The sold out sixth annual Gala of the Indo American Chamber of Commerce of Greater Houston showcased the progress the Chamber has made since it was created in 1999. Executive Director Jagdip Ahluwalia spoke with a deep sense of pride on how the community had worked together to give the Chamber its current strength and stature. He thanked Gala underwriter Bob Perry of Perry Homes and Continental Airlines and all the sponsors who made the event a success. The guests included Chief Guest Ambassador H.E. Ronen Sen, Keynote Speaker Congressman Tom Delay and Houston Mayor Bill White.
The attendees included the small, medium and large Corporations and the whoï¿½s who of the local business and community leadership. The VIPs included Congressman Al Green (D), Acting Consul General of India to Houston Mr. K.P.Pillai, Houston Mayor Bill White, City of Houston Council members, Houston Chief of Police Harold Hurtt, Indo American Councilmember Tom Abraham from the City of Sugar land, Harris County Judge Eckelï¿½s Economic Development Advisor Mike Rozell, CEO of BMC Software Bob Beauchamp, Bay Area Houston Economic Development Agency CEO Jim Reinhartsen, Port Commissioner Cheryl Thompson Draper, Hipolito Acosta, recently retired District Director INS, Chairman of the Greater Houston Partnership Jodie Jiles, Pat Foley from GHP, Joe Knernian from the Native American Chamber, Richard Cole, Chairman of the Asian Chamber of Commerce, John Kennedy, City Manager, Nassau Bay and the Mayor of Dickinson Mrs. Julie Masters. Also present were the leaders of the Indo American Chambers of Dallas ( A K Mago and CC Theophine), Tampa (Dilip Kanji and Minesh Patel) Atlanta (Ash Thakker) and Tulsa (Jane Perkins and Kamlesh Agrawal).
In his speech, outgoing President Dr Randhir Sinha said that the Chamber had made a quantum leap towards achieving its goals. He said that India is becoming the favored destination for International trade. He explained how IACCGH had helped Black & Decker do a due diligence study in India. The Chamber is lobbying to make Air India fly to Houston. He explained that at the suggestion of and with the guidance of the then Consul General Skand Ranjan Tayal (now Indiaï¿½s Ambassador to Tashkent), the Chamber has created an Energy Group to enhance the technical expertise and capabilities of Indiaï¿½s energy sector by creating a database of domain experts to interact with the Indian entities on cutting edge technology. Dr Sinha talked about the Chamberï¿½s partnerships with area chambers, chambers in Washington and in India and stated with pride that in the last year, membership had grown by 40%. He talked about the Chamberï¿½s various programs and was proud to hand over the torch to Somesh Singh who is now the President of Indo American Chamber of Commerce of Greater Houston.
In his speech, Ambassador Ronen Sen invited Congressman Tom Delay to visit India. He explained that the outcome of the visit of Indian Prime Minister Sri Man Mohan Singh exceeded his expectations. Ambassador Sen seemed confident that both countries can work together to strengthen, promote and develop mutually beneficial partnerships. Talking of specific examples, he mentioned how an Indo US partnership with Berkley, Stanford and Cornell will help eLearning in areas like bioinformatics and biotechnology. The Ambassador reminded the audience of Americaï¿½s role in helping post independence India, that the colonial rule had left a food deficit nation. America helped to bring about the ï¿½Green Revolutionï¿½, helping with agricultural research in India. He explained now the private sector in both countries is working on the next green revolution. He talked about the economic dialogue between both countries being revitalized. He talked about the energy dialogue and the space cooperation and stressed the fact that Houston had a major role to play in both these areas. He summed up by saying that working together, India and the US can make the world a safer more prosperous place.
In his keynote speech, Congressman Tom Delay accepted Ambassador Senï¿½s invitation to visit India.
He explained how Prime Minister Singhï¿½s recent visit had reminded everyone that India is ready to take a more prominent role in world affairs. He talked about the start of the Continental Airlines nonstop flight to India in November 2005.
During Dinner, Continental Airlines announced an ï¿½Inaugural Trade Delegationï¿½ led by the Alliance of Indo American Chambers on their November 2nd non stop flight from NY/NJï¿½s Liberty Airport to New Delhi India.
The airline and IACCGH is using the Trade delegation to draw attention to the daily Non Stop flight to Delhi starting in November. To learn more about joining the November 2nd Trade Delegation, contact the Chamber by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 713 624 7132.
Judge Mike Rozzell announced the winners of the IACCGH awards. The winners were:
OUTSTANDING COMMUNITY SERVICE AWARD: Yogi Patel (picture and bio attached)
OUTSTANDING ENTREPRENEUR AWARD: Paul Likhari (bio and picture attached)
The event ended with IACCGH President Somesh Singh taking Charge. In his Presidentï¿½s address, he assured that the Chamber would build on the successes of past years. He said he also would like to roll out programs to assist local companies to recruit and orient Indo American candidates new to the area. The Chamber would continue to help local businesses find and connect with suppliers, customers and partners in India and would continue to provide mentoring and networking opportunities. The Chamber would also continue the focus on healthcare and energy.
Somesh summed up by saying that Columbus had set out to discover India when he landed in America. After 500 years of rest in America, it is time to complete the journey Columbus started. There is a lot of catching up to do. The evening ended with IACCGH Board member Atul Varadhachary proposing the vote of thanks.
For further information
Call Jagdip Ahluwalia
832 746 8372
Ambassador Ronen Sen and Sinha
Bob Perry & Ambassador Sen
CTD with Mayor of Dickenson and Randhir Sinha
Dr. sinha receiving a memento
Mrs. Sinha with Ambassador
IACCGH and Alliance Chamber leadesr with Ambassador Sen
Incoming President Somesh Singh Welcomes CTD
Yogi with award
IACCGH Gala 2005
Annual Banquet to celebrate the Achievements
Of the Indo American Community
An Evening of Elegance and Fine Dining
Congressman Tom DeLay
The Honorable Sri Ronen Sen
Ambassador of India to the United States
Guest of Honor:
Honorable Bill White
Mayor of Houston
August 6, 2005
Grand Ballroom, Westin Galleria
5060 W. Alabama, Houston, TX 77056
Time: 6.30 PM
Paul & Manmeet Likhari
Diagnostic Systems Labs. Inc.
Jindal United Steel
M D Anderson Cancer Center
Piping Technology & Products Inc
Port of Houston Authority
Shell Global Solutions
Vinmar International Ltd
Dress: Business Formal/Ethnic
Finalists for the IACCGH Award for ï¿½Outstanding Entrepreneurï¿½
Finalists for the IACCGH Award for ï¿½Outstanding Community Serviceï¿½
Winners will be announced at the Gala on August 6th 2005