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Jan-Feb 2019 Enlighten Engage



Group with a difference!

V O L U M E 8 I S S U E 1


BANK OF BARODA India’s Premier Public Sector Bank with a Truly Global Presence having over 5400 Branches/offices spanning across 24 countries offers comprehensive international banking products, services and financial solutions to meet your overseas banking requirements. Eligible Deposits are protected by Hong Kong Deposit Protection Board up to HKD 500,000 per depositor. Please avail our Rupee Remittance Service to India with no charges when both applicant and beneficiary maintain account with Bank of Baroda. For more information, please visit our web site http://bankofbaroda.hk/ or contact us at: Bank of Baroda, Hong Kong, 4th Floor, Dina House, Ruttonjee Centre, Central. Tel: +852- 2521 5166, Fax: +852- 2868 4702 Email: hongko@bankofbaroda.com

Wishes you a very Happy & Prosperous New Year Chief Executive and Staff Hong Kong Branch Room No: 4206-07, 42/F, Hopewell Centre, 183 Queen’s Road East, Wan Chai, Hong Kong. Phone: 2521 1398

Canara Bank is a member of the Deposit Protection Scheme. Eligible deposits taken by this Bank are protected by the scheme up to a limit of HK$500,000 per depositor.






This year, we will be celebrating the 70th Republic Day of India on 26 January 2019. On this occasion, I convey my heartiest greetings to all Indians in Hong Kong and Macau. I also convey my best wishes to the people of Hong Kong and Macau SARs on this occasion. India and Hong Kong share lot of commonalities. Both are connected through business as well as through culture. India and Hong Kong both are major trade partners of each other, with the bilateral trade touching USD 34 billion last year. With the entry into force of DTAA, it will further boost the flow of investment, technology and personnel from both sides. Both India and Hong Kong share pluralism and diversity, and this has contributed to better understanding of each other. The Indian Community in Hong Kong has made their mark in various aspects of Hong Kong. They have played a vital and significant role in development of Hong Kong as well as build partnership between India and Hong Kong. Their achievements are recognised not only by the Governments but all sections of society. I once again convey our best wishes on this joyous occasion to all.

Puneet -Agrawal

6 December 2018

16-A, United Centre, 95 Queensway, Admiralty, Hong Kong; Tel: +852 3970 9911; Fax: +852 2865 4617; e-Mail: cg.officel@cgihk.gov.in; cg.hongkong@mea.gov.in; website: cgihk.gov.in




EDITOR’S HAPPY NEW YEAR to all our readers! NOTE We, at A-Desiflava Magazine, hope that you had a fantastic end to 2018 and that the New Year brings in all the good health and wealth your way. Also, a Happy Republic Day to all our Indian readers. I’d like to extend my gratitude to Consul General of India, Mr Puneet Agrawal, for taking out the time and sending our readers a message for the forthcoming 70th Republic Day.

For the first issue of 2019, I wanted to bring a slight transformation to A-Desiflava Magazine. Women have been through a lot and the past year has seen a worldwide movement of women raising their voices and not pleading, but demanding to be heard. This issue is A-Desiflava’s ode to the 21st Century women. The COVER STORY looks into the lives and achievements of women in India and Hong Kong, who have not only excelled in their careers but also made a mark in professions that were not previously available to women. In addition to featuring women who are globally known trailblazers in their professions, the cover also calls attention to some local heroines who have built their own empires while also making considerable contributions to the society. Even though all of these women come from different professional levels and backgrounds, the bottom line is that they remain uninterrupted. So ladies, no matter who you are, where you come from or what you do, this issue is dedicated to you.

Archita Bisht Managing Editor ab@aplomhk.com

For the PHILANTHREPRENEUR section of the magazine, we had the honor to sit down with Mrs Purviz R. Shroff and reminisce about her life and achievements. If you are looking to get inspired by what all a woman can do with a strong will, then look no further than our very own Mrs Shroff, who has not only built an empire with her late husband, Mr Rusy M. Shroff but also made major contributions to the society. Keeping up with the theme of the issue, for the GLOBETROTTER column, guest writer, Reshma Rohra, writes about destinations you can explore as a solo female backpacker (Eat, Pray, Love anyone?) The world is gearing up for Valentine’s Day and I had to make sure I brought a fresh take on Valentine’s Day. The IN THE MOOD column is hours of research combined together into an editorial for those of you who are still looking for love in this digital era. And even if you are not presently in the mood for love, this article might just make things easier for you in the future. The WHILE AGO column features an event from October 27th when the Children Cultural Group celebrated the birthday of the people's President Bharat Ratna, Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam with renowned Space Scientist of India Padma Shri Dr. Mylswamy Annadurai in Hong Kong. Something new in this issue is the CATCH UP column. The column is solely dedicated to the news worthy events that took place in both, India and Hong Kong over the past year. It is incredible to see what all the two nations have achieved in the past year. Allow me to close this note by saying that I am honored to be a part of the A-Desiflava family and I look forward to writing many more notes for you! Cheers to 2019!

Archita Bisht


Jan-Feb 2019 Enlighten Engage


V O L U M E 8 I S S U E 1

EDITORIAL: Gaurav Pardeshi (Chief Editor) Archita Bisht (Managing Editor) PUBLISHER: Neha Gaurav Pathak


Group with a difference!


DESIGN CONSULTANT: Sivasakthibalan CONTRIBUTORS: Amigos Group Dr Chitra Sivakumar Reshma Rohra Mrs Poonam Mehta Munisha Khatwani

FOR ADVERTISEMENTS PLEASE CONTACT: Preeti Wadhwa T +852 64348876 Email: pw@aplomhk.com PRINTED BY: 01 PRINTING LIMITED Suite M, 3/F, Tower 3, 448 Kwun Tong Road, Kwun Tong Industrial Center, Kwun Tong, Kowloon, Hong Kong. Tel: +852-2811 1183 COVER DESIGN: Studio3 Creations

No part of this magazine may be reproduced in any form without permission. The publisher, layout designer, contributors, their employees and partners are not responsible for the results of any actions, errors or omissions taken on the basis of information contained in this publication and expressly disclaim all and any liability for any such action of any person. The views expressed in A-Desiflava are not necessarily those of the publisher, editor, layout designer or contributors. The publisher, layout designer and editor cannot be held responsible for differences of opinion or statements published in good faith. The mention of specific companies or products in articles or advertisements does not imply that they are endorsed or recommended by this magazine or its publisher in preference to others of a similar nature which are not mentioned or advertised.




16 Justice might be Blind, but it sure isn’t Deaf:


Cover Story

22 T o live is to give and forgive Philanthroper

28 W  omen in Business She Ventures

32 F lying Solo Glovetrotter

16 28

40 W  hole Lotta

Digital Loving In the Mood

51 A  Day filled with

Science, Space and Celebration! While Ago

58 C atching up with


newsworthy events from India and Hong Kong in the past year Catch Up

62 C elebrating

Womanhood & Female Empowerment KitKat Events

66 T hink you can name all

the women featured on the cover? Have a look at our editorials to know for sure! CONTESTS






t was in 2012, while having cocktails with some of our like-minded friends including Mr Raju Sabnani, that the idea for creating a group different from the other social groups in Hong Kong came about. Right there and then, Mr Sabnani, who is a wellknown personality in the Indian community of Hong Kong, took the initiative and founded the group as its permanent president. The journey began there and, Amigos: The Young Millionaires Group was born. Amigos is an association of young Indians from all walks of life. In Spanish, the word “Amigos” means friends and “The Young Millionaires Group” was added considering that everyone is young at heart. Amigos, is a non-profit, social organization registered under the Societies ordinance. The main object of the society is to promote social, religious and cultural integration of its members,


Group with a difference! mainly the persons of Indian origin. The group is a good mix of people from different cultural backgrounds like Sindhis, Gujratis, Marwaris, Punjabis, Maharashtrians etc. Besides organizing highly entertaining sociocultural events, the Group is also dedicated to charitable causes and continues to work towards the upliftment of the society. Amigos works on a “No Profit No Loss” basis and is not an entity subject to profit tax in Hong Kong. Additionally, to ensure that that the events are meaningful as well as entertaining, Mr Sabnani is well supported by dedicated committee members of the group who share different responsibilities. Over the years, many bankers, top executives from various corporates and business communities have joined the Group. In addition to having some of the top professionals in the Group, some of the group’s events are sponsored by many wellknown companies, persons and banks of Hong Kong.








The Group usually has an event every month for its members at a luxurious venue. The environment normally is casual and very business friendly and boasts of people from all communities. The events are based on a wide range of themes from business to politics to entertainment or even just mere gossip.

There are around 5-6 family functions including Diwali, Christmas, Valentines, excursion to China , family sports day etc. While other events are for male members of the group. Amigos is the only group in Hong Kong which is fully an evening function group while most of the groups in Hong Kong are luncheon groups.


Most of the functions are organized with the aim of entertaining the members of the Group. Usually, performers or Bollywood artists etc are called upon to perform during the events. At each event, it feels great to see the members having fun, and when you see that everyone is enjoying themselves, then the feeling of accomplishment compares to no other. In our books, that is a purpose well achieved.  Diwali is one of the biggest celebrated events of the year with big Bollywood stars, singers, performers and lots of entertainers invited to grace the event and add to the entertainment factor. To keep the spirit of Diwali alive, the Group hosted a grand and delightful, Super Se Ooper Diwali Ball 2018, which was not only attended by the members of the Group but also sizzling Bollywood divas Shilpa and Shamita Shetty, whose performances had the guests captivated. Sensational singer, Pratibha Singh Baghel had everyone mesmerized with her voice. Rockstar singer and performer Avijit Roy’s performance also made the guests groove along with him. Comedy king, Gaurav Sharma undoubtedly brought the whole house to tears with his witty humour and the versatile actor/anchor/ emcee, Vikalp Mehta and gorgeous Deepti Sadhwani guided the guests through the plan of the evening.










The party was filled with entertainment with everyone enjoying and dancing along with the beats. We were able to bring the Amigos Diwali Ball to this level due to the kind and generous support of Late Mr Rusy Shroff and Mrs Purviz R. Shroff, whom the whole group is honoured to have as our mentor,

As far as the last party of the year is concerned, the Group hosted a Year End fiesta to say goodbye to 2018 and bring on 2019 in the most stylish way. Mixing it with the spirit of Christmas, the all-white themed party at Spiga on 9th December, proved to be a huge success with all the members of the Group dancing the night away.






The Group takes pride that in a very short span of time Amigos has become a well-known name among the Indian Community in Hong Kong and thanks its members and sponsors for keeping their trust in the group. Currently, Amigos consists of 125 members. The committee is chosen by the existing members and consists of active committee

members and advisors. When Mr Raju Sabnani was asked about the group, he replied that the group is “like a big family� for him. The Amigos Group remains as one big and constantly growing family with the motive of: Entertainment, Entertainment and Entertainment for its family members throughout the year.


