Aditya Jha Tue, 05 Jun 2018 20:23:19 +0000 en-US hourly 1 155539075 CUBA & I – On passing of Fidel Castro Sat, 26 Nov 2016 21:56:36 +0000 In the passing of #FidelCastro, the “El Commandante,” ends an era of politics of Revolution in the world.

15167589_10211273491302523_2176052386998805514_oOver the last six years, I have been deeply observant and associated with Cuba for various projects.

Through my private foundation, I have supported Cuban ballet (Ballet Nacional de Cuba) for the renovation of two dance studios in the famous Havana building of the Ballet Nacional De Cuba. I served as the Chair for the 90th birth anniversary celebration of the legendary Cuban dancer Alicia Alonso. I had a chance meeting with President Raul Castro at the exclusive birthday celebration of Alicia at her house in Havana. I have also helped the eldest son of Fidel Castro, Fidel Castro Diaz-Ballart (National Science Advisor to Government of Cuba), connect with Canadian University research. I have also associated with  Fidel’s youngest son Alexandro Castro, his grand-daughter Lydia Castro & her partner Camilo and two of the Cuban Ambassadors (Ms. Teresita Sotolongo & Mr. Julio Gardemndia Pena) and three Consul General on various projects as well as meeting with scores of Cubans from all walks of life.

15259769_10211273495102618_3740656619559099727_oI have been intrigued by Cuba in many ways and am fascinated with this unique country.

We have the tendency to broad-brush & opine about a leader and his politics and, brand them Good or Bad. As I have matured and done some serious readings, visited worldly countries and met interesting people, I am overcome by the greatness, uniqueness and what these leaders could/should have done differently. My opinion has changed significantly and I have come to realize that it is not fair to judge the past in contemporary context.

Fidel became the bright symbol of revolution in the world. The World has not been fair to Fidel and Company. Fidel built one of the best healthcare systems in the world and free education system (highest literacy rate in the world) despite the choke-hold of the United States. Stood tall against United States’ imperialistic designs and support of dictator Batista. He survived dozens and dozens of failed assassination plots of CIA and humiliated America during Bay of Pigs and Cuban Missile Crisis. It was the classic David & Goliath story. Its biggest allies Russia and Venezuela imploded and Cuba stood intact. Cuba as

Fidel built one of the best healthcare systems in the world and free education system (highest literacy rate in the world) despite the choke-hold of the United States. Stood tall against United States’ imperialistic designs and support of dictator Batista. He survived dozens and dozens of failed assassination plots of CIA and humiliated America during Bay of Pigs and Cuban Missile Crisis. It was the classic David & Goliath story. Its biggest allies Russia and Venezuela imploded and Cuba stood intact. Cuba as a matter of principal supported using its army against the apartheid regime of South Africa in Angola and it’s involvement led to the freedom of Namibia. Tens of thousands of Cuban doctors have saved lives in many countries in Latin America and Africa. Cuba’s track record in environmental protection is peerless in the world. All this was led by the leadership of Fidel Castro. Cuba’s record on PERSONAL FREEDOM is highly questionable and rightfully so. It is remarkable that Nelson Mandela upon his freedom in 1990 repeatedly thanked Fidel Castro. Rarely anyone has accused Castro and his team of any personal financial gains. My personal experience in interacting with the immediate family members of Fidel leaves no doubt that this is “one of the most powerful families of the political world” is beyond the all-pervasive political corruption around the world.

Alicia Alonso Cuba with Aditya JhaEven Bobby Kennedy (younger brother of JF Kennedy), while passionately leading the charge of palace coup mission in Cuba and for removal of Castro team had all admiration for the revolutionary zeal of Fidel Castro & Che Guevara (Book titled “Inconvenient Truth” ) and was envious.

In the 50s and 60s, the entire world was suffering from tyranny of dictators and exploitation and humiliation caused by Western Imperialists- no wonder “revolution” was the only refuse in that era- different leaders chose different paths: Fidel Castro, Che Guevara, Ho Chi Minh, Mandela, Gandhi, Martin Luther King and likes but they were the heroes. It is unbelievable that in a make-shift boat a team of 82 revolutionaries left Mexico shores and only 12 survived and landed in Cuba and toppled a regime supported by America and ruled by a dictator Batista.

