Leaders praise Indian business community

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Venkat Raman
Auckland, November 26, 2019

Our Guest of Honour: Fiji’s Attorney General Aiyaz-Sayed Khaiyum (fourth from right) with (from left) Vijay Singh, Jenny Salesa, Iain Lees-Galloway, Grant Robertson, Simon Bridges, Muktesh Pardeshi, Paul Goldsmith and Michael Wood (INL Picture by Narendra Bedekar)

A number of leaders have praised the Indian business community in New Zealand for their contributions to the progress of the economy and described them as ‘true partners in progress and prosperity.”

They were speaking at the Twelfth Annual Indian Newslink Indian Business Awards Presentation Ceremony held on Monday, November 25, 2019 at SkyCity Convention Centre in Auckland, organised by Indian Newslink to recognise and reward successful businesses.

Jacinda Ardern


Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, who had to cancel her attendance at the Ceremony since  she had to undergo dental surgery in Auckland on Friday (November 22, 2019) said in a specially recorded voice message that ‘these businesses are very important.’

“Usually at this Business Awards stage we speak about where we are in terms of our relationship with India but also our relations with the Kiwi-Indian community. I wish to do the same on this occasion,” she said.

Enormous Contribution

The Kiwi-Indian community makes an enormous contribution not just to the business landscape but also to entrepreneurship, their huge work ethic but also to the wider community. Year after year work the charitable work that they do, the support that they give one another and the leadership role that they undertake in the country. So, today is one way of acknowledge the good work that you do. I congratulate all the finalists and winners at tonight’s Indian Newslink Indian Business Awards,” Ms Ardern said.

Supreme Business of the Year Award Winner Ajay Kumar of Global Finance with his son Aseem and (from left) Simon Bridges, Vijay Singh, Grant Robertson and Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum (INL Picture by Narendra Bedekar)

Our Guests of Honour

Among the Guests of Honour were Fijian Deputy Prime Minister and Attorney General  Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum, New Zealand Minister Iain Lees-Galloway (Workplace Relations & Safety and Immigration), Jenny Salesa (Ethnic Communities), Leader of the Opposition Simon Bridges, Auckland Mayor Phil Goff, High Commissioners Muktesh Pardeshi (India), Filimone Waqabaca (Fiji), Jonathan Curr (New Zealand High Commissioner to Fiji), Members of Parliament Paul Goldsmith, Simon O’Connor, Dan Bidois, Simone Brown (National), Michael Wood (Chief Government Whip), Deborah Russell, Priyanca Radhakrishnan, Marja Lubeck (Labour), Jami-Lee Ross (Independent) and Christopher Luxon (National Party Botany Candidate).

Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum

Fiji’s Deputy Prime Minister and Attorney General Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum complimented the Indian business community, saying that it was pleasing to hear of the success of large, medium and small businesses run by Fijians resident in New Zealand.

“It is heartening to note that Indian entrepreneurs are held in high esteem in New Zealand and their contributions to economic growth recognised,” he said.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum spoke of the immense commercial and investment opportunities available for New Zealanders in Fiji along with incentives and friendly policies.

“We have a well-educated and highly qualified workforce in every sector of the economy. The government in encouraging former Fiji citizens and residents to make use of the facilities and benefits available. One of our greatest assets is our people. Fiji’s population is extremely youthful and hard working,” he said.

Mr Sayed-Khaiyum said that Indian Newslink has proposed to include next year a new category called, ‘Business Excellence in International Trade with Fiji,’ recognising the existing and emerging potential.

Grant Robertson

Finance Minister Grant Robertson, who represented Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern at the Awards Night, congratulated Indian Newslink on its 20th Anniversary and for conducting the Indian Business Awards for 12 years.

He praised the Indian community for their hard work and honesty, he said that while New Zealand is not immune to the downturn effects of the global economy, there are brightening factors.

“Our economic outlook is stronger than the countries with which we traditionally compare – Australia, Canada, the United States of America, the European Union, Japan, Norway and Sweden,” he said.

Uncertainties arising out of the US-China trade war, Brexit and geopolitical tensions in the Middle East do impact New Zealand, he said.

“We are well positioned to counter these global headwinds, with low interest rates, low unemployment and low government debt,” Mr Robertson said.

Bridges, Pardeshi, Goff

Leader of the Opposition Simon Bridges, India’s High Commissioner to New Zealand Muktesh Pardeshi and Auckland Mayor Phil Goff spoken of the cordial relations that exist between New Zealand and India, the partnership of the resident Indian community in New Zealand’s economic growth and the need for closer economic cooperation.

Celebrated Speaker and Entertainer Jackie Clarke was the Master of Ceremonies.

Categories and Sponsors

Oaks Property Management was the Title Sponsor of our Awards this year.

There were 17 categories representing most segments of the business community. They were Business Excellence in Retail Business (Sponsored by Indian Newslink), Business Excellence in Innovation (Singapore Airlines), Business Excellence in Marketing (Radio Tarana), Best Employer of Choice (Link2 Group), Business Excellence in Health & Safety (Indian Newslink), Business Excellence in Ethics and Compliance (AUT), Business Excellence with Social Responsibility (Rainbow Corner Group), Best Small Business (PIC Insurance Brokers), Best Medium Business (2degrees Mobile Limited), Best Large Business (ASAP Finance Limited), Business Excellence in International Trade with India (Manukau Institute of Technology) Best Accountant of the Year (SmartPayroll), Best Young Entrepreneur of the Year (Consulate and Trade Commission Office of Fiji, Sydney and Auckland), Best Financial Advisor (Mortgage) of the Year (Oaks Property Management), Best Financial Advisor (Insurance) of the Year (AIA New Zealand) and Best Businesswoman of the Year (Indian Newslink).

Most of the categories witnessed keen contest, leading in some categories up to seven finalists. Winner of Individual categories qualified for the Supreme Business of the Year Award, which was won by Global Finance.

Among the highlights of the evening was the launch of the Indian Newslink Mobile App developed by Mahendra Bisht of Advance Analytics Technologies Ltd. It can be downloaded on Google Store and Apple Store.



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