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IACCGH 2018 Inaugural Reception

President Swapan Dhairyawan

President Swapan Dhairyawan

HOUSTON: The 2018 IACCGH Inaugural event was held on February 22, at the Legacy Room in Houston’s City Hall and was attended by a large gathering of members, elected officials, community leaders, resource partners and guests. The event marks the passing of the mantle from outgoing President Allen Richards to incoming President Swapan Dhairyawan as well as the introduction of his team.

Executive Director Jagdip Ahluwalia welcomed the gathering and emphasized the fact that the Chamber has been fulfilling its role of promoting Houston’s economy during its 19 years of operation and has over the years evolved to become a collective voice of the business community. He also thanked the Guests of Honor – Mayor Turner and Consul General Dr. Anupam Ray for their continued support and encouragement.

From left: Ashok Garg, Joya Shukla, Jagdip Ahluwalia, Consul General Dr. Anupam Ray, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, Swapan Dhairyawan, Rajiv Bhavsar, Sanjay Ramabhadran, Alyssa Holmes Henderson. Photos: Bijay Dixit

From left: Ashok Garg, Joya Shukla, Jagdip Ahluwalia, Consul General Dr. Anupam Ray, Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner, Swapan Dhairyawan, Rajiv Bhavsar, Sanjay Ramabhadran, Alyssa Holmes Henderson. Photos: Bijay Dixit

In a brief address, Mayor Turner described the Chamber as “an essential driver that fosters the economic link between American and Indian businesses” and stated that he would call on the Chamber for help in the event of a planned delegation to India in the near future. Offering an interesting statistic, he stated that in 2015, India was Houston’s 16th trading partner and today it is in the 14th place – a position that, he expects, will only move up.

Reiterating the importance of this growing relationship, Consul General Dr. Anupam Ray quoted Past President Barack Obama that the, “US-India relationship was one of the defining partnerships of the 21st century” and added that Texas and India’s close relationship has opened the doors for greater trade and commerce.

Stepping into his new role, President Dhairyawan observed that small businesses are the backbone of the country but added that less than 50% of these businesses have a five year life span while only 33% of businesses reach a life span of more than 10 years. IACCGH, he emphasized, strived to change this statistic by developing opportunities for businesses through involvement and growth and he would continue to prioritize efforts to help small businesses survive and thrive.

He further promised to carry the Chamber’s several initiatives with the same commitment and stated that he will introduce more seminars in the areas of legal, financial literacy and engineering for the benefit of members who come from all walks of life. He thanked the “Open Forum” radio show which has extended an invitation to showcase an IACCGH member’s success story and said this special feature will be aired monthly.

He also encouraged the gathering to become involved with the Chamber, avail its resources, attend events, be visible, volunteer and most importantly, network as much as possible.

 He concluded by introducing his Board members and expressed his appreciation at the strengths and expertise they were each bringing to the table.

The Chamber’s next event to be held on March 15th is the Women Mean Business event and will feature Dr. Rathna Kumar, Artistic Director, Samskriti and Sunanda Nair, Founding Director of Sunanda Performing Arts Center.

To register, please visit www.iaccgh.com

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