May 14, 2019
The attached Quote by the late President of USA aptly describes the resolve & determination my grandfather & family have shown over the last seven decades.
Over these decades, we have faced – and continue to do so – political problems, pressures & interferences; hotel politics; community politics; family crisis; business pressures; sports politics; monetary problems. Is it because we are minorities?
My late grandfather, Dinshaw B Avari, was an orphan in Mumbai. Himself learning under a lantern, my grandfather gave tuitions to pay his way through college, obtaining a B.Com from Bombay University. He started his career in the Sun Life Assurance Co of Canada and in 1929 was sent to Karachi to open the Company’s office. From this eventually led to the purchase of the Bristol Hotel in Karachi and the start of our family’s hospitality career. When Beach Luxury Hotel opened in 1948, the property was requisitioned. In Lahore in the 1950/60s, a new “scheme” by the Governor then, requisitioned our property for so-called public use. Our Avari Towers Hotel in Karachi, absolutely ready for operations, remained closed for two years due to “competitor” politics…I can go on and on.
However, Calvin Coolidge’s Quote stands tall on our Office wall, as we have weathered the tides & onslaught against us…and survived…and grown … due to the persistence of my grandfather & father!
In the face of these challenges my grandfather used to quote “More things are wrought by prayers, than by man alone”. There is no substitute for persistence and hard work … and Prayers and faith in God help you overcome such challenges and tribulations.
… and no school can ever teach you this!
April 11, 2019
Business and family groups are defined by their philosophy and values under which they operate.
We have 4 core philosophies under which our family operate, one of which I’ll take up here –
We are in the business for profit BUT AT THE SAME TIME, we have a responsibility towards our employees & society. It is our moral obligation to assist our employees where necessary.
Somehow, here, “profit” is a dirty word. Why?
If we don’t make a profit, how can we plough our resources back into employee welfare & engagement and social uplift & charity!?
If we don’t make a profit, how can we support our own team members’ genuine issues and society’s charitable endeavors!?
We have a “womb to tomb” philosophy – that doesn’t mean we force “you to work till you drop”. What it means is that for our Associate & Supervisory cadre, generally, we let them work till THEY want to retire.
Pakistan doesn’t have any safety net for retired people. What do old people do? Where can they turn? No government since inception has ever provided or supported them. It is upto us to look after them – whether by extended employment or pension or medical or education.
But how can we do this if there is no PROFIT!
March 15, 2019
Does one really need to have “common sense” not to throw trash on the road from the car? What about a car tail-gaiting a motorcycle? How about when I take my mother in law to the Gym at the hospital and every single time, I open and close the physiotherapy door on my own with no one helping an attendant pushing a wheel chair – not the nurses walking by nor the people sitting inside!? Hey, how about spitting beetle nut on the side of the stairs? OR, the worst, urinating on the side of the road?
Do we really need to be taught common courtesies – isn’t it ingrained in humans since we are born? NO. Thinking back, I realize, what I take as common sense now wasn’t perceived so then. I mean, why should I litter my own city? Why should I break the signal? Why spit on the stairs?
So, the solution is going back to basics- EDUCATION & UPBRINGING … schools & family!
Not only do our schools need to teach common sense to children, starting from NURSERY; but these values need to be reinforced by the family too. If one is taught as a child that – – – he/she should not defile the environment; should open doors for elders; should assist a wheelchair person; should not interrupt conversations (I’m good at doing this!) – – – that will stick to them like glue for the rest of their life!
So, the new generation needs to be taught (and reinforced) COMMON SENSE in their daily dealings in life and with humans, animals & our environment.
Maybe, just maybe, we’ll be able to welcome back common sense then.
(Thanks to my wife for editing this post first)
February 15, 2019
Why did we select a “yacht” to be our Group’s logo and the logo on all our hotels?
Because my father & our family were instrumental in setting up sailing as an international sport for Pakistan and having it recognized as such on the world stage! (I shouldn’t be starting my sentence with a “because”- excuses please! 😊)
In 1978, my father, Byram, won the Gold Medal for Pakistan at the VIII Asian Games in Thailand in Yachting in the Enterprise class.
Again in 1982, my parents, Byram & Goshpi, together won the Gold Medal at the IX Asian Games in Mumbai, in the Enterprise class. My mother was not only the only Pakistani female entry in Yachting, but, I believe, also the only woman from to have won a Gold Medal then.
Due to both these accolades for Pakistan, my father was decorated with the President’s Gold Medal in January 1979 and the Pride of Performance Medal (for yachting) in 1982.
Other international podium positions included –
- Runner-up at the Worlds Sailing Championship in #Canada- 1981
- Runner-up at USA Opens National Sailing Championship- 1981
- Winner of the State of #Ontario Sailing Champion- 1981
- Winner of Canadian Inco Regatta- 1981
… to name a few.
Hence, when we were ready to launch our Avari Towers Hotel in Karachi in 1985 (Avari Lahore was already operating under a different brand till then), our family decided to use the sail boat as our corporate logo as the “Avari” name had already been established as synonymous with sailing in Pakistan.
It has proved a success as we keep sailing on to brighter futures and growth in our Country.
(p.s.- my mother’s achievement was finally officially recognized by the Government in 2011 when she was awarded the Pride of Performance Medal (for yachting) – almost three decades later (better late than never 😊)