Chandigarh, January 12: The American Panjabi community opened the India Centre of Sikh American Chamber of Commerce (SACC) in the city today.
Sukhwinder Singh Kaila, founder President of SACC, New Jersey, USA, presented the charter to the newly elected President of India Centre of SACC Manipal Dhaliwal.
Speaking on the occasion Sukhwinder Singh Kaila who is a successful IT entrepreneur in New Jersey said that “strength of a community is judged by the strength of its business community”, and hence the SACC was formed in 2011 by Sikh American business persons and professionals to create a strong voice in the US as well as address various ethnic challenges that Sikh community faced.
Lee Ann Eager, President of Fresno County Economic Development Corporation of USA, complimented the initiative and hoped that meaningful business cooperation can be planned and facilitated through SACC for not only Indian but even the US businesses. She said that India is considered the most favoured destination for business growth in US today.
Mr Ruby Dhaliwal, Mayor from City of San Joaquin, California, said that tremendous potential exists for collaboration in the agriculture and agro-processing field which both the countries can explore much more actively through the Chamber.
Manipal Dhariwal, President of SACC India, said that though the Chamber represents a cross-section of Punjabi & Sikh American businesses and professionals, SACC is a trade body engaged in promoting entrepreneurship, offering trade and business opportunities, through networking and exchange of young professionals, startups and students.
Manipal Dhariwal, an NRI and a successful business investor in Punjab, said that the major aim of SACC’s India presence is to empower the Panjabi youth in the hinterland with the right kind of skills and networking opportunities to not only scale up their enterprise but also to explore newer opportunities in the global market, as well as foster entrepreneurship.
Setting up an incubation facility in Punjab, setting up a corpus for seed funding the startups, and exchanging business delegations between the two countries is high on this year’s agenda, Dhariwal said.
Today, Punjab has the perfect ecosystem, technical manpower, large number of educational institutions, and supportive government that needs to be marketed especially to Panjabis settled abroad who are eyeing expansions in India, Dhariwal added.
Atul Gupta, founder of city-based IT firm, Red Alkemi, an active member of SACC India said that special focus would be on upgrading the skills of Panjabi youth and hand-holding those who intend to pursue higher studies abroad, or intend to setup their own enterprise locally.
Utilising the experience of successful Panjabi and Sikh business leaders, SACC will be able to extend
a helping hand to the new generation of entrepreneurs as well as support the existing ones with newer trading opportunities, he added.
SACC India aims to encourage young Panjabi youth in Punjab and in the US by encouraging youth exchange programs that create a strong cultural bonding. SACC India will help youth to setup their own enterprise, SACC shall be establishing state-of-the-art incubation facility as well as angel funding to help them realize their dreams. SACC shall also be facilitating the visit of business and trade delegation, professionals and students from US under its regular exchange programme to not only network and share ideas, but also connect them with their rich heritage and culture, Dhariwal informed.
India Centre has started its operations in Chandigarh and would organize regular interactive sessions with the experts and business leaders, exchange information on trade opportunities, build a financial corpus to assist with seed/angel funding of startups, and mentor young entrepreneurs.
In the evening, SACC hosted dinner attended by Mr. Manmeet Bhullar, Minister of Human Services, Alberta, Canada; Mr. Jimmy Mauldin, Unit Chief-Trade, Non-Financial Services ICT, US Embassy, New Delhi; Mr. Ruby Dhaliwal, Mayor City of San Joaquin, California,Mr. Suneet Singh Tuli, CEO, Datawind Ltd (innovators of Aakash tablet); Ms. Lee Ann Eager, President/CEO of Fresno County Economic Development Corporation; Mr. Sukhwinder Singh Kaila, Founder President, SACC New Jersey, USA, and Executive Vice President of ‘IT by Design’; Ms. Kam Attwal, Co Founder SACC, USA; Ms. Ruby Deol,Senior Vice President of Strategy and Business Development at Alert Enterprise, Inc.; Mr. Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi, Member Parliament, New Zealand; Mr. Ravi Bhalla, Councilman, Hoboken, NJ; Mr. Tim Uppal, Member Parliament, Edmonton, Canada; Ms. Priti Lamba, Federal Conservative Candidate, Ontario, Canada, amongst others.