Friday, January 17, 2014
Brought to New Zealand by the pull of his immense faith in God, Wenceslaus Anthony has come a long way from the days of dislike for New Zealand to being awarded the Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit (MNZM) the Queen’s honours announced at the turn of the year for his work in improving India – New Zealand relations.
Wenceslaus was a member of the official delegation of NZ Prime Minister Rt. Hon. John Key during his state visit to India in June 2011. In June 2012, he was appointed as a Director on the Board of the Bank of Baroda (NZ) in recognition of his contribution to commercial and industrial ties between NZ and India.
A very strong headed Mr Anthony, in his previous ventures has built a career and expertise in project management, international negotiations, international trading, and recruitment over 33years. His market intelligence and selection process has enabled him to establish personal relationships globally. He currently is the chairman and managing director at WAML Group, and PACT Industries apart from his various social and voluntary roles.
Mr Anthony, completed his term as the Chair of the India-New Zealand Business Council (INZBC) in June 2013, and now is part of their National Executive heading government relations. He is credited with increasing the membership of the council and bringing on board various synergies acting across the seas to one table.
Mr Anthony on being contacted said that the award is not for him alone, it is recognition for India. It is for the people and the cause not for me personally. He acknowledged the support of the NZ Prime Minister, and the NZ government. The institutions he has worked with, Jan Henderson the High Commissioner to India, Mr. Bhav Dhillon and other friends were all there to support him all along.
A man much travelled, Mr. Anthony chose New Zealand as his place of residence based on a recommendation by a dear friend. It took him some time to adjust to the environment in Aoteoroa, but he now cherishes this country like his own. However, he hasn’t forgotten his motherland India.
On a remark in The New Zealand Herald by author Kerre Mclvor about the anonymity of Mr Vailankanni Wenceslaus Melchoir Anthony, there was a very light hearted resignation that he takes it very positively, said Mr. Anthony. He said it is for the newspaper to inform, it is a primary purpose it should serve, the reader about what the back story of the honours winners is. Mr. Anthony, didn’t think there was much to make of the story.
Mr. Anthony, since his arrival to New Zealand has made constant efforts to better the relations between the two nations. With organisations like the INZBC, his main focus has been to establish stronger business as well as bureaucratic relations between India and New Zealand. Now, however, he is working to incorporate other factors, such as, art, culture, and education in to the mix to further strengthen the bond between these two very diverse countries. He hopes he, through his involvement in various organisations in New Zealand, is able encourage the Indian diaspora in New Zealand to encourage fellow Indians and support them in their quest to settle down here.
The most effective way to take such a step, he believes, is through education. With the increasing number of Indian students in New Zealand, Mr. Anthony believes that this will open up the doors for an awareness of New Zealand within India.
The fact that India, as a nation, is well recognised within New Zealand, while not equally true for New Zealand in India, he thinks, is slightly disconcerting; he strongly believes that the relationships between the two nations need to be strong enough, for New Zealand to be able to gain recognition within India. He thinks there aren’t roadblocks but challenges in 2014 to combine energies of various organisations and make a collective effort to build a continuous exchange on various fronts. He underlined channelizing efforts the key word on various fronts from trade and commerce, education and even spirituality.
A believer, and a man of great faith, Mr. Anthony believes that it is his constant and undying faith in God that has brought him this far in his efforts to strengthen the ties between the two nations that he so dearly loves.
Having received such great amounts of recognition within New Zealand for his work, Mr. Anthony is a rather humble human being. He credits his friends, in India and in New Zealand, his family, and most of all, his faith in the almighty for everything that he has been able to accomplish. His strong support system is what he relies on when he talks of his future endeavours, be it the progress on the Free trade agreement between the countries that is currently in the works, the cultural forum that he is trying to setup in India or even his current venture, the INZBC.
He intends to keep on going and do the very best that he can to achieve his goals by strengthening economic, commercial, bureaucratic as well as cultural relations between the two nations, now and in the near future.