Picture Credit: Bijay Dixit, Unique Photos
Video Credit: Kosh Biyani, Biyani Photography
Article by Somdatta Basu
The Indo-American Chamber of Commerce of Greater Houston (IACCGH) successfully held its 2023 Gala on July 15. Serving as a bridge between the local business community and the chamber, the event celebrated the potent synergies and fruitful collaborations that have formed over the years.
Unfolding the evening with an impactful video, IACCGH encapsulated its accomplishments and core ethos, setting the tone for the gala. Founding Secretary and Executive Director, Jagdip Ahluwalia, during his speech, aptly acknowledged, “Trade between India and the U.S has soared in the last 24 years. Our members, partners, advisors, and sponsors are the bedrock of our growth. The entrepreneurial spirit of Indian Americans is now on full display in enterprises of all sizes. We adapt to changing times and take pride in nurturing foreign investments in Texas.”
Deputy Under Secretary for International Trade, Diane Farrell, the chief guest of the evening, presented a promising picture of the trade relationship between India and the U.S, emphasizing, “India and the U.S now enjoy a trading relationship that is three times what it was just 15 years ago. The Biden Harris Administration recognizes the benefits of focusing on common areas, fostering supply chain resilience, encouraging clean energy transition, and improving the business environment.”
The guests included event Honoree Houston Mayor, Sylvester Turner; Congresswoman Lizzie Fletcher, Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, Missouri City Mayor, Robin Elackatt; and the new Consul General of India to Houston, D.C. Manjunath. A powerful video from the Houston Airport System spotlighted business relations with India. In his address, Mayor Sylvester Turner acknowledged the integral role the Chamber plays in fostering local business growth and emphasized the city’s commitment to diversity. He pointed out that, “Houston-India trade has nearly doubled over the past decade. The Chamber plays a critical role in helping businesses grow and create more jobs. We value relationships over business and diversity over uniformity.”
IACCGH President, Rajiv Bhavsar, lauded the Chamber’s growth and contributions to the local community, affirming, “Tonight, we celebrate the vision and dedication that brought IACCGH to life. Our focus remains on serving our community and its needs.”
The event was highlighted by the presentation of four awards. The Chamber invited Deputy Under Secretary for International Trade, Diane Farrell, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, new Consul General of India to Houston, D.C. Manjunath, and Fort Bend County Judge K.P. George to help present the Awards. Pooja Jesrani, the first Asian flight Director at NASA, was honored with the “IACCGH Woman of the Year” award. The “IACCGH Business of the Year” was awarded to Bobby V. Singh of Isani Consultants, while the “IACCGH Trade Champion of the Year” went to Shuchita Sonalika of CII, USA. Swatantra Jain was lauded with the “IACCGH Community Service Award” for his relentless commitment to public service. The awards recognized the remarkable contributions to the Indo-American community and served as an inspiration for others.
The IACCGH 2023 Gala underscored another triumphant year for the Indo-American business community in Greater Houston, paving the way for promising future alliances while celebrating the achievements of a vibrant and enterprising community.