Chair, POA Educational Foundation and National Convener, Canada India Foundation
A philanthropist and community worker at heart and an entrepreneur with passion, Aditya Jha’s life journey in Canada is about building a successful career/ entrepreneurial venture and in the process help cause of Canada. Through his entrepreneurial feats of actualizing dream with high risk taking as well as his acts of generous giving to those outside his community; he has demonstrated a rare sensitivity towards the societal needs of Canada.
An entrepreneur in pursuit of excellence Aditya is Chairman & CEO of Karma Candy Inc, one of the largest Canadian contract manufacturer of branded and premium private label chocolate and candy products. Prior to this, he co-founded a software company, Isopia Inc., after having a successful career at Bell Canada as General Manager, eBusiness and Product Marketing. In July 2001, despite the downturn in the technology industry, Isopia was a major acquisition by Sun Microsystems Inc., USA. Subsequently, he co-founded another software product company, Osellus Inc., Canada and Osellus Asia Pacific Company Limited, Thailand. He also has business interests in hotel, real estate and fast-food industry.
Nurturing entrepreneurs, supporting higher education through private foundation Aditya sponsors and is running a unique initiative (fifth year) in the area of Venture Philanthropy working with the office of the Grand Chief of Nishnawbe Aski Nation as well as Ryerson University and Trent University to nurture entrepreneurship within aboriginal communities of Canada.
Aditya also founded his private charitable foundation (POA Educational Foundation) in 2001 and has created endowments at four institutions (Ryerson University, York University, Trent University and George Brown College), and these endowments grant in total thirteen bursary awards ($42,000 annually) in perpetuity to students. He was the Chairperson for UNICEF Canada India HIV/AIDS campaign ($3 Million) and one of the Cabinet Members for Ryerson University Business School’s capital campaign ($72 Million).
His private foundation (www.poafoundation.org) has also supported other projects: with Ryerson University a research project on Economic Value of Indo-Canadians; Pathways Education Program for the inner-city kids of Regent Park community in Toronto; Share the Music program of Roy Thomson Hall through endowment to give Canadian aboriginal youth access to best musical performances in Toronto; Defibrillator project at the Trillium Hospital, Mississauga; Toronto International Film Festival as Gold Patron; Canadian Museum of Human Rights; 50 student residence for kids from landless families in Bihar, India ; and Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund and various other charitable causes. He also supports the yearly $15,000 Business Plan & $5,000 Career Plan Contest award for the First Nation individual participating in Project Beyshick. He has supported digital literacy project by donating laptop and desktops to 150 kids in Nepal.
Accolades and awards that reflects pursuit of excellence : Aditya is the appointee of Government of Canada to the Board of Directors of First Nations Financial Management Board, of Government of Ontario to Ontario Investment & Trade Advisory Council (OITAC) and Advisory Council Member of Dean, School of Social Services, Ryerson University.
Aditya was conferred Honorary Doctorate at Ryerson University’s Ted Rogers School of Management in 2009. He is the Canadian Immigrant magazine’s (Toronto Star) Top 25 Canadian Immigrants 2010 for his achievement and contributions that have positively changed the face of Canada since arrival and is inductee to the Top 30 Most Influential Indo Canadians of India Abroad magazine Power List 2009. He was awarded the 2008 Desi News Grant’s Community Achievers Awards. The Indo Canada Chamber of Commerce (ICCC) awarded its 2004 “Technology Achievement Award” for his achievements in the field of Technology. He was awarded CEO award in 1998 from BCE Inc. for his innovative work at Bell Canada; President’s Award at Bell Nexxia in 1999 and was selected as President’s Club member at Bell Canada in 1997.
Professional achievements: the intellectual capital. He was an Adjunct Faculty at the National University of Singapore (1989-94). He has been an invited speaker at the Ted Rogers Business School, Ryerson University; Schulich Business School, York University; Rotman Business School, University of Toronto; and University of Ontario Institute of Technology and other prestigious institutions in Canada and abroad. His approach to philanthropy is featured in the Economist Intelligence Unit (Economist magazine) report entitled “The New World of Wealth-Seven key trends for investing, giving & spending among the very rich” and also presented before the Standing Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs & International Trade on Rise of China, India and Russia and its implication on Canadian policy. Aditya was the Keynote speaker at the 16th Annual Nishnawbe Aski Nation Business Awards in 2006 and AIM for SEVA annual Gala in 2007. He has published/presented papers in several international journals/conferences, has served as Editorial Review Board member of two prestigious journals and has been invited speaker at various international conferences (USA, Paris, Holland, Canada, Hong Kong, Singapore, India etc.) as well as has moderated three business roundtables for increased trade linkages between India and Canada. He is a Toronto Star “My City Your City” blogger. Aditya started his professional career after investing 4½ years as Research Scholar at School of Computer & Systems Sciences, Jawaharlal Nehru University, India and has M.Sc. in Mathematical Statistics & Post Graduate Diploma in Computer Science.
Motivated for Community Building : He is the National Convenor of Canada India Foundation which focuses on public policy advocacy in Canada India corridor and has recently concluded an MOU for $10 Million endowment for setting up Canada India Public Policy Centre at the University of Waterloo. He is actively involved with the new Canadian groups of Indian, Nepalese, Sri Lankan, and Pakistani origin in Canada and had been a Keynote speaker at their events as well. He is a Charter Member of the prestigious Indus Entrepreneur Group and has served on the Board of the Indo-Canada Chamber of Commerce.