The Global Organization of People of Indian Origin (GOPIO) concluded it’s very successful Executive Meetings, Regional & Country Reports followed by highly acclaimed GOPIO’s Community Service Awards banquet held on January 6, 2012 at the Marriott Jaipur Hotel. The GOPIO events of January 6 preceded Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD2012) events of January 7 – 9, 2012.

The interactive session on Regional & Country Reports followed the GOPIO Executive Meeting chaired by recently elected president Ashook Ramsaran and attended by: Sunny Kulathakal (Executive Vice President); Dr Piyush Agrawal (Senior Vice President); Munish Gupta (International Coordinator, Africa); Umesh Chandra (International Coordinator, Oceania) and Dr Thomas Abraham (Executive Trustee, GOPIO Foundation).

Regional & Country Reports session was chaired by GOPIO president Ashook Ramsaran on behalf of GOPIO chairman Inder Singh. Reports were presented by:Markandey Rai (Kenya); Dr Anand Singh (South Africa); Ved Prakash Goojha (France); Ena Maraj (Trinidad & Tobago); Radha Krishnan (National Indian Organizations in USA); Dr Piyush Agrawal (North America); Dr. Mohan Gautam (Netherlands); Roy Bodjhawan (GOPIO Netherlands); Suman Kapoor (New Zealand); Umesh Chandra (Oceania Region); Shyam Das (Australia); K N Gupta (Liaison with Gov’t of India); Gopal Mehta (GOPIO Jaipur); Issac John (The Middle East and The GOPIO Media Council); Prem Lashkery (Nepal); Datuk A. Vaithilingam (Malaysia); Dr Winston Tolan (Jamaica).

Photo above: GOPIO Women’s Council Chair Suman Kapoor (New Zealand) speaking at the session Regional and County Reports. Seated above are: GOPIO Executive VP Sunny Kulathakal (Bahrain), GOPIO Senior VP Dr. Piyush Agrawal (USA), GPPIO President Ashook Ramsaran (USA) and GOPIO International Coordinator for Africa Munish Gupta

The session on NRI/PIO Investment & Business Opportunities was a grand success with capacity attendance to participate in superb presentations. Following the welcome by Program Convener Munish Gupta and introductions by GOPIO President Ashook Ramsaran, the inaugural address was delivered by Chief Guest Shri. Rajendra Pareek, Rajasthan State Minister of Industries, NRI, Economics & Statistics

Photo above: GOPIO Conference Session on Investment – Chief Guest Minister Rajendra Pareekh with other speakers and conference organizers

Presenters at the session were Mr. Yadvendra Mathur, IAS – Rajasthan Financial Corporation (Theme: The changing/ new India with rapid liberalization, economic reforms, legal system and good economy luring NRI/ PIO / Foreign Investors); Mr. Nirankar Saxena, FICCI Director, Center for Technology (Theme: India Commercializing Innovation and Technology Overseas, and inviting Overseas Indians to participate); Ms. Sujata Sudarshan, CEO of Overseas Indian Facilitation Centre – OIFC (Theme: Facilitating NRI / PIO investment opportunities, an MOIA initiative) and Shyamsundar Kadur, India-Trinidad &Tobago Chamber of Industry & Commerce – Managing Director of SS International Ltd. (Theme: NRI Opportunities in Trinidad & Tobago and the Caribbean Region); Also making presentations: Navita Yadav, COO & Head of IL&FS Trust Company Ltd, Mumbai, India; Deepak Sharma, Senior VP &. Business Manager- NRI Service, Kotak Mahindra Bank, Mumbai, India. The session ended with concluding remarks by Mr. Vishwas Jain, Managing Director of CEG India.

Photo above (from l. to r.) – GOPIO Investment Session speakers, from l. to r. Sujata Sudarshan, Nirankar Saxena, Munish Gupta, Navita Yadav, Ashook Ramsaran, Deepak Sharma, Yadvendra Mathur,  Shyamsundar Kadur

The GOPIO Community Service Awards banquet later that evening was a very prominent, high profile, well attended and publicized event with chief guest Shri Shivraj Patil, Governor of Rajasthan and guest of honor Shri Ashok Gehlot, Chief Minister of Rajasthan

Following the welcome by Program Convener Munish Gupta, GOPIO’s Director for Government Liaison K. N Gupta greeted the audience. GOPIO president Ashook Ramsaran spoke about GOPIO and its plans for major events the next two years. GOPIO’s Founder President Dr. Thomas Abraham, who currently serves as the Executive Trustee of GOPIO Foundation, spoke on GOPIO’s history and objectives and that Jaipur was a real home coming for him since he graduated from the Malaviya National Institute of Technology (MNIT) located a mile from the banquet venue. GOPIO’s Executive Vice President Sunny Kulathakal emphasized the importance of GOPIO serving the Diaspora and India’s interest in all countries with large Indian Diaspora. Following speeches by the chief guest Governor Shri Shivraj Patil and Chief Minister Shri Ashok Gehlot, the GOPIO CSA awards and recognition were presented to the recipient as follows:

GOPIO Community Service Awardees: Faisal Kottikollon (Bahrain); Raghunath Manet (France); Prof. Ved Prakash Nanda (USA); Dr Rami Ranger, MBE (UK); Dr. Ajeet Singhvi (USA); Datuk A. Vaithilingam (Malaysia); Hendry H Wickramasinghe (Sri Lanka). GOPIO Special Award was presented to: Govt of India Shipping Secretary K. Mohandas (former secretary of Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs) for his contribution in initiating several MOIA programs for the Diaspora.

Photo above (l-r): Munish Gupta, Dr Piyush Agrawal, Faisal Kottikollon, Sec K. Mohandas, Dr. Ved Prakash Nanda, Dr. Ajeet Singhvi, Hon. Shri Ashok Gehlot, H.E. Shri Shivraj Patil, Datuk A. Vaithilingam, Dr Rami Ranger, Hendry H Wickramasinghe, Raghunath Manet, Ashook Ramsaran, Sunny Kulathakal, K N Gupta, Dr Thomas Abraham

Concluding remarks and note of appreciation were given by Dr Piyush Agrawal (GOPIO’s Senior Vice President) and GOPIO Jaipur Coordinator Gopal Mehta.

Watch PIOTV videos of GOPIO program in Jaipur at the following links:

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