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Justice might be Blind, but it sure isn’t Deaf: The

Rise of the 21st Century Woman By: Archita Bisht

Who is the 21st Century woman?

She is a daughter, a sister, a wife, a mother, she is a Hindu, a Muslim, a Christian, a Buddhist, an Atheist and she is also a chef, a CEO, a neuroscientist, a surgeon, a dancer, a soldier, an astronaut, an activist, a journalist and anyone else she wishes to be in her life. She is the woman that the women in the 20th Century fought for and now she is the woman who marches hand in hand with her brothers and sisters to fight for those

to come after her. The 21st Century woman takes up space because she belongs there and not just because she is a woman. She is not afraid to raise her voice for herself or for those who need to be heard but don’t have a voice. The 21st Century woman believes in the cause of feminism not because she wants to tear men down, but because she wants equal representation for women. Even though she is not completely free and still has to face and overcome age old hurdles set by the patriarchy, the 21st Century woman is breaking barriers and there is no stopping her.

While women have been historically poorly represented in top positions, today, women can be found sitting in some of the highest positions in the world. Not just that but they are in control of positions which were previously almost exclusively available to men. Leaving their marks in fields ranging from art to politics, women are taking up space in places where they were not welcomed before. Even though there is still some resistance against women stepping into the world where the men controlled the job market, women today, are not looking for


The 21st Century woman believes in the cause of feminism not because she wants to tear men down, but because she wants equal representation for women.


approval. Women are now stronger than ever and in this cover story, we take a look at women from India and Hong Kong who have not only made a dent, but shattered the glass ceiling created by patriarchy.



The life of a woman becomes a saga of dealing with sexism as soon as she is born. And things don’t necessarily get better with age, instead, they almost always tend to get worse. She has to deal with comments about her weight, her complexion, her hair, her mannerisms, sometimes she’s too dumb, sometimes she’s too smart, too tall, too short, too pretty or just plain ugly. Somehow even though we keep changing our calendars, the world doesn’t seem to be moving with the time. Even today women are expected to get married (preferably rich) in their 20s so they can bear children and then spend their lives taking care of their husbands and children. Maybe this was fine at a time when women were lawfully disbarred from workspaces but now that it is possible for a woman to rise to the top, these “traditions” are redundant. Women are now fighting to gain full control over their personal, social and economic lives.

The global priority on putting education first has given women the chance to become someone in their lives. Even though on a bigger scale, the spotlight on education is so that it can eventually help eradicate poverty, it has played a very significant role in the progress of women. Education allowed women to get jobs that their mothers or grandmothers had dreamed of and rather than being financially dependent on their partners, education enabled women to rise up and support themselves.


Even though we keep changing our calendars, the world doesn’t seem to be moving with the time.




India - M C Mary Kom, Boxer

Already eyeing the Gold at the 2020 Olympics, Mary Kom is far from tired. The boxer made history on 24th November 2018 and became the most successful boxer in the history of Women's World Championships by winning her sixth gold medal. Her track record is a long one, which includes, silver in the inaugural edition in 2001 and a gold for each in the next five consecutive editions -- 2002, 2005, 2006, 2008 and 2010. The Manipuri boxer, nicknamed “Magnificant Mary”, is a mother of 3 and is happily married to footballer Karung Onkholer. Growing up in a poor family with both parents working as farmers, Mary Kom was like any other child who went to school, did her chores and helped her parents. She had a keen interest in athletics since she was young but only developed a strong inclination towards boxing when Dingko Singh returned from the 1990 Asian Games with a Gold medal. Drawing inspiration from his success, Mary Kom started to train to become a boxer while

keeping it a secret from her father as he was a wrestler in his youth and therefore was concerned about the impact that boxing could have on Mary Kom’s face and also her marriage prospects. However, eventually after seeing her dedication and love for boxing, he began to support her career. The boxer went on a short hiatus after getting married but started training again after having children and came back to rule the boxing ring.

Hong Kong - Ng On Yee, Snooker Player Hong Kong’s world champion, Ng grew up in Hong Kong's then workingclass district Sham Shui Po and began her snooker education in her father's snooker hall at age 13 and wished that one day she would be able to wear the sleek waistcoat and bow-tie snooker outfit.




mother’s wishes to say no to Yale so she could get married, Nooyi became one of the few female CEOs (1 of 11 at the time) and even fewer coloured female CEOs to hold a high profile position at a Fortune 500 company.

Additionally, she was one of the earliest CEOs in the sector to try to adjust to the company to the public’s growing demand for healthier goods and moved corporate spending away from junk foods and into the healthier alternatives.

Hong Kong – Abby Zhang, Co-founder of YEECHOO.com She left school at 17 to concentrate on her cue skills but returned to college for two years to pick up an Advanced Diploma in Accounting in 2015. Her ascent to number one came after a record 2017 when she won her second world championship and six other titles. And her next challenge? She is striving to make a mark on the men’s circuit.

Keen to crumble the image of snooker as a maledominated sport saying that physical strength does not matter. Ng became the first Asian woman to be invited to the men’s world championship in 2016 and, although she lost in the first qualifying round, she still saw it as a valuable learning experience.

Featured in Forbes 30 under 30 in 2017, Abby is the Co-founder of YEECHOO. COM. Founded in 2014, it is China/Hong Kong’s first and largest one stop shop for designer dress and accessory rental, where you can rent the most in-season designer dresses at as low as 1/10 of the retail price. The company offers over 150 top-tier international designer labels and thousands of fresh-offthe-runway apparel and accessories.

India - Indra Nooyi, Chairman at PepsiCo

Prior to YEECHOO, Abby worked with Citi Investment Banking in New York, Credit Suisse in Hong Kong,

Even though no longer at the position, Indra Nooyi is undoubtedly one of the most recognized names in


Entrepreneurs the business world. After 24 years in the company including 12 years as the CEO, she stepped down in October 2018 at the age of 62. An inspiration and a ray of hope for girls, she has often emphasized on the importance of encouraging women to aim for the top roles and the importance of hiring female talent for a successful business. Instead of following her

involved in numerous cross-border mergers and acquisitions transactions in consumer, mining and financials sectors.

India – Chanda Kochhar, CEO and Managing Director at ICICI Bank Now, a former CEO, Chanda Kochhar was the first woman and the youngest CEO to head ICICI bank and was no less than a trailblazer in the financial world. Joining the bank in 1984, a time when the sector was primarily male-dominated, she made her mark in the financial world nationally as well as globally and often lauded

as the authority that guided ICICI to where it is today. After being a part of the bank for over 30 years in various roles, she stepped down in October 2018, leaving a legacy that is inspirational to say the least. Chanda Kochhar joined the company as a Management Trainee. After steady



promotions to Assistant General Manager, Deputy General Manager, Executive Director and Deputy Managing Direction, she was appointed as CEO and Managing Director in 2009, right in time for the global financial crisis. She was honoured with the Padma Bhushan, one

of India’s highest civilian honours, in 2011. Under her leadership, ICICI Bank won the "Best Retail Bank in India" multiple times. Kochhar has personally garnered many awards is a frequent on the Forbes Fortune and Time magazine lists.

Hong Kong – Laura Cha, Chairwoman of Hong Kong Exchanges and Clearing (HKEX) Referred to as “Hong Kong’s Iron Lady”, Laura Cha, at 68 years old and a grandmother to 3, became Hong Kong exchange’s first female chief in its 127-year history in April 2018. Cha had a relative late start to her career to focus on bringing up her two children and being a full-time

housewife for six years in the US where she lived. It was during that period that she became interested in law and returned to school to read law. She qualified as a lawyer in the US before returning to Hong Kong in 1985 and eventually renouncing her US citizenship. Cha has served as a senior official on the HKEX’s regulatory body, the Securities and Futures Commission, and on its

counterpart in Mainland China, the China Securities Regulatory Commission. Her previous stint as a vice-chairman at the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) from 2001 to 2004 drew mixed responses, but it earned her a place in the history of China’s capital market development – the first Hongkonger and nonmainlander to take on a viceministerial position within the central government.

Technology India – Neelam Dhawan, VP and General Manager HPE Group and Country Managing Director of Hewlett-Packard India. Neelam Dhawan is the Vice President and General Manager, HP Enterprise (HPE) Group and Country Managing Director of Hewlett-Packard India. She has countrywide responsibility for revenues and profitability and ensuring the greatest leverage from HP’s services, personal systems and imaging & printing businesses. Since November 2016, she has also been responsible for the regional leadership role of Asia-


Pacific and Japan to lead the Global Industries, Strategic Alliances & Inside Sales for HPE Asia Pacific and Japan. With a portfolio that extends to offshore activities, BPO, software engineering, research and IT services, Neelam is focused on shaping the company’s overall business agenda and leading its strategy and corporate development efforts to make HP the most admired company in India.

Previously, Neelam was the Managing Director of Microsoft India, a position she held from 2005 to 2008. During her tenure, she sharpened Microsoft’s strategic focus and improved its operating efficiency and execution, as well as its financial performance and customer focus.




Hong Kong – Catherine Tan, Founder and CEO of Notey Catherin Tan, founder and CEO of Notey, was born and raised in Hong Kong. Before moving on to her stint in the world of tech and after graduating from university in the UK, she worked in investment banking in London and Hong Kong during which time she discovered her entrepreneurial skills. At the age of 34, Catherine left a career in investment banking

Armed Services India – Captain Divya Ajith Kumar

to launch start-up Notey, with her husband in 2014. The idea for Notey came about when Tan herself was looking for some travel inspiration from people who had been there and done that but instead came across websites that would host blogs or big travel blogs like CNN and Condé Nast. From this personal experience, and essentially acts as a blogTan focused Notey on solely searching engine. being a one-stop destination for the best blogs for any topic The start-up has since Born in Chennai to a Tamil family, Captain Divya Ajith Kumar is a first generation soldier in her family. She joined NCC (National Cadet Corps) which inspired her to join Indian Army and participated in NCC women contingent in Rajpath and later joined OTA ( Officers Training Academy). At 21, she became the first woman in the history of the

Indian Army to receive the coveted ‘Sword of Honour' prize, which is awarded to the best cadet, where she passed with a total of 244 cadets, including 63 women. At 25, she commanded the first all-women contingent of 154 officers during of the Armed Forces during the Republic Day Parade in 2015. Besides excelling in her career, Captain Kumar

attracted more than US$1.5 million in funding.

is also an accomplished Bharatanatyam dancer, percussionist and wellversed in sports like basketball and discus throw. She has also made her mark in shooting competitions, having won a gold medal for her sharpshooting prowess at the General JJ Singh Officers Air Weapons Competition in 2012.

Hong Kong – Winnie Chin Wai-Yin, Senior Assistant Commissioner Senior Assistant Commissioner of Police, Chiu Wai-yin became Hong Kong’s first female deputy commissioner in its 173-year history in July 2017. Chiu, 54, joined the force as an inspector in 1983. She was promoted to senior superintendent in 2002 and

chief superintendent in 2006. She became assistant commissioner in 2011 and senior assistant commissioner in 2014. She is currently the director of personnel and training. In her more than 33 years in the police force, Chiu has

served in posts encompassing criminal intelligence, narcotics, international liaison, training, divisional, district and regional commands as well as operation policy and support at the headquarters level.

