out for India after the Reforms were introduced and foreign companies were making a beeline for India
~ then Deepak Parekh, Chairman of HDFC gave the key note address saying there will be an increasing need for Professional services and there is a vacuum of good people and it is commendable that Sudit Parekh has resisted the temptation to the pressures to sell out his Group to the Big Four and continues to create a legacy of strength and trust and culture build on Ethics, Transperancy and Integrity ~ he also blamed Corruption, Bureaucracy and slow decision making that impedes investment in building Infrastructure ~ all of this is causing hurdles to India in unlocking her potential ~ Laws are introduced and made complicated ~ nothing is clearly black ~ all in various shades of grey
~ then Kiyoshi Asako, the Japanese Consul General spoke on how Japanese Companies must be happy with SKP & Co that they continue to patronize them! ~ he spoke of how he led a delegation of 100 Japanese businessmen to the recent Vibrant Gujarat Summit in Gandhinagar and looked forward to developing ties between Japan and India
~ but the most delightful and humorous address came from Bernhard Steinrucke, the Director General of the Indo German Chamber of Commerce ~ he simply had 1000 of us in the audience rocking by emphatically stating that Germany needs India more than India does Germany ~ he cited an OECD study that predicts that by 2060 India and China’s share of World Exports and GDP will rise dramatically while that of USA, Japan and Germany will shrink ~ To grow, all of these countries need India and China
An interesting view he gave was why Germany with just 80 million people is such a developed nation ~ he likened a table with four solid supporting legs
- Over 90% of German Business is through Family Run SMEs that have carved a niche in the world
- Germany thoroughly vocationally trains half the graduating school children over two to three years in over 800 disciplines
- Of the 150 Global Trade Fairs held annually, 100 are held in Germany where the whole world attends
- The fourth leg is the Chambers of Commerce of which over 120 are spread around the world
He had us all tittering on the controversial Vodafone Case and how the Indian Government Legislation Clarification allows Matters to be reopened to go back 50 years to 1962, the year SKP & Co was founded ~ and how Lawyers and Accountants would love this and have a party to celebrate additional work being ensured ! ~ he voiced a hope that his children and grandchildren celebrated SKP & Co’s 100 years with Sudit K Parekh’s children and grandchildren !
~ Sapan Parekh, son of Sudit K Parekh spoke of how he returned from the USA in 1994 to join his father to conduct business like a non business where Growth and Profit were not the only Focus
~ Srikant Jilla, Managing Partner of SKP & Co, spoke of how he has been living, eating, sleeping and breathing SKP for over 25 years now and promised to continue the legacy of strength
~ An excellent Audio Visual Presentation showed several partners, past and present and employees confirming this strong legacy is alive and kicking ~ the only Woman Partner as of now, the young Deepti Ahuja, says she is likely to live her life at SKP !
All this livened up the proceedings and set up the evening for an enthralling 90 minutes fusion instrumental music performance by Sitarist Niladri Kumar (son of renowned Sitarist Pt Nikhil Banerjee) and his Group ~ the Solos were outstanding ~ Niladri alternating between the traditional sitar and the electronic version ~ Gino Banks(son of famous Jazz Musician Louis Banks) was mesmerising on the Drums with his whirling of the drumsticks being displayed on the big screen behind ~ Satyajit Talwalkar (son of legendary Tabla Maestro from Maharashtra, Pt Suresh Talwalkar) was rhythm divine on the Tabla ~ Agnello (of Ek Tha Tiger Fame) was mixing the sound ~ and the girl prodigy 16 year old Mohini was blinding on the base Guitar
They Played from the Heart just as all spoke from theirs !
A touching moment ended the evening function in the auditorium when Sudit K Parekh was presented a caricature drawing of his created by the Helen Keller NGO Children who also greeted him with a Card written in Braille !
Just past 10 pm we moved from the auditorium to the Lawns for Mocktails & Cocktails & an excellent Dinner Buffet which gave evidence of a thoughtfully planned elaborate Menu ~ began with a host of well made Starters like Fried Water Chestnuts and a Tandoori Chilli & Pepper Paneer Platter ~ and in place of a soup there was Hot Khow Suey with burnt garlic and ‘fried to a brown’ onions and the works ~ and finished with Hot Jalebis, Chocolate Cigars and Fresh Strawberries served hot and glazed and syrupy with Cold Vanilla Ice Cream for Dessert……
…Caught up with many we know ~ one of who advised me to buy shares of his listed company for they will go up ! ~ would have qualified as insider trading ! had he not added “but you’ll have to wait two to three years” !
Though a bit chilly, for us it was a warm and enjoyable evening
Sudit K Parekh & Co ~ Take 50 Bows for a Warm & Wonderful Golden Year Celebration Evening !
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Thank you Gaurav for capturing everything so vividly.