City Hindus Network

Not-for-profit organisation promoting networking, personal development and charity amongst Hindu professionals in London.

How it started

The CHN started in 2005 when Dhruv Patel decided to set it up in his spare time whilst working as a technology sector analyst, then an executive developer, at Barclays Capital. He set it up with like-minded friends with the ethos “to emulate the success of networks like ‘The City Circle’ and ‘The City Women’s Club’ in taking over the reins where the “old boys network” was seen to be diminishing” (click here for source).

One of the Committee’s aims is to make the CHN transparent, accountable and set governance standards that are the benchmark for Indian community organisations in the UK. Below are some pictures from a reception at City Hall with the then-Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, which outlined the CHN’s vision.

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The philosophy

Hindu scriptures provide substantial self-help in recognising rajasic or tamsic traits, steering us towards sattvic thought and judgement (click here for an explanation). A tamsic seedling cannot grow into a sattvic flower.

At the CHN, we take governance very seriously. When we host a talk in the City, we do it in partnership with large multinationals and listed companies. We work with the organisations’ HR and Diversity teams to ensure the event meets their strict internal policies, as well as adheres to our Six Core Principles. Our members are professionals in the City who expect us to adhere to the highest standards.

The story so far

The CHN has taken the following steps to improve governance in the last two years:

  • 2011: Formalised and signed off the Constitution. Current version available here.
  • 2011: Formalised and signed off Six Core Principles. Available here.
  • 2011: We asked our members to complete an anonymous online survey to ask them what they considered the CHN had done well, and where we should do better. The results are here. From the areas of development identified in the survey (poor website, mentoring scheme and too few social events), we took specific measures to address each.
  • 2011: The first Annual CHN Strategy Day. This was an opportunity for the 25 or so CHN volunteers and key stakeholders to discuss a long-term vision for the CHN and conduct an informal performance appraisal of our work. Representatives from 2011 corporate partners were invited. Each workstream lead presented on what had, and what hadn’t gone well in 2011, and presented a plan for 2012.

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  • 2012: Launched a members’ survey, per March 2011, via email, LinkedIn and Facebook. The results are here.
  • 2012: Published our accounts for the first time. Available here.
  • 2012: Published a Terms of Reference for our Advisory Board. Available here.
  • 2012: Registered as a company limited by guarantee, company number 8092157. Certificate of Incorporation available here.
  • 2012: Updated our Constitution/Memorandum of Association. Current version available here.
  • 2012: Launched Advisory Board, with a remit of overseeing the Committee’s activities. Details here.