Now, while these women have undoubtedly raised the bar and made a mark in professions dominated by men, they have also raised families simultaneously. It is important to understand that their achievenements are not a propoganda encouraging women to not get married or bear

children, but a demonstration of how, with hard work and persistence, women can infiltrate and excel at even those jobs that were not previously available to them. There is nothing wrong with wanting to get married and raise a family; the fault is in telling girls that that is their

only option and duty. Beyond these names, there are millions of other women who are doing groundbreaking things everyday. She could be here in Hong Kong, in India, in South Africa or Brazil or anywhere else in the world. Women all over the world are raising their voice and letting the world know that

their liberation isn’t far from now. They are out to gain full control of their education, their careers, their bodies and their endgame. So, in 2019 and in the years to come, I hope that women continue to demand more space, more authority and fight for equality for all!

Archita Bisht is the Managing Editor at A-Desiflava Magazine and can be reached at ab@aplomhk.com






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A Walk Down Memory Lane with Mrs. Purviz R. Shroff, MH

Recently, we had the honourable opportunity to sit and chat with Mrs. Purviz R. Shroff about her inspirational life story. Having lived in Hong Kong for over 45 years, in this interview, we chat with her about everything from her background in India and to her life here in Hong Kong.



Please tell us about yourself, your family and educational background. I was born in Calcutta, India. I was only 3 to 4 years old when we came to Pune. It was lovely growing up in Pune. I went to school at Queen Mary’s, then to Dastur School, where I became the head girl. After Pune, I went to Bombay for a few years, and I taught at the Queen Mary School. Psychology was always part of my passion.

Please tell us about your reason for coming to Hong Kong and staying here. I came to Hong Kong in the 1970s after getting married to Rusy M. Shroff, BBS, MBE.

Please tell us how long you have been living here? Over 45 years.

My son Zarir lost his life at the age of 36 in a very tragic car accident in Switzerland. After his death, I had a vision of him. He held my hands, and said be brave and carry on because life must go on. Soon after the vision, my two very dear friends Molly O’Dell and Mohini Gidumal introduced Mother’s Choice to me.

How was it when you came and how is it now? Rusy always said that there is no place he’d rather be than in Hong Kong because Hong Kong is one of those safe, well-organized and highly efficient places in the world.

What do you admire the most in this world? Why? Nothing better than spending time with my pumpkins (babies), family and friends. I love looking after my pumpkins at Mother’s Choice, singing to them a lullaby which I used to sing to my son when he was young. I enjoy spending time at the Parsee Club with family and friends. At the weekend, I like racing at Shatin Racecourse where I used to spend time with my dear Rusy.

Family - Mr. and Mrs. Rusy M Shroff with Mrs Shroff's mother (Mrs. Hilla Moogat) at Tai Mahal Hotel on 14 Sept 1977

Who or what has been a constant inspiration in your life? My numerous life values were learnt from my late mother and father. My mother (Mrs. Hilla Moogat) was the first ever lady Principal in Bulsar, Gujarat, and she continues to be an inspiration to me up till today.

What is your favourite hobby? Why do you enjoy doing it? I always craved being surrounded by babies and young children and teaching them.

Any unforgettable moments to share with our readers?


It was Father’s Day, June 15. The phone rang and I assumed it was my son Zarir ringing for his father. But it was my daughter-in-law telling of his death. I was totally shattered.

What are the causes that are closest to your heart? And why?

Late Mr Shroff - Mrs Shroff Late Mr Zarir

How did you support your husband in his business and other social work? To support my husband, I have tried my very best to be involved in his business and social life. For our business, I have been Permanent Managing Director of Ruttonjee Estates Continuation Limited. To attend various meetings involving the daily operation of our Ruttonjee Centre. For community work, I am Vice-Chairperson of The Hong Kong Tuberculosis, Chest and Heart Diseases Association, co-founded by late Mr. Jehangir H. Ruttonjee CBE, JP in 1948. My dear Rusy was Chairman of the Association for 17 years during 1983 to 2000. Before his passing, he was VicePresident of the Association.

Babies. My love has always been babies. Racing - ROYAL PRINCE won the ATV 50th Anniversary Cup on 20 May 2007


My son said to me, “You always loved babies, so go and care for babies.”

Mr and Mrs Rusy M Shroff



I continue to serve the Association on various committees. I have been Member of the Hospital Governing Committees of Ruttonjee & Tang Shiu Kin Hospitals and Grantham Hospital for many years.

Who was more into the community work, you or your husband? How did it influence each of you in doing more and more? I joined the Board of The Hong Kong Tuberculosis, Chest and Heart Diseases Association in 2002. Since 2006, I have been serving as Vice Chairperson. Currently I am a member on Sister Mary Aquinas and Purviz & Rusy Shroff Scholarship Committee (previously known as “Sister Aquinas’ Memorial Fund Committee”) (2012 - Present); Freni Care and Attention Home Management Committee (2005 – Present); Hospital Governing Committee, Grantham Hospital (2004 – Present); Hospital Governing Committee, Ruttonjee & Tang Shiu Kin Hospitals (2002 – Present).

The Hong Kong Indian Women’s Club (HKIWC) • I served as the President from 1999-2002. Now I am a Patron of the Club.

Please tell us about the recognitions that you got. What do you feel when you are recognised for your efforts?

I am blessed, humbled and honored to have received multiple recognitions. Some of them that come to mind are: in 2018, I was awarded the Medal of Honor (M.H.) by the HKSAR Government for my outstanding and dedicated community and charitable service, particularly my contribution to Hong Kong Tuberculosis, Chest and Heart Diseases Association and Mother’s Choice. I received the Philanthropy Award from Hong Kong Tatler on 20 September 2014. I received the Excellence Award from The India Association Hong Kong on 15 August 2014 in recognition of my devotion and contribution towards the community of Hong Kong. I am extremely thankful to all those who have inspired me throughout my life, such as my late mother, my dear Rusy, Mr. & Mrs. JH Mrs. Shroff received the Medal of Honour from HKSAR Government on 27 October 2018


Ruttonjee, and many others from whom I have learned the strength of perseverance, dedication, and forgiveness.

University, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, City University of Hong Kong and The Hong Kong Academy for Performing Arts. Additionally, I have been involved in making donations to the charitable organizations in India since a long time.

Mrs. Shroff received the Medal of Honour from HKSAR Government on 27 October 2018

Please tell us about your philanthropic work so far. Together with my dear Rusy, we have been supporting quite a lot of charitable organizations and educational institutions.

Charity - Diamond Sponsorship to Lifeline Express Hong Kong

Mother’s Choice • Appointed as Patron (2014 – Present). Over 25 years of volunteer service

Other contributions to the community of Hong Kong (a) Local charitable organizations such as, Mother’s Choice, Women Helping Women Hong Kong, Hong Kong Cancer Fund, Riding for the Disabled Association, Hong Kong Society for the Protection of Children, Lifeline Express Hong Kong Foundation, Youth Diabetes Action, Save the Children Hong Kong, ORBIS Hong Kong, etc. (b) Local universities Having set up scholarships and bursaries to support local students studying at The Hong Kong Polytechnic

Charity - Donation to Women Helping Women HK in 2015

Racing - Mrs. Shroff at the Hong Kong Riding for the Disabled Association Cup Luncheon in 2014



What are your 10 commandments for a wholesome and successful life? To live one’s life to the fullest, I believe:

Charity - Donation to Hong Kong Anti Cancer Society in 2014

Charity - Donation to Sheen Hok Charitable Foundation in 2016

Please tell us about your work with the Mother's Choice. I was one of the longestserving volunteers. I committed 25-years as a volunteer - four days a week from 8 am to 1 pm. I helped care for more than 2,000- babies and saw more than 900 children find loving new homes.

What would be your advice to those are just starting out in the world of philanthropy? Philanthropy is much more than simply giving money. It all starts from your family. First, be nice, helpful and generous to your family members. Then, you can join a cause, which is closest to your heart. Birds of a feather flock

1. To live is to give. Service to Humanity is Service to God. 2. Quit complaining. It is easy to fall into a vicious cycle. 3. Let go of unhappy past. When one door closes, another opens. 4. Look for opportunities to volunteer. 5. Be empathetic. See things from others’ shoes. 6. Babies need our Touch and Hugs. Even we as adults need Touch and Hugs.

7. Help the ageing, the needy and the underprivileged children. 8. Express gratitude. Be thankful. 9. Keep your body healthy. 10. From time to time, take a break. It helps you walk the longer road ahead.

Late Mr. Rusy Motabhoy Shroff BBS MBE (1917 - 2017)

together. After joining a good cause, you will meet more and more people who have similar characters and interests. Your good deeds will influence your family and friends, just like the ripple effect expanding across the water.

It is really hard to take up the loss of spouse. How do you overcome that feeling and get indulged in social work? I told myself that life must go on. Most importantly I believe that my dear Rusy, Zarir and other family members who are in the Land of Angels are looking after, protecting and guiding me. Hope I make them proud.

What advice would you like to give to this generation? Rusy always said, “To live is to give and forgive.”


Award to Mr Shroff - Mrs. Shroff accompanied Late Mr. Rusy M. Shroff to receive the MBE at Buckingham Palace in 1995




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Women in Business SHEVentures is an initiative aimed to empower and celebrate the ambitions of women entrepreneurs in Hong Kong. Their mission is to help women entrepreneurs to grow their businesses to the next level. SHEVentures invited 20 Women entrepreneurs from Hong Kong to share their business models, challenges & success stories and for an exclusive workshop along with industry leaders who will mentor these 20 women as part of the SHEVentures accelerator program. For the next four issues, we shine a spotlight on these 20 women who have started and established their brands from scratch and share their inspiring stories with the world.


or as long as I can remember, I've wanted to pursue my dream of being an entrepreneur. After earning my Post Graduation, I interned with a TV Channel in India, followed by a stint at an

Pearly Chhabra

advertising agency but found myself bored quickly. I also went on to work with American Express and Cadbury India but I was always seeking more. My vision of being an entrepreneur became clearer to me when my wedding makeup turned into a nightmare even after it was done at a very famous chain of salons. My family was horrified at how crazy I looked, and my confidence dropped several notches. This incident led me to wonder if I would have been better off dressing my face up by myself. I quickly became interested in makeovers and after establishing myself in the corporate world, I moved on to manage a salon and garner some real time experience in order to understand the business. It was fascinating to see how anyone could be transformed to look like they could be on the cover of the next glossy. As I started watching tutorials and exposing myself to different techniques and talents on social media, the initial attraction soon made way for an obsession. The thing I love most about

this profession is the fact that there are as many preferences as there are people and you can never get bored doing what you do. As artists, it’s important to make people feel amazing in their own skin and glamming them to be a better version of themselves. I've been tremendously lucky to have unconditional support from my husband, who not only encouraged me to get certified by Namrata Soni but also to become a better version of myself professionally and that is how Glamfacesbypearlychhabra came about. We understand the requirements of a client, the occasion, the outfit, hair, their features etc. It may not seem as intricate to an outsider but there's a ton of stuff that needs consideration before you zero in on a look. Paying full attention to the client’s needs and also being a great listener rather than imposing one’s views also has a very crucial role in delivering a makeover. As a professional makeup artist, it is imperative to stay true to what you do best while understanding the pulse of your client.




he very first question that I am asked by everyone who knows me even a little is- “How do you do it all?” or rhetorically “What all are you involved in?” Sometimes, I wonder myself! Having lived in the land of opportunities (Hong Kong) for 7 years now, it has been an unparalleled journey and a huge contrast from my home country, Canada. Wrapping up my life back home and quitting a booming career to moving for love was difficult to say the least. I had zero plans in the pipeline for myself. All I knew was that I had to make this new city my own, and with some faith in the mystic workings of life, I did!

ago to promote South Asian Music in Hong Kong and continue to run it successfully while singing at our home run shows with our ensemble throughout the year. I can also be seen performing at various other local community initiatives like the InHarmony concert and emceeing at various others. For this I am eternally thankful to my guru Jayang Jhaveri who brought Indian classical music in my life!

