India’s leading business conglomerate, the Essel Group is celebrating 90 years of innovation, leadership, growth and transforming the world. To commemorate the occasion, the Essel Group, led by its Chairman Dr. Subhash Chandra on Sunday announced the launch of the DSC Foundation by contributing Rs 5,000 crore from his family wealth, the ‘Sarthi’ initiative and its English global news network, WION – World Is One News, in the presence of President Pranab Mukherjee and Prime Minister 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, Wagh Bakri Tea Group and Wockhardt.
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 Avdeshanand and Gurmeet Ram Rahim Singh, amongst others.
Speaking on the occasion, President Pranab Mukherjee congratulated the Essel Group on completing 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 a fresh new perspective. Unlike 90 years ago, the situation in the world today is very different, he said. 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, said the President. He said that thanks to our ingenuity and ability we have absorbed and advanced technology.
The President further said that the 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 differ and therefore, it is important to maintain objectivity and truthfulness in news. Media must take note of the the positive things taking place in day to day life, he added.
The President said that in the next ten years, the Essel Group would be organizing its centenary celebrations. They should remain young even at 100, he said.
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 Shri 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, the Prime Minister 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 Member of Parliament and Chairman – Essel Group, 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 5,000 crore out of our profits towards this Foundation.”
President Pranab Mukherjee launched Sarthi, an initiative that seeks to create a nation where citizens are well informed about their rights and duties and empowered to raise their voice against the problems faced by them, which are then effectively addressed and resolved.
Sarthi is a network of like-minded institutions (corporate foundations, non-government organizations, volunteers, trusts, community based organizations, concerned government departments) 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 honor and recognise India’s oldest family-run businesses which have expanded their empires over successive generations. Entries from Business Groups spanning at least four generations and with a turnover of at least Rs 1,000 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 were Dabur India, Wagh Bakri Tea Group and Wockhardt Ltd.
President Mukherjee conferred the awards on the recipients - Dr Anand C. Burman, Chairman, Dabur India; Piyush Ochhavlal Desai, Chairman, Wagh Bakri Tea Group and Dr Murtaza Khorakiwala, Managing Director, Wockhardt, respectively.
Prime Minister Modi launched the Dr Subhash Chandra (DSC) Foundation, the brainchild of Rajya Sabha MP & Essel Group Chairman, Dr. Subhash 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 give back to 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. In return, the recipients have to then help another person in need.
On this prestigious platform, Dr Subhash Chandra also launched WION - World is One News’, the first-ever global news network. 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 endeavor 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 riveting performance of ‘Vande Mataram’ by the artists of Sa Re Ga Ma Pa Lil Champs and Dance India Dance.