Auckland: The Auckland Indian Association inaugurated a new committee called “Business Group”, at a meeting at the Mahatma Gandhi Centre on September 7. About 50 people from a cross section of the Indian communities from banking, insurance, media, small businesses, business consultants in accounting, properties and food industries attended the inaugural meeting, which was sponsored by Bank of Baroda NZ. The bank’s clients were also among those present.

Harshadbhai Patel, President of the Auckland Indian Association formally welcomed the audience after the informal networking session, which was conducted over drinks and snacks. He emphasised the importance of starting the group to discuss issues facing the members of the business community of this Association and find solutions and also to help like minded people and bring together on one platform.

Harshadbhai proudly acknowledged Dr Lingappa Kalburgi, former General Secretary of the Auckland Indian Association and also current Chairman of the Tagore Library and Senior Citizens Committee, whose idea it was to start such a group. This is Dr Kalburgi’s third position as chairman in the Association.

Dr Kalburgi officially welcomed Mr Navin Chandra Upreti, Managing Director, Bank of Baroda (NZ) and his team and thanked him for sponsoring the inaugural meeting of the “Business Group”. He also thanked the executive committee of the Auckland Indian Association for endorsing the group as a new subcommittee in last month’s executive committee meeting. He also welcomed members of the Board of Trustees, officers and executive committee members and other prominent members of the community.

Ashokbhai Darji gave a brief introduction of the executive committee members of this group. They are Kanubhai Patel, Lingappa Kalburgi, Chandubhai Patel, Puspaben Lekinwala, Ashokbhai Darji, Dhansukh Lal, Chirag Solanki and Pravinbhai Keshoor.

Kanubhai Patel, Chairman of the Mahatma Gandhi Trust addressed this gathering and expressed his happiness to attend this meeting after putting sincere efforts of the executive committee. He appealed to the audience to support such meetings in the future and bring ideas, proposals, requirements and needs of the business community for working and tackling together to find solution.

Mr Upreti thanked Auckland Indian Association, especially Dr Lingappa Kalburgi, for approaching them for sponsoring this historic event of inaugurating the group under the Auckland Indian Association. He was proud to be associated with the pioneer institution of Indian community in Auckland for sponsoring this business group and also appealed to consider Bank of Baroda for any events of the Association in future to consider for its support.

Mr Upreti outlined different services provided by the Bank of Baroda and appealed to all members to consider his bank as their country’s bank and feel free to approach for any help from the bank. He also answered questions on the bank’s services like personal, business and property loans including helping small businesses like dairy shops by providing short-term loans

Chandubhai Patel handled the question and answer session. Dhansukh Lal thanked Mr Upreti and the executive committee members of the Business Group for working together and making this meeting meaningful and successful.