Elections 2021 - Mumbai Optical Association
Bhavin Kothari of Ganko, who had jointly presided as election officer in conducting the elections, recounts his experience in the run up to the Mumbai Optical Association as it is today
As a young kid in the 90’s in our Kalbadevi office, I distinctly remember this day when a group of well respected individuals were meeting with Motabhai and dad in our office. I was introduced to everyone but kept out of the meeting.
I was told later that evening over dinner, that it was a meeting of extremely well respected pioneers from the Mumbai optical industry and that this was a discussion on the formation of an association to bring together voices from all parts of the industry into one forum. As a wide eyed liberal boy, I thought the idea was a brilliant one and had discussions with the family about the same. I realised with a changing business environment, this was also an idea whose time had come. This would finally bring us onto a common platform.
Therefore, it was a great moment of pleasure and honour, when I received a call from Prafulbhai asking me to be an Election officer along with Mr. Vipul Shah to conduct the first ever elections for the MOA Managing committee. I had my hesitations, due to my prior commitments but the young kid in me said “Yes”.
From the outset, we knew that the stakes were pretty high and we were in the spotlight. First ever elections, a total of 26 candidates representing all facets of the Mumbai Optical Landscape in the middle of a pandemic. Vipulbhai and I decided to firstly ensure that we have a free, fair and transparent elections and lay down the ground rules on what could be achieved with the resources available to us.
We decided to honour the constitution of the MOA and keeping it’s spirit alive, we took legal advice to guide us forward. The decision to do the elections over 2 days was taken to ensure maximum people could come and vote and maintain rules in a new world.
A total of 127 votes were casted and it was truly a celebration of democracy. In the pandemic, It was a poignant moment to see old stalwarts coming and exercising their franchise along with the new flag bearers of the industry. Everyone was at their best behaviour and the elections went off extremely smoothly. It was also our endeavour to declare the results on the same day itself, so we went about counting the votes and were happy to again do it in a fair and transparent manner with the results being declared on the same night.
An elected committee has a huge responsibility. The world is very different in 2021 than what the creators of MOA had envisaged, however their foresight is being rewarded today. A lot of expectations arise out of an election and I am sure that the newly elected committee will do its best to live upto the same and take the entire Industry forward.
A big thank you to Vipulbhai for his help and guidance and I will always remain committed to creating value in the Optical Industry.