Aditya Jha

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Aditya Jha
Jha Aditya-035.jpg
Born Janakpur, Nepal
Residence Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Nationality now Canadian. Formerly Nepali.
Education Honorary LL.D., Ryerson University; M.Sc. Mathematical Statistics, Post Graduate Diploma in Computer Science, Research Scholar at School of Computer & Systems Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU)
Alma mater Kendriya Vidyalaya,
Hans Raj College, University of Delhi,
Jawaharlal Nehru University,
Kurukshetra University, Ryerson University, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Employer Euclid Infotech Pvt. Ltd. & also POA Educational Foundation
Known for Non-Resident Nepalese, Philanthropy/active giving, business success, political involvement
Title President & CEO
Website poafoundation.org

Aditya Jha, C.M., LL.D (Hon) is a Nepalese Canadian entrepreneur, philanthropist and social activist. A globetrotter, his business portfolio consists of several startups and company turnarounds with interests in Canada, India, Thailand and Nepal.[1] He also runs several philanthropic initiatives through his Private Charitable Foundation (POA Educational Foundation),[2] promoting education and nurturing entrepreneurship to increase opportunities for the less fortunate. Jha takes special interest in nurturing prosperity and financial independence amongst Canadian First Nations (aboriginal) communities and individuals through education scholarships at top Canadian universities and a project (Project Beyshick) that nurtures entrepreneurship.[3]

On December 30, 2012, Aditya was appointed a Member of the Order of Canada by Governor General David Johnston. The Order of Canada is Canada's highest civilian award. His citation read, "for his achievements in business and for his commitment to promoting education and entrepreneurial opportunities for Aboriginal and disadvantaged youth".[4] On May 8, 2013, he was recognized as Champion of Public Education in Canada by The Learning Partnership, along with scotiabank CEO Richard E. Waugh and The Globe and Mail Editor-in-Chief John Stackhouse.[5] The award recognizes and celebrates the accomplishments of extraordinary Canadians whose lifelong dedication, generosity, and commitment have contributed to making the Canadian public education system one of the best in the world. He is a winner of the Top 25 Canadian Immigrants Award (2010), an inductee of the '30 most influential Indo-Canadians Power List (2009),' and a recipient of Honorary Doctorate of Laws from Ryerson University, the university's highest honour. [6] Aditya is the former National Convenor of the Canada India Foundation— a public policy organization.[7]

Early life[edit]

Aditya Jha was born to a Maithil family in Janakpur and grew up in Sitamarhi, Bihar, India. His Mother tongue is Maithili.[8][9] He was brought-up in a landed middle-class family of three brothers and two sisters. His father was lawyer by profession and practiced law in Dhanusa district court of Janakpur in Nepal. Upon completion of his secondary education in a village near Indo-Nepal border, Aditya went on to pursue post-secondary education in Delhi, India. After receiving a bachelor's degree in sciences from Hans Raj College Delhi University, he went on to do M.Sc. Mathematical Statistics at Kurukshetra University and PG Diploma in Computer Science from Kurukshetra University. He further invested four and a half years from 1979 to 1984 as a Research Scholar at the School of Computer and Systems Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru University before visiting Paris, France for Mainframe computer training with CIT Alcatel for six months. He was the recipient of University Grants Commission's Junior and Senior scholarship and Research Associateship from Council of Scientific and Industrial Research. He was very active in student politics and student union activities and worked underground with those who were working against when Emergency measures suspending democratic rights in India were promulgated. He played leadership role with the largest student organization in India as General Secretary for Delhi and Haryana state and was on the National Executive of the national student organization when he was just 22 years old.[10]

Career and business interests[edit]

