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Essel Group completes 90 glorious years!

MUMBAI: India’s leading multi-billion dollar business conglomerate, the Essel Group is celebrating 90 years of innovation, leadership, growth and transforming the world. To commemorate this momentous occasion, the Essel Group, led by its Chairman, Dr. Subhash Chandra today announced the launch of the DSC Foundation by contributing Rs 5000 crore from his family wealth, the ‘Sarthi’ initiative and its English global news network, WION – World Is One News, in presence of President of India Pranab Mukherjee and Prime Minister of India Narendra Modi, at a glittering ceremony in New Delhi. The Group also honored the winners of the first-edition of the Zee Media Family Business Legacy Awards – Dabur India Ltd., Wagh Bakri Tea Group and Wockhardt Ltd.

Held at the Indira Gandhi Indoor Stadium in New Delhi, this extravaganza was attended by eminent personalities from the world of politics, business, sports, film and entertainment, including Narendra Singh Tomar, Union Minister for Rural Development, Panchayati Raj, Drinking Water and Sanitation, Smriti Irani, Union Minister of Textiles, Ram Naik, Governor of Uttar Pradesh, Dr. Najma Akbarali Heptulla, Governor of Manipur, Lt Gen (Retd.) Nirbhay Sharma, Governor of Mizoram, Jagdish Mukhi, Governor of Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Manohar Lal Khattar, Chief Minister of Haryana, Swami Avdeshanandji and Saint Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh Ji, amongst others.

Speaking on the occasion, Mukherjee congratulated Essel Group on completion of its 90 years and on the launch of new initiatives such as WION-World is One News, Sarthi- an initiative of becoming a bridge between the government and masses and DSC Foundation. He appreciated the spirit of the celebrations i.e. ‘Young at 90′. He said that one should always remain young and look at issues with fresh new perspectives. He said that unlike 90 years ago, the situation in the world is very different today. Information Technology and communication has brought about major changes. Although technology always has a disruptive impact but if society is ready to accept challenges, it can utilize it well. He said that thanks to our ingenuity and ability we have absorbed and advanced technology. The President said that media has a far reaching impact and influence on people. Today indeed the world is one. He said that while facts and news remain one, views may be different. It is important to maintain objectivity and truthfulness in news. Media must take note of the positive things taking place in day to day life. Speaking about such positive things he mentioned that during the Annual National Innovation Festival at Rashtrapati Bhavan many young innovators display solutions to daily problems of life. The President said that in the next ten years the Essel Group would be organizing its centenary celebrations. He said that they should remain young even at 100, remain young forever.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi described the programme as an illustration of Indian traditions. He said that India has had a tradition where successive generations take family values forward, and contribute to the family by adding their capacities and capabilities. He recalled his earlier meetings with Nandkishore Goenka and said the family has always been open to new ideas, and has taken every challenge as an opportunity, to create a presence in a range of initiatives from “soil to satellite.”

Appreciating the social initiatives of the Essel Group, Modi said that the Swachh Bharat Mission provides opportunities for a large number of social entrepreneurs to emerge. He said that while “Sarthi” presented a good blend of rights and duties, the DSC Foundation would help build a large number of job creators. The Prime Minister urged everyone present to work towards specific goals for what they could do for the country by 2022 – the 75th anniversary of independence.

Rajya Sabha Parliament member and Essel Group Chairman Dr. Subhash Chandra said: “This journey of 90 years has been filled with remarkable successes as well as challenges and obstacles. It has been a journey of creating history, venturing into unknown territories, only to emerge as leaders, capitalising on our pioneering vision and sheer entrepreneurial spirit. As we look to the future, I am confident that we will carry forward the legacy of the Group with complete passion, dedication and above all, the spirit of #YoungAt90! On this occasion, we are launching our new initiatives – Sarthi, DSC Foundation and WION, that will empower the lives of the people. Sarthi will provide a platform to help people with their problems by connecting them to the right persons and then taking it to the logical conclusion. With WION, we want to provide a medium which will give people news from around the world and how it affects India. This initiative is not for profit, but a medium for society and the nation to benefit. Through the DSC Foundation, we will be building capacity in the society to take on problems and tackle them. We are pledging Rs. 5000 crore out of our profits towards this Foundation.”