Destiny produces a man for the historic moments and Fidel Castro was that ONE … Every time I am in Cuba and driving through its long coastal lines … one question keeps coming to me again and again — why it is that Socialist societies can not create wealth and prosperity for its people. The very people who started their revolution in the name of poor, could not get poverty out of their society … In fact the entire society becomes poorer on wealth index. Why the common person in their society have to be that fearful of those revolutionaries who have brought otherwise so many welcome changes.

That is a pity and that is the mystery for me…

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#BlackMoney saga in #India Mon, 14 Nov 2016 22:06:59 +0000 The latest Black Money saga in #India and not so unexpected utterances of political leaders likes of Rahul Gandhi, Mamta Banerji, Mayawati, Sitaram Yechuri, Arvind Kejriwal, as well as likes of ArunShourie, again proves the saying of our great Indian political sage, Chanakya. “if there is unrest amongst intellectuals & criminals; assume King is doing right.”

“If there is unrest amongst intellectuals & criminals; assume King is doing right.”

Having said that, there is a much greater burden of responsibility on PM Modi, the BJP and, India loving people and patriotic organizations to empathize with the fear and suffering of the common people. Just saying that everyone must sacrifice should not give

Just saying that everyone must sacrifice should not give the reason for those who are in power and capable to put the onus on common people. Rather it lies on those capable of setting things right – at the earliest and in the most gentle way possible.  I wish to remember Canadian legend- poet & songwriter Leonard Cohen.

“There is a crack, there is a crack in everything … And that is how LIGHT gets in …”


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Customer Appreciation events Fri, 11 Nov 2016 22:17:17 +0000 Nov 11, 2016: SUCCESSFULLY CONCLUDED: Over 10 days of hosting of Customer Appreciation events in London (Oxford and Cambridge Club), Paris (Club St. James of Paris) and Brussels (Club International Chateau Sainte-Anne) and meetings in Glasgow, Oxford and other cities gave us tremendous opportunity to meet customers and prospects from 48 companies. Opened some valuable associations with customers of international repute for us in helping their international business activities. It has also led to us agreeing to do similar events jointly in Vietnam, Thailand, Brussels, Paris and London with some of these customers during coming months. It proves my belief further that meeting face to face your customers and prospects internationally is invaluable. What a rewarding and learning experience… Humbled….

October 30,2016: London/Glasgow/Paris & Brussels: We are continuing with our major customer outreach efforts around the world. This time we will be in Three countries and Four cities to host Customer Appreciation events and also One-on-One meetings with customers and prospects over next twelve days. It is incredible that our Business Development team from Mumbai (led by #JatinAya & aided by #VarunKhushani & #PrakashYawale) are able to arrange our interaction with about SIXTY companies in England/ France & Belgium. Our two London events are being held at the Oxford & Cambridge club and even the events in Paris and Brussels are being held at one of the most pretigious venues. I am hoping that 2017 & 2018 will be the historic year for our company, Euclid Infotech ( Our bold journey of “Connecting Businesses Globally” continues…We are hoping to cross the mark of 1,000 International customers in over 100 countries during 2017 financial year…

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OUTSTANDING Investigative reporting by Canadian Broadcasting Corporation on #FifthEstate show Mon, 24 Oct 2016 22:20:21 +0000 OUTSTANDING Investigative reporting by Canadian Broadcasting Corporation on #FifthEstate show.

An in-depth & highly informative investigative reporting. Exposes the hypocrisy and double standard of Health Canada – that allows legal sale of proven cancer causing Cigarette but 95% safer eCigarettes product (official position of Public Health England, UK) is still illegal in Canada.

I am a non-smoker and never picked up smoking. I recognize that addiction is bad (nicotine, alcohol, caffeine, gambling etc.) but sale of these addictive products are legal around world. Then why not legalize e-cigarette that allows people getting off smoking cigarette and government research (UK) has found vaping is 95% safer comparatively and millions are vouching for it.

