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SOS Inducts New Board of Directors at River Oaks Country Club Reception


Guests at the River Oaks reception included Jyoti Kulkarni (left) with Jasmeeta Lamba, Stacy Banks and Prita Mohindra.

By Farida Hasanali

HOUSTON: SOS presented its new Board of Directors on August 15 at a reception at the River Oaks Country Club. Share our Secrets (SOS) is an organization dedicated to the core belief that “success can be taught” and that each generation is responsible for teaching the principles of success to the next generation. SOS seeks extraordinary people who are willing to share their stories to teach the next generation.

Along with the board transition, this diverse group also celebrated India’s 65th Independence Day. The event was sponsored by the PUR Insurance and their general agent in Houston the INS Group. The event drew Houston’s elite who were interested in learning and supporting SOS

Sixty-five is a milestone number; for a nation it’s merely childhood, but for an individual in the United States it is their retirement age and Biki Mohindra, Founding Chairman of SOS took the opportunity to announce he was stepping down as Chairman of the Board and passing the baton to a new board.

The new Board of SOS consists of Ranvir Mohindra, Chairman Emeritus; Vivek Mehta, Chairman of the Board; AJ John, Vice Chairman; Archana Laxmisan, President and CEO; Farida Hasanali, Dev Lamba, Qusai Mahesri, Atul Dhingra, Zarir Sethna, Reggie Varghese, Sumit Mathur, Harash Yalamanchili, Sharad Malhautra, Sanjay Varma, Swapan Dubey and Pawan Agarwal.

SOS started out small; a thought, a vision that someday a group of primarily South Asian  professionals whose primary goal would be to help each other succeed. That vision came to fruition three years ago when Mohindra articulated that vision to Farida Hasanali, then President of the Network of Indian Professionals (NetIP).

The synergy between SOS and NetIP was electric; on one side was a group of successful South Asian professionals looking to mentor the next generation and on the other side was a group of young South Asian professionals looking for a mentor, a guide, a leap into a successful future.

A Sweet Intent, operated by the Dalwadi sisters, provided cupcakes created specially to celebrate India’s Independence Day.

The first structured class (Mohindra had been teaching SOS principles to many of his mentees prior to this effort on a one-on-one basis) of SOS was formulated by Mohindra, Farida Hasanali and Kevin Kalra.

The speaker series, which is an integral part of SOS, was led by Qusai Mahesri, and Zarir Sethna took on the diligent task of Operations for the class. A J John graciously allowed the group to use his office as our classroom and continues to support SOS in its  third year.

The next year, SOS enjoyed strong support from Sumit Mathur who added more rigor to the class curriculum and Archana Laxmisan took over the President role from Farida Hasanali.  Every person who has participated in the SOS program has contributed their time to effort to see this effort grow. Whether they have managed the money, the logistics, or spread the word by talking passionately about SOS, they have contributed to the growth and added to the depth of the SOS program.

In 2011, Farida Hasanali was awarded the Benjamin Ostrofsky Award for mastering the principles of SOS and building the life she wants. Dr. Benjamin Ostrofsky, from the University Of Houston Engineering School, played a pivotal role in the creation of SOS. He didn’t even know he was behind it until Mohindra dedicated an award in his name and told him how that came to be.

Mohindra had studied under Ostrofsky, but not in the traditional sense. He was invited by Ostrofsky and two other professors to lunch once a month for over seven years. During lunch, they taught Mohindra the principles of SOS sharing with him the secrets of life, the way forward, and the exponential leap to financial and personal success. They also taught him one important lesson; when you want to pay someone back for the help they’ve given you, the best thing to do is to pay it forward, to help others just like they helped you. That is the best payment a mentor can ask for.  This commitment is what led to the formulation of SOS today and we hope to see it evolve and grown in years to come.

SOS welcomes membership from young professionals who are eager to learn street smarts for success. Ideal SOS candidates have been in the workforce for 5-10 years after finishing college. SOS also has membership opportunities for mid career and senior professionals, who want to see others succeed.

For more information on SOS, contact Archana Laxmisan, SOS President at archana.laxmisan@gmail.com.

Insgroup has served the community since 1978, providing insurance, risk management, and employee benefits for businesses, professional firms, not for profit organizations, and individuals.

 

 

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