Demonetization Demystified through Historical Context and Future Steps

Seminar presenter was Ranvir “Biki” Mohindra (left) with five panelists: financial planner Randhir Sahni, CPA Swapan Dhairyawan, banker and SOS Chairman Vivek Mehta, journalist Pramod Kulkarni and Juuhi Ahuja, businesswoman with offices both in Houston and India. During the Q&A session, all panelists expressed their support for demonetization.

Seminar presenter was Ranvir “Biki” Mohindra (left) with five panelists: financial planner Randhir Sahni, CPA Swapan Dhairyawan, banker and SOS Chairman Vivek Mehta, journalist Pramod Kulkarni and Juuhi Ahuja, businesswoman with offices both in Houston and India. During the Q&A session, all panelists expressed their support for demonetization.

By Pramod Kulkarni

HOUSTON: India’s demonetization of its currency is a mystery wrapped in an enigma. The demonetization mystery was unwrapped at a free seminar on Tuesday, March 7 at India House.

The seminar was sponsored by India House, which provided an excellent venue for the seminar. The other two sponsors were SOS and NRI Tax & Wealth Advisory. All three organizations have a common thread: Ranvir “Biki” Mohindra.

A resident of Houston for more than 40 years, Mohindra has helped foster many Indo-American community organizations, including India House, Share Our Secrets (SOS) and NRI Tax & Wealth Advisory.

Despite the weather forecast of inclement weather, 145 people attended the seminar. The audience was dominated by first-generation Indo-Americans and recent greencard holders, who still have financial assets in India. Many of the attendees had cash holdings of demonetized Indian currency. Current rules no longer allow foreign citizens to convert old notes, but greencard holders and Indian citizens can still convert their cash. Therein lies the solution. Madras Pavilion supplied snacks for the India House seminar and will be the venue for a seminar in Sugar Land.

Despite the weather forecast of inclement weather, 145 people attended the seminar. The audience was dominated by first-generation Indo-Americans and recent greencard holders, who still have financial assets in India. Many of the attendees had cash holdings of demonetized Indian currency. Current rules no longer allow foreign citizens to convert old notes, but greencard holders and Indian citizens can still convert their cash. Therein lies the solution. Madras Pavilion supplied snacks for the India House seminar and will be the venue for a seminar in Sugar Land.

Mohindra is the founder and principal of SOS, which teaches Millenials the intricacies of climbing the corporate ladder, personal growth and enrichment and contributing to both mainstream and Indo-American communities.

“SOS teaches important life lessons you don’t learn in schools and colleges,” explained SOS mentor Mani Subrmanian. He also explained the SOS Mentorship Program, which is recruiting additional mentors. Many members of the SOS family worked behind the scenes, including Vishnu Muralidharan, Sapna Vishnu, Nilima Bembalkar, Kalpita Shah, Amit Patil, Rishi Goswami, Kristi Rangel and Densise McGetrick.

SOS President Qusai Mahesri served as the emcee for the seminar, which opened with a welcome from IH Executive Director Vipin Kumar.

Mohindra then made a 15-min. presentation about demonetization. The first slide showed the known reasons for demonetization, including: bringing hidden black money into circulation, broadening the tax base, controlling counterfeiting, covering up the failure of public sector companies, and as a political strategy.

“It is all these reasons and none of these reasons,” explained Mohindra. “Demonetization is one of the intermediate steps that are being taken to bring India to the forefront as a world-class economy with transparent transactions and rule of the law.”

“The first step was economic reforms that began with Finance Minister Manmohan Singh. Under Modi, effort is making the economy transparent through bank accounts for the masses, cashless payments. Strict enforcement is the next step.”

NRI Tax & Wealth Advisory will hold another demonetization luncheon seminar on March 16 at Madras Pavilion in Sugar Land and SOS will hold a seminar on immigration and hate crimes on April 9 (venue to be announced).

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