Top Achievers In Various Fields Recognized By Premier Indo-Canadian Business Organization
The Indo-Canada Chamber of Commerce held their 26th Annual Awards and Gala Night at the Paramount Eventspace in Woodbridge. The theme of the evening was “Rise of Digital Era: Excellence in Changing Times”. The following personalities were honoured at the event.
Female Entrepreneur: Reetu Gupta
Reetu Gupta is Chief Operating Officer of the Easton’s Group of Hotels, Canada’s largest private hotel development firm and The Gupta Group, Co-Founder and Chief Strategy Officer of Rogue Insight Capital Ltd.
Born and raised into the world of Real Estate and Hospitality, Reetu at the age of 11, worked every summer at the company, learning the grassroots of the business. She was graduated with an MBA from the Schulich School of Business. Despite the recession in 2009, she added three hotels to the company’s existing six properties and kept growing the company to a portfolio of 19 hotels across Canada with six more hotels under development. Reetu’s career quickly progressed from Executive Director to being named COO in 2015.
In 2012 she launched The Gupta Group, the residential real estate arm of the company. Reetu is also the Chief Strategy Officer of Rogue Insight Capital Ltd., a division of the Gupta Group that launched in fall of 2017 that focuses on angel investing to support Canada’s burgeoning start up ecosystem.
Reetu is Chair of the City of Toronto’s External Advisory Committee for Canada’s Sesquicentennial Anniversary, Advisory Board Member for Ryerson University’s School of Hospitality and Tourism Management and sits on several other boards & committees.
In 2017, Reetu was honoured with the distinction of Canada’s Top 40 Under 40®. Reetu continues to exceed excellence and is an inspiration not only in her industry, but for women everywhere.
Male Entrepreneur: Suneet Singh Tuli
Suneet Singh Tuli is the founder and CEO of DataWind Inc. He has 24 years of experience as a serial entrepreneur, with DataWind’s Initial Public Offering on the Toronto Stock Exchange in June 2014. At DataWind and previous ventures, patented technologies were created to develop scanning, printing and imaging products that set world records and got recognition from Guinness Book of Records.
DataWind has received worldwide attention for its vision to empower the next 4 billion people and bridge the digital divide. In 2012, DataWind’s Aakash 2 tablet computer was launched at United Nations by Secretary General, Ban Ki Moon.
Suneet has been recognized by Forbes magazine in its 2012 Impact 15 list as a classroom revolutionary. He was also awarded with Visionary of the Year, Renaissance Engineer of the Year and entrepreneur of the year by World Sikh Awards.
DataWind has been awarded with UK’s Most Innovative Mobile Company for 2012, Outstanding Product Achievement Award by the Canadian Advanced Technology Alliance, Technology Achievement Award ICCC and CNBC TV 18‘s Young Turks Innovation award.
Suneet regularly speaks at various forums internationally as keynote speaker. He delivered the prestigious Mercier Lecture, speaker at TiEcon Southwest, TiEcon Canada, Internet Freedom Conference in Stockholm, the Beyond Access conference in Washington D.C., World Innovation Summit for Education (WISE) in Doha etc.
In 2017, Suneet received an Honorary Doctorate from Apex Professional University in India for his contribution to technology in education.
Male Professional: Rajiv Midha
Dr. Rajiv Midha is an internationally recognized surgeon, scientist and educator, neurosurgical expert on nerve disorders. He currently serves as Professor and Head, Department of Clinical Neurosciences at the University of Calgary, leading over 100 faculty members in the Divisions of Neurology, Neurosurgery, Physiatry and Neurosciences, changing the way that stroke, MS, epilepsy and other neurological conditions are managed.
He is an authority on peripheral nerve surgery, having given over 250 lectures world-wide, including being an invited professor at some of the most prestigious Universities. He serves on the editorial boards of three prominent neurosurgery publications, Journal of Neurosurgery, Neurosurgery and World Neurosurgery. Dr. Midha has published over 150 peer-reviewed articles, co-edited four textbooks and dozens of chapters and editorials published over his career.
In 2015, he was elected for membership to the Canadian Academy of Health Sciences-membership. In 2017, Dr. Midha gave the prestigious David Kline Lectureship at the leading American Neurosurgical conference, as recognition of his singular contributions to nerve surgery.
His cutting edge research, spanning over 30 years and supported by several millions dollars of funding, has produced ground-breaking insights on the repair of peripheral nerve injury. Rajiv’s involvement with patient focused groups in nerve diseases, along with engaging industrial partners, has led to the development of endowments and centers of excellence to study nerve damage and nerve regeneration.
His philanthropic work involves fundraising for charities, such as SEVA, United Way, MS Society and the Heart & Stroke Foundation of Alberta, giving back to his community and involvement with the Indo Canadian community at large.
