June 7th 2015 turned out to be a memorable day in the annals of Fujairah. An audience of 300+ from all walks of life patiently listened to Chetan Bhagat, the famous author of six blockbuster books. Chetan, so illustrious, was called “The Biggest Selling English Language Novelist in India’s History” by ‘The New York Times’. ‘TIME Magazine’ named Chetan amongst the “100 most influential people in the world” and the Fast Company in USA listed this renowned laureate as “one of the world’s 100 most creative people in businesses”. This eminent personality’s novels have been enriched into box-office Bollywood movies.
Crowe Horwath, Auditors and Business Advisors, having strong professional standing in Fujairah for the past 2 decades, intended to gift the people of Fujairah with an opportunity to listen to an inspirational talk by a legendary speaker. They are certain of “Our chief want is someone who will inspire us to be what we know we could be” as remarked by R.W. Emerson. Chetan was selected - for his prominence in motivational public speaking, ingenious screen-play writing and his focussed inducement of youth to be ambitious and to make a difference to the society.
The entirely free event was sponsored by Fujairah Cement Industries, East Coast Group, Fujairah Trade Centre, Awafi Mineral Water, Department of Industry and Economy and Fujseng Construction and held under the auspices of Crowe Horwath – Horwath MAK representatives Dr. Khalid Maniar (Founder and Group Managing Partner), Mr. Davis Kallukaran (CEO), Mr. James Mathew (Deputy CEO), Mr. Zayd (Partner), Mr. Saad (Partner) and Surya (Director) along with executives and staff of their Fujairah Office.
Mr. Omar Farooq, Assistant Vice President-Retail Banking Group of Mashreq Bank entranced Chetan and the audience with a magical stint. The audience were struck in awe.
Vigneshwar Muthukumar, Grade 12 student of Our Own English High School shares his experience.
“A day which will be known as having the past, the present and the future of Fujairah under one roof. The Dibba Ballroom of the Novotel, Fujairah had the honour of upholding such a prestigious moment. A day when old friends, colleagues and acquaintances had the gift of rekindling the past once again. A day when all the schools of Fujairah, sent in their students, to hear a talk. Little did they know that, the true purpose of their visit was to meet people…..People who have succeeded in life and in the vision for their prestigious companies, people who grew along with this city. It’s quite marvellous to see the works of time right before your eyes, most of the people who attended the event were born even before the students were born, complete strangers at the time of birth but now they’re here at this moment of time and that’s what matters the most and all this would not be possible without the initiative of Crowe Horwath. This shows how close knit the Fujairah community really is. An event which was not only a business venture but also a learning one. Chetan Bhagat took the stage after a brief introduction about him by Mr James. All eyes were focused on the man who wrote books, that sold millions of copies….which were made into movies, and made billions of rupees as well to the producers. As a man who has been doing numerous talks around the globe for companies and for the youth of tomorrow, now has come a chance to have both under one roof. A topic that unites both the age groups under one experience. “Challenges & Happiness”. Something that we all ultimately want-happiness but need to go through the challenges and struggles. An hour long speech, breaking down the challenges on achieving happiness and the pursuit of the age groups in attaining it. Giving personal examples from his own life, he connected with the crowd. An hour that went by in a blink of an eye ended with a Q&A session with the audience. Mementos were presented by Chetan Bhagat to the sponsors. The youth icon of India, A man known to any Indian reader, walked off the stage to take group pictures with the youth that had taken him to such great heights. A memorable night that ended with a memorable dinner. A complete event by Crowe Horwath, one amongst many to come!”
Dignitaries from the Government of Fujairah graced the occasion. Enthusiastic and brilliant students, from Fujairah schools passionately attending along with their faculties, were thrilled in seeing, listening, querying and taking selfies with Chetan. The overjoy was very evidently felt in the Dibba Ballroom of Novotel Hotel.
Ultimately, on the whole, it was an evening well invested in learning from ‘an investment banker turned writer’ about wriggling through struggles and churning challenges into successes!
Surya Narayanan Krishna Moorthy