The fact that the Indian business community has the ability to weather through the turbulent economic climate and remain progressive and successful was demonstrated at the Indian Newslink Indian Business Awards (IBA) 2010 last fortnight.
More than 500 bankers, financiers, consultants, professionals, manufacturers, exporters and others were present at the Awards Night, third in an annual series, held at the Stamford Plaza Hotel on November 15, 2010.
They were seen networking, exchanging information and ideas and looking forward to business deals, which was one of the primary objectives of the ceremony, apart from recognising and rewarding success.
In their private feedback to this reporter, Governor General Sir Anand Satyanand described IBA as a ‘constructive product’ that brought together businesses, while Prime Minister John Key said, “The Awards Scheme had grown bigger and better, and we look forward to the Awards Night every year.”
Opposition Leader Phil Goff said, “IBA has the potential to bring businesses in New Zealand and India together.” Auckland Mayor Len Brown agreed, saying, “Indian Newslink has structured an Awards Programme that has become an important part of the business community.”
Indian High Commissioner Retired Admiral Sureesh Mehta said Indian businesses should help in promoting ties with their counterparts in India, in the process of which IBA could play a significant role, a view shared by many other dignitaries at the event.
The Management of Stamford Plaza took extraordinary efforts to convert the lobby and the dining areas (closing down the main bar and two restaurants) into a large banquet hall to host the event.
General Manager Peter Gee said that a majority of his staff were “in one way or another” involved with this major event.
Scores of guests later wrote to say, “The ‘Indian Menu,’ specially prepared in deference to the wishes of guests attending the two previous annual Awards ceremonies, was considered extensive and sumptuous.
Masters of Ceremonies Carolyn Robinson (TV3 Newsreader) and Andrew Liell (Professional Event Manager) kept the audience in good humour and attentive to the proceedings. With their professional and responsible approach, they lifted the standard of the programme to a new height.
While Ratna Venkat provided a Classical and Semi-Classical touch to the Awards Night, Viraf Todywalla (of V4U Entertainments Ltd) and his team brought the glamour, music and dance of Bollywood to an enthralled audience.
Our musical quartet comprising Joseph Alexander (Electronic Drums), Joscel Alexander, (Acoustic Drums), Hemant Thaker (Keyboard) and Vijay Kumar Murthy (Base Guitar) was in its elements, coordinating well with the lights and sound technicians and the Masters of Ceremonies.
We believe that the Awards Programme did justice to our Sponsors providing adequate (some guests called it ‘excessive’) exposure and opportunities to promote their corporate and product image.
Our First Scholar
One of the finest moments of the evening was the slot that we had allotted for Imogen Crispe, the first recipient of the Indian Newslink Journalism Scholarship to share her experience as a student at the AUT University.
“I would have never pursued the course and become a journalist but for the Scholarship granted by Indian Newslink,” she said.
“I really enjoyed the course and made some great friends,” she said.
As she completed her one-year course at the University, Imogen was surprised to secure a job as a Reporter for the Rotorua Post.
As the night drew to a close, many were reluctant to leave; as a few of them said, “Some of us may have entered, a few of us collected trophies but all of us will go home as winners. There is something about IBA that makes us look forward to the event in 2011.”