I am particularly happy that my nephew, Ashutosh Jha ‘s company #180Smoke is prominently featured in this report. His business partner and renowned Canadian Heart Surgeon, Dr Gopal Bhatnagar made an excellent case for vaping and e-Cigarette. Their company already has more than five stores and several franchise stores. They recently secured their first round of venture funding as well. I am encouraged that efforts of Ashutosh Jha, Dr Gopal Bhatnagar and their third partner Boris Hex Giller is in the right direction.

It warms my heart to see that Ashutosh Jha appears to have made right choice of giving up his IT professional career with Accenture Canada almost four years ago for a right entrepreneurial venture. Hopefully #ImperialTobacoCanada or other big tobacco companies would leverage such entrepreneurial zeal of young entrepreneurs like Ashutosh Jha and Company…

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Invited to the 3rd US Presidential Debate Thu, 20 Oct 2016 22:25:39 +0000 14701055_10210927918743425_7324785239630865032_oUNIQUE INVITE: Was privileged to be invited to the 3rd US Presidential Debate organized by the Commission on Presidential Debate. My host was AnHeuser Busch corporation (supporters of the event alongside Buffett foundation and others).

Was accommodated in the prestigious Wynn Encore Hotel, fed and feted. Got to meet with other prestigious guests (diplomats, US Congressman, Senators, Speaker of Florida state, CEOs and many).

Thoroughly enjoyed seeing almost all the major anchors of the US media and took photos with Jesse Jackson, Mark Cuban and others. Witnessed an historic event, much more civilized debate than the last two. Hope the Democracy and civility will triumph over the nativist narrative, negativity and vulgar expression of public frustration capitalized by non-serious and insincere demagogue.

Was also interviewed by the BBC Hindi Washington DC correspondent Brajesh Upadhyay (click on the link of BBC for video interview)…

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KEYNOTE Speaker at the annual gala dinner of the Network of Indian Professionals (aka NetIP) Sun, 16 Oct 2016 22:31:06 +0000 netip ottawa speechI was honored to be the KEYNOTE Speaker at the annual gala dinner of the “Network of Indian Professionals (aka NetIP)” in Canada’s capital city Ottawa.

Premier of Ontario, Ms. Kathleen Wynn was the Chief Guest. Other dignitaries included Attorney General of Ontario, Senior VP of TD Bank, CEO of Ottawa Hospital and Who-is-Who of the Canadians of Indian origin. It was an excellent event organized by NetIP President Siddhartha Kumar, who exceeded all the expectation of the attendees.

I was humbled with the positive comments I received after my keynote speech.

My keynote speech had two main themes:

14608649_10210891227746173_4698925590010821494_o-1Canada India bi-lateral trade is dismal compared to the potential and I put forth the argument and need that the successful professionals of Indian origin (through organized platform like NetIP) play an out of the box approach in helping with trade focused public policy formulation at the level of the government (which has been very timid so far), change the “Trading Post” mind-set of big Canadian businesses, act as “Sherpa” for the large number of SMEs in Canada and be the “Trust & Comfort” factor for Indian businesses looking at Canada for their global business expansion.

The second theme I presented: there is increasing tension in the western world and for us to help maintain the “Social Calm” in Canada with continued major increase in immigrant population, we need to change the definition of “Multiculturalism” from what Canada does for the different cultural groups to what mulit-cultural groups can do for Canada.

It was an incredible evening and my deep appreciation to the NetIP team.

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Cuba event hosted by the Speaker of the Canadian Senate and Speaker of the House of Commons Tue, 04 Oct 2016 22:35:31 +0000 14543712_10210767053881904_666351162585152331_o 14543705_10210767053281889_6364655175486418147_oWHAT an evening:

Was privileged to be invited to the event jointly hosted by the Speaker of the Canadian Senate and, Speaker of the House of Commons, at John A MacDonald Building of the Parliament.

It was a select gathering of scores of Ambassadors, Members of Parliament, Senators, Who-is-who of Ottawa.

It was Cuba Canada cultural night with Cuban food, Mojito and musical performance by the top artists from Cuba and East Coast of Canada.

I was very happy to have interactive conversation with the Ambassador of El Salvador, Macedonia and Cuban officials on topics of my business interest.

Didn’t miss the opportunity to get my photos with both our speakers and others. It was worth making trip to Ottawa from Toronto primarily for this purpose besides some other side business.

