Indy puts his heart into making a difference
At the age of 27, Inderveer (Indy) Hothi, winner of the ICAS One Young CA award, already has a lifetime of experience trying to help others.
He recalls a saying of his father's: "When you first meet someone, they might judge you on your external appearance, but when you leave, make sure that they judge you by your heart."
Indy's heart has led him to take an active part leading projects that have touched the lives of many people, both at home in the UK and abroad; from initiatives at EY, where he works as a senior economic consultant, to disaster zones with Khalsa Aid, the relief organisation of which he is a trustee.
As the One Young CA winner, he will be an "ambassador" for ICAS, starting with the One Young World Summit in Bangkok on 18-21 November, an international conference for young people who are making a difference.
Indy says: "It's a chance to meet some established and influential business leaders from around the world. I'm also really looking forward to meeting other young like-minded people who have accomplished great things, to explore opportunities around collaborating together to, as clichéd as it may sound, make the world a better place."
He did his CA training with EY in London, after an economics degree at SOAS, University of London. His role as an analyst includes advising public and private sector organisations on the economic, social and fiscal impact of their operations and policies, including working on high profile reports for the Premier League and the Rugby World Cup.
"When you first meet someone, they might judge you on your external appearance, but when you leave, make sure that they judge you by your heart."
Indy's involvement with diversity & inclusiveness initiatives at EY began because he wanted to "demystify" the process of applying to graduate programmes in the City for those who, like him, came from a background where there was little knowledge of City careers.
To that end he coordinated a series of Graduate Insight Days with EY for black and ethnic minority students, working with 20 different universities across the UK.
That led to a key role of him leading the EY Sikh Network as part of EY's Interfaith Working Group. It has rapidly grown over the last 2 years to become one of the largest professional Sikh networks in the UK, and now includes over 2,000 members from other professional services firms and institutions. This year, Indy helped to co-ordinate a Vaisakhi (the most important festival in the Sikh calendar) event at City Hall, London with 6,000 people attending. London's mayor, Boris Johnson, said the event "genuinely connected with the Sikh community."
Indy was shortlisted in the 2015 National Diversity Awards in the "Faith and Race" category, for his achievements with the network.
Indy had been providing pro bono services to a number of charities and, two years ago, he was invited to become a trustee at Khalsa Aid, an independent relief organisation set up to provide humanitarian aid in disaster zones, war zones and civil conflict areas all around the globe..
Initially advising Khalsa Aid on strategy and finance, Indy's involvement has also taken him to the front line in the aftermath of natural disasters in Haiti and Bosnia. He also helped to co-ordinate the transportation of 10 tonnes of relief items to Nepal, which was hit this year by two devastating earthquakes.
In September Indy was on the border of Croatia and Serbia, helping to bring food and water aid to refugees from the Middle East. He says: "It's an extremely difficult situation… people are confused, they are looking for sanctuary and they have come along treacherous routes to find a safe place to live. Every single person needs food, water and warm clothing. They are literally carrying their entire lives in one bag. I have never seen a situation quite like it, it has touched me on so many levels."
One of the things I've brought (to Khalsa Aid) as a CA has been a level of professionalism, expertise on finances, and more importantly around the future strategy of the organisation.
Indy says his CA training plays a major part in his contribution to the work of the charity: "The passion side of things has taken me to the front line, but one of the things I've also brought as a CA has been a level of professionalism, expertise on finances, and more importantly around the future strategy of the organisation. What will Khalsa Aid look like in a year's time, in five years' time and 10 years? What is the organisations vision & objectives? That's one of the important skillsets the CA training has allowed me to bring to the table."
Indy has just completed a three-month sabbatical focusing on work with Khalsa Aid. He stresses: "I'm really grateful to EY, who have always been very supportive of the humanitarian projects I've been involved in."
Those projects also include a social enterprise, "Hothi & Othi", which supports artists from developing countries and showcases their work in galleries across the UK. The proceeds are divided between the artists themselves and selected charities.
His trip to Thailand for One Young World won't be his first time in the country. Indy is a mixed martial arts enthusiast and, before starting with EY, he spent five months competing on the professional Thai boxing circuit.
He's already packed a lot into his life, but as he puts it: "One day, when I'm old, I don't want to have any regrets and would like to have some interesting stories to tell my grandchildren!"
There's never been a better time to train to become a CA