Dr. Kazem Samandari, Chairman, L’Opera

by Kanchi Batra - 26 December, 2022, 12:00 1849 Views 0 Comment

What is your greatest extravagance?

Taking out personal time with Christine, my spouse and partner in life for ourselves.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?

Not to build my life around my own person and putting others in front of myself. I am not sure if I have fully achieved this goal but at least I aspire to it and keep trying every day.

What is your most treasured possession?

Certainly nothing material. Perhaps my love for humanity and my fellow human beings inspired by my Faith.

Which words or phrases do you most overuse?

“I apologise.”

Who is your favourite historical character?

Besides great Manifestations of God or Prophets as some may call them, I have great respect for Napoleon Bonaparte, not because of his military conquests (and defeats) but for the numerous institutions he created such as universities, organs of government, procedures and so forth which are too many to name them here.

What evolution or part of the digital industry makes you happy?

Facility of communication between individuals and the doors it opens to sharing knowledge, progress and prosperity. However, I am equally alarmed by the excesses it may engender if left to itself unchecked and prey to abuse by a few.

If you could add one thing to your office, what would it be?

A large desk where I can spread my papers. For the time being, I have no office and no desk of my own.

What subject would you like to learn more about?

The lives of great men and women who positively shaped our world and contributed to advancing our civilisation.

What do you enjoy doing most?

Interacting with (good) people who want to selflessly serve society, but I also very much enjoy reading and listening to classical music.

What three books would we find on your bookshelf at home?

You will certainly find more than three books on my bookshelves. I love reading biographies and memoirs of great men and women from whom I learn a lot; books related to the challenges of modern societies (economic, social, environmental, political, etc.); and finally religious texts, particularly Holy Scriptures of different religions if I am limited to three categories only. You will also find many many other books covering arts, history, culture, etc.

What three items would you take with you to a deserted island?

I imagine people do not qualify as answer to your question, else my wife and life companion would top the list… As objects, it would be book(s), a toolbox and a notebook to record my thoughts and observations.

If you had the world’s attention for 30 seconds, what would you say?

I would try to plead with them that unless we consider “the earth as one country and mankind its citizens” and uphold justice as the highest aspiration for all, we may not have a future at all.

What motivates you at work?

Serving the society at large no matter how modest my personal contribution may be. 

Dr. Kazem Samandari is a global citizen par excellence. After having completed engineering studies in Switzerland, he embraced France as his abode. He lived there for 19 years, after which he and his wife Christine decided to move to Delhi, where their children had settled. By then, the brainstorming about an authentic French bakery in Delhi had already begun, after realizing that Delhi was missing that kind of experience. Thrilled with the idea of such an ambitious and innovative venture, many other members of the family came on board, and as a result, L’Opéra, a family-business and Delhi’s prime French bakery, was born in 2011 at the French Embassy, who has supported the enterprise ever since. L’Opéra expanded rapidly and has now 12 outlets throughout Delhi NCR, providing the very best of French culinary culture, and drawing the admiration of expats and Indians alike. Delhi welcomed Kazem with open arms, and in turn, L’Opéra has infused Delhi with a breath of the finest of French culinary products and experience.


Kanchi Batra
Kanchi Batra is the Managing Editor of The Diplomatist.

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