Boman Irani stoops to conquer at ICAI-Dubai Chapter's 40th annual event

Indian actor delivers a rousing motivational speech that finds echoes in Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan’s vision for the UAE



Indian actor and motivational speaker, Boman Irani, at the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India Dubai Chapter (ICAI) event at the Grand Hyatt on Nov 27, 2022. Photos by Rahul Gajjar
Indian actor and motivational speaker, Boman Irani, at the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India Dubai Chapter (ICAI) event at the Grand Hyatt on Nov 27, 2022. Photos by Rahul Gajjar

By Joydeep Sen Gupta

Published: Sun 27 Nov 2022, 6:50 PM

Last updated: Sun 27 Nov 2022, 9:51 PM

On a cool Sunday morning, Boman Irani, an Indian actor-turned-voice artist-turned screenplay mentor and an ace photographer in his earlier avatar, brought the house down and pepped up an august gathering at the 40th annual international conference of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI) (Dubai) chapter — the most active and award-winning among the 33 overseas wings of the ICAI — in Grand Hyatt Exhibition & Conference Centre.

Irani, who was the star guest speaker on the occasion, regaled the audience with his “incredible life story”.

He recounted the sordid tales since his birth — he was born a posthumous child and faced several obstacles in his tender years — but peppered them with crackling jokes and life lessons, whose universal feel of “wants”, “needs” and “focus” struck a big chord with an appreciative audience.

His natural impediments such as speaking with a pronounced lisp, suffering from dyscalculia and dyslexia wouldn't have been overcome had it not been for his “encouraging mother” Jerbanoo, who died at the ripe old age of 94 last year.

She always let him follow his “own instincts that helped him bloom late in life, and never let others set his timelines (including turning a screenplay writer and director of a feature film next year)”.

CA Ankit Sunil Talati, Vice-President, ICAI (Dubai) chapter; CA Harikishan Rankawat Vice- Chairman, ICAI; CA Anurag Chaturvedi Chairman, ICAI; Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, the UAE’s Minister of Tolerance and Coexistence; Sunjay Sudhir, Ambassador of India to the UAE;  CA (Dr.) Debashis Mitra President, ICAI
CA Ankit Sunil Talati, Vice-President, ICAI (Dubai) chapter; CA Harikishan Rankawat Vice- Chairman, ICAI; CA Anurag Chaturvedi Chairman, ICAI; Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, the UAE’s Minister of Tolerance and Coexistence; Sunjay Sudhir, Ambassador of India to the UAE; CA (Dr.) Debashis Mitra President, ICAI

Irani, who made his cinematic debut with but found instant fame with Munna Bhai M.B.B.S. (2003), cited the defining roles of his mentors such as Father Malloy of St Mary’s School in Mumbai, ace hotelier Sam Bhada — he gave him his first job as a steward in The Taj Mahal Palace — Aspy Adajania, Indian Army officer and boxing administrator, who gave him a break as a photographer for boxing tournaments, in his “roller-coaster” career graph that appears to have few parallels.

The organisers’ choice to call upon Irani to give a motivational speech that welled up emotions from the recesses of his heart couldn’t have been more apt.

Life lessons were central to the theme of the event, “Connect 2 Impact”.

Anurag Chaturvedi
Anurag Chaturvedi

Anurag Chaturvedi, CEO Andersen UAE and Chairman, ICAI (Dubai) Chapter, quoted former South African President and anti-apartheid activist, Nelson Mandela, to drive home the point: “There is no passion to be found playing small, in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.”

Chaturvedi, whose book Essentials of UAE VAT Law was unveiled on the occasion, spoke about the life journey that are steeped in his organisation’s larger goals to invest in sustainability, technology, innovation and digitisation and make an Indian chartered accountant (CA) a global professional — whether in Dubai or London or New York.

Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, the UAE’s Minister of Tolerance and Coexistence,
Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, the UAE’s Minister of Tolerance and Coexistence,

Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, the UAE’s Minister of Tolerance and Coexistence, who was the chief guest of the function, spoke about his young nation’s “market-orientated economy that has been encouraging creativity, innovation and enterprise to foster growth and prosperity for both Emiratis and the expatriate population”.

He also spoke about the preservation of the Emirati cultural heritage in an interdependent world and a changing global landscape, where the “UAE has been pivoting away from its dependence on oil to promoting science and technology”.

Baroness (Dr.) Sandip Verma
Baroness (Dr.) Sandip Verma

Baroness Dr. Sandip Verma, Chairperson of UN Women, UK; Chair of Nexus Green Ltd, Former Minister of Energy, Climate Change and International Development, Government of UK, reminded the audience about the “art of giving”, “gender and racial equality” and the importance of upholding the sustainable development goals (SDGs) in line with the UN’s policies and programmes.

She cited the example of her own country, England, which was the first nation to introduce the Climate Change Act in 2008 and pledged commitment to Net Zero by 2050.

Aniket Talati, Vice-President, ICAI (Dubai), singled out India’s contribution in working with “policymakers to develop resilience and sustainable model of ethical business practices”. He also apprised members about the global success of the World Congress of Accountants, which was held in Mumbai earlier this month.

Former Indian federal minister Suresh Prabhu, a CA himself; Sunjay Sudhir Ambassador of India to the UAE; and Dr. Debashis Mitra, President, ICAI were the other guests of honour.

Sarika Jain, Deputy Commissioner of Income Tax Government of India; M Damodaran, former Chairman SEBI and Chairperson Excellence Enablers; Mary Kom, boxing champion and former member of India’s Upper House in Parliament; and Bharat Goenka, Vice Chairperson Tally Solutions Pvt. Ltd, were the other guest speakers.

Later, in the evening, Bollywood singer Neeti Mohan brought the curtains down at the day’s event with her pulsating performance.

joydeep@khaleejtimes.com


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