TARIQ HASAN | 19 JANUARY, 2019
‘A good society leads to a healthy business climate’
ALIGARH: Despite marketing man Philip Kotler’s clarifications regarding the unprecedented Philip Kotler Presidential Award, presented the other day to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, many unanswered questions remain about the identity of award’s sponsors and collaborators.
In view of media reports that two of the persons seen presenting the award to PM Modi are alumni of the Aligarh Muslim University, media persons here attempted in vain to locate the registered office of Suslence, the international marketing group whose owner Tauseef Zia Siddiqui is an AMU alumnus, and was one of the five who handed the award to the prime minister.
Kotler wrote to PM Modi yesterday to thank him for accepting the Kotler award, and to inform him that “A nation can do well or poorly, depending on its leader. As you are well aware, the leader of a nation is also the brand guardian of the nation.”
In Aligarh meanwhile, reporters succeeded in tracing the address of Siddiqui’s firm Suslence, which is shown as 51, Ahmad Nagar Lane in the town’s Dodhpur locality. There were no signs of any such office here.
After persistent efforts, a person who appeared to be the caretaker said the house belongs to Azra Khan, who it was later discovered is Tauseef Zia Siddiqui’s mother-in-law. The caretaker added he had no idea about any firm, and that the owners of the house were away and had not visited Aligarh for quite some time. A nameplate reads “Mrs Azra Khan” at the gate of the house.
Later, when some newspersons tried to call the mobile number listed on the Suslence website, the person who received the call immediately disconnected the phone.
AMU officials too are reluctant to talk about Siddiqui or his wife Ana Khan, both of whom are graduates of the university, or about his father the late Ziauddin Siddiqui who was a botany professor here. Privately, however, they confirmed that Tauseef Zia was an AMU engineering graduate, and Ana, who was also seen at the award presentation ceremony, was a management graduate from AMU.
Tauseef’s brother Faisal Zia Siddiqui, who is a member of the teaching staff at AMU, told newspersons yesterday that his brother and his wife have been employed in Saudi Arabia for the past several years. He said he had “no idea” about his brother’s business affairs. According to unconfirmed reports Tauseef is associated with the Saudi based company Sabic which deals in petrochemicals, industrial polymers and fertilisers.
The exact nature of the role of his firm Suslence in the entire affair is still unclear, as is Siddiqui’s connection with the World Marketing Summit, the body which sponsored the award.
In his letter to PM Modi yesterday Kotler seemed eager to clarify some of the story, saying, “A committee in WMS researched information about the leaders of different nations… Everyone in the committee agreed that your role as Prime Minister of one of the oldest and major nations deserved inviting you to receive” the award.
According to Kotler the Kotler award recognises “leaders” committed to representative government, social justice, a good society, a healthy business climate, and “the Common Good - education, health and living standards of average citizens”.