He started his career in India and then subsequently worked in Singapore, Australia and South East Asian countries.[11] He migrated to Canada in late 1994 and joined Bell Canada, later becoming a General Manager. After a career at Bell, he co-founded (with four other partners) a software company, Isopia Inc.[12] Isopia was a Canadian success story[13] and their company was acquired by Sun Microsystems for over $100 million (combination of cash & stock).[14] After his work at Isopia, Aditya started Osellus Inc, another software firm with offices in Toronto and Bangkok, and diversified his portfolio through acquisition of several businesses including a business from Allan Candy/Cadbury Adams Canada.[15] He renamed the confectionery manufacturing business, to Karma Candy owing to his belief in the concept of Karma. After this acquisition, Aditya helped save more than 150 jobs who were to be laid-off owing to the imminent closure of one of the oldest confectionery factories in Canada.[16]

Philanthropic interests[edit]

Jha established a private Canadian charitable foundation, the POA Educational Foundation [17], in 2001, to promote education and entrepreneurship amongst the individuals and groups not so fortunate.[18]

Educational projects in Canada[edit]

Aditya has several scholarships at Canadian post secondary institutions such as Ryerson University,[19][20] Trent University,[21] George Brown College,[22] Centennial College and York University.[23] The endowments at these universities grant in total fourteen (14) scholarship awards in perpetuity to students (large focus on students from the aboriginal community of Canada). Additionally he has supported a research project on Economic Value of Indo-Canadians (Ryerson University), Pathways Education Program for the inner-city kids of Regent Park community in Toronto and funded York University for Canada-India research initiative.

Projects promoting entrepreneurship in Canada[edit]

Jha's Project Beyshick initiative nurtures prosperity and financial independence amongst First Nations individuals by encouraging and mentoring entrepreneurial efforts. The project was launched with the support of Nishnawbe Aski Nation (NAN) Grand Chief Stan Beardy and nephew Ashutosh Jha. The project has had numerous life changing positive impacts on participants, putting them on an accelerated path towards success and personal growth.[24][25][26] Asked by a media house about his motivation for this initiative, he replied

"I wanted to give the Canadian aboriginal communities a vision for the future - and a sense of possibility. It is the entrepreneurial spirit and success, which gives the rightful recognition to communities in the mainstream world. It also allows the successful entrepreneurs to become role models for their community,".[27]

He has also supported award for the Top 20 under 20 program (Entrepreneurship category) and the yearly $15,000 Business Plan & $5,000 Career Plan Contest award for the First Nation individual participating in Project Beyshick.

Philanthropic work in Nepal[edit]

He has funded digital literacy project by donating laptop and desktops to 11 schools in Nepal and to the Islamic Institute of Toronto as well has supported Nepal Library Foundation for setting up libraries in the remote villages of Nepal. Since Fall of 2008, Aditya has been involved with the One Laptop Per Child project. He has since then distributed more than 100 laptops to rural village schools in Nepal, including Nuns' Welfare Foundations Arya Tara School.[28][29] This project is an addition to the hundreds of computers and printers he donated to dozens of schools in Kathmandu valley in Nepal[30] In 2001, Aditya proposed to develop and fund a world class Institute of Information Technology Nepal (IIT-N) modelled after India's IIT. The institute was to be established within a government sponsored IT Park in the Greater Kathmandu area (Banepa IT Park).[31] Just before the parliament of Nepal was set to approve the proposal, the government fell and proposal was delayed, and later withdrawn by Aditya.[32][33]

Philanthropic work in India[edit]

Aditya has set up a student residence (50 rooms) for children of landless families with integrated education program in India through AIM for SEVA in Bihar, India. In past, Jha has chaired the India AIDS Campaign within UNICEF Canada's Unite For Children, Unite Against Aids campaign. "As part of the larger Canadian Unite for Children, Unite against AIDS campaign, a special India HIV and AIDS Campaign has been established to support AIDS prevention, awareness and treatment projects for children and youth in India.".[34] Working with Canadian organization 'Aim for Seva', Aditya has donated a 50-student residence for kids from landless families in Bihar,India.[35]

Other Project[edit]

