Culture elevates the spirit with artistes extraordinaire

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Venkat Raman

While the Indian Newslink Indian Business Awards Ceremony celebrates the success of our businesses, the event also has its lighter and humorous moments.

Jackie Clarke, our Master of Ceremonies was at her best, returning to the role at the Twelfth Annual Indian Newslink Indian Business Awards held on Monday, November 25, 2019 at SkyCity Convention Centre in Auckland City.

Entertainer par excellence

Her exuberant stage presence, ability to ‘play games and pranks’ with Prime Ministers, Ministers and Members of Parliament, prompting them to dance and laugh on stage, makes Jackie an entertainer par excellence.

Described as ‘Entertainer Extraordinaire of Stage, Screen and Studio,’ Jackie proved that she is  one of the most popular figures in show business with programmes of high standard and elegance. She singing prowess drew a wide applause as ministers, lawmakers and others were awed by her ability to modulate between high octaves and lower notes.

And her presence of mind, with the ability to make everyone laugh made her a source of endearment to a cross-section of the audience.

We hope that she would be with us again in 2020.

Guests applaud businesses

The contributions of the Indian business community to the progress of New Zealand were recognised by our Guests of Honour Fiji’s Attorney General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, Ministers of Finance, Workplace Relations & Safety and Immigration and Ethnic Communities, respectively Grant Robertson, Iain Lees-Galloway and Jenny Salesa, Auckland Mayor Phil Goff, High Commissioners of India and Fiji, Muktesh Pardeshi and Filimone Waqabaca and New Zealand High Commissioner to Fiji Jonathan Curr and 15 current and former Members of Parliament.

“This is a spectacular event, with a very large gathering of people interacting with each other and networking for commercial opportunities,” they said.

Performing Artistes

Ratna Venkat, a renowned Classical, Folk and Fusion Dancer and Choreographer performed ‘Shiv Thandav,’ a traditional dance attributed to ‘Lord Nataraja,’ the Grandmaster of Bharata Natyam followed later by ‘Under the Bridge,’ a Fusion Dance, to the voice of Zane Nathan.

The ‘Gurus of Groove’ band, comprising Joseph Alexander (Octopad), Joscel Alexander (Acoustic Drums), Hemant Thaker (Keyboards), Elvis Claremont (Lead Guitar) Carlyle Fernandes (Bass Guitar) added colour, rhythm and melody to the evening.

Fiji welcomes businesses

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum, who was in New Zealand on an official visit, said that Fiji is keen to see the return of businesses to participate in the expansion and diversification programme of the country’s economy.

“I am happy to learn that Fijian businesses are high successful in New Zealand and that they are among the important winners at the Indian Business Awards every year since the past 12 years. We have several incentives on offer for investors and businesses to establish their presence in our country. We are looking for your partnership,” he said.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said that systems and procedures have been simplified and modernised for easy and quick access and approvals.

“We also have a well-educated, highly skilled and motivated pool of talent in Fiji. A majority of our population is young; our human capital is therefore rich,” he said.

“I am also happy to learn from Indian Newslink that the Awards Programme will include, from next year, a Category to recognise businesses engaging with Fiji,” he added.

New Zealand promises growth

Finance Minister Grant Robertson said that prospects for growth have brightened for the New Zealand economy with the latest ANZ statistics indicating positive factors, Leader of the Opposition Simon Bridges was hopeful of closer economic cooperation with India and Auckland Mayor Phil Goff highlighted the exciting developments that would make Auckland a world-class city.

India’s High Commissioner Muktesh Pardeshi spoke of the long and cordial relations that exist between New Zealand and India and hoped that the existing and emerging potential will be utilised for mutual benefits.

Additional Reports on Page One and from Pages 11 in this issue.


Photo Caption:

  1. Jackie Clarke, Celebrity Speaker and Star Entertainer
  2. Ratna Venkat: Shiv Thandav and ‘Under the Bridge’
  3. ‘The Gurus of Groove,’ a band exclusive to IBA
  4. A Section of the audience at our Awards Night on November 25, 2019

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