I was able to land management level jobs without having any Chinese under my belt or influential contacts helping me along the way. With purely putting myself out there and being out of my comfort zone, I set out to seek a flourishing career within industries that I was passionate about. I set out on my own adventure in addition to already acting as a consultant to my husband’s ventures in hospitality which includes our recent venture The Nest in LKF prior to which we opened Runway Hong Kong and Liquidz Hong Kong.

Being a full-time working mother of a 2-year-old and balancing my urge to always be working on some project continues to be a work-in progress. It’s a fine act of continuous reflection that helps me determine what is important to my daughter and I. However, for women like myself to do what we do, it wouldn’t be possible without the endearing support of our husbands and in my case also my friend who happens to be mother-in-law. We in HK are also blessed with amazing support networks whether it is mothers who are passionate entrepreneurs or culture and arts or literally anything else. They all continue to make a difference in their own ways in their communities and that is what helps me keep the fire alive!

When I am not working on generating profits for my daytime job or our businesses, I indulge in musical activities, which feeds my soul! I co-founded The Zero Point 2 years






Sarah Fung


was born in Brighton, a seaside town south of London to Hong Kong Chinese parents and have one older sister. We moved to London when as a young child, where I spent most of my adult life. My childhood wasn’t always rosy, my parents worked hard to make a living and got divorced when we were young, which unfortunately put us in foster care for a few years. In my teens, we moved back with my mother and her new husband but when I was 16 my mother passed away which was sudden and a terrible shock - we had to buckle-up and grow up! My sister and I became

extremely independent and it gave us an innate drive to do better and unto others. I was always very creative and enrolled into Central St Martins to study Jewellery Design Degree, later having my own fashion jewellery business and shortly after creating my own lingerie and swimwear brand, which I sold to some of the best luxury boutiques such as; Selfridges, Browns Focus, Colette, Henri Bendels and Lane Crawford. After realizing I wasn’t making any money (!) and seriously lacked business acumen, I decided to quit after being offered a job at (one of the stores I was selling at) Lane

Crawford in Hong Kong, so I could learn the ropes of retail. It was an unfamiliar part of the world, as I had only come back twice in my life and hated it every time. It was a tough transition for a few years and I was constantly planning my return to London. However, I met my Austrian husband here, who inadvertently persuaded me to stay. I can now say after 12 years, I truly love living here! Hong Kong is also a fantastic space for a start-up. It is a great place to be heard and make your mark in Asia. I love having my own business as it has the agility and right type of creativity

that I feel is suitable for my personality. HULA is a highly curated online marketplace founded by me in 2016, which is best known for pre-owned designer womenswear, with coveted brands of up to 95% off retail, where sellers are by-invite-only ‘industry insiders’ to ensure the very best edit and 100% authenticity I want to be able to contribute in some way to people’s lives in a big way and I know with HULA that regardless of if it sinks or swims, I can walk away and still feel proud that I changed at least some mind-sets and consumption behaviour.






ne year? Really?’ Is the first reaction I get when I tell people how old I am to Hong Kong. Last year, we left our friends back in Singapore and made the decision to come to Hong Kong. And I have to say, it was a great decision. Yes, very different characteristics to Singapore; but I love the energy, vibe, warmth here. Having left my corporate role and being in a new country, where I wanted to spend more time with my family, I gave a lot of thought on what I wanted to do next. A direction where I have my flexibility and contribute to ethics I believe in. The time I started spending at home made me realise the severity of

the plastic problem and tracing source of everyday items. I couldn’t believe the state of the planet I will be leaving for my kids, our next generation. My previous experience of working in innovation and launching new startups, launching, The Green Platters, a luxury gourmet catering company, was a stark contrast. However it had to be the next step to contribute on issues we are facing today. Believing in sourcing only sustainable, organic food; biodegradable packaging and giving back to the community. It’s a brand new world out here for me to know people, work with them, speak to them - and I have been grateful that people have been nothing

but supportive. When I am not making beautiful platters or setting up gorgeous grazing table masterpieces, you will find me with my kids – probably painting together or experimenting with Indian cuisine and how to get a contemporary version across using The Green Platters as a platform. Starting everyday with a positive thought and ending the day writing amazing things that happened on that particular day, is something I practice. And now I have all these amazing memories and incidents to look back upon that bring positivity all around. Though it might seem easy to balance, I wouldn’t be able to do all this without support from my amazing

family. Blessed to have a very supportive husband, special credit goes to my sister in law - who would even listen to my crazy ideas at midnight. Not here physically, but I’m thankful they are always reachable even across continents. I would like to extend a big thank you to whoever I have met in this one year in HK over a coffee or a drink, for helping me streamline my thoughts and everything else. Our entrepreneur groups especially females supporting each other like SheVentures make a world of difference to support anyone who is still thinking to start out. Take the plunge, do what you want to and if you ever want to talk, let’s speak and have some cheese together!



Flying Solo A guide to the 5 best destinations in South East Asia for the solo female traveller.





tep out of the history that is holding you back. Step into the new story you are willing to create.� These are the words of Oprah Winfrey, one of the most influential women of our time. And, these words resonate with every woman, now more than ever. Because gone are the days when her only admirable virtue was her grace and beauty. Today, she is admired for her mettle; her spirit to follow her heart even if it means going against century-old norms. She takes her own responsibility. She can conduct herself without

a need for any help. She believes the world is as much hers as of her male counterpart. And, so she sets out to explore the unventured. The number of independent women travellers has increased by a huge margin in the last decade. Hence, the travel and tourism sector across the globe couldn’t help but acknowledge the solo female travel fraternity. Tour operators everywhere are offering deals more suitable for the women. The hospitality industry is contributing by ensuring unbiased and

secure environs. Even the small cities and towns have broadened their horizons to welcome the female tourists.

There will not be a reason justifiable enough to explain why a woman should be deprived of this experience.

Considering how hard the rebels had to fight for gender equality in India, and are still fighting, it is delightful to see so many women of Indian origin stepping out in the world and taking the road less travelled.

South East Asia offers an array of destinations suitable for solo female travellers. Not only are the places here endowed with natural beauty and manmade brilliance, but they take care of other important concerns such as safety, mindfulness, acceptance and amiability.

Travel is essential to every human being. And when you travel with yourself, you travel within yourself. It adds value to who you are and what you will be. It teaches the lessons you may not learn otherwise.

Here’s a list of best destinations in South East Asia for solo female travel along with some helpful tips and information.

(Image courtesy: www.1000traveltips.com)






Take a bus or train from Tokyo to Chureito Pagoda, Fujiyoshida) (Image courtesy: CNN Travel)

Think about Cherry Blossoms, fall foliage, futuristic infrastructure and scenic traditional landscapes, Japan is the first name that pops up. It’s not a secret hidden from the world how charming Japan is. But, little do people know how respectfully this country treats the solo female tourists.

Most favourable Places: Tokyo, Kyoto, Nara, Fukuoka and Hiroshima.

Tips: •

Why Japan? •

It’s easy and safe to travel within the country using public transport. Especially the rail system is wellorganised. It offers plentiful options for ‘womenonly’ accommodation as well as transportation. It’s very normal to see people, especially women eating alone at restaurants therefore no room for awkwardness.

The Japanese are very mindful, they are known to strictly follow their code of conduct and the crime rate here is exceptionally low.

Keep your exit ticket & accommodation details during your stay ready before going in for immigration. Be ready to take off your shoes before entering certain places. Look for such signs around. Learn some Japanese words, it will be more helpful than you know. Always have some cash on yourself, not all places will accept your card. Some hostels/hotels have curfews, enquire about them.

Book an overnight tour from Hanoi for Ha Long Bay (Image courtesy: CNN Travel)

Vietnam: Despite having a disturbing past, Vietnam has successfully retained its beauty and culture. It is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Asia. Home to Ha Long Bay - the marvellous natural wonder and many other breath-taking experiences, Vietnam will surely make you fall in love.

Most favourable Places: Hanoi, Ha Long Bay, Sa Pa, Ho Chi Minh City, Hoi An and Da Nang.

Tips: •

Why Vietnam? •

• •

The tourist-trail is wellestablished in Vietnam so it’s pretty easy to explore. The Vietnamese are very welcoming. Getting around is simple with the help of buses, trains and taxis. It’s inexpensive to do a trip here compared to many other places in the Far East.

The food in Vietnam is to die for!

Avoid visiting during Tet holiday (Vietnamese New Year) because a lot of places you intend to check out might be shut. While you may not have to worry about serious crimes, be careful of petty thefts and scams. Always keep your valuables closer. Learn to cycle. Renting a bicycle to explore the surroundings is very common here.




The land of the great Angkor Wat, Cambodia is a destination that will mesmerise you! Steeped in tradition & spirituality, the vibe of this place is absolutely invigorating. Also known as the backpacker’s paradise, Cambodia truly offers an authentic experience.

Why Cambodia?


• •

You get to explore one of the most enchanting places in the world at a low cost. Cambodia can be easily done on a shoestring budget. Also, the luxury accommodation options are not really exorbitant. People here are always smiling; you will love being a tourist here. It’s frequented by female tourists. Experience the sunrise at Angkor Wat in Siem Reap

(Image courtesy: Intrepid Travel)


There are several bus companies operating within, which make commuting inside the country simple. Also, sharing a cab is very common here.

Most Favourable Places: Siem Reap, Phnon Penh, Kampot and Battambang.

