About - City Hindus
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About Us

We are a not-for-profit organisation created to promote networking, personal development and charity amongst Hindu professionals in London.

Advisory Board

Lord Jitesh Gadhia

 

Lord Jitesh Gadhia is a British Indian investment banker and businessman and Member of the House of Lords since September 2016.

Lord Gadhia was previously Senior Managing Director at Blackstone based in London and has over 25 years’ investment banking experience, having also held senior positions at Barclays Capital, ABN AMRO and Baring Brothers. He has advised on a wide range of high-profile M&A transactions across developed and emerging markets including some of the largest investment flows between UK and India.

Lord Gadhia is currently a Board Member of UK Government Investments, the centre of excellence for corporate finance and corporate governance for the UK Government, managing major assets including Royal Bank of Scotland. Lord Gadhia is also a Board Member of BGL Holdings, which owns comparethemarket.com, the UK’s largest digital price comparison website for financial and household services. He is also a Director of Accord Healthcare, a leading supplier of generic pharmaceuticals in the UK and internationally.

Lord Gadhia is a member of the UK-India CEO Forum and serves on the Advisory Board of the City Hindus Network. He graduated from Cambridge University with a degree in economics and attended the London Business School as a Sloan Fellow.

Jitesh is an active philanthropist both personally and through The Gadhia Foundation, supporting a wide range of charities in UK and overseas. He is a Patron of the British Asian Trust established by HRH The Prince of Wales, which is active in multiple projects in India.

Dixit Joshi

 

Dixit Joshi is the Group Treasurer of Deutsche Bank AG based in London. Prior to this, he was Head of the Debt Institutional Client Group and Listed Derivatives and Markets Clearing from November 2015 to March 2017. Mr. Joshi joined Deutsche Bank in October 2010 from Barclays Capital to head the EMEA Equities business across Sales, Trading, Research and Structuring. His other roles at Deutsche Bank have included Global Head of Prime Finance and Head of Equities for Asia Pacific.

At Barclays Capital, he was responsible for the EMEA equity business, had overseen the Asian Equities business, was the Head of Equity-Linked Products and led the growth of the Equity Derivatives business. He currently serves as a third time board member of the International Swaps and Derivatives Association (ISDA).

 

Mr. Joshi serves as a board member of Pratham, a leading India focused education non-profit. He is also a trustee of the Student Sponsorship Programme in South Africa, focused on creating educational opportunities for the disadvantaged.

 

He has served as a board member of the Smithsonian Institution National Museum of African Art in Washington D.C, and has been President of the Advisory Board for National Sewa Day, a social action and volunteering initiative for local communities.

 

Mr. Joshi holds a degree in Statistics and Actuarial Science from the University of the Witwatersrand in South Africa.

Cllr Dhruv Patel OBE

 

Cllr Dhruv Patel OBE Dhruv is the Founder and a Director of CHN. He is a businessman with interests in private rented sector property, retail pharmacy and the Lloyds of London insurance market. He is an Independent Elected Councillor at the City of London Corporation representing Aldgate Ward EC3 and is Chair of the City Bridge Trust Committee. He is also the Chair of the local governing body of Hindu faith primary school Avanti Court in Barkingside. He was appointed an OBE in 2018 for his voluntary service to the British Hindu community and to Social Cohesion. He is married with two young children and lives in Leytonstone.

Nishma Gosrani

 

Nishma leads the Banking and Capital Markets Change and Organisation Design practice at Consulting powerhouse Deloitte as a Director. She has authored a number of publications and articles in the banking and capital markets sector and became famous for the controversial article the crash might not have happened if Lehman Brothers had been Lehman Sisters.

She has won a number of prestigious business awards which include; Young Achiever of the Year, Asian Professional of the Year and Overseas Female of the Year. She is also the Sponsor of the Multicultural Business Network for Deloitte which won the Race for Opportunity ‘Network of the Year Award’ in 2015.

Nishma is a trustee and board member of City Hindus Network and Tamasha, a leading theatre company which champions the voices of emerging and established BAME artists. She was appointed a Fellow of the Royal Society for the Encouragement of Arts, Manufacture and Commerce, and was named the diversity and inclusion leader of the year at the GG2 Awards in 2015.

Nishma has featured in the Movers and Shakers’ Survey as one of Britain’s most influential young women. In 2015, she was quoted by Management Today as a rising star under 35. In 2017, she was listed as an EmPower Top 100 Leader in the Financial Times.

