Following her announcement on Thursday, December 7, 2017 that she was relinquishing her post as Head of Community Banking at BNZ, effective December 21, 2017, we received no less than 25 phone calls and 33 text messages asking the same question: “Why?”
Such was the relationship that Ansuya Naidoo fostered with the businesses in general and those of the Indian community in particular that it is difficult to disassociate her with the banking institution that she represented so well for the past 18 years.
True, she met only a few in her daily routine and a much larger number at the Annual Indian Newslink Indian Business Awards since 2011 but the involvement through other means of communication was intense and even personal. She was the financial heart of the BNZ and the Indian community.
To say that she would be missed is an understatement.
Back in business
But the good news is that she would return to business after a few months of holiday and travel, both of which are overdue and well deserved.
She intends to be involved with banking in an enhanced capacity, at which the goodwill that she has earned during the past two decades, more so since BNZ became the Title Sponsor of our Awards Programme, will be useful investment.
“I am proud to be associated with this growing community,” she told Indian Newslink as we were preparing our Diwali Special 2014.
“Most of the businesses (in the Indian community) are family-run enterprises. They are passionate and focused on their businesses. They are also quite creative and not afraid to take risks under challenging circumstances.”
Moving from her native South Africa was an emotional experience, but it was a decision that she had to take for the betterment of her family which now comprises her two daughters, one of who lives and works in Sydney.
The complexity of the Indian business community, she believes, brings with it new perspectives.
Farther from banking she is a good conversationalist.
Women’s Lib? That is an old subject, a given now.
Gender Equality? New Zealand was one of the first countries to provide equal opportunities for women; but we have lagged. There is need for another push.
When we recognised and honoured Ansuya at the Tenth Annual Indian Newslink Indian Business Awards on November 27, 2017, we were not aware of her moving decision. We requested Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Opposition Leader Bill English to jointly honour Ansuya with a Gratitude Award.
It was truly an emotional moment.
Ansuya made our working relationship with BNZ very special and flexible.
Moving away from a close relationship will not be easy.
Ansuya Naidoo with Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and from left Housing & Urban Development Minister Phil Twyford and Opposition Leader Bill English. (Picture by Creative Eye Fotographics).