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As companies and foreign nationals face temporary headwinds from US immigration, Canada emerges as a strong option to retain talent in North America. Proximity, interdependence, and complimenting culture makes it easy to leverage trade, investment, and immigration opportunities.
The expert panel discussion focuses various mechanisms readily available for this.
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In keeping with our mission, GIACC ended its 2019 calendar of events with an event on Tourism – “Let’s Talk Tourism-Bring the World Closer”. The event focussed on and explored the opportunities and potential synergies between various stakeholders in this industry – Tour operators, airlines and state and government representatives. The purpose of the event was to build awareness of travel opportunities to and from India and U.S states, including Georgia and was held at the beautiful Sandy Springs City Hall, Sandy Springs, Georgia on December 6, 2019.
The Indian Consulate General of Atlanta partnered with GIACC on the event and set up an India Pavilion showcasing literature, videos and pictures of incredible India. The Indian Consul General of Atlanta, Dr. Swati Kulkarni, gave the keynote presentation on Tourism opportunities to India, highlighting wellness and medical tourism, adventure and wildlife tourism, religious and heritage tourism. She spoke about the several new initiatives to improve Tourism to India including the extending of e-visa facilities to over 165 countries, enabling issuance of e-medical, business, tourist, conference and medical attendant visas at several Indian ports of entry, and an update of Incredible India campaign with the launch of a new mobile app.
This event was facilitated by Tours Limited, a well-known Destination management company headquartered in Duluth, GA, under leadership of CEO, Ms. Pabs Raghava, a Board Member of GIACC. Ms. Pabs Raghava spoke about the growth of tourism in the past decade and the vision of upcoming growth in future between India and the US. She introduced Mr. Brian Beall, Deputy Director of Policy- US Department of Commerce International Trade Administration, who shared statistics on Indian and USA tourism, and the enormous potential for tourism growth between the two countries and resulting impact on the two economies.
The event also showcased tourism opportunities inbound to the US. There were booth sponsors from popular tourist destinations such as Hersheys Chocolate World, Corning Museum of Glass, The Countryside of Philadelphia, Brandywine Valley and Velley Forge, GA Tourism and Delta Airlines. The day long event also saw a fashion show of Indian costumes from different Indian states featured by Indian dancers and choreographed by Dr. Hetal Mehta.
The event was attended by distinguished guests such as Mayor Rusty Paul, Mayor of Sandy Springs; Brian Beall, Deputy Director for Policy, from the US Department of Commerce, International Trade Division; Amanda Peacock, from the Tourism Division of Georgia Department of Economic Development; Robert Long, VP Economic Development, Cumming-Forsyth County Chamber of Commerce; Mr. André D. Fields, Political Director – Fair Fight Action and Mr. Amber Woolfolk, Business Strategist ,Fair Fight Action, representatives from Stacy Abrams office; and Mr. Miheer Anand Nunkoo Co – Founder of the Mauritius – Indo Chamber of Commerce.
GIACC hopes this initiative is a small step to focus attention on the Tourism sector, which if pursued and encouraged can yield significant economic dividends to both India and Georgia.
On Thursday, November 14, 2019, KOAM Chamber of Commerce invited GIACC, the Japanese Chamber, the Chinese Business Council and the Hispanic Chamber for a Thanksgiving Dinner to celebrate the joy of happiness and good health. The venue was the beautiful Grand Hall of Brand Hall School in Atlanta. Each Chamber brought their own national dish to the event and we all enjoyed a diverse tasting of international cuisines. This initiative is a great start to strengthening collaboration between various international Chambers on cultural and business issues of mutual concern and interest. GIACC wholeheartedly supports this initiative and we hope it strengthens the ties of mutual cooperation and friendship across the various International Chambers in Atlanta.
GIACC hosted its first “Samosa and Chai” of the Fall season. The event began with delicious appetizers and chai! Anita Ninan, President of the Chamber, began by welcoming members and guests and spoke about the mission, programs and events of the Chamber. She introduced the newest corporate advisory board member to join GIACC – UPS, and invited Kathleen Marran, Vice President, UPS, to speak about the GIACC-UPS partnership. The keynote speaker for the evening was Anil Khatod, a Senior Partner and Managing Director of Argonaut Private Equity, a diversified global private and public equity fund managing more than $6 billion. Mr. Khatod gave a very information and insightful presentation on recent M&A activity in the Indo-US corridor; global economic issues that are driving this U.S./India M & A activity, including recent elections in India; as well as whether India was poised and ready to benefit from the US Chine trade and tariffs standoff. The discussion was deftly moderated by Sonjui Kumar, current Board member, and ended with several interesting questions from the audience.
The keynote presentation was followed by Mr Unmesh Mishra, GIACC Chairperson, who introduced Jae Kim, President of KOAM Chamber. Mr. Kim spoke about his vision for partnership with GIACC in hosting events and programs of relevance to members of both Chambers, in light of the recent MOU signed by both Chambers.