Pleased to have this wonderful gift- a lovely evening in life …

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Exciting NEW PAGE in my “Entrepreneurial Journey” Fri, 12 Aug 2016 22:40:36 +0000 Last week, we (Victor Brunette, a fellow Board Member at the National Capital Commission & a life-long Forester and I) bought about 500 acres of forest land with 100 plus years old trees (about 100 acres of 25-35 years) with rich flora, fauna as well as populated with wild animals (Bears, Deers, Fox, Wolf etc.). The previous owner had arrangements for the Cross-Country Skiing as well as for hunting???

The forest is located in the Quebec side of OTTAWA in rural township of Kazabazua (1 hour away from Ottawa). I am excited that we would also own about 2 Kms. of a large river bed at the edge of the property and also a rivulet of 1.5km passing through middle of the property.

My early 16 years were spent around my village Madhawa and agriculture was central to who we were and what supported and nurtured our family and people around us. My father would have been elated and his joy would have known no bounds if he could have seen that I am able to buy a large forest and the thought I have behind it.

My partnership with Victor Brunette will bring a serious and a very organized forest management. That is what he has done professionally for his entire life. For me, it is part of “Radical Entrepreneurial” venture- to create wealth by helping the Nature and Society at the same time.

Climate change is a serious issue that has awakened the consciousness of even my generation of people around the world. We grew up in social setting and belief that Nature is for us to harvest and benefit from. Today increasingly we believe that we have taken MORE from the Mother Earth and it will have serious consequences for the future generations. Trees have serious importance in fighting Climate Change. In my considered opinion, engaging in radical entrepreneurship is about engaging in such ventures as owning forests and professional management of forests for nature conservation and wealth creation.

14316890_10210576407795871_4080130926405666629_n 14089130_10210571438031630_321831392598725650_n 14359066_10210571439631670_8454807425129347661_n 14322249_10210571438551643_3285102802231054447_n 14291847_10210571438191634_1000846015054616841_n 14265008_10210571439191659_2558475599620761615_n

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Vasu Chanchlani: He is no more; his memories & legacy lives on Wed, 17 Sep 2014 04:48:24 +0000 September 14, 2014

Vasu Chanchlani:
He is no more; his memories & legacy lives on
(July 1, 2014 – September 7, 2014)

Giving eulogy for Vasu September 14, 2014

(l-r) Deepak Ruparell, Dr. Terry Papneja and Aditya Jha giving eulogy for Vasu on September 14, 2014 at Hindhu Sabha

Most morning, while I am still in my bed, I will call Vasu and he had his unique sing song style of calling my name and then he would ask me- “what is the news” “Aaj Ki Taza Khabar”? His way of showing his closeness with me didn’t care that he addresses me in a funny way and it would look so awkward if someone heard it. I would do anything today to hear that funny sing song voice and “bhrata!”… I have a news for you today… it is a very sad news. I have lost my “sathi”, my brother who was more than brother and my intellectual companion, who would argue with me on any topic on the earth. Sometimes, I would get mad for his fierceness to tear any topic apart, if I missed something or said it incorrectly and other times he would be so proud of me and he would say… I admire that you think like that. He would not hesitate to sing praises for me in public and in front of many of you and I would be embarrassed. Deepak is witness, when I would get mad at him for being so critical over small things, then Vasu would say… why am I so sensitive? Many a times even if I said sorry that was not enough, he wanted to know “why” I said or did it that way. “Why” was more important to him…. it was so irritating. If out of irritation, I would avoid discussion then that would make him madder. He was so feisty to debate “why”. In my life, I have met so many outstanding individuals. But I always told Vasu that I am in awe of the way he can analyze and dissect any topic or idea, if given time. He always had better idea and approach to what I did publically or for him. But he always and always wanted me to represent him publically or on his behalf. I would ask him, since he can better my idea and approach then why he didn’t do it himself in first place and his was the same answer- Aditya! You are the best to represent me and you always have my best interest. He said, if both of us debate, plan and work together then no one can match us. He had this constant complain that I don’t consult him enough.

