A succinct and heart-warming message from Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and a rousing speech by Canada’s Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister of Small Business and Tourism, Bardish Chagger made the ICCC Annual Awards and Gala Night a uniquely memorable event.
Contributing to the excitement of the evening on Saturday, June 10, 2017, at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre (MTCC) was the insightful intervention by Vikas Swarup, India’s High Commissioner to Canada and Nadir Patel, Canada’s High Commissioner to India; prescient and precise tech-talk by PC Gurnani, Tech Mahindra’s CEO and MD.
Also present at the gala were a who’s who of Indo-Canadian community leaders, diplomats, corporate honchos, academics, entrepreneurs large and small, representatives of the media, bankers and lawyers.
Incumbent President Arun Srivas tava put the celebrations in perspective when he said that on the occasion of the 40th year celebrations of the ICCC, it would be pertinent to remember the contributions of hundreds of Indo-Canadians over the last four decades that had helped build the Chamber into such a robust institution that has endured in its relevance.
A short congratulatory video message from the Founder President of the Chamber, Kishore Doshi, was played for the benefit of the audience.
But, as Arun emphasised, organisations look at the past only for inspiration; their main task is to shape the future, and that was the reasoning behind the 2017 theme of Aiming Higher.
On all parameters of evaluation – bilateral trade ties, creating opportunities for members, enhancing membership, increasing sponsorship, conceiving effective programming – the ICCC’s 2016-17 leadership had proved to be among the best the Chamber has had in its four decades history.
The highlight of the Annual Awards and Gala Night was the presence of the two high commissioners of Canada and India.
This is, indeed, a rare occurrence. In his short but deeply insightful speech, India’s High Commissioner, Vikas Swarup said that the biggest natural resource India has is the Indian. It is the Indian who has and will shape the destiny of the world.
Citing the examples of the UK, Canada and other parts of the world, he said, people of Indian origin have been elected to parliaments in many western countries, and therein is the strength of India, a strength that is unparalleled and one that is growing.
Nadir Patel, Canada’s High Commissioner, said that Canada has a keen desire to develop strong ties with India, both economic and people-to-people. The visits of nine Canadian ministers to India in the last few months are an indication of the seriousness with which Canada aspires to be closer to India.
Minister Chagger repeatedly drew attention to the theme of the year – Aiming Higher – in her speech and said that it is important for both Canada and India to strive continuously to improve relations.
She cited numerous instances of B2B collaborations between Canadian and Indian entities in different spheres.
In his remarks CP Gurnani on Tech Mahindra said that both the Canadian and the Indian economies are committed to digitalisation, which will pave the way for future collaborations. Drawing attention to the fact that India was the fourth on the list of countries with most startups, Gurnani said he saw the possibility of consistent involvement between Indian startups and the University of Waterloo, which is developing into one of world’s best educational institutions for innovation.
Even as the audience listened to the speeches attentively, the awards process was initiated.
These are ICCC’s 2017 Annual Award winners:
Balwinder Takhar, President & CEO, Chalmers Group (pictured)
Ray Gupta, Founder, Sunray Group
Indra Narang. Director, Sleep Medicine, Hospital for Sick Kids
Anil Arora, Chief Statistician
Sameer Sharma, Director
Kundan Joshi, Founder & CEO
Peter Dhillon, CEO
Humanitarian of the Year
President & CEO,
Crohn’s & Colitis Canada
Lifetime / Outstanding Achievement
Pradeep Sood, Chairman
Highbury Canco Corp
Member of the Year
Accountant, CPA, CGA
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