ICCC’s 2017 Annual Awards and Gala Night

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By A Correspondent

The Indo-Canada Chamber of Commerce (ICCC) celebrated its 40th year and the 25th anniversary of its annual awards (The awards began in 1992).  The Advisory Board independently chooses the award recipients.

The theme for the annual gala, where ten Indo-Canadians were honoured for their achievements and contribution to the Canadian society, was Aiming Higher.

The Annual Gala and Awards Night is a marquee event where we promote trade and commerce between India and Canada and recognize the achievements of Indo-Canadians from all across Canada by way of an award presentation.


A succinct and heart-warming message from Canada’s Prime Minister Honourable Justin Trudeau; a rousing speech by Canada’s Leader of the Government in the House of Commons and Minister of Small Business and Tourism, Honurable Bardish Chagger; insightful intervention by His Excellency Vikas Swarup, India’s High Commissioner to Canada and His Excellency Nadir Patel, Canada’s High Commissioner to India; prescient and precise tech-talk by PC Gurnani, Tech Mahindra’s CEO and MD. 

Also present were who’s who of Indo-Canadian community leaders, diplomats, corporate honchos, academics, entrepreneurs large and small, representatives of the media, bankers, lawyers – the 25th Annual Awards and Gala Night of the Indo-Canada Chamber of Commerce (ICCC) held Saturday, June 10, 2017, at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre (MTCC) was a uniquely memorable event.

Incumbent President Arun Srivastava 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.

This year’s proud winners are:

Female Entrepreneur: Balwinder Takhar

Male Entrepreneur: Ray Gupta

 Female Professional: Indra Narang

Male Professional: Anil Arora

Young Achiever: Sameer Sharma

Technology Achievement: Kundan Joshi

Corporate Executive: Peter Dhillon

Humanitarian: Mina Mawani

Lifetime/Outstanding achievement: Pradeep Sood

Member of the Year: Jatinder Bawa

[Source: Indo-Canada Chamber of Commerce]

JULY 2017

Vol. 11 - No. 12










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