Alpesh Patel

 

Alpesh Patel is a barrister turned fund manager. He is a Financial Times author and has had over 200 investment columns published in the FT. He is a UK Government Dealmaker responsible for Middle East and Asia Pacific and bringing high growth tech companies to the UK. He is co-Chair of the Loomba Trust which supports widows and orphans. A former Visiting Fellow in Business at Oxford University, he was a founding member of the UK India Business Council and TiE (The Indus Entrepreneurs) which mentors entrepreneurs. He previously presented his investment show on Bloomberg TV helping regular people learning about finance and investing. The then PM appointed him to the UK India Roundtable to advise Government on building closer UK India ties. He does the BBC World News Paper Review to a global audience of 300m and uses it when he can to give a ‘Hindu’ perspective and also lectures annually at Oxford University on Hinduism and Leadership for the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies to a management audience.

Punam Denley

 

Punam Denley set up Blanchards law, a boutique family law practice in the City and the Home Counties. She is a solicitor, mediator and collaborative lawyer, carrying out divorce, finance and children work. She has 25 years of experience in this area of law. She prides herself on her accessibility to her clients and the quality of her work.

She is a published author.

In the Legal 500, she “attracts plaudits from clients”, as well as being described as “organised, empathetic and strategically excellent.”

She specialises in private family law and particularly income and asset distribution on divorce. She deals with both international and domestic matters. She has particular expertise in appealing against previous orders and setting aside orders made in financial proceedings, and applications under Part III of the MFPA 1984.

Specialties: She commentates on legal matters and lecture regularly. Aside from two books, she writes for legal journals and lecture to other solicitors and professionals. She participates in web and other training sessions and recordings for other lawyers.

COMMITTEE

Alpesh Patel – Chair 2020

 

Alpesh Patel is a barrister turned fund manager. He is a Financial Times author and has had over 200 investment columns published in the FT. He is a UK Government Dealmaker responsible for Middle East and Asia Pacific and bringing high growth tech companies to the UK. He is co-Chair of the Loomba Trust which supports widows and orphans. A former Visiting Fellow in Business at Oxford University, he was a founding member of the UK India Business Council and TiE (The Indus Entrepreneurs) which mentors entrepreneurs. He previously presented his investment show on Bloomberg TV helping regular people learning about finance and investing. The then PM appointed him to the UK India Roundtable to advise Government on building closer UK India ties. He does the BBC World News Paper Review to a global audience of 300m and uses it when he can to give a ‘Hindu’ perspective and also lectures annually at Oxford University on Hinduism and Leadership for the Oxford Centre for Hindu Studies to a management audience.

Prerna Bhardwaj – Chair 2019 (Maternity Leave)

 

Prerna is a non-practicing barrister and has specialised in UK and EU Regulations at Goldman Sachs and UBS. She is now the Chief Operating Officer at Linetex Investments Ltd, a real estate investment company where she advises and manages legal, HR and strategic matters.

In 2017, Prerna founded Vaahan, an international political magazine focussing on the UK, India and the Middle East. Prerna has over 10 years’ experience in broadcast and print media and broadcasts political shows on Nusound Radio 92FM interviewing eminent guests including top politicians and community leaders. Prerna has also appeared as an expert on international affairs and equality on numerous television channels.

Prerna is passionate about Hinduism, working for the community and was previously the Vice Chair of CHN. In September 2017, Prerna was awarded with the Pride of India Award 2017 by the NRI Institute and in March 2017, Prerna was awarded with the Bharat Nirman Award for her contribution to India as a Non-Resident Indian. She is also part of the Secretariat for the All Party Parliamentary Group for British Hindus.

Hinesh Patel

 

As a mechanical engineer and programmer Hinesh spends much of his time developing new technology and innovations. Hinesh has a keen interest in solving environmental issues. He enjoys doing voluntary work and likes to keep active.

Ruchi Gupta

 

Ruchi is a Research Optometrist at OTGi. She joined the CHN committee in 2017 with a focus on Sewa. Since then she has organised campaigns for the Grenfell Tower Appeal, supported blood donation drives and homelessness initiatives. She volunteers weekly with the homeless and is passionate about incorporating Sewa into future CHN events.

