An Award-winning business leader with extensive experience
For more than 20 years, we have known Sameer Handa as a man of vision, mission, and fortitude and hence we believe that in his appointment as a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit (MNZM), Queen Elizabeth II and the New Zealand government have given credit where it is due.
Promoting Indo-Kiwi Relations
“Sameer Handa is a businessperson who has promoted bilateral trade between India and New Zealand for more than 15 years,” begins the Citation that justified his choice for the coveted Membership. He has brought credibility to the post of Chairman of the New Zealand India Business Council (INZBC), for he is among a very few who have actually bolstered commercial ties with India and continues to do so.
“I feel really honoured and privileged to be appointed a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit and to be included in the list with other highly deserving members,” Mr Handa told Indian Newslink when we called him earlier today to offer our felicitations.
He is one of two persons of Indian Origin to be featured in this Year’s Queen’s Birthday Honours List, the other being Sergeant Gurpreet Arora (a separate story appears on our website)
Mr Handa said that India and New Zealand are close to his heart and that he has been trying to bring them closer through INZBC activities his other businesses networks.
“This is an achievement for the whole business community working hard to bring India and New Zealand closer and I wish to thank all those who have helped me on this journey. I will continue to work hard to ensure that bilateral trade and relations between India and New Zealand reach higher levels. I wish to acknowledge my family, the team at INZBC and at Glowbal NZ. Without their support, I would not have been able to achieve what I have achieved,” he said.
It is often said that the diffident forfeit their ambitions to destiny, while the diligent judiciously utilise opportunities and achieve success in their career and life, overcoming odds and challenges. Mr Handa belongs to the latter.
Born in Delhi to the late Balwant Rai (a respected journalist at the Urdu newspaper Tej) and Usha Rani, Mr Handa displayed restraint, discipline and quietude that have remained his main attributes in life and career.
Graduating from the Delhi College of Engineering, he worked for three years with Escorts Limited and Blue Star Limited before leaving for Muscat, Oman.
He arrived in Australia in 1988 to pursue his MBA at the University of Sydney, following which he secured a job as Manager Manufacturing at Punja & Sons in Fiji. Three years later, he migrated to New Zealand in search of new opportunities. It took him just five weeks to secure appointment as Engineering Sales Manager at Patton Limited.
Progress was meteoric; he became Sales Manager and General Manager over the next two years and in 1998, the Company promoted him to the post of Chief Executive, when he was 33 years of age (that must be a record).
Under his able leadership, Patton Limited launched an ambitious but carefully designed plan of expansion, including a manufacturing plant in India, enhanced production in New Zealand, Australia and Thailand and a more aggressive marketing strategy worldwide.
File Photo of Sameer Handa (extreme right) with the then Prime Minister John Key, Economist Shamubeel Eaqub and New Zealand Asian Leaders Chairperson Mai Chen at a meeting of the group held in Auckland on April 28, 2014.
According to him, New Zealand companies must think beyond commodities and consider engagement in services, technology and tech-transfers, focused on solving dilemmas in the Indian market.
However, as we have always observed, there should be no delusion that it would be an easy path. A free trade pact between New Zealand and India is beset with a series of imponderables, not the least of which would be agriculture. New Zealand must work out a way that would appease New Delhi, without comprising its own needs.
“This is not services instead of products, but rather services in addition to products. We can also see a strong desire for self-sufficiency and protectionism. India is still a country that is protecting itself from international competition,” Mr Handa said.
His belief in empowering young men and women to grow as successful businesspersons encouraged him to sponsor the ‘Best Young Entrepreneur of the Year’ Category of the Indian Newslink Business Awards from 2010 to 2013. Following the end of sponsorship, Patton entered the Programme and won the Business Excellence in International Trade with India Award in 2014 and in the following year (2015), Supreme Business of the Year, Best Large Business and Best Young Entrepreneur of the Year Awards.
Married to Dori, the couple has a son and a daughter.
Mr Handa is currently Managing Director, Glowbal Limited, an importer of innovative products into New Zealand, a Director on the Board of Bank of India and Chairman of its Audit and Risk Committee, Chartered Member of the Institute of Directors, Member on the Refrigerant Recovery Board, Member of the Board and Deputy Chairman of New Zealand Asian Leaders and Trustee of the Auckland Health Foundation.
The above Report has been sponsored by