Young Achiever: Abhishek Jain
Abhishek Jain is currently pursuing a Bachelor of Accounting and Finance from University of Waterloo. He has completed 4 co-op terms with PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP in their Assurance practice and received a full-time offer to join as a Senior Associate upon completion of the Master of Accounting program. He is actively pursuing both CPA and CFA designations.
He is deeply involved in extra-curricular activities. He was one of the two students selected to represent Enactus Waterloo on an international stage via a collaboration with Anza International, a Tanzania based organization that provides entrepreneurs the capacity, capital and community they need to thrive. Working in the city of Kilimanjaro, Abhishek established the foundation of “Iko Eco” a platform of changing disposal habits though an incentivized network of waste collection. He helped remove over 10 tons of waste from the streets of Tanzania.
His involvement in Purple Haze Media Inc. as Director and Consultant has allowed him to actively engage small and medium business in financial consulting, process improvement, financial structuring and overall business profitability.
He has volunteered for Rajasthan Association of North America and ICCC and helped raising funds for various charitable causes.
He is Recipient of 3M Canada Problem Solving Project Partnership Best Project – Iko Eco, 1 of 68 undergraduate students across Canada invited to PricewaterhouseCoopers Talent Academy National Conference, Recipient of Kavelman-Fonn Foundation International Experience Award.
Technology Achievement: Parth Patel
Parth Patel is a serial entrepreneur and Chief Executive Officer of SyS Creations – IT Management and Consulting Solutions, a leading IT firm focused on technology-driven solution with a customer-centric, journey-first approach. Parth has founded “YoloCarts” which aspires to make hiring a pre-vetted service provider as easy as e-commerce buying products. Parth desires to build a platform which can organize the world of services – and bring them to your finger-tips.
Parth serve as CTO in Silver Fox Pharmacy (LTC) and ZepVR. Operating the IT Infrastructure of many small-medium sized businesses keeps him on his toes and his passion for helping others keeps him motivated. Parth has also worked in the space of Virtual Reality and is a firm believer of leveraging technology, and a set of simple yet powerful processes to make anything happen.
Parth moved to Canada in 2011 to follow his passion for business and started working with Canadian entrepreneurs on a contract basis.
He has an amazing ability to transfer that knowledge to the next person or business. He is focused on getting the most value for what you have and thinks about every conceivable way he can help make your business better.
At present, SyS Creations & YoloCarts all together employs over 70 tech and business enthusiasts who look forward to crafting inimitable solutions with continuous plans of expansion in Canada & India. Parth adore spending time with his family and friends. Parth enjoys practicing yoga and motiving many individuals in Halton Region.
Corporate Executive: Atul Tiwari
Atul Tiwari is the managing director and head of Vanguard Investments Canada Inc., the Canadian wholly owned subsidiary of the Vanguard Group, Inc., one of the largest asset managers in the world with over $5 trillion USD in global assets under management. He helped grow the business into Canada’s third largest provider of Exchange Traded Funds (ETFs) with over $25 billion (CDN) in assets held by Canadian investors.
He has enjoyed a distinguished 25-year career in the financial services industry and is one of the pioneers of ETFs in Canada, having served as founding president of BMO Exchange Traded Funds prior to joining Vanguard. Before that, he co-founded BMO Group’s Global Asset Management Division, and was president of BMO’s mutual fund business in the U.S.
He graduated from Osgoode Hall Law School and practiced law in Toronto and London (U.K.).
He is former chairman of the Canadian ETF Association and is a director of the D.D. Foundation, which provides medical care and education to the disadvantaged in India. He is honourary trustee of the Royal Ontario Museum, having served as a director on the board of trustees and chairman of the pension committee. He served as president and director of the Osgoode Hall Law School Alumni Association. He has a keen interest wine-making, having served for five years as the Cellerier for the Toronto Sous Commanderie of the Confrerie des Chevaliers du Tastevin.
As a proud Indo-Canadian, Mr. Tiwari has built a diverse, high-performing and engaged team in Canada.
Humanitarian: Haresh (Mike) Mehta
When Haresh immigrated to Canada more than four decades ago, little did he know that his life would span out in service of humanity. He has an awesome acumen for entrepreneurship, abiding passion for community development, visionary zeal for philanthropy and dedication to foster Canada India ties.
His entrepreneurial journey started in the early 1970s since then, he has launched several successful businesses. His community development work is an adroit mix of public life and philanthropy. He has been active in the Liberal Party of Canada and Sanatan Mandir Cultural Centre. His purpose is to foster better understanding between the Indo-Canadian community and the mainstream.
Haresh’s community-based work in India includes a family trust established in 1986 in Dungar village in Gujarat to assist impoverished people with cataracts and eye disorders. Over 5,000 cataract surgeries have been performed and over 15,000 patients have been examined. A walk-in medical clinic served over 10,000 patients with free medicine. Many families in the village receive annual grocery supplies and students receive scholarship.
He built a high school under his father’s name in Dungar in 2011, which provides educational facilities to 800 students annually. He donated four water filtration plants to four schools ensuring clean drinking water to over 1,700 schoolchildren. He also donated 40 computers and started computer lab for high school students.
