A new organisation of emerging entrepreneurs and professionals aims to foster qualities of leadership and responsibility among the younger members of the business community in Auckland.
It has the potential to grow as a national organisation engaging young entrepreneurs of all ethnic groups.
Called, the ‘Young Professionals Group’ (YPG), the organisation, with members aged between 21 and 45 years, held its inaugural meeting at a restaurant in Auckland’s Central Business District on September 15, 2012, at which they demonstrated a passion for positive action for their betterment and that of their families and communities.
If the first meeting was any indication, YPG has immense potential to grow and witness the progress of its members jointly and severally.
The Group is fortunate to have Bhav Dhillon, Managing Director of Cemix, a company, which he reportedly purchased and nursed it to become a highly successful and profitable organisation.
A member of the Executive Committee of the India New Zealand Business Council, Mr Dhillon is known in the wider community for his business acumen and financial discipline.
We understand that he would a mentor of the YPG.
The inaugural meeting had the benefit of his presentation, during the course of which he reportedly outlined his early struggle, followed by financial and entrepreneurial success.
The Group is also fortunate to have Steve D’Souza, Chairman & Chief Executive of the Kalamazoo Group, the largest privately-owned printing company in New Zealand as its mentor.
He spoke about his years of modest economic background, anxiety and challenges and said how perseverance, patience, hard work and his faith helped him to become one of the most progressive and prosperous entrepreneurs in the country.
Among the movers of this initiative are Gawan Bakshi, Dev Dhingra, Navtej Randhawa, Sid Sharma and Sid Bhandari.
“YPG has been structured to make connections with corporate and community leaders, celebrate our unique heritage, seek guidance from our mentors, learn from their experiences and pursue time-tested principles of honesty, integrity and good governance,” they said.
Mr Randhawa, who has experience as an executive in a government-owned enterprise and as a businessperson, said that the Group also aimed to enrich the community by uniting and developing young professionals from a cross-section of careers and industries and helping in their career advancement.
“We would provide members with opportunities for professional development, social networking and civic engagement and develop the region’s next generation of leaders. As a grassroots organisation with diverse and forward-thinking individuals who have a passion for cultivating creativity and entrepreneurship, we would promote young Aucklanders with activities that are meaningful and useful to them and the society,” he said.
Members of the Group also derive inspiration from their heritage.
Mr Dhingra said that migrants from India were among the early settlers in New Zealand, with their history dating back to at least 120 years.
“While many of them were semiskilled, others were engaged in farming or retailing. Their successive generations, born and educated here, became highly skilled workers, with many of them emerging as professionals. Today, people of Indian origin are successful and leading engineers, doctors, accountants, lawyers, barristers, soft and hardware specialists, entrepreneurs and international traders,” he said.
Mr Randhawa said that YPG would endeavour to provide a platform for youngsters in business or service to coordinate their activities, exchange information, engage in common pursuits and pursue excellence.
“There would be opportunities for young professionals to network and foster their business endeavours. There will also be occasions to volunteer, promote and work with other organisations to give vent to their ideas and create strategies and programmes,” he said.
Mr Dhingra said that YPG’s mission was to build relationships and enable the youth to become commercially, politically, socially and philanthropically active.
“The Group would enable its members to contribute to the economic development of New Zealand and lead a high quality life, along with other members of the community,” he said.
He said YPG was also looking up to Sameer Handa, Chief Executive of Patton Limited, for his guidance, support and patronage.
“With an impressive record of achievements and rapid rise in career, he is a great source of inspiration and strength for our Group. Mr Handa is a role model of great corporate leadership,” Mr Dhingra said.
Best Young Entrepreneur
Patton Limited has been the sponsor of the ‘Best Young Entrepreneur of the Year’ category of the Indian Newslink Indian Business Awards since the category was introduced in 2010.
“I have immense faith in the growing generations. They should have appropriate opportunities to grow and hone their talents,” he said.
A man of precision, he has a simple and direct approach to business and people. The way he articulates his points of view, ideals and vision could well form the core of any business plan. “Challenges motivate people to bring out the best in them and success will not betray those who persevere and persist in their endeavours,” he said.
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Photo : Mentors promote young professionals (from left) Dev Bhardwaj, Arunima Dhingra, Odelia & Steve D’Souza, Bhav Dhillon, Sameer Handa and Dev Dhingra at the inaugural dinner of the ‘Young Professionals Group’ held in Auckland City on September 15, 2012.