Aditya’s foundation has also supported other projects: with Ryerson University a research project on Economic Value of Indo-Canadians; Pathways Education Program for the inner-city kids of Regent Park community in Toronto; Share the Music program of Roy Thomson Hall through endowment to give Canadian aboriginal youth access to best musical performances in Toronto; Infrastructure grant for Canadian Youth Ballet Ensemble for ballet school in Havana and Trillium Hospital, Mississauga; Toronto International Film Festival as Gold Patron; Canadian Museum of Human Rights; and Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund and several other charitable projects.[36]

Public affairs interests[edit]

Aditya Jha as one of the seven Canadian delegates with Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper meets Indian Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh in Delhi, India, November 2009 during the state dinner

Jha is active with Canadian, Indian and Nepalese public affairs. From November 16–18, 2009 he accompanied Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper to India as one of the seven members of his Canadian delegation.[37] He is one of the founding directors of the Canada India Foundation where he is currently the National Convener. Prior to this he chaired the 'Educational & Institutional' committee.[38] Most recently, he was instrumental in designing the University of Waterloo and the Canada India Foundation's (CIF) first-of-its-kind joint initiative for the advancement of Canada's research capacity in studying the politics, economy and social conditions of contemporary India and bi-lateral relationship of both countries through a planned establishment of a $10-million endowment.[39]

Aditya moderated Canada session during Pravasi Bhartiya Divas event (Delhi, January 2007) organized by Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs. He also moderated India Business Roundtable (Toronto, October 2006), jointly organized by Indo-Canada Chamber of Commerce and Department of Foreign Affairs of Canada as well as the roundtable entitled Engaging India: tapping Roots- Seizing Opportunities (Delhi, January 2007) jointly organized with CII, India and ICCC, Canada.[40] Aditya was an official blogger for the Toronto Star's "Your City, My City" series with focus on Toronto's Mayoral race.[41]

Aditya facilitated and helped fund a workshop on 'Opportunities and Challenges For Nepali Political Parties' co-organized by National Democratic Institute (NDI, Washington D.C.) and Nepal Study Center (NSC) of the University of New Mexico (UNM). The workshop provided a forum for thoughtful exchanges on the issues of development and democracy between Napalese policy/political leaders and their U.S. counterparts.[42]

Arts and culture[edit]

Jha supports the Canadian Youth Ballet Ensemble to promote dance education and training for young Canadians, and the "Share the Music" program of Roy Thomson Hall to give Canadian aboriginal youth access to best musical performances.[43] He also supports Toronto International Film Festival group as Gold Patron. The Toronto International Film Festival Group is a charitable, not-for-profit, cultural organization whose mission is to transform the way people see the world. Its vision is to lead the world in creative and cultural discovery through the moving image.[44] Jha also supports the Canadian Museum for Human Rights.

Awards, recognition and appointments[edit]

Awards & Honours[edit]

Aditya Jha with Queen Elizabeth during her state visit to Canada in 2010
  • Champion of Public Education in Canada, The Learning Partnership, Canada (2013)[45]
  • Member of the Order of Canada (2012) - Canada's highest civilian honours to recognize a lifetime of outstanding achievement, dedication to community and service to the nation
  • Honorary Doctor of Laws (LL.D.), Ted Rogers School of Management, Ryerson University, Toronto, Ontario, Canada[46]
  • Global Indian Award 2011, Global Indian Origin[47]
  • Winner, Top 25 Canadian Immigrants 2010[6]
  • South Asian Philanthropist of the Year 2011, Mid-Week[48]
  • 30 most Influential Indo Canadians, Rediff India Abroad magazine's Power List (published September 2009)
  • Desi News Grant's Community Achievers Awards (2008)
  • Technology Achievement Award (2004), Indo Canada Chamber of Commerce (ICCC)
  • CEO award (1998), BCE Inc.
  • President's Club (1999), Bell Canada

Appointments[edit]

Quotes & Philosophy[edit]