His childlike behavior and being so proud of it amazed me. He thought it is normal that he won’t take care of his passport or wallet or ticket or name of the hotel he was going to stay in. His constant answer was “my wife Jaya” always takes care of it. One time, we were in Phuket and we left for the airport. When we were getting off the taxi, I asked him about his documents and he said that he left it in the hotel locker and in the same breadth he got mad at me that he left his passport in the hotel. His first sentence was “My wife Jaya” always ensures that everything is taken care of. He would go to the restaurant and would have no wallet and he would say that he will pay for it. If any woman met him at a public event and was interested in his philanthropy- within second or third sentence he will start talking about “my wife Jaya” this or that. If younger lady approached him, he may call them that she is like his sister. Deepak and I will tease him- is she not good looking? He would get so mad and shout at both of us. “How can you even think like that? That is not nice”. Come Christmas and he would send personalized Johny Walker Blue label whisky to presidents of universities and then he will also send gift to someone who would not be so important person but it mattered because he deals with him or her. I used to get upset with him for calling “sir” to anyone. I would ask, how come you want to be so unnecessarily polite to anyone and everyone. If someone asked for something, he won’t say no even though he wanted to say NO. His answer would invariably be construed on affirmative side. He would agree when I would argue that it sends unnecessary wrong message. He would throw up his hands up and say… that is how I am. And that is why he likes my style in dealing with such things. In the same vein, he would criticize- that he hates my guts that I can be so frank and still not offend and could be abrupt or I can cut-off from things just like that. He would want me to review even a small email he wanted to send to someone important. He embodied the quest for excellence. His that quest bordered frivolity. Deepak, Vasu and I organized a major fundraising for the Conservative Party of Canada. He got so upset that the colour of the chair was not upto the mark and he insisted to replace it and arranged truck to bring new ones even though just four hours were left for the event to begin. After the event, I pointed out that he takes things too far and he agreed but won’t accept that he would not do the same again. He would envy that I learnt religious text because of my childhood family environment. He had read most of the Hindu scriptures and will correct me for smallest misinterpretations. He was so well read of religious text and talked proudly of his spiritual journey with Terry Papneja and divine intervention almost every day. And then decides to have no ritualistic affair for him after he was gone. He told me many times that he would want no memorial service but just a Facebook post that “Vasu is No more” and I would protest that Deepak and I won’t let that happen and he should not do that for me even. He would constantly say that he admires classy and fair way. When he would get angry, which he got often in his close circle; he would apologize later and he would say he hates that he behaves like that. He cared so deeply for his wife and children and often talked to me about their little things and I am not sure whether he expressed it to them?

His loyalty was unflinching, his sensitivity was extraordinary, his accomplishments peerless, his philanthropy passionate and thoughtful, he was an extraordinary ordinary man. Despite what all of us know about him; what was important in him was invisible. Our friend Vasu was beautifully imperfect. In the end, we will remember these little things- little imperfections that made our dear Vasu perfect human.

I wrote with him all important letters, nominations and speeches for him ….and Vasu! You are lucky that this last one also I wrote for you…if you had to write this for me- you would be shitting bricks my friend.

But fate ordains that dearest friends must part. Can Vasu’s death truly separate him from us? We know, if we want to be with someone you love, isn’t he already in our hearts forever.

We are not dismayed at saying “goodbye” bhrata. This farewell was necessary before we meet again. And meeting again, after days or years or lifetime, is certain for those who are friends.

“You and I will meet again
When we are least expecting it
One day in some far off place
I will- recognize your face
Then I won’t say “goodbye” my friend
For you- for you Vasu! I will meet again….

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Executive-in-Residence pays it forward Thu, 04 Sep 2014 05:01:29 +0000 Published on:

Like so many successful men and women, celebrated entrepreneur, philanthropist and social activist Aditya Jha started from modest means. He was born in southern Nepal in 1958, and was raised along with his three brothers and two sisters in a village that straddled the border between India and Nepal. His father, a lawyer, practiced in the district court of Sitamarhi, India.

Possessing the ability and the smarts to pursue post-secondary education, Jha earned a science bachelors degree from Hans Raj College, Delhi University. He went on to do a masters in statistics at Kurukshetra University, as well as a post-graduate diploma in computer science.

“Having come from a Nepalese village, I can tell you that education is the primary factor that can elevate people out of poverty. It is the key contributor to economic development,” Jha points out.

