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Sponsorships strengthen community connection

The growing Indian population and the rising popularity of Indian films across ethnicities have encouraged Indian and other community associations and groups to organise cultural events throughout the year.

Auckland is obviously the most popular destination for film celebrities, entertainers, Indian classical musicians and a host of others.

While many commercial entities participate in these shows as a part of their marketing strategies, there are many who prefer to sponsor shows and events that prefer to showcase local talents.

Auckland based Global Financial Services Limited (GFSL) is one of them.

Its Managing Director Ajay Kumar said that sponsorship of events that engage local talents or those that recognise achievers adds value to community and social involvement.

“While shows that feature film stars, playback singers and others from the Indian entertainment industry may have their value, our Company prefers to be associated with programmes and projects that foster our own artistes and people. I believe that this is a sure way of giving back to the community in which we live and serve,” he said.

The progress of GFSL since its establishment in 1999 has been truly gratifying and as the Company marks its 15th Anniversary, Mr Kumar is gratified by the significant achievements and milestones that have been recorded thus far. Thousands of people from almost all ethnic groups have benefited from his ‘Special Formula’ that enables them to become ‘mortgage free’ in less than ten years (in 90% of cases, about five years) instead of the customary 25 years or 30 years. Combined, they have obtained more than $2 billion for home purchase from commercial banks in the country.

The ‘Special Formula’ is unique to GFSL (see Separate Story in this Special Section).

Its insurance division has written (through life insurance companies) thousands of policies valued at more than $2.5 billion.

“People are at the core of all these loans and insurance policies. They belong to varied faiths as Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, Christians and so on. GFSL is not only proud to have them as its clients but also understands its social and community responsibilities, which are discharged through sponsorship of events and projects,” he said.

Religious bodies

Attending the opening of the Shri Shirdi Saibaba Temple at Onehunga (12 Princes Street) in Central Auckland on February 8, Mr Kumar heard Bhaskar Reddy Duvvuru, President of the Shirdi Saibaba Sansthan of New Zealand Inc (which owns the $6 million Complex) saying that the Main Deity of Saibaba must be seated on a silver throne, he instantly promised to meet the related costs.

“Shirdi Saibaba has thousands of followers in New Zealand, including Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, Christians and others. Any service rendered to the Saibaba Temple will please wider communities,” he said.

Community Festivals

GFSL has also sponsored a number of community festivals including the ‘Fiji Day’ organised by Radio Tarana at the Vodafone Events Centre in Manukau (Auckland), Holi, Diwali and other events conducted by the Sikh community and other events and projects.

“We have a large Fijian community in New Zealand and many of its members are our customers. Our sponsorship of such events takes us close to our people. We are privileged to have such associations,” Mr Kumar said.

Sports Awards

GFSL is the Title Sponsor of the Indian Newslink Indian Sports Awards 2014,

Mr Kumar said that he was delighted to be associated with the Sports Awards, which have been growing since they were instituted in 2012.

Major initiative

“This is a major initiative to encourage members of the Indian community to be involved in sports. While we have had the honour of scores of men and women who have made us proud with their achievements in various aspects of sports, it is important to motivate our young people, including school and university students to evince interest in the field,” he said.

Mr Kumar said that apart from boosting the morale and image of the community, involvement in sports keep people in good health.

Key to happiness

“Physical and mental fitness is the key to a happy and prosperous life. Modern eating habits, style of living, social websites, entertainment and the television have all made us less active physically. It is essential to reverse this trend. I am happy that the Sports Awards provide the right type of encouragement to our people. It is not enough for us to feel proud about our achievements in Soccer, Cricket, Tennis, Rugby League or Rugby Union. Our youngsters should actually go out and play these games,” he said.

According to Mr Kumar, involvement in the right sports with the right coach and guide is imperative for individual success.

“Coaches see the right potential in the right people, seek the support of the parents, teachers and others involved in the progress of the youth and provide them with the right training. We have had many coaches in the community who have turned out ace hockey, cricket, soccer and tennis players. Rugby League and Rugby Union are also attracting the interest of the wider Indian community in New Zealand,” he said.

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