Navtej Sarna

Navtej Sarna was till recently India’s Ambassador to the United States. As a professional diplomat since 1980, Sarna has also been India’s High Commissioner to the UK, Ambassador to the State of Israel and Secretary at the Ministry of External Affairs. He has the distinction of being India’s longest serving foreign office spokesperson, having held that post for six years. In the earlier years of his service, he served in various diplomatic posts in Moscow, Poland, Bhutan, Iran, Washington and Geneva.

Navtej Sarna is also an established author of fiction and non-fiction. His work includes the novels The Exile and We Weren’t Lovers Like That, the short story collection Winter Evenings, non-fiction works The Book of Nanak, Second Thoughts and Indians at Herod’s Gate, as well as two translations, Zafarnama and Savage Harvest. He has been a regular contributor to several Indian newspapers and journals as well as to the Times Literary Supplement, Financial Times (UK), London Magazine and the BBC.

Tessa Blackstone

Tessa Blackstone started her career as an academic at the London School of Economics. She went onto become the Master of Birkbeck College for 10 years (1987-97).

In 1987, Tessa Blackstone was awarded a life peerage. She sits on the Labour benches in the Lords. She was Opposition spokeswoman for Education and Science (1988-92), for Treasury matters (1990-91), and principal Opposition spokeswoman for Foreign Affairs (1992-97). After Labour came into power in 1997, she was Minister of State for Education and Employment (1997-2001) and then served in the Department of Culture, Media and Sport as the Minister for the Arts.

Baroness Blackstone is currently Chair of The British Library. She is also Chair of Orbit Housing Group, the British section of the Franco British Council, the British Lung Foundation and the Bar Standards Board. She stepped down as Vice Chancellor of the University of Greenwich in September 2011, as Trustee of the Royal Opera House in June 2014 and as Chair at Great Ormond Street Hospital in 2017.

She has published widely in academic journals and written a number of books, mainly on social and educational policy.

Zarir Cama

He was conferred the Darjah Setia Pangkuan Negeri (D.S.P.N.), which carries the title ‘Dato’, by the Governor of Penang in July 2006. In April 2007 he was conferred the Dato’ Paduka Mahkota Perak (D.P.M.P.) by the Sultan of Perak on the occasion of His Majesty’s 79th Birthday, the only
foreign banker to have been so honoured twice.

In London, He was Chairman on the Council of the British Malaysian Society and a former Council Member of The Royal Society for Asian Affairs. He was a Trustee, Director and Vice-Chairman of Asia House, the only such organisation in Britain which embraces and promotes the Century of Asia as
its core value. He was also a Trustee of Britain’s National Youth Orchestra. He helps the Oval House Theatre and The Geffrye Museum in their fund raising activities.

In the UK, he is a member of М.С.С., The Royal Automobile Club (RAC), The Oriental Club and The Arts Club.

He started his Banking career in 1967 and was with Hsbc for close to 44 years . He was the first Indian to be made CEO of HSBC India in 1999 and the first Asian to Head HSBC in Malaysia in 2002 . During his service in India he was appointed a Group General Manager of HSBC holdings Plc

He retired from the HSBC Group at the end of 2011 after 44 years service but continued as a Non-Executive Director of HSBC Bank Bermuda Limited, The Saudi British Bank (SABB) and HSBC Private Banking Holdings (Suisse) SA. He completed his tenure in these Boards by end of June 2018. He is a Non-Executive Director of Tata Capital UK and Tata Capital Singapore and its subsidiaries.

He is a committed environmentalist, a passionate conservationist and an advocate of the Arts.
He was the moving spirit in marking HSBC’s 120h year in Malaysia and the release of its anecdotal history “HSBC Its Malaysian Story” and has also been responsible for the publication of two histories of personal experiences during the Japanese occupation of Malaya in WWII.

Whilst in Malaysia, he initiated and completed the restoration of “Suffolk Housing” in Penang – a unique Anglo-Indian style mansion which became the seat of Government during British times.

Zarir Cama was born in Bombay, India on 26 May 1947 and educated at St Paul’s School, Darjeeling and St Stephen’s College, Delhi. He is married to Shelialla and they have two children, Nyresa and Yashan, who currently live and work in London and Hong Kong.

Camellia Panjabi

Camellia Panjabi is the author of the world’s best-selling book on curry, 50 Great Curries of India. It has sold over 800,000 copies and has been described as ‘the definitive guide to Indian cooking’.

Born in Mumbai, Camellia read Economics at Cambridge and went on to become the Marketing Director of Taj Hotels, India’s most prestigious hotel group. With a lifelong passion for food, Camellia helped create several restaurants for these premier hotels, featuring little-known regional dishes.

Camellia opened the Bombay Brasserie in London, in 1982, introducing regional Indian cooking to the UK for the first time, and changing the way Indian cuisine is perceived in Britain.

In 2001, she joined her family’s restaurant company, Masala World, owner of Chutney Mary, Veeraswamy, Masala Zone and Amaya.

Vikramjeet Sahney

‘’Padma Shri Vikramjit S. Sahney is a well-known entrepreneur & philanthropist.  He is the President of ICC Paris-India; Chair of SAARC Chamber of Commerce & Industry; Honorary Consul for the Republic of South Africa; Chair of BRICS Agri Business Council, Board Member-India Brand Equity Forum & Member-Board of Trade Govt. of India. He is also the International President, World Punjabi Organisation; Secretary General-Maharaja Ranjit Singh Trust; Board member, FICCI & ASSOCHAM & Chairman- Sun Group & Sun Foundation.

Mr. Sahney has earlier been a Patron of KSLF.  He is working relentlessly towards creating a humane and equitable society through his charitable initiatives that include Beti Bachao, Beti Padao; empowering Rural girls with skills; Drug De-addiction & Rehabilitation Centres & Skilling youth for job; adoption of Martyr families through contribution towards ‘Bharat Ke Veer’ ; promoting the rich heritage & culture through setting up of Sikh Heritage Multimedia Museum at Gurudwara Bangla Saheb showcasing the key tenets of Sikhism and depicting lives and times of Sikh Gurus through murals, translates, paintings as also the audio/videos run at its 3D auditorium and much more.

Mr. Sahney is a passionate sufi singer and has produced several soul stirring music albums including sufi, religious and social messages on issues like Save the Girl Child, Drug Abuse as also on Sikh Heritage.

Mr. Sahney has been conferred with the honour of Padma Shri by the honourable President of India, Smt. Pratibha Patil and International Peace Award by the Hon’ble President of Mauritius Sir Anerood Jugnauth. Some other awards to his credit include “Raja Ram Mohan Roy award for women upliftment”; “Mother India International Award, 1992”; Arch of India Gold Award for 1993; Rashtriya Gaurav Award 2004; Community Service Award by Asian WHO’s WHO International, UK; Millennium Sikh Award by Deputy Prime Minister of India and several others.

His mantra of life – work is worship and charity is path to nirvana, is truly elucidated in his commitments to life. “

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