To further his understanding of computer technology, he became a computer systems research scholar at Jawaharial Nehru University. In 1984 he traveled to France to acquire mainframe computer training with CIT Alcatel. He returned to start his computer career in India and subsequently worked in Singapore, Australia and several Southeast Asian countries.

Equipped with considerable skills and knowledge acquired in the industry, Jha relocated to Canada in 1994 and joined Bell, where he quickly rose through the ranks to become general manager of ebusiness and product marketing.

“I got a shot at shaping my destiny by learning at Bell Canada. Once I learned all that I could, I decided to start my own company,” Jha recounts. With four other partners, he co-founded Isopia Inc., a Canadian software company that flourished quickly. It was so successful, their company was purchased by U.S.-based Sun Microsystems in 2001 for more than $100 million divided between the partners.

With the proceeds of the sale, Aditya started Osellus Inc., another software firm with offices in Toronto and Bangkok. He invested the remainder of his windfall in several diverse businesses, including a candy factory in Hamilton, Ontario, that owner Cadbury Adams Canada had planned to close.

Jha subsequently saved more than 150 jobs after renaming the venture Karma Candy, owing to his belief in life-altering karma. With careful cost-cutting, more efficient production and outreach to new clients, Karma Candy became a triumph.

“There’s no recipe for success, but there are definitely ingredients for success,” Jha explains when asked how he manages to turn dross into gold. He’s quick to emphasize that his early days at Isopia were difficult ones as they struggled to perfect the right products and services. Success rarely comes easily, he underlines.

While thriving in his adopted country, Jha also pursued business opportunities overseas. He spearheaded a niche Indian IT services company, and has interests in restaurant chains in Thailand and India, as well as Canada. He also leads TransCard Capital Inc., which provides real estate investments and financial services to the tourism industry in Latin America, especially the fledgling economy of Cuba.

The latter begins to hint at the other side of Aditya Jha, that of a tireless philanthropist and social activist. He rejects the notion that philanthropy is just another form of charity.

“Charity is paternalistic; it doesn’t agree with me. The definition of philanthropy is beyond charity,” Jha says. He argues giving back to society pays dividends in terms of advancing an equitable society that can nurture goodness in people.

Jha has been generous with both his money and his time. He sponsored a unique initiative with the Grand Chief of Nishnawbe Aski Nation to nurture entrepreneurship within aboriginal communities. His charitable foundation ( created endowments at four Ontario institutions – Ryerson, Trent and York universities, as well as George Brown College – and he chaired the UNICEF Canada India HIV/AIDS campaign.

For his efforts, Jha became a Member of the Order of Canada and a recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal. He was given an honorary doctorate by Ryerson University in 2009. He was named a Top 25 Canadian Immigrant, South Asian Philanthropist and Top 30 Most Influential Indo-Canadian, among numerous other community service awards and recognitions.

Most recently, Dr. Jha was named Entrepreneur-in-Residence at Centennial College’s School of Business, a unique position Jha has been serving with enthusiasm.

“Centennial has a huge population of international students who can relate to me,” he says. “I want to share my perspectives and experiences, so that I can affect their learning directly. Connecting with students provides a glimpse of the possibilities they can attain.”

Why give college students the benefit of his wisdom and not university students? Jha believes universities already get the best professors and students. He wished to share his knowledge with people who could appreciate his perspective.

“I admire colleges because they really teach. I can have a more visible impact at college. We need to help international students, in particular, more than we’re doing now, such as by providing more aggressive internship programs for them,” he says.

Jha is encouraged by the programs he sees at college, particularly new initiatives in entrepreneurship and leadership. He wants to see “impactful engagement” both at colleges and at high schools to capture students’ imagination.

“Universal healthcare is wonderful. So how about universal post-secondary education with public and private support? Imagine all the bursaries replenished by the recipients who benefited from them.” He views education as a public resource, like a library that sees its collection restocked constantly.

Ironically, given his own extensive university education, this highly successful businessman wants parents to give Canada’s colleges a good, hard look.

“Colleges have better employability statistics and help graduates find their way,” he says. “There’s a misplaced sense of importance placed on university.”

Originally Published by Centennial College at

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