The fact that the Indian business community has become a significant partner in New Zealand’s economic and social progress was demonstrated at the Indian Newslink Indian Business Awards (IBA) held in Auckland last fortnight.
More than 700 businesspersons representing almost all segments of the public and private undertakings were present at the Sky City Convention Centre on November 14, 2011, marking a brilliant chapter in our commercial history.
Among them were chairpersons and chief executives of large, medium and small enterprises, manufacturers, entrepreneurs, international traders, bankers, lawyers, engineers, doctors, education providers, consultants and other professionals. Their presence enhanced the value of the Awards programme initiated by this newspaper four years ago, heralding a new era in business relations between corporate and individual entities in this country.
Guests of Honour
Prime Minister John Key, Opposition Leader Phil Goff, Indian High Commissioner Retired Admiral Sureesh Mehta, BNZ Chairman of the Board John Waller and BNZ Partners Regional Managing Partner (Northern) Alan Young were among the Guests of Honour. A number of other high-ranking dignitaries including KPMG New Zealand Executive Chairman Ross Buckley, New Zealand Cricketer Scott Styris, former ACT Party Leader Dr Don Brash, Members of Parliament representing National and Labour Parties were also present at the Ceremony.
A large number of guests, who have been attending IBA Presentation Night since its launch in 2008, were gratified by the impressive growth that this Project has registered over the years.
Mr Key said in his address that IBA “is growing bigger and better every year, reflecting the significant contribution that the Indian business community makes to the New Zealand economy.”
“I am happy that Indian Newslink launched this Awards Project four years ago. The newspaper has built a reputation for its fair and unbiased reporting. The Indian Business Awards have become the platform to acknowledge and reward successful businesses,” he said.
Mr Goff said that the Business Awards programme not only showcased the success achieved by the Indian business community through hard work but also fostered healthy competition.
“I have been attending the Awards Night for the past three years and I am happy to acknowledge its growth as a major event of the year,” he said.
Mr Mehta outlined the existing and emerging opportunities that India offers to New Zealand businesses and said that a Free Trade Agreement between the two countries will further boost trade, commerce, education and tourism.
Renowned journalist and broadcaster David Beatson of Triangle Television was the Master of Ceremonies.
The Judging Process
One of the most significant aspects of the Indian Newslink IBA is its robust judging process. A panel of judges, representing a broad spectrum of the commercial sector, directly received the entries and evaluated them under the Chairmanship of Chad Wilkie, who has decades of experience in management, consultancy and judging business awards for other organisations as well. The names of our judges appear elsewhere in this Special Report.
Our Awards programme has had the honour and privilege of support and patronage by premier commercial organisations of the country and IBA 2011 had the involvement of several well-known organisations and brands.
The Sponsorship of this year’s Awards began with BNZ, which, after due diligence and extensive evaluation, decided to be our Title Sponsors. Several other organisations reposed trust in us and extended their sponsorship.
Indian Newslink is grateful to all its sponsors, details of who appears separately in this Section.
Another factor that distinguishes our Awards Night from others is the opportunity that it provides to sponsors, entrants in various categories and businesses to network during the cocktails and before the Presentation Ceremony. The Marlborough Rooms and the Promenade proved to be excellent venues for guests to meet and greet, exchange business cards and establish new contacts. We hope that new acquaintances made at the event would develop into fruitful and mutually rewarding relationship between them.
The small exhibition of Sponsors, introduced this year, was reportedly useful and we look forward to making improvements next year.
Although primarily a business event, we have found that a brief entertainment segment helps guests to relax and enjoy an evening of togetherness. This year’s programme comprised two Indian classical dances items by Ratna Venkat and two Bollywood dances by Viraf Todywalla and his group from V4U Entertainments Limited.
The Quartet comprising Joseph Alexander (Electronic Drums), Joscel Alexander (Acoustic Drums), Hemant Thaker (Keyboard) and James Fromont (Guitar) provided musical interlude throughout the evening, with their rendition of the ‘Shadows,’ becoming an instant hit.
Sky City Executive Chef Paul Doyle and his team created a Special Indian Menu representing the best of Indian cuisine that found favour with a majority of guests.
Mt Wellington based Display Ways Limited, with proven expertise in creating an extensive range of display equipment and products, set up exhibition booths to our Sponsoring companies.
Audio Visual experts Spy Glass provided an impressive array of services to match the growing sophistication and needs of the event.
While the success of the Indian Newslink Indian Business Awards over the years is heart-warming and encouraging, we are aware of the increasing responsibility it places on our shoulders. We constantly strive to improve not only the Awards Night but also the quality of entries and have in place categories that truly reflect the activities in which Indian businesses are engaged.
Entries to IBA 2012 will open on March 1, 2012 and conclude on August 31, 2012. We propose to conduct free workshops and meet with potential entrants individually and encourage them to participate in the Scheme.
We are also exploring ways and means of enhancing the value extended to our Sponsors.
Our next Awards Night will be held on Monday, November 19, 2012, details of which will be published in Indian Newslink in due course.