Riding a Tuk-tuk is a must. Also, it’s relatively safer than Motodops. Avoid Motodops. While visiting religious sites, ensure that your knees as well as shoulders are covered. It is considered to be disrespectful otherwise. Cambodia is quite safe, but there are cases of ‘bag-snatching’ so exercise general caution.




The cosmopolitan nature of Singapore along with its magnificent cityscapes makes it an appealing destination for the lovers of urbanism. Be it fashion, amusement, night life or grand sights, Singapore has it all!

Why Singapore? •

With districts like Little India and Chinatown, Singapore is known to be a melting pot of Asian cultures.


It’s one of the safest places to travel for women. Impeccable public transport system. You can reach anywhere by a bus or MRT (rail transit). An ideal place for the city girls with a penchant for luxury and great food.

The Philippines:

Home to splendid rice fields, stunning beaches, rich flora and fauna, bustling megacities and happy people; The Philippines is one of the liveliest places

you will ever visit. This country has so much to offer that a small trip or just one visit isn’t enough. You will keep coming back!

Most Favourable Places: The whole of

T e O I f

Singapore, it’s a small island city-state.

D s p b

Meet the magical creatures under the sea in Palawan (Image courtesy: G Adventures)

Take a stroll in Merlion Park

Why Philippines?


It offers you an equal opportunity to do a budget trip as it does to indulge with a luxury holiday.

Incredible diving spots and remarkable marine life experiences.

The Philippine Tarsier – one of the smallest primates on earth lives here. They don’t look anything like the regular monkeys.

Filipinos are highspirited people. The local scene is supremely enjoyable.

You get to mingle with many other women travelling solo.

(Image courtesy: Forbes)

Tips: • •

Do not miss going to Clark Quay and Riverside. Cards are accepted almost anywhere. However it is good to have some cash.

Also, there are plenty of money changers around. Hotels are expensive. Try out the hostels, they will charge less and also offer a great experience.

Author Bio The first time I took refuge in writing

Reshma Rohra

was at the age of 11. Ever since then writing has been like a therapy. As I grew up, I turned it into my profession. And with time, writing brought me closer to art and made me realise my passion, which is to create. So now, I write and draw for a living. And, this makes me the happiest girl I know.


Most Favourable Places: Palawan, Batanes, Davao City, Bohol and Batad.

The Philippines is safe for women however pickpocketing and petty thefts are common in some parts. • They run flights connecting different cities. These are much faster than other modes of transport and not very expensive too. • The Philippines has four different climate zones so plan accordingly. Also, keep tabs on the weather condition, typhoons are common here and they hit hard. There are numerous other hidden gems waiting to be discovered in South East Asia. And with the world becoming a better place to live for a woman, there is nothing holding her back from all that she wishes to be and see.

F w o w o a R n



LABOUR DEPARTMENT EMPLOYMENT SERVICES FOR ETHNIC MINORITY JOB SEEKERS The Labour Department (LD) provides comprehensive employment services to help job seekers at no charge. Our services are conducted in both Chinese and English. If you speak neither of these languages, we can arrange free-of-charge interpretation service for you. Dedicated employment services for ethnic minority job seekers such as special counter and resource corner, personalised employment advisory service, employment briefings and inclusive job fairs are available. For details, please visit the dedicated webpage for ethnic minority job seekers on LD’s Interactive Employment Service website (https://www.jobs.gov.hk/EM) or its Mobile App. You may also contact any one of our Job Centres/Industry-based Recruitment Centres through the telephone numbers as listed below:


RECRUITMENT DAY ON 15 JANUARY 2019 LD is now recruiting Employment Services Ambassadors for Ethnic Minorities. Selected candidates will be provided with free training on job search, interpersonal and customer service skills as well as vocational Chinese training, and a 12 months’ on-the-job-training with pay in LD’s Job Centres/Industry-based Recruitment Centres. Details of the Recruitment Day are as follows:

Hong Kong East Job Centre

2591 1318

Hong Kong West Job Centre

2552 0131

North Point Job Centre

2114 6868

Kowloon East Job Centre

2338 9787

Kowloon West Job Centre

2150 6397

Kwun Tong Job Centre

2342 0486

Shatin Job Centre

2158 5553

Tai Po Job Centre

2654 1429

Sheung Shui Job Centre

3692 4532

Tsuen Wan Job Centre

2417 6197

Tuen Mun Job Centre

2463 9967

Tung Chung Job Centre

3428 2943

Employment in One-stop (located in Tin Shui Wai)

3692 5750

Recruitment Centre for the Catering Industry

2594 7800

Recruitment Centre for the Retail Industry

2594 7833

Construction Industry Recruitment Centre

3428 3303


15 January 2019 (Tuesday)


9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (Limited interview quotas available. Please make reservation by phone on or before 14 January 2019)


Kowloon West Job Centre of LD 9/F, Cheung Sha Wan Government Offices, 303 Cheung Sha Wan Road, Kowloon (Exit C1, MTR Sham Shui Po Station)

Post for Application:

Employment Services Ambassadors for Ethnic Minorities Main Job Duties: Work in Job Centres/Industrybased Recruitment Centres and job fairs to provide and promote employment services for ethnic minority job seekers


$9,500 per month

Working Hours:

Monday - Friday : 9:00 a.m. - 5:36 p.m. Saturday (on duty once every 3 weeks) : 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 noon


Applicants should register as trainees of Youth Employment and Training Programme (YETP) of LD (school leavers aged 15 to 24 with educational attainment at sub-degree level or below); have completed F.4; be lawfully employable in Hong Kong; able to communicate in either English or Chinese; and proficient in one of the following languages: Hindi, Indonesian, Nepali, Tagalog, Thai, Urdu, or Punjabi

Enquiry & Reservation:

Tel.: 2383 4932

Please refer to YETP’s website (https://www.yes.labour.gov.hk/ YETP/Other/EthnicMinorityAmbassador?c=en) for more information.










SINCE 1952

In Tsim Sha Tsui





By: Archita Bisht

ith Valentine’s Day around the corner, couples all over the world are gearing up for the annual day of love, while on the other hand; singletons look forward to celebrating the discounted chocolates. The annual celebration of love comes around on February 14th every year and is observed by couples that use the day as an excuse to go the extra mile for their significant others.

Image courtesy:


" "

Sharing your Neflix accounts is definitely the next big step

But let’s be real, we are now living in the 21st century where the grandest gesture is swiping someone right instead of left. Sharing your

Hong Kong is a concrete jungle filled with people who are too busy to be scheduling dates or finding love. The finance capital of Asia keeps its inhabitants, expats and locals, on their toes all day. The fast paced life allows very little time for love. It is not unusual for people to be married to their work these days but work does not comfort or love you and this is where loneliness creeps in. And when people are lonely, they’d do anything for love. Now that our mobile phones and laptops are essentially our extended organs and our online profiles are always up to date, there is

Neflix accounts is definitely the next big step. Gone are the days where couples would find each other after being introduced by mutual friends or just randomly catching each other’s eyes. Today, we don’t even have the time to look away from our screens, so locking eyes is just physically impossible. We used to look at whether our stars and horoscopes would align and now we look at whether our virtual worlds align. The times of judging a book by its cover are here and don’t seem to be showing any signs of going anywhere for now.

no better way than going online to find that potential “forever”. However, it would only be fair to talk about the guardian angles known as professional matchmakers, that were responsible for creating and matching soul mates before dating apps made finding love easier (somewhat). Yes, you might have heard your mother speak about your nextdoor aunty being a “natural matchmaker”, since she never even needed to take a course on matchmaking and yet already has a flourishing business (of basically giving unsolicited matchmaking advice). But in those cases, heavy caution is advised.




high earning executive level professionals. Rachael and Smith Matchmakers, Lunch Actually, Coffee Matching, Hong Kong Matchmakers are some of the popular names that pop out when you start looking for people who can make or break your future plans. In addition to providing matchmaking services, some matchmaking agencies like Rachael and Smith Matchmakers also offer services such as travel companion services, grooming, profile picture services as well as relationship and breakup coaching. But even when it comes to matchmakers, one can never be too careful. Matters of the heart are extremely delicate and in order to avoid being duped or hiring a matchmaker who didn’t deliver what they promised, there are some ways you can help yourself.

The Matchmakers Since Cupid doesn’t seem to be around much, someone has to get the job done. Professional matchmakers are the ones that people used to (and still do) turn to when they either 1. Don’t have the time to do the research themselves or 2. Have run out of luck. Think of professional matchmakers as your new best friend who is only interested to know about you and doesn’t care to judge or speak about themselves.

starting the process of finding the potential partner, they like to dig deep into your life, past, present and future. Besides getting to know your personality, likes, dislikes, your professional background, your expectations from your partner etc, some matchmakers dig deeper and perform a criminal background check, which is understandable since they wouldn’t want sociopaths for clients.

Matchmaking is no joke to these people. They are like the FBI of love. Before

Depending on your needs, Hong Kong has a long list of matchmakers available

to guide you through the process of finding “the one”. Most of the matchmakers only serve clients who are serious and are looking to settle down. They are also more focused on the social and professional status of their clients and therefore tend to cater to clients who are

You can start by looking at their success stories. Most of the matchmaking websites have a special column dedicated to testimonials




and press coverage. Going through these success stories and perhaps even contacting the couples could help you get a better understanding of what you are getting into. Since most matchmaking agencies focus on finding lifetime partners for their clients, you do need to be clear about your intentions and motivation. Keep in mind that once they do find you someone suitable, you will probably need to take some time to get to know the person before you outright reject them (incase they don’t look like Ryan Gosling, although it would definitely help to lower those expectations just a little). And last but not least, if they do find someone who matches your criteria, it is on you to impress your match while also staying true to who you are. So it would be great if you don’t say that you love dogs just because they love dogs while in reality you’re deathly allergic to them. That’s just a whole mess you can avoid by simply sticking to the truth.

The Dating Apps Can you imagine how our ancestors would have reacted if we told them that we’d be choosing our partners through mobile devices? Although relatively new and a trend that is yet to catch

on in many parts of the world, online dating through dating apps or social media is still a widely debated development. This hesitation can be credited to the fact that just in the past year the

search for love resulted in multiple women in Hong Kong getting robbed off of millions of dollars, with one woman losing over HKD 180 million (that too without ever meeting him!).

The con artists target victims who are vulnerable due to their loneliness and over time gain their trust and trap them in a love scam. They often ask for money as gifts or emergency loans and make sure that they remain untraceable. By the time that the women realize that they are funding a fraud, it is too late and the money is never to be seen again. So, while online dating is a risk you take, not all relationships that start online end up in one of the two losing their entire

life’s savings. Some actually do find their happily ever after. The world of online dating has completely changed what we look for in a potential partner. To pile on to the long list of expectations that we already have from our potential partners, the emergence of online dating has now prompted us to judge people by the number of followers they have, how many likes their pictures get, number of friends, the quality



of their pictures etc. Yes, all of this is quite shallow and yes, these don’t really matter when you are looking for a serious, longtime, forever kind of a thing and that is why people don’t usually look for a long-term, committed relationship when they turn to online dating.