Radhika Chopra

 

Radhika is a qualified dentist with a special interest in surgery, sedation and aesthetics. She currently works at Guy’s hospital as a specialty dentist. In 2014 she was elected onto the board of the Faculty of General Dental Practice, where she plays an active role. Radhika joined CHN in 2015 and was appointed as Sewa lead and organised some of CHNs first successful Sewa events, such as homeless feeding. Her ability to leverage key partnerships was instrumental in forging a long term collaboration with Wrap Up London- a leading charity. Following the successes of her Sewa events, she continues to offer her support and expertise to CHN.

Shivang Patel

 

Shivang is currently a corporate paralegal at Forsters LLP in London. He previously attained his Masters in Law from UCL. Shivang was born and raised in Hong Kong, and he has always strongly believed in the values of a strongly connected community and celebrating our unique culture anywhere in the world.


Roshni Thakrar

 

Roshni is a pensions solicitor at international law firm, DAC Beachcroft LLP in the City of London. By background Roshni read law at City university and completed her Legal Practice Course at BPP London (Holborn). She has spent time working in an array of different law firms and in-house organisations spanning several sectors prior to her training contract.

 

She has a huge interest in seva and philanthropy and has been serving at the Hare Krishna Temple for over 16 years. There she has been and continues to be a core member of the Communications team which hosts media, VIPs and dignitaries throughout the festival year. She is also Secretary for the Young Lohana Society in North London and has very much enjoyed that role for the last 5 years. Here she has taken great joy in project managing events such as the well-attended careers fairs, helped co-ordinate the first YLS ball, family fortunes or even trips to theatre. Roshni is a bubbly personality who enjoys networking and looks forward to a new term here at CHN and the opportunity to put on some enjoyable events for our Hindu professionals in the city.


Rohan Shivalkar

 

Rohan Shivalkar works in a law firm as a paralegal, assisting solicitors and barristers in criminal cases and trials. He graduated from the University of Birmingham having studied Economics and Political Science. He was Treasurer of the Hindu Society at the University of Birmingham.


A Message from our Chair

A message from our Chair:

 

If I had to sum up objectives as I see them as to why City Hindus Network exists (and founder Dhruv Patel started this back in 2006 at City Hall ) then it would be:

 

  1. Inform: the public & our members of the best of what we can be and represent and collaborate to elevate ourselves and society
  2. Impact: socially because of our values and who we are as professionals and Hindus
  3. Inclusivity: Our very presence and voice and successes will help keep Britain a diverse nation, a representative democracy and ensure it is inclusive of all parts of society of which we are an integral part. We too as a society will be inclusive
  4. Inspire: a new generation of leaders to help those after them and around them, and those of other faiths, to use their voice for good in society; and use our faith where relevant to bring forth inspired leadership

I am proud to say City Hindus will be signing up to the Faith & Belief Forum Charter, supported by the Foreign & Commonwealth Office with whom I’ve worked closely for over 20 years and the Department of Education. It evidences also why organisations such as CHN are needed – to make ours an even more representative Democracy through our voice.

 

The principles of the Charter for Faith & Belief Inclusion:

 

We believe in an inclusive society where people of different faiths and beliefs have strong and positive relations. We believe that intolerance has no place in our communities or workplaces, and that diversity adds value to our society.

 

By connecting people of different faiths and beliefs, we can create a society which is fair to people of all backgrounds – religious and non-religious. We encourage people to engage more across differences and learn to understand each other better.

 

We recognise the need to create a more open conversation about faith and belief in our communities and in all of the UK. We will have these conversations in a spirit of mutual respect and curiosity, and be open to different perspectives.

 

All are welcome to join City Hindus Network, whether or not you identify as a Hindu. I myself am not. I am trying to be one.

 

Further, as I wrote in my newspaper column:

We stand in custody of the oldest faith, in one of the most important cities in the world, with the leaders of tomorrow!

 

Britain needs more cohesion, it needs organisation to reinforce its values of multiple religions living peacefully together, and so I will look to do more events like we did in the past few months with those of other minority faiths such as the Islamic, Sikh, Jewish faiths. We will also as our former Chair, Prerna Bhardwaj did on BBC Newsnight, stand up to unjustified criticism and incorrect portrayals of our faith – using the eloquence of our qualifications.

 

And through the simple eloquence of our example, through sewa, we will show the greatness of our faith.

 

And as my wife, a former CHN Committee member said, ‘Alpesh, make sure you get people to help you with fun social events – because you’re rubbish at the fun bit!’

 

My family congratulated me on this role – I’m 48! Think they’re prouder of this than anything else I’ve done. I want yours to be so proud when you tell them you’re part of CHN too.

 

Alpesh Patel