The Indo-American Chamber of Commerce of Greater Houston (IACCGH) had its annual Gala on June 16th at the Hyatt Regency Downtown. The keynote speaker was Mr. Michael Capellas, CEO/President of Compaq and the guest of honor was Honorable Lalit Mansingh, Indian Ambassador to the United States of America.
The minister for external affairs Honorable Krishnam Raju, Mr. Bob Beauchamp (CEO, BMC), Mr. John Cozad (President, Reliance Group), Hon. Rinzing Wangdi (Consul General of India), Mr. Satish Pai (President, Schlumberger), Dr. E. Levy (Provost, Rice University), and Mr. Dennis Adams(Incoming Rotary Governor) were among the many distinguished guests. The event drew an elegantly dressed crowd of about five hundred and fifty guests.
The event began with a beautiful invocation song composed by Pandit Ravi Shankar followed by a showcase of all dance forms performed by artists from all round the world. The concept and dances was conceived by Mrs. Rathna Kumar, Director of the Anjali school for Indian performing arts.
Mr. Durga Agrawal, owner/founder of Piping Technology and President of the IACCGH welcomed the distinguished gathering. Mr. Agrawal has just returned from Washington where he received the 2001 Small Business Person award for the State of Texas from President Bush.
Mr. Ashok Shah, Vice President, Compaq Computer Corp. and a board member of IACCGH read a Proclamation from President Bush. President Bush commended the Indian community for its efforts to preserve the rich customs and history of India. He lauded the efforts of the Chamber for demonstrating civic involvement, enhancing the quality of life for those who need a helping hand and strengthening the community.
Ambassador Mansingh enthralled the audience with his eloquent speech covering a wide range of topics. He offered an encouraging insight into Indiaï¿½s investment opportunities and predicted that India would double its economy in the next ten years as India is the worldï¿½s largest commercial market right now. Ambassador Mansingh urged business leaders to get involved in facilitating Indo-US joint ventures, as opportunities abound as the “worldï¿½s two greatest democracies discover each other”.
Mr. Bob Beauchamp, CEO of BMC software, confirmed BMCï¿½s foray into India this year. The company is setting up an office in Pune headed by Mr. Pankaj Dhume, who is on the board of the IACCGH.
Mr. Michael Capellas seconded Ambassador Mansinghï¿½s vision of Indiaï¿½s new role in the global economy. He also reiterated the importance of protecting intellectual property rights if India wanted to be a major player in the world economy. Mr. Capellas praised the Indian community in Houston for its dynamic involvement in the economy.
The guests enjoyed a delicious four course meal seated at beautifully decorated tables and rubbed shoulders with the whos who of the business world. The successful evening came to an end with Mr. Ashoke Nath, CEO of Gas-Tel Inc. taking over the presidency from Mr. Durga Agrawal and a vote of thanks by the new secretary of the Chamber Mr. Subroto Mukerji.
Guests’ speeches: [ Hon. Krishnam Raju ] [ Mr. Mansingh ] [ Mr. Bob Beauchamp ] [ Mr. Michael Capellas ]