The emergence of online dating has now prompted us to judge people by the number of followers they have, how many likes their pictures get, number of friends, the quality of their pictures etc.


Online dating is mostly aimed at people who are looking for something casual. Aimed at the techsavvy younger generation,

the world of dating apps gives people a huge variety to choose from as virtually anyone can join the apps free of cost. Now, love can be found with just a few swipes and an internet connection with dating apps like Tinder, happn, OkCupid widely available. While things can easily get creepy on the internet, apps like Bumble (women, you are in charge) and Coffee Meets Bagel try to ensure that neither of the parties is left traumatized.

Rule number 1 to follow in order to stay on the safer side of online dating, undoubtedly pertains to your finances. Never share any financial or even too many personal details with the other person (at least not until you get married!) and if the person on the other end insists on it, that’s your cue to report them and leave. Don’t pretend to be someone you are not. This one speaks for itself. To increase your chances of getting the person you swiped right on, to swipe right on you too, put your best (nonPhotoshopped) face forward.

Establishing boundaries and knowing what you are looking for will definitely save you some time. Additionally, being upfront about what you want from the other person will also help your success rate. And last but not least, if you have a friend in the police department, get his criminal record checked (just kidding!) but just to be safe, when meeting for the first time, try not to meet in some poorly lit dungeon of a bar or café and instead try to do something fun to break the ice. Alas, if you are not one of those people who won’t make the extra effort to find love, there’s still something there for you. Although not as dedicated to the cause of finding love, one can always look for partners in real life through platforms like Meet Up where you can meet groups of people based on activities you are interested in. In no way, shape or form am I a relationship expert but based on hours of internet research, I can



Never share any financial or even too many personal details with the other person


confidently conclude that at some point or another, people want to move away from their busy schedules and find love. Whether you’re looking for a longterm commitment or date casually, there is something out there for everyone. And even if you’re not, the days of being ashamed about being single on Valentines Day are gone. So, whether you are an independent woman who doesn’t need a man or an independent man who doesn’t need a woman or belong to the LGBTQI+ community or are coupled up with someone, this Valentines Day celebrate love with whoever you are thankful to have in your life anyway!

Archita Bisht is the Managing Editor at A-Desiflava Magazine and can be reached at ab@aplomhk.com



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Question 1:

Hi Poonam Aunty, My name is Richa and I live in Kowloon City, HK. I need your advice on the following event that took place in my life. I was flattered when an old friend invited me to stay for a “few weeks” at her apartment. She had never invited me before. But the minute I arrived, she announced she was going into hospital for an operation and I was left caring for her husband since he was a little unwell. Not only did I end up cooking and caring for the man, but I had to keep taking him to the hospital to see her and he was reluctant to give me any petrol money. He was grumpy and once shouted at me for getting his medication wrong. Now I’m back home and my friend hasn’t even sent me a thank- you note. I feel completely used. Can our friendship survive

although it is not easy, she should have shown more maturity in taking your consent and should have also expressed her gratitude, but I suggest let the moment pass. You have enough on your plate to deal with, therefore focus on yourself. Trust me, your efforts will be valued and not go unnoticed. Do not cry upon spilled milk.

Question 2:

this? I’m on my own and have enough problems to deal with.

Answer 1

Dear Richa, The impact of mistrust of a close friend is indeed heartbreaking. Under the circumstances, you did what you thought right and proper. You have set a great example by supporting her at this crucial time during her personal and husband's health. Few people can perform such a selfless act of good deed. Of course, you were

Hi Poonam Aunty, my name is Each issue, we invite readers Anita and to send us I live in To questions under Kwa Wan. I’m anonymity suffering at not aware about personal work because of your dynamics and a colleague friend's relations. Here constantly intention; are 4 selected takes time off. questions from now you I’m the one those recently have two who gets it in options first sent to us: the neck from is not to our boss when feel bad and she calls in forgive her, the second sick. He makes sarcastic talk to her and let her comments about “your know of your feelings friend letting us down and find out her reason again”. of taking advantage of a Yes, we are friends, but good friend as yourself. how is it my fault when However, do not be she’s not there? I’m also offended if her response the one who suffers, is not favorable. because I get landed You will at least Wash with her work. She’s out the negativity a lazy individual with



no conscience or work ethic, yet I don’t want her to think that I’ve been disloyal.

Answer 2

Dear Anita, “Hard work spotlights the character of people: some turn up their sleeves, some turn up their noses, and some don’t turn up at all.” Sam Ewing Anita, please find out what is your friend’s problem. She may be going through some personal issues, if she is not open with you then be firm and let her know, that it is affecting your emotions and influencing work ethics. Initially, you also seem to accept her behavior, which has allowed the cycle to continue. Her pattern of negligence is trapping you as a result; you have become venerable, be bold and don’t fan her vanity. You do not owe her any explanation. Do not allow her to take undue advantage of your goodness. Loyalty lies in respecting each other’s needs and not abusing it. You have played your part sincerely; do not expect any gratitude from her. I guess you have learned a good lesson from this experience. Furthermore, by protecting her, you are failing in your responsibility at work. Besides, it is always up to you to pay close attention to the people you call friends. Choose friends wisely!

Question 3:

Hi Poonam Aunty, My name is Akshay and I live in Chai Wan. My wife and I were in a relationship for 7 years till we got married. We are two opposite people in nature and seemed to complement each other very well. However about six months ago, my wife started pointing out things about me that she did not appreciate and were not to her liking. These are the very things that she used to find ‘cute’ in the courtship period and initial years of marriage. I’m at a loss. I do not know what happened… what changed and when.

Answer 3

Dear Akshay, It is sad, but the truth is marriage and relationships are two different sides of one coin. You wonder how the relationship has changed after marriage. For seven years brick by brick, you have built an incredible foundation before marriages therefore cherish those moments. Revisit beautiful memories and paint a mental picture of good days ahead. It appears your wife wants more attention from you; therefore, she is behaving differently now. Take her away from the monotonous lifestyle. Be spontaneous in your actions; it immediately breathes into marriage. Sand down the rust and rekindle your love for her. Action speaks louder than words.

Furthermore, share your concern with your wife.

Question 4:

Hi Poonam Aunty, My name is Akshi from Quarry Bay. I have a problem, I got involved with a man who left his wife for me back in February last year. He now lives with me, but still using his wife's address for all correspondence. He says that he loves me, but he is not legally separated from his wife. His kids refuse me, and his wife won't leave him alone. He calls them like 10 to 15 times a day but never in front of me, if she calls on his mobile while he is with me, he doesn't answer the phone. I have tried a couple of times to leave him, but I always call him back and he comes back. He works long hours during the week, and the weekend he plays soccer and spends time with his children. I feel so miserable, I work and go home and do nothing else, but I can't seem to let him go as I love him so much.  People have told me that they have seen them together on numerous occasions but when I confront him, he says that they are lying. Because I love him so much, I end up believing him until I get another call advising me that they were seen together. I have told him last week, that if this is what he really wants to be with his wife and kids, I beg him to just leave and never come back. He


says that he’s not sure what he wants. Please advise me as I have very few friends here in HK and no family at all apart from my two children from my first marriage.

Answer 4

Dear Akshi, You seem to be very much in love with this man, which is understandable. It also appears it is a one-sided love relationship. The truth is that all sorts of dynamics can play into his mind and decision to engage in infidelity. Generally, though, his choice to cheat upon his wife is driven by many factors, such as insecurity, midlife crisis, lack of male social support. Selfishness is the primary consideration that is for him alone. He sounds confused and believes that relationship will work around his family and yourself too. He is living in a fantasy world. However, it is clear that he will not leave his family, he is only using you, do not be carried away by his false promises. Besides, what will you gain from this relationship? Will it make you happy if he divorces his wife? You need to wake up from this illusion. Think of your future, find someone who truly loves you and builds a healthy relationship. Best wishes Akshi.



Your stars!


Jan - Feb 2019

ds your year ahead

Astrologer Munisha Khatwani rea

Aries: It’s high time that you look after your health at the moment suggests your planet Mars. This month you could encounter minor issues regarding your stomach or legs, which might give you a bit more of discomfort. For those who are single you may be in the mood to meet someone special suggests your planet Venus

Taurus: Mercury has gone direct recently and you will land up feeling a lot better regarding emotional matters For those who are looking at a change in career it will take sometime for your to witness the change and you are putting some efforts towards the same. For those who are wanting a good time with the family and friends you might decide to plan a party or holiday 

Gemini: If you are looking for some positive news coming your way regarding work it is likely to come your way as mercury has gone direct and changes for your benefit. For those who are having some trouble in relationships you need to be a little stronger and wait for a slightly better time to come around. You may be worried for a certain family member this month so you need to just take it easy.

Cancer : It is time for you to break free from certain burdens that are bothering you the most days your planet moon. You need to focus on the changes that are happening in your life and you need to pay attention to all that is going on around you says your cards. You have got the card of the sun indicating it is easy for you to focus on your success of your career and even on the family front.

Leo: Maybe it is just time for you to bring out the best in you at the moment says your planet Jupiter. You will be focussing on your spiritual growth this and you will be trying to work very hard on a certain project or something that you have been putting all your energy in. For those who are wanting to get into a committed relationship it may be the right time to think of that

Virgo: For you it is now or never in certain situations says your cards. Mercury that has gone direct will benefit you as it was majorly affecting your sun sign. For those who are having some health issues it is important for you to address the same. For some it is an important time to take certain calls as far as your personal matters are concerned

Libra: You will be thinking of the past this month and will be pondering about what you can do to rectify the mistake and it is better you try to make the changes required says your cards. You have also got the card of the sun indicating you will be getting some success as far as your health is concerned. Some blocked money is likely to come through so there is some reason to smile says your planet moon

Scorpio: You need to be thankful for all the good that is happening in your life and need to concentrate on all the blessings coming your way says your planet Saturn. You may have a slightly heavy month and you will be thinking of all the changes that you wish that you could bring about in your life says your planet Venus. You may feel the crunch of the financial bit at the moment, as the stars have not totally favoured you the last few weeks

Sagittarius: You have learnt to accept certain changes in your life and make peace with whatever is going on at the moment says your planet Rahu. You are feeling a little more positive about certain changes on the health front and you need to continue the good work on the same. If you feel a certain dip emotionally that is because something is bothering you on the subconscious level says your cards

Capricorn: Your trying to gain more importance in your life by trying to give yourself more priority which is very important to you at the moment and it will land up benefitting you at the moment says your cards. If you are feeling it’s a tough phase emotionally it is because your Venus is a little week at the moment and it will take sometime for your stars to change. For those who are hoping to have some important meetings or discussions it could happen this month says your cards and it will be fruitful

Aquarius: Maybe it’s time that you start clearing the air with some one or some people who have been bothering you for a while at the moment says your cards. It is a difficult time for those who are dealing with some heartbreak or crisis in the family says your planet Mars. For those who are wanting a new opportunity this can happen in the coming few weeks as the time is more favourable to you says your cards

Pisces: You are trying to be more secretive and hiding stuff from even your closest people says your planet moon. Right now your mind is not totally at ease or at peace so you need to try and do some meditation or some other sort of remedy to put your mind at rest. For those who are single and ready to mingle it is a good time for you to meet people but it is not the right time to get totally emotionally involved.