Haresh is CEO and President of Eximcan Canada and FEP search Group International. His businesses provide employment to over 350 people in Canada, USA and India. He holds a Bachelor’s in Marketing from St. Joseph University, Philadelphia, USA.
Lifetime/Outstanding Achievement: Sadhna Joshi
Dr. Sadhna Joshi completed her B.Sc., M.Sc., Ph.D. and D.Sc. from the Université Paris Diderot, France. She joined Allelix Biopharmaceuticals, Mississauga, in 1983 as a Senior Research Scientist and Principle Investigator on AIDS and Immune Regulation. In 1988, she joined University of Toronto as Associate Professor in the Department of Molecular Genetics.
For treatment, she is developing gene therapy whereby patients’ own hematopoietic stem cells will be genetically modified to secrete antiviral proteins. Four of the proteins engineered in her laboratory were shown to neutralize/inactivate HIV and inhibit HIV infection. This gene therapy approach is of interest as, if it works, a single gene delivery procedure could provide a life-time treatment for HIV-infected individuals.
The same antiviral proteins are secreted from strains of Lactobacillus that can colonize the vagina and gastrointestinal tract to develop microflora defence for preventing HIV transmission. As Lactobacillus is used to make yogurt, the engineered strains could be propagated and delivered orally. This could represent the most affordable, accessible, safe and easy-to-use preventive measure to block HIV transmission.
In addition to her devotion to research and serving as mentor to her students, she is recognized for her efforts in promoting Indian culture and literature as well for her exemplary and remarkable contributions to the ideals of Indo-Canadian community.
In 2018, Dr. Joshi received Achievement and Recognition Award from Indian Canadian Organization in Toronto. Previously, she received ICCC Professional Female of the Year 2013 Award in Toronto and Bharat Gaurav Award (Pride of India Award) in 2013 in New Delhi.
Member of the Year: Chirag Shah
Chirag Shah, a young technocrat who has rapidly scaled peaks of technological achievements by constantly striving to serve clients beyond their expectations.
With an eye for cost-effective solutions, Chirag’s company, SUBHTECH SOLUTIONS INC., focuses on adopting innovative approaches to clients’ needs. Whether it is integration, implementation, customization in Enterprise Resource Planning, Customer Relationship Management, Cloud and mobile solutions, prioritises innovation.
In addition to his IT venture, Chirag is also actively involved in advising high net worth individuals and businesses in Canada and India through his service VAYAM MANTU ADVISORS INC. The firm focuses on providing clients with customised solutions and integrated strategies in spheres of outsourcing, facilitating and managing trusted network of service providers. The firm has built an awesome reputation of providing knowledge driven advice that lead to the clients reaping a bonanza of rewards.
A firm believer in giving back to the Canadian society, and to the Indo-Canadian community. He strives to work towards positive transformation of not-for-profit organisations such as the ICCC & CIF.
Chirag has raised funds for Milton District Hospital Foundation, Vaishno Devi temple – Oakville and other charities.
He is actively involved with Gujarat Public Affairs Council of Canada, Milton Gujarati Parivaar, and Canada India Association. His passion is to assist businesses operate optimally by adopting and adapting suitable technological solutions. He has worked with Microsoft, IBM, Deloitte, Omnicom, Fountain Tire, Canadian General Tower, Clearly, among others.
President Award: Roseann O’Reilly Runte
Roseann O’Reilly Runte received a Ph.D. from the University of Kansas and began a career of teaching, research and leading universities.
She was Principal or President of five institutions. She is currently President and CEO of the Canada Foundation for Innovation which provides infrastructure for research in the universities, colleges and hospitals across Canada. The Foundation has invested approximately 2.7 million in projects involving and benefitting India in areas including agriculture and food security, water, health, computing grids, nuclear energy, and communications.
Roseann’s served as President of the Canadian Commission for UNESCO, Canada-U.S. Fulbright Foundation, Canadian Federation for the Humanities, Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons, Virginia Advanced Carrier and Shipbuilding Integration Center, Virginia National Defense Industrial Authority, Club of Rome, LifeNet, UN Sub Committee on Education etc. She is author of poetry, articles, book chapters and reviews.
She has received Order of Canada, Order of Crown of Belgium, French Order of Merit and Academic Palms, Distinguished Civilian Service Medal from the U.S. Army.
She is fellow of the Royal Society of Canada, and Commander of Merit in Order of Malta. She has been awarded the Women of Distinction Award, a Humanitarian Award, Peace and Dialogue Award, Servant Leadership, Distinguished Public Service, Women of Courage, Confidence and Character, Sportsperson of the Year, Trailblazer and a number of honorary degrees.
Dr. Runte had the privilege along with others to establish the Canada India Center of Excellence at Carleton University under Mr. Harry Sharma. Their work has built bridges of understanding and sharing of knowledge between Canada and India.