On this milestone anniversary, President Pranab Mukherjee launched yet another pioneering initiative of the Essel Group – ‘Sarthi’, an initiative that seeks to create a nation where citizens are well informed about their rights and duties and empowered enough to raise their voices against the problems faced by them, which are then effectively addressed and resolved. The word ‘Sarthi’ means ‘the one who drives us in the right direction’ and true to its name, this mission aims to become a guiding force that propels change in the lives of people through constructive interventions. Sarthi is a network of like-minded institutions (corporate foundations, non-government organizations, volunteers, trusts, community based organizations, concerned government departments) who are working towards the common goal of building a well – informed and empowered nation to bring about sustainable positive change.

The Essel Group also announced the winners of the first-edition of Zee Media Family Business Legacy Awards which aim to honour and recognise India’s oldest family-run businesses which have expanded their empires over successive generations. To select the winners, entries from Business Groups which spanned at least four generations and had a turnover of at least Rs.1000 crore, were first invited across the television, print and online platforms of the Essel Group. The entries received were then verified by Ernst & Young, the internal process partner, using rigorous criteria to arrive at the final winners.

The winners of the first-edition of the Zee Media Family Business Legacy Awards are Dabur India Ltd., Wagh Bakri Tea Group and Wockhardt Ltd. Mukherjee conferred the awards on the recipients – Dr. Anand C. Burman, Chairman, Dabur India Ltd., Piyush Ochhavlal Desai, Chairman, Wagh Bakri Tea Group and Dr. Murtaza Khorakiwala, Managing Director, Wockhardt Ltd. respectively.

To further mark this significant occasion, Modi launched Dr. Subhash Chandra (DSC) Foundation, the brainchild of Chandra, which aims to help budding entrepreneurs and educationists, by not just providing them with funds but by creating a chain model. The proposed model of DSC Foundation will not just be a financial provider but will ensure that the recipients of the financial support from DSC Foundation will have to give back to the society by mutual consent. Unlike any other NGO, the financial assistance provided from DSC Foundation is not a loan that has to be paid back to the Foundation, but in return the recipients have to then help some other person in need.

Chandra also launched WION – World is One News’, the first-ever global news network, in the presence of Modi. A revolutionary product from the Zee Media stable, WION, with its headquarters in India, represents a sophisticated transition from the usual ‘Breaking News’ phenomenon and brings exclusive and insightful content that often escapes popular media. Targeting upscale viewers in India as well as the Indian diaspora, WION’s endeavour is to showcase content that truly represents the spirit of South Asia with focus on India. WION meets the aspirations of 2 billion South Asians in creating a global TV network that reflects a South Asian view of global events and news. The goal of the channel is to engage and empower viewers through balanced and extraordinary storytelling on digital, mobile and television platforms.

The event was hosted by Sudhir Chaudhary, Editor-in-Chief of Zee News, Zee Business, WION and DNA, and witnessed a beautiful performance of ‘Vande Mataram’ by the artists of Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Lil Champs and Dance India Dance.

90 years ago in 1926, the nation’s agricultural development gained momentum and that’s when Essel Group’s foray into Food Grain trading started. Over the nine decades, Essel Group has become a multi-billion dollar business conglomerate, having diverse business presence across Media, Entertainment, Packaging, Real Estate, Infrastructure, Education, Finance, Precious metals and Technology sectors. Essel has created an impressive track record of value creation over nine decades, in all businesses. The Group companies strive to bring the latest innovations and the best value offerings to all the consumers in a quest to deliver the best in class. With worldwide operations and a workforce of over 40000 employees, Essel Group is growing in strength day by day.