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Communal harmony fosters commercial success

Peace and harmony among people is central to the success of commercial organisations and a pluralistic society can also optimise its potential as a global trader, a top Muslim leader has said.

Speaking at the Indian Newslink Indian Business Awards Presentation Ceremony held on Monday, November 18, 2013 at the Sky City Convention Centre, Nawab Mohammed Abdulla Ali, the Prince of Arcot based in Chennai, India, said that understanding of human emotions, respect for each other’s sentiments, religious beliefs and social and domestic circumstances would help companies to promote fraternal bond and universal friendship.

“When people understand that every human being has to cope with challenges in life, work and home, it is natural to offer special privileges and special assistance to those with special needs. In the same way, central and local governments offer special facilities to minority communities. Cooperation and good communal relationship are absolutely essential for the success of a company and eventually for the progress of an economy and a country,” he said.

Guests of Honour

More than 800 persons, including ministers, members of Parliament, Councillors of Auckland Council, businesspersons, consultants and professionals were present at the sixth annual IBA Ceremony organised and presented by Indian Newslink.

Among them were Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce, Opposition Leader David Cunliffe, Auckland Mayor Len Brown, NZ First Leader Winston Peters, ACT Leader John Banks, BNZ Chairman John Waller and BNZ Partners Director Anthony Healy. Indian Newslink Managing Director & Publisher Ravin Lal expressed his gratitude to sponsors, judges and guests for their continued patronage and support.

Good networking

One of the most significant aspects of the Awards Night was a small exhibition of sponsors promoting their products and services and networking as cocktails and canapés were served between 5 pm and 630 pm. Most guests were happy to initiate new contacts and renew existing ones, promoting commercial prospects for their businesses.

The Prince of Arcot and his wife Sayeeda Begum were in New Zealand courtesy of BNZ, our Title Sponsor and Indian Newslink.

Better Understanding

The Prince said that despite eruption of communal differences from time to time, India remained a united country with its people realising the significance of respecting other’s religious faiths and social customs.

He said that just as a handicapped child gets more attention because of its special needs and is different to other members of the family, minority communities like Muslims in India have been given special attention to ensure that they have equal rights and opportunities for growth.

“India is a great secular country with many religions, languages, cultures, traditions and rituals but people believe in peaceful co-existence. There are some extremist elements within itself, whose aim is to promote narrow sectarianism at the cost of India’s multi-religious and multicultural identity. We should strongly condemn the menace of terrorism at every level to protect and save India and its people,” he said.

New Convention Centre

Mr Joyce that IBA has been growing strength to strength, getting bigger and better, with an increasing number of people attending the annual Awards Ceremony.

“You will therefore need a new Convention Centre will more capacity and better facilities,” he said, touching upon the controversy that has been raging between parties on either side of the political divide on the need for a new Convention Centre, with the Sky City management seeking additional gambling areas and equipment.

Indians score

On a more serious note, he spoke of the positive contributions made by the Indian business community to the growth of the economy.

“We have made significant progress in building innovation. We have some fantastic firms that are taking on the world, and we want to see more of them.

“To succeed internationally, New Zealand needs access to skilled people. Our tertiary system delivered a record number of qualifications in 2012, with the number of students completing a bachelor’s degree up 23% in two years,” he said.

Reforming training

Mr Joyce said that his government had reformed industry training to focus on quality and results and that the ‘apprenticeship reboot’ has had a good start with more than 8000 signing up since March 2013. This figure represented an increase of 67% over the number of apprentices recorded last year, he said.

“The Government is focused on responsible and efficient development of our natural resources. This summer season will see one of the largest petroleum exploration programmes in New Zealand’s history. We are also making good progress in unlocking the potential of Maori land. Crown Irrigation Investments will support the development of proposals to maximise growth from irrigation,” Mr Joyce said.

Friendly policies

Mr Cunliffe acknowledged the contributions of the Indian business community to the progress of the New Zealand economy and said that government policies must assist in their continued growth and progress.

“The strength of the Indian community is reflected at this Awards Night. I am happy to participate in an event that recognises and honours achievers in various fields of commercial activities,” he said.

Best Auckland

Mr Brown sought the support of the Indian community in making Auckland the ‘biggest and greatest city in the world,’ welcoming increased number of visitors.

“We are addressing a number of challenges facing the biggest city in the country. We want to make Auckland the best with proper infrastructure and world-class facilities and services,” he said.

Deputy Indian High Commissioner Sanjay Verma said he was pleased that the Indian Diaspora was effectively engaging with India, creating fresh opportunities for investment, trade and commerce.

“Both countries offer opportunities and avenues for investment in several fields including education, health, infrastructure and information technology. As the two governments work towards boosting bilateral cooperation, businesses can promote commercial and industrial ties,” he said.

Entertainment & Dinner

Celebrity speaker and entertainer Jackie Clarke was the Master of Ceremonies at the Awards Night which included a small exhibition of sponsors, cocktails, networking, entertainment and dinner.

Ratna Venkat presented two dance numbers, one each on ‘Lord Shiva’ and Indo-Classical Jazz, with the support of ‘Gurus of Groove,’ a local band that played instrumental music throughout the programme.

A special dinner, catering to individual taste and preference, including those who had provided special requirements, was served to each guest at their tables, yet another unique feature of the Indian Newslink Indian Business Awards Presentation Ceremony.

The Prince of Arcot Steven Joyce David Cunliffe

Len Brown John Waller Anthony Healy

Ravin Lal Guests Jackie Clarke, Our MC

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