Finally, we had a few words from the Toastmasters Club of Duluth regarding their activities and benefits of membership for those interested in improving their skills in public speaking. The evening concluded with a vote of thanks from Mr. Mishra followed by some more networking.
It was a privilege for GIACC to partner with Georgia Tech on a Smart India event, on April 23, 2019, which featured a keynote presentation by Dr. Joy Sen, Professor and Head, Department of Architecture and Planning, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Kharagpur, on the Smart Cities Mission in India. There was also a presentation by the Georgia Tech Studio class on Smart Varanasi.
The semester long class collaborated with IIT Kharagpur and IIT Varanasi, to design and implement smart city updates for the ancient holy city of Varanasi through transportation solutions, environmental protection and economic stimulus. It was very informative for the audience to learn about the progress of smart city initiatives by the Indian federal, state, district and local governments, as well as the challenges and bottlenecks in implementation at various levels. The event was well attended by academia, students and GIACC members with subject matter expertise and interest in the topic of smart cities.
The Georgia Indo-American Chamber of Commerce (GIACC), in collaboration with the Indian Consulate in Atlanta, the New York Indian Film Festival (NYIFF), the India China and America (ICA) Institute, and the Atlanta Film Festival is proud to present its one-of-a-kind Atlanta Indian Film Festival (AIFF 2019) on May 10-11, 2019 at the beautiful Aurora Cineplex in Roswell, GA.
LIGHTS: What you need to know about AIFF
With an Indian diaspora of approximately 150,000 people, and over 500 companies, including Indian-owned and operated businesses in the Atlanta region, the Atlanta Indian film festival will attempt to showcase popular Indian cinema to Atlantans, as well as introduce visiting Indian directors, actors and producers to potential movie production opportunities in Atlanta and the state of Georgia.
What: Atlanta Indian Film Festival
When: May 10-11, 2019
Where: Aurora Cineplex | 5100 Commerce Parkway, Roswell, GA 30076
Why: With an Indian diaspora of approximately 150,000 people, and over 500 companies, including Indian-owned and operated businesses in the Atlanta region, the Atlanta Indian film festival will attempt to show case popular Indian cinema to Atlantans, as well as introduce visiting Indian Directors, Actors and Producers to potential movie production opportunities in Atlanta and the state of Georgia.
CAMERA: AIFF Schedule
The AIFF 2019 event will include movie screenings, post-screening discussions with the movie’s artists and local film experts, as well as opportunities for in-person dialogue with film makers.
Day 1 | Friday, May 10, 2019
3:30 PM – 5:00 PM | Reception | Westin Perimeter Atlanta North
7:00 PM – 8:30 PM | The Last Color | 90 minutes
Day 2 | Saturday, May 11, 2019
2:30 PM – 4:24 PM | Ubuntu | 114 minutes
5:15 PM – 6:15 PM | Sindhustan | 60 minutes
7:30 PM – 9:33 PM | Sivaranjani & Two Other Women | 123 minutes
THE LAST COLOR
Friday, May 10 | 7 pm to 8:30 pm
(90 mins, 2019, India)
Written and Directed by Vikas Khanna
Cast: Neena Gupta, Aslam Sheikh, Aqsa Siddiqui, Rajeswar Khanna
Synopsis: A story at a time in India when Indian culture exiled its widows in the ashram and forbade them from participating in society. This unjust horror serves as a backdrop to a story of love and friendship between a widow and a young girl.
Post-screening discussion with Director Vikas Khanna
About Vikas Khanna
James Beard Award Nominee and Michelin Star Chef Vikas Khanna is an internationally acclaimed Indian chef, award-winning author, poet and filmmaker. He is the recipient of Access to Freedom Award, Eleanor Roosevelt’s Shining Star Award, GQ Man of the Year and was featured as “10 Global Legendary Chefs who’ve revolutionized our eating habits,” by Deutsche Welle.
He is host of MasterChef India, Twist of Taste and National Geographic’s Mega Kitchens. He has been a guest on MasterChef Australia, Martha Stewart, Hell’s Kitchen, Beat Bobby Flay and many more shows. Gordon Ramsay featured him as “Top Indian Chef in New York City,” on Kitchen Nightmares.
Khanna has established himself as a top authority on Indian Cuisine, hosting successful cooking shows and has written more than 25 cookbooks. His book Flavors First won the prestigious Benjamin Franklin Award. Khanna Sutra, My Great India and Savor Mumbai won Gourmand World Cookbook Awards.
Saturday, May 11 | 2:30 pm to 4:24 pm
Marathi with English subtitles
Directed by Pushkar Shrotri
Cast: Kanha Bhave, Shashank Shende, Umesh Jagtap, Sarang Sathaye and Bhagyashree Shankpal.