  • "In Life, you always get more than what you deserve or less than what you deserve - You never quite get just the right amount. If you get less you must work harder & smarter, and if you get more than you must give back"
  • "Empathy starts with actions"
  • "Before I became active with ‘giving’ to charitable causes, I looked at giving as charity to others. Now, I see giving as charity to myself. You are giving to your expanded self, your passion, your talent to make your desired changes and to your obligation to payback to the favorite social circumstances as only those favourable social circumstances allow people like yourself, your kids and for all, that you care about to prosper"
  • "Nobel laureate, Herbert Simon estimated that the "social capital" is responsible for at least 90% of what people earn in wealthy societies. I am trying to make a case here that all of us have obligation to give and pay back to that 'Social Capital' and ALL of us can 'SPARE to Give'." [Keynote speech titled 'Giving - A charity to self or others?' at a charity gala][55]
  • "I urge you to seriously think of giving back to the mainstream causes that you are passionate about and try to be active with the causes you give for. It will benefit us tremendously, benefit Canada deservingly and feed our soul well. May I urge you to consider giving every year 10% of what you earn after tax? It is highly doable. We never have enough to spare to give but we can always spare to give. Giving is permanent but accumulation is not. Giving is the right thing to do- it is an obligation." --[56]
  • "I would urge all of you to think of philanthropy in a totally different way. It should be integral and well thought part of your entrepreneurial life. Philanthropy Is Not About Doing Good But rather it is "good for you"; "good for others" is just the byproduct." [Speaking to MBA students of various Canadian institutions at a conference titled 'Starting & Managing Successful Venture: A new Canadian's Perspective' in Toronto][57]
  • "Just because you have more or less money, it does not mean you will give more or less. Giving has a state of mind and when you have understood that part, you will give irrespective of how much money you have." [Quoted in the Economist Intelligence Unit April 2010 report titled 'The New World of Wealth-Seven key trends for investing, giving & spending among the very rich' of The Economist magazine ][58]
  • Philanthropy is critical for any civilized society.
  • Success is an event, not a state. Therefore no one can remain successful.
  • 'What Got Us Here, Won't Take Us there', highlighted that for Canada to stay on the curve of high quality of life and growth, we must focus on the concept of 'demographic dividend' and how effectively Canada engages immigrants and its aboriginal population. Ryerson University Doctorate/convocation speech (read here)[59]

See also[edit]

Sources[edit]

