Sustainability is no longer about doing less harm. It’s about doing more good.
-Jochen Zeitz, Chairman, President and CEO, Harley-Davidson
In a way what Jochen Zeitz says has become the driving principle, the abiding inspiration, the daily essence of Ashwani Khurana’s life at Karma Lakelands and beyond. As the Founder-CEO of Karma Lakelands, a 300-acre green township in Gurugram set amidst a verdant green forest cover off the Jaipur highway and just across the Delhi border, Ashwani’s life today revolves around sustainability and greening. He has built a magnificent, top-end gated residential complex elegantly woven around water bodies and a soothing golf course designed by Phil Ryan of Pacific Coast Design, Australia, all bathing in luxury. In 2016, in recognition of his commitment towards a Greener Earth, Golf Digest recognized Karma Lakelands with India’s Eco-Friendly Golf Course award. In October 2022, Today’s Traveller declared Karma Lakelands as the Best Golf Resort in Delhi NCR and the same month the Golf Industry Association of India announced that the place was the Number One Golf Club in the Eco-Friendly and Sustainable Category.
It wasn’t always like this, though. When Ashwani became India’s highest tax payer in 1989, he was on his way to becoming the country’s Lottery King, a sobriquet that sat well on him for well over a decade. His partnership concern, K & Co, would subsequently go on to become the highest tax-paying firm over the next 10 years. While he made his profits, Ashwani did not forget to pay his taxes for the greater good of the country, and that made him a formidable name to reckon with in the industry. At the same time he invested in real estate which he hoped to work on in the future.
By the turn of the century he had loftier ambitions, to do something good for the earth, and leave a green legacy behind. He eased himself away from the lottery business and focused on green real estate projects. In our cover story this month we look at what he’s been able to do as a Green Karma Yogi over the last two to three decades.
Staying with the subject of clean and green energy, we’ve an article from the Embassy of Cuba in Delhi on the role of solar energy in the transformation of the energy matrix of Cuba, a nation that is one of the 93 countries that has signed and ratified the International Solar Alliance Framework (ISA) and is also one of the 115 countries to have signed the ISA Framework Agreement. The ISA itself was co-founded by India and France in 2015.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had a successful trip to the US where he was a State Guest and was hosted by President Joe Biden and First Lady Dr. Jill Biden. Many landmark agreements were signed during the course of the visit, many memorable addresses delivered, and many American CEOs committed to increasing their economic footprint in India. We’ve a summary of the highlights of the visit.
We’d like to end with a note of caution. The grass isn’t always greener on the other side. Young Indians lured by dreams of a great future often fall into the trap of unscrupulous student recruitment agents and sham colleges. In Canada, for instance, a deportation drama of students is unfolding itself, as we write. Likewise, things have turned sour for a section of Indians who have made New Zealand their home. They have petitioned the country’s Parliament calling for Governmental action against growing incidents of daylight crime and robbery against Indian-owned dairy store owners. The matter is quite serious since the petition has been signed by a whopping 34,000 people.
There are plenty of stories in the magazine that could spark your interest. Do send us your feedback. Happy reading.