Synopsis: This is the story of a school teacher Shelke Master who teaches a handful of students in a Gram Panchayat sponsored school in a remote village of Maharashtra. He tries day in and day out to improve the future of the kids through education. When the existence of the school is threatened, students and the new teacher pull all stops to try and try to stop the closure, but it just might be too late.
Post-screening discussion with Harshad Parashare, representing Director Pushkar Shrotri
About Pushkar Shrotri
A Marathi, Hindi film & theatre actor, producer and director.
Saturday, May 11 | 5:15 pm to 6:15 pm
Directed by Sapna Bhavnani
Synopsis: Sindhustan is the story of the largest migration of a culture in history told through ink (tattoos). Sapna Bhavnani interviewed people from the Sindhi community, and turned their stories into tattoos on her legs, thus becoming a human map. Over a span of 10 days of non-stop pain, she turned into a human map of Partition, a museum of memory.
Post-screening discussion with Director Sapna Bhavnani
About Sapna Bhavnani
Sapna has naturally assumed poster-child status as a powerful female figure. She traverses mainstream success with just as much ease as she skirts the underground youth art & culture movement. Ageless, fearless and forever metamorphosing in her endeavors, Sapna has recently begun giving her celebrity-hood the voice of an activist. Just recently Sapna was awarded the “I Believe,” award by Savvy Magazine and the “Fem Empowerment,” Award by Zee Tv for her work with ex sex workers by starting a free hair academy.
SIVARANJANI & TWO OTHER WOMEN
Saturday, May 11 | 7:30 pm to 9:33 pm
Tamil with English Subtitles
Directed by Vasanth Sai
Synopsis: A Tamil anthology comprising of stories of three married women from different class and caste backgrounds, living in three different decades, but fighting the same enemy within the confines of their homes – the patriarchy.
Post-screening discussion with Director Vasanth Sai
About Vasanth Sai
Indian film director, producer and screenwriter, working in the Tamil film industry. Following a stint as a journalist and after assisting K. Balachander, he made his directorial debut with Keladi Kanmani in 1990, which along with the trendsetting Aasai (1995), are considered his finest and most successful films. Known for being realistic, his films have been described as a “middle path” between parallel and commercial cinema, revolving around social themes and relationships.
All Movies Screened at Aurora Cineplex in Roswell
Help us bring a one-of-a-kind Indian-American Film Festival to Atlanta for two captivating nights of culture, conversation and celebration of Indian-American life in film on May 10 and 11, 2019, at the beautiful Aurora Cineplex in Roswell, Georgia.
The AIFF committee is seeking sponsors and volunteers to make this event a success. Learn below how you can become a Partner or Patron of AIFF and become a volunteer. Get in touch with our sponsorship chair to learn more.
The Atlanta Indian Film Festival is seeking volunteers to make the event a success. We need volunteer help in marketing, fundraising, event organization and more. Reach out Grace Multani at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 909-215-1051
GIACC hosted its first “Samosa & Chai” Event of 2019 at Jai Ho Indian Kitchen and Bar. The event began with networking over delicious Indian snacks and appetizers and drinks. Anita Ninan, President of GIACC welcomed all attendees and gave a brief overview of GIACC, its mission and objectives, and past programs and collaborations with other organizations. Unmesh Mishra, Chairperson, then introduced the guest speakers prior to their presentations, and recognized GIACC Board Members, and Mr. Prasad Vanpal, Commercial Officer, Indian Consulate General Atlanta, who were present at the event.
The first guest speaker for the event was Dijjotam “Dijji” Raina, Co-Founder of PalSolve, Inc., a startup company using apps for solving problems in closed trusted groups using discussions and reviews. Mr. Raina presented the key features of PalSolve’s feature rich app for HOA/Condo home owner communities, and Associations (Ethnic, Interest, Business, Non Profit and more) where you can choose features including – Discussions, Buzz, Events, Reviews, Deals, Classifieds, Chats, Member Directory, Files, Reservations and more.Mr. Raina is also CEO and Founder of MedOfficePro, Inc. a global company focused on backend healthcare services and software applications for Ambulatory Surgery Centers for last twenty years. Additionally, he is the founder of Crystal Children’s Centre, a world-class early childhood education center in Gurugram, India. He is an Ole Miss (MBA) and BITS Pilani (Engg.) alumni. He is a resident of Alpharetta and active in many social causes as well.
The second guest speaker was Manoj Gupta, Head of Business Operations for ICICI Bank USA, who gave an overview of ICICI’s services in the US market and a comparative analysis of the Indian and US Banking industries. Mr. Gupta is a career banker with more than a decade and a half of experience in the Banking and Finance industry. In his role as the Head of Business for ICICI Bank’s USA operations, Mr. Gupta oversees financing of small and medium enterprises and Indian business in the USA. Mr. Gupta has been with ICICI Bank for the last 14 years and has worked across functions like Treasury, Corporate finance, Project Finance, Structured Finance and Debt