  1. ^ Aditya Jha's profile on the Star
  2. ^ POA Educational Foundation Archived June 16, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.
  3. ^ Canadian Immigrant
  4. ^ "Appointments to the Order of Canada". The Governor General of Canada. 
  5. ^ "Toronto Tribute". The Learning Partnership. 
  6. ^ a b CANADA HAS CHOSEN: TOP 25 CANADIAN IMMIGRANTS OF 2010
  7. ^ CIF Executives
  8. ^ "Richest Nepali In the world". Nepaliwiki. 19 July 2005. Retrieved 13 January 2014. 
  9. ^ "Aditya Jha". worldsrichpeople.com. Retrieved 12 June 2014. 
  10. ^ "Entrepreneur hopes to see a 'needs-blind' educational system in Canada", Earleen Dover, communications officer, York University Foundation
  11. ^ Toronto philanthropist Aditya Jha talks of charity
  12. ^ ISOPIA Announces Executive Appointments.
  13. ^ ISOPIA Charts Exceptional Growth Throughout 2000
  14. ^ Sun buys e-learning firm - Isopia brings learning management system to company's educational services
  15. ^ What it takes to succeed in business Archived May 11, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.
  16. ^ Business is sweet at Karma Candy
  17. ^ http://www.poafoundation.org
  18. ^ The Star-Toronto philanthropist Aditya Jha talks of charity
  19. ^ Benefactor empowers others through education Archived February 8, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.
  20. ^ Ryerson University - Various awards and scholarships named after Aditya Jha
  21. ^ Donor Creates New Opportunities for Aboriginal Students at Trent University Archived August 19, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.
  22. ^ George Brown College - Aditya Jha Culinary Award – Entrance[permanent dead link]
  23. ^ Entrepreneur hopes to see a 'needs-blind' educational system in Canada
  24. ^ Natives get a hand up from Indo-Canadian[permanent dead link]
  25. ^ CBC Radio One: First Nations Entrepreneurs Archived August 27, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.
  26. ^ Northern Ont. aboriginals 'job shadowing' CEOs
  27. ^ A 'Hindustani' opens a bright chapter for the Indians of Canada Archived November 22, 2008, at the Wayback Machine.
  28. ^ eKantipur (2008-03-17). "e-Infrastructure pilot project launched in Nepali schools". Kantipur Daily. Retrieved 2009-04-08. 
  29. ^ Laptop Donation Made to ATS Archived May 8, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.
  30. ^ Kathmandu School Network Project: A POA Educational Foundation and NLF Initiated Collaborative Project[permanent dead link]
  31. ^ Kamala Sarup (2005-01-11). "Nepal: Media Should Be Remain Independent". Independent News Media - New Zealand. Retrieved 2009-04-08. 
  32. ^ IIT Nepal official website Archived August 13, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.
  33. ^ Post Report (2003-10-10). "Give us equal opportunity: NRNs". Kantipur Daily. Retrieved 2009-04-08. 
  34. ^ a b "UNICEF Canada India AIDS Campaign". UNICEF Canada. 2008-03-17. Archived from the original on 18 April 2009. Retrieved 2009-04-08. 
  35. ^ AIM for Seva - Student Home – Donors
  36. ^ Jha Awarded Order Of Canada
  37. ^ Canada.com - Conservative MPs and Canadian business leaders join Harper for India trip Archived November 19, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.
  38. ^ About Canada India Foundation Archived April 20, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.
  39. ^ University of Waterloo: CIF and Waterloo sign multi-million-dollar endowment MOU
  40. ^ Hindustan Times: Pravasi Bharatiya Divas 2007 Archived June 6, 2011, at the Wayback Machine.
  41. ^ "My City, Your City" Archived March 28, 2010, at the Wayback Machine.
  42. ^ Workshop on Opportunities and Challenges For Nepali Political Parties
  43. ^ Share the Music Endowment Fund Archived December 31, 2008, at the Wayback Machine., The Corporation of Massey Hall and Roy Thomson Hall
  44. ^ Corporate & Foundation Support Archived January 20, 2008, at the Wayback Machine., Toronto International Film Festival Group
  45. ^ "Champions of Public Education". The Learning Partnership. 
  46. ^ "Honorary Doctorates". Convocation, Ryerson University. Retrieved 2009-04-08. 
  47. ^ Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty presents awards to Outstanding Global Indians
  48. ^ 3rd Annual Midweek Southasian Awards
  49. ^ Nouman Khalil (2015-04-02). "Mississauga philanthropist appointed member of NCC board of directors". Inside Halton. 
  50. ^ Office of the Honourable Chuck Strahl (2007-11-02). "BOARD MEMBER APPOINTED TO FIRST NATIONS FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT BOARD". Indian and Northern Affairs Canada. Retrieved 2009-04-08. 
  51. ^ Ministry of International Trade and Investment (2008-08-12). "Public Appointments to Ontario Investment & Trade Advisory Council". Public Appointments Secretariat, Ontario, Canada. Retrieved 2009-04-08. 
  52. ^ CIF Executive Team Archived April 20, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.
  53. ^ "PharmEng news". Business Week. 2008-11-12. Retrieved 2009-04-08. 
  54. ^ "Business Week - Board members for Brainhunter". Business Week. 2009-07-25. Retrieved 2009-07-25. 
  55. ^ Keynote speech: Giving - A charity to self or others? Archived August 27, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.
  56. ^ Diwali Recognition Speech Archived August 27, 2009, at the Wayback Machine., Friday, 26 October 2007
  57. ^ Centre Stage 2009, Toronto Joint seminar with Rotman (University of Toronto), Schulich (York University), Wilfrid Laurier MBA Students and India Abroad Archived August 27, 2009, at the Wayback Machine., April 2009
  58. ^ [1], April 2010
  59. ^ "Ryerson University Convocation Speech by Aditya Jha: What Got Us Here, Won?t Take Us there", Aditya Jha, Ryerson University

External links[edit]