BPP Elections

Transparency and professionalism the need of the hour

xerxes-3The concerns of the beneficiaries today are two-fold. Firstly, the fact that the present Board’s manner of functioning lacks transparency and secondly, the lack of a professional approach by the Board. I, too, share the same concerns, and in order to bring out about this change, I chose to contest the BPP elections.

I have in the past written overviews of how a professional approach to the Punchayet’s management can work wonders. Apart from better management of funds, it would bring in efficiencies that yield greater benefits without additional investment.

We are all aware of the litigation that ensued between the Trustees of the present Board due to refusal by the majority to permit the minority Trustees access to all information, documents and the like concerning the Trust. For funding this litigation, I am told that close to Rs. 50 Lakhs of charitable funds was wasted away by the majority Trustees in needless and unrequired legal fees. This in-fighting and groupism has not only made it difficult for the staff of the BPP but has also lead to the beneficiaries suffering in the bargain.

I have always believed in a transparent and professional approach in my own work place, trusts / associations and generally, in all walks of life. This can be seen from the fact that although I participate in the events organized by my father, I choose to stay out of the organizing committee and my father does the same.

I have always ensured that I encourage group discussions amongst the members of the committees I work on, and that there’s room for inputs and suggestions from the entire team. This makes team work a learning experience and ensures that the end result is a joint effort by one and all.

The Punchayet urgently needs to emulate a similar model of transparency and a professional approach.

The Punchayet needs a chief financial officer (CFO). The solution to our problems – from housing to better medical care – lies not only in raising money but also in a better management of it. A CFO would streamline financial operations and bring order to critical functions such as bookkeeping.

There is no reason accounts should not be open to public inspection. Why should the beneficiary not know what makes the BPP increase parking charges, License fees ,rent ,etc . Where does the Money collected for the parking go? When is it used ? Who authorizes the use ? are they put to the use that the beneficiary is desirous of ?are they accounted for separately and transparently ?

A professional CFO would employ innovative methods of raising funds – such as crowd sourcing – and take steps to reassure donors that their money is being put to the desired use. This would include pay-for-performance models that would compel and ensure that the Punchayet delivers on the promises made while collecting funds.

As a chartered accountant and management consultant of many years standing, I have seen innumerable trusts and businesses benefit by organising themselves professionally. This is why the Punchayet also needs an independent Chief Executive Officer (CEO) who would work in accordance with law in the interest of the Trust and not as per one man’s dictatorial instructions.

The model I have in mind is much like the one we see in corporations: the CEO, who is responsible for the running of the organisation, reports to a board (in the Punchayet’s case, the trustees). All major decisions would need the board’s approval; this would also ensure strong oversight of the CEO. There would be clear deliverables – much like targets in corporations – on which the CEO’s performance would be reviewed annually.

Importantly, the appointments of the CFO and CEO should be made by an independent panel of senior, qualified community members. This would ensure against ‘political appointees’ to these critical positions.

Better management of the Punchayet would be beneficial to us all. How often have you been frustrated by your concerns not getting resolved? How many families and couple are awaiting homes despite apartments lying vacant? Shouldn’t our elders get a helping hand when it comes to medical care? And, as the community’s apex administrative body, shouldn’t the Punchayet be answerable on these matters?

However, as long as the trust is dominated by warring factions and petty squabbles take precedence over service delivery, things will not improve.

In my professional capacity, I audit many trusts including the Punchayet. I understand the challenges before them. Many struggle with it, but adapting to a modern style of functioning is the need of the hour. Without it, we are doomed to losing several more years to infighting and inefficiency.

Let us be willing to make the working of our apex Trust transparent and open to suggestions of the beneficiaries.

When was the last time the trust held an open house? When was the last time the donor was given a report of the utilization of their funds? When was the last time Colony associations were given an account of collections made on their behalf? When was the last time the trustees Answered implemented your suggestions? When was the last time the spending budgets of the Trust were shared with you ?

Let’s not repeat the errors of the past. Let’s stand up together and be heard, let’s be one , let’s be clear of our common aims and goals.

Your support for my candidature and my involvement will surely make the BPP a better place.

I am ready to make a difference, the choice is yours.

I have always been available to answer all queries and I remain available even today. I have listed my email address and phone number below. Feel free to get in touch with me anytime.

Endorsement for Xerxes -Shiamak Davar
I am extremely happy that Mr. Xerxes Dastur has taken the informed decision to contest the Bombay Parsi Punchayet Elections. He is a committed and hard working young man with a great potential to make the BPP a better place and possesses just the perfect qualities of being transparent, independent , educated and committed to the causes he takes up and most essentially a priest .

My vote goes for a better change, My vote goes to Ervard Xerxes Dastur.
Warm Regards
Shiamak Davar

I have known Xerxes Dastur for the past several years to be a hard and enthusiastic worker and a charming individual. Xerxes comes out as a forthright and honest individual committed to give the Parsi Kom the very best . I am sure he will indeed live up to his election slogan “KAMNO ANE KOMMNO TRUSTTEE”

I earnestly request our peace loving community to vote and fill the EVM in his favour so that the unnecessary turmoil in the boardroom ends for good!!!

My Vote Goes to Xerxes Dastur
Good Luck -Xerxes

Xerxes Dastur is more than a brother to me who’s an able mind , up right honest, genuinely a good human who puts humanitarian values before commerce, saying out of my personal experience .
May our Ahura Mazda bless his soul with light and care .
Let our community be optimized , get Mickeymized!
Mickey Mehta

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