Aries: Maybe the universe is trying to show you some signs and it is important that you pay attention to the signs being presented to you at the moment says your cards. For those who are wanting to get into a relationship you need to hang on slightly longer as Venus is not favouring you at the moment so it is not a good time

Taurus: Making the most of the situation is of utmost importance at the moment on the professional front says your planet Jupiter. The problem is that if you use your mind too much this month you may land up not benefiting the way that you should. For those who have been trying to look at your relationship in a new perspective give it sometime for things to settle  

Gemini: Your mind is in a dilemma regarding a particular situation on the work front says your planet moon. For those that are looking to travel abroad at the moment you could start your planning accordingly and think about what you wish to do currently. In case there are some family members that are causing some issues you need to be patient with them says your cards. Health will be better this month

Cancer : Mind over matter is what is important it you at the moment and you can overtake your mind if you make that effort .for those who are looking for a new job opportunity you need to be sure that you are ready to make the change that you are looking for. For those who are finding it hard to cope with some emotional pain it is important for you to remain calm and focus on healing yourself

Leo: The week is looking quite bright for you and you are going to try to make some positive changes in your life say your cards. For those who are wanting to get into a relationship it is advisable for you to try and take it slow as the Venus is weak at the moment and it will tend to affect you emotionally and you should not rush into any situation. For those who are having some financial stress it is better for you to try and cut your expenses this month, as that will help you for the near future

Virgo: There will be new opportunities coming your way this month so you be in a bright and happy mood at the moment. For those who are looking to settle down in life it is important for you to keep an open mind. Sometimes your ideal partner or soul mate is not exactly the person who you envisioned it to be but it is important for you to have faith in the divine plan. For those looking to shift to a new city or country this is the right time to figure your plans out

Libra: There could be some confusion on the work front at the moment says your planet sun. For those who have been facing some hurdles or obstacles on the work front it is important for you to be sure that you are taking all the right measures to make sure that the blocks are removed. This month brings some relief on the financial front and that will bring a smile to your face. If you are wanting to improve your health or improve your diet or fitness this is month to start working on that says your cards

Scorpio: Certain things can wait and certain things cannot wait so it is important for you to be patient for the things that can wait says your cards. For those who are wanting to get into a committed relationship this is not the right time to consider that as the stars are slightly weak at the moment with Venus being Not powerful in your natal chart. Those who are having some legal problems you need to address that first suggests your cards

Sagittarius: You need to count your blessings and each thing that is good in your life says your planet moon. You mind is not totally at ease at the moment so then bigger challenge is to silence the mind says your cards. For those who have had some argument with someone it is important to take some measures to resolve those issues as if you take too much time it could get delayed and slightly out of control

Capricorn: For those single you will be trying to look for a partner or maybe even consider getting married in the near future says your planet, Mars. For those who are in a financial situation where you feel that things are not getting better it is time for you to either change your strategy or look for some better avenues to gain some income. This Month you need to be more cautious about your health or fitness regime as you are slightly accidentprone says your planet Saturn

Aquarius: If you can imagine it you can create it says cards and this should be your motto and attitude this month. For those who have having an issue as far as your confidence levels are concerned you need to be more positive and love yourself more. New job opportunities could come your way but your sun planet is in a slightly weak position at the moment so it may take sometime for it to fall into place. Health will be better for those having some health issues

Pisces: Your mind is not at ease in many situations at the moment so try to keep a control over the negativity suggests your cards .if you have been working hard towards a particular project your hard work will pay off and you will see some result of the hard work put in. In case some issues are there on the love front it is time for you to put your ego aside and be the bigger person to resolve the matter says your planet Venus. There could be some blocked money, which will come through




to the Readers of Adesiflava Magazine 4/F, Ashley Centre, 23-25 Ashley Rd. Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon, H.K. Call on: 2736 1127 / 2736 1128




A Day filled with and


n October 27th, the Children Cultural Group celebrated the birthday of the people's President Bharat Ratna, Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam with renowned Space Scientist of India Padma Shri Dr. Mylswamy Annadurai in Hong Kong. The event was organized to raise awareness about the space missions of India among children born and brought up in Hong Kong and other residents of Hong Kong.  More than 200 members of Children Cultural Group were awestruck with Dr. Mylswamy Annadurai's speech, which explained how


India was successful in both Moon and Mars missions. The story behind the space missions was told in a simple but in a very powerful manner. Sharing the experience of both the missions gave the Hong Kong residents insight into the space exploration of India. He shared his childhood experiences as well which was inspiring to all those who attended the event. After listening to him, Mr. Puneet Agrawal, the Consul General of India for Hong Kong and Macau gave yet another thoughtful speech about Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam

and the guest speaker. He shared his acquaintances with Indian Scientists. CCG-CIBS Quiz contest-2 produced for RTHK-CIBS was on air between April and July 2018.  The event was quite successful, with the able support from Mrs. Anuradha Mukunthan as quiz master and Mr. Alagarswamy penning all the interesting questions for the contest.   Dr. Mylswamy Annadurai gave away the APJ Abdul Kalam Quiz Wiz Trophy to the winners. TwentySeven teams of an adult and a child participated in the preliminary round.  Three

finalists emerged from the 3 semi-final rounds. Le Quizerable team, consisting of Mr. Nandan Banodkar and student Riya Girish, won the finals and were awarded with the CCGCIBS Quiz Wiz Trophy. The team Dodgers consisting of Dr. Viday Bharadwaj and student Vivek Wilson and team Amateurs consisting of Mr. Girish Kumarguru and student Tanushree Girish settled down with 1st and 2nd runner ups. Dodgers was awarded the Best team participation cup and student Aditya Pradeep Swamy was awarded the Best Student Participant of this quiz contest.



Figure 1 Champion

Figure 3 2nd Runner up

Cultural performances by CCG members introduced the local talents to the guests and attendees. Awards were given to the anti-drug campaign design competition winners Mrs. Arpita Dutta and Mrs. Prathyusha Kalluru.


Figure 2 1st Runner Up

Figure 4 Best Team Participant




After the event, the residents of Tung Chung gave a reception to him with a feast of sumptuous food. All of them had a great opportunity to interact with him personally and clarify the doubts they had about space.

Figure 5 Best Student Participant

His speech about 'Vimana to Mangalyan' before the members of Forum for Indian Professionals Hong Kong was another big hit which introduced how the Chandrayaan Moon mission made Mars mission a success.

The professors of University of Hong Kong were very happy to invite Dr. Mylswamy Annadurai to their department to discuss, listen and share his experiences in a morning meet up session, presentation session and lunch session. Dr. Quentin Parker, Professor of Physics and Acting Director of Laboratory of Space Research showed his interest in collaborating with the Indian institute of Space Science and Technology in future. He was happy to explain about the HKU satellite project and show the true size model of the same kept in the department.

Few hours before the event, Dr. Mylswamy Annadurai  visited the Tamil classes run by YIFC academy of education and enrichment.  More than 60 people consisting of children, teachers, organizers and adults attended the event. His speech on the topic, 'Science, as life's motivator' brought of the stories of his childhood days and how he entered into the space field and made a makeable contribution.  How science motivates the life of each and every person in this world was explained through some simple activities. He then visited the Tamil classes and met the children.

Space Scientist Padma Shri Dr. Mylswamy Annadurai visit to Hong Kong was a fruitful one in introducing the India's achievements in Space research to more than 400 attendees through various events.




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A unique book on problem-solving

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In this book, we are going to introduce a new concept called Logitica. The focus of Logitica is to develop reasoning and critical thinking through solving innovative and unfamiliar problems. This unique book is enriched with a variety of analytical, logical, and mathematical problems to stimulate and develop an individual's cognitive abilities. About the author Neelabh Kumar is a thinker. Having memorized the first 1500 digits of pi(Ď€) through sequential memory recollection, he is among the top 150 people in pi world ranking list. He has created Wisgo logitica that stimulates both sides of the brain. One of the Wisgo Logiticas is under patent filing in Hong Kong. After completing masters from one of the most prestigious universities of India (IIT), he is currently employed in a large financial firm. He is now offering an assignment-based course, which focuses on developing logical and analytical thinking skills of the students (age 10 or above).

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JANUARY 2018 •

Former CM of Bihar Lalu Prasad Yadav found guilty and sentenced to 3.5 years of jail and a fine of INR 5 lakh in the fodder scam. Aanchal Thakur, a girl from Manali, created history by winning India’s first international medal in skiing by clinching a bronze medal in the International Skiing even organized by the International Ski Federation in Turkey. Ministry of Home Affairs said “no” to plastic flags and imposes both fine and imprisonment on the offender. According to a Gallup International Survey, PM Modi ranked among Top 3 Leaders of the World. ISRO successfully launched its 100th satellite in the first space mission on 2018. PM Modi delivered the keynote speech to formally open the 48th World Economic Forum meeting. He became the first Indian PM to attend this summer in 2 decades in Davos.


Catching Up with India and Hong Kong Newsworthy Developments from the Past Year


• •

• • •

APRIL 2018 •

• •

• • •

India became the second largest producer of phones and steel in the world. Mirabai Chanu becomes the first Indian weightlifter to win India’s first gold medal at Commonwealth Games 2018 in Australia. PM Modi launched India’s first allelectronic high speed train. Manika Batra became the first Indian woman to win gold at Table Tennis in Commonwealth Games. India replaced France and became the 6th largest economy: IMF Asaram sentenced to life imprisonment. Indu Malhotra appointed as Supreme Court judge. She became the first woman lawyer to be directly appointed as the Supreme Court judge. The Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act (POCSO) was to be made gender neutral.

India to have world’s largest government funded health program. Mary Kom won Gold in India Open International Boxing Tournament. Jhulan Goswami, the Indiam women’s cricket team pacer, became the first woman in the world to take 200 ODI wickets. PM Modi became the first Indian PM to visit Palestine. India’s first online station, Radio Umang, launched in India. Indian Air Force officer, Avani Chaturvedi, became the 1st Indian woman to fly a fighter jet solo. Aruna Budda, became the first Indian to win an individual medal at the Gymnastics World Cup in Melbourne.

INDIA MARCH 2018 • • •

• • • •

MAY 2018 • • •

Shahzar Rizvi became world number 1 in 10 m air pistol category. PM Modi ranked 9th on Forbes list of most powerful people in the world. Petrol prices reached highest since 2013, at Rs 74.80.

World’s largest solar park was inaugurated in Karnataka. India ranked third on Hurun rich list with 131 billionaires. Diu became the first Union Territory in India to run 100% on solar power generated energy. India-France signed 14 pacts and pledged to build the largest nuclear plant in India. PM Modi launched Tuberculosis Free India. Maharashtra cabinet approved ban of plastic carry bags. Air India made history by flying to Israel via Saudi airspace. India became the third largest electricity producer in the world.

June 2018 • •

India to host European Union Film Festival. Smriti Mandhana became the first Indian to play in England’s Kia Super League. A Guiness World Record was created for the largest yoga session in Kota, Rajasthan. 1 lakh people practiced yoga together on International Yoga Day. •

Thomson Reuters Foundation declared India as world’s most dangerous country for women.





MARCH 2018

JANUARY 2018 •

• •

Two American-made bombs from Second World War found in Hong Kong construction site. Hong Kong approved elephant ivory ban in historic landslide vote. Hong Kong woman loses more than HK $ 6 million in city’s largest online romance scam.

APRIL 2018 •

Hong Kong athlete’s coach charged with indecent assault in #MeToo case. Hong Kong’s Space Museum exhibit halls set for relaunch after HKD 32 million facelift. Hong Kong government launced HKD 48 million schoolbook funding program.

Hong Kong’s Science Park to take the lead on driving innovation and technology as it receives major cash injection. Hong Kong to liberalize rules for cross-media ownership in first major broadcasting policy change in 17 years. Hong Kong population growth hits nine-year low as more people leave the city.

• • •

Cathay Pacific’s female staff win right to wear trousers in historic move for Hong Kong’s carrier. MTR to raise fares by 3.14% Tuberculosis in Hong Kong fell to lowest in 70 years. Two foreign female judges make history with appointments to Hong Kong’s top court. Hong Kong’s Star Ferry granted rights to continue operations for the next 15 years.

MAY 2018

JUNE 2018

• • • •

Hong Kong home prices rise for 25th straight month as record-breaking deals keep coming. Tram fares rose by 13% after Exco gave the green light. Recording breaking heatwave hit 10th day in Hong Kong. West Harbour Tunnel tolls set to rise nearly 9%. Con artists dupe 630 consumers in Hong Kong out of HKD 12.5 million in online shopping scams in first four month of 2018. Teenager, Benjamin Chan, became the youngest Hong Konger to climb Everst.


Race to save 650 Macau dogs who were at risk of “being sold for their blood” goes global. In world first, University of Hong Kong scientists develop flu drug using genes from the virus itself.



INDIA JULY 2018 • •

• •

India won Kabaddi Masters 2018 title in Dubai. Sathyasri Sharmila from Paramakudi in Ramanathapuram district, Tamil Nadu became the first transgender lawyer to enroll herself with the Bar Council of Tamil Nadu and Puducherry. Samsung opened world’s biggest smartphone factory in India. India became the 69th shareholder of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development. Delhi Metro becomes the 1st metro system in the world to go completely green.




• • •

Ikea opened its first outlet in Hyderabad. Delhi Police instated the first allfemale SWAT team. Former PM, Atal Bihari Vajpayee passed away due to serious health issues at 93. Spice Jet en route from Dehradun to Delhi became India’s first biofuelpowered flight.

• •

India finished 8th at the Asian Games 2018 with a total of 69 medals out of which 15 were gold, 24 silver and 30 bronze. The Indian Rupee became the worst performing currency in Asia. Supreme Court of India abolished Section 377.

OCTOBER 2018 •

• •

Judice Ranjan Gogoi took the oath as the next Chief Justice of India in front of President Kovind at the Rashtrapati Bhawan. Cases of the Me Too movement surface in India. PM Modi unveiled the Satute of Unity on Sadhu Bet Island in Gujarat. Measuring at 600 feet, it became the world’s tallest statue. India unveiled the first engineless train for intercity travel.



Snehlata Shrivastava became the first woman Secretary General of the Lok Sabha. Decommissioned carrier INS Viraat to become India’s first floating museum. First-ever India Russia Strategic Economic Dialogue held in St. Petersburg in Russia.

India’s heaviest communication satellite GSAT-11 launched successfully. Income Tax department introduces changes in PAN card rules, no longer making it mandatory to mention the father’s name, making it easier for applicants raised by single mothers.






Hong Kong Jockey Club hits record high HKD 234 billion turnover.

Street buskers from Mong Kok driven out of Tsim Sa Tshui by angry Hong Kong protesters.

JULY 2018 •

• • •

Hong Kong men end up getting scammed out of HKD 10 million in 6 months in WeChat scam. Hong Kong’s hot weather gave rise to extreme rodent problems. Pins mania on bus seats ensues in Hong Kong. Curtain to fall on Hong Kong’s street performers as council liberates popular pedestrianized zone in Mong Kok. Giant step forward for equality in Hong Kong as same sex couples win right to spousal visas in Court of Final Appeal.

OCTOBER 2018 •

• • •

• •

MTR cut ticket prices by half for the weekend to compensate Hong Kong public over service failure Hong Kong’s Ng On-Yee comes out on top first Australian Open. Vogue magazine confirms launch in Hong Kong. 9.4 million victims of huge Cathay Pacific data hack warned of phishing scams. Woman loses HKD 26 million as scammers strike again. Statutory paternity leave for Hong Kong fathers extended to 5 days after marathon 12-hour Legislative Council debate. Record number of applicants scramble for affordable Hong Kong flats in Home Ownership Scheme sale. Proposed full ban on e-cigarettes and other new tobacco products raises industry ire. Hong Kong’s iconic Excelsior hotel to shut in March 2019 for redevelopment into offices. Hong Kong launches, Open Up, the first 24/7 counseling platform for troubled youth.


Operation Santa Claus charity drive kicks off 31st edition with Hong Kong Chief Secretary Matthew Cheung as guest of honor. Cases connected with Me Too movement surface in Hong Kong.


Breakthrough for LGBT rights as Hong Kong to recognize samesex partnerships in spousal visa applications. Typhoon Mangkhut officially became Hong Kong’s most intense storm since the records began. Hong Kong surpasses New York as home to the world’s biggest population of ultra-rich people.

DECEMBER 2018 • •

Hong Kong passport announced as world’s 13th most powerful. University of Hong Kong and Harvard join forces for the first time in setting up new laboratory in Hong Kong to focus on inventing means of improving diagnosis of diseases. To reduce plastic use, Swire CocaCola Hong Kong to produce more cans and glass bottles under HK$150 million plan New HK$1,000 banknotes set to debut in Hong Kong with new HK$ 500 notes to follow.






hat a year 2018 has been, with the #MeToo movement shaking up corporate gender inequality and sexual harassment, Wonder Woman proving that a female superhero can be more kickass than the usual male tropes, and of course, Ariana Grande’s “God Is A Woman” casually shutting down the patriarchy. Now is truly the time for women to come together and build each other up. Kit Kat Events & Marketing, a premium Event Management & Marketing company led by two extremely dedicated and ambitious female entrepreneurs Neera Gupta & Shikha Sarkar who have been strong advocates of women empowerment and gender

equality are doing exactly that through the events they are organizing and the causes they have been championing. Neera Gupta’s appearance on the revolutionary television talk show, Secrets of Womanhood, where she openly talked about sexual harassment and gender bias faced by women in workforce raised a lot of awareness as she urged women to stand up and support each other. She has also been conducting several Art of Networking workshops to upskill working women on how to break the glass ceiling and make their presence felt in male dominated spheres. Recently Kit Kat Events & Marketing teamed up with ZEE TV Asia Pacific to bring SHEVentures accelerator

program to Hong Kong on 27th October. SHEVentures, a Zee TV initiative aims to shine a spotlight on women entrepreneurs and help them grow their businesses to the next level. The program has been developed to provide them with the necessary resources and guidance, and start a tidal wave of entrepreneurship in women, inspiring them to take firm control of their lives. 20 women entrepreneurs were selected through a rigorous process, and spent a full day in the company of top industry leaders, learning from them and sharing their own business models, challenges and success stories. The various segments were tailored to help equip the women entrepreneurs with

invaluable and vital skills to navigate the entrepreneurial landscape. It was a great opportunity for participants to get industry insider tips and interact with other creative, high-achieving and driven women entrepreneurs in Hong Kong. Additionally, thanks to all the partners, all participants also received marketing and media support tools worth over HKD 15,000. The day began with opening remarks by Neera Gupta, Director & Founder of Kit Kat Events & Marketing who shared her journey into entrepreneurship and some of the best learnings that came through personal experiences. Following her was the distinguished speaker, Aradhna Dayal, Founder and CEO of Access Alts Asia,




and Director of TSOL. Next, the immensely popular, Swaminiji, Acharya (Monk) of Chinmaya Mission in Hong Kong, gave an incredibly insightful talk on managing mental health and stress through mindfulness. To close off the day, Neera Gupta talked about the very important topic of getting rid of inhibitions in her Art of Networking presentation. The evening concluded with a lot of chitter-chatter over cocktails and canapĂŠs. All this was possible thanks to the kind heartedness of philanthropist Mrs Purviz Shroff MH, who herself could not attend the event as on the same day she was being conferred the Medal of Honour by HKSAR government for her continued service towards the community.

who shared her 6 life hacks of a She-preneur. The next talk was on driving digital growth through people centric strategies, presented by digital marketing guru, Widhadh Waheed, Chief Marketing Officer of CompareAsia Group. Germaine Tay, of She Means Business by Facebook, led the ladies through how to utilize mobile and Facebook Ads to grow their businesses. The morning was concluded

with a practical session on the steps to take to ensure a successful and thriving business, by Coach Bradley Erasmus, an experienced businessman and life coach. The workshop then broke off for lunch; a delicious conscious sustainable grazing affair provided by The Green Platters, owned by a female entrepreneur herself, Bhawna Shetty. The event was held

at The Nest HK, a newly opened bar lounge nestled in the heart of Lan Kwai Fong, opened by another inspiring girl boss, Muskaan Samtani. And emceed by Shikha Sarkar, Director of Kit Kat Events & Marketing. The afternoon session kicked off with a grooming and makeover demonstration by Pearly Chhabra, Founder and Stylist of Glam Faces By Pearly Chhabra, who provided tips and tricks on looking #girlboss chic for conquering the business world. The next talk, by Shveitta Sethi Sharma, Chief Happiness Officer at School of Happiness, inspired participants to combine their passion with purpose for a more enriching and fulfilling business. This was followed by a talk on Personal Branding, presented by Soundari Mukherjea, Co-Founder

With a varied and extensive pool of resources and expertise provided, participants went home from the event feeling incredibly inspired and energized. More than just a network of entrepreneurial women, the participants and speakers at SHEVentures formed a unique bond in a community of likeminded, passion-driven go-getters. There was an outpouring of support for each other, as participants took turns to share their own stories of successes and struggles, and an unspoken sense of unity in the face of breaking down gender barriers and conquering the business world.

Kit Kat Events & Marketing intends to bring yet another Women Empowerment Forum back in Hong Kong later this year. To find out more, email them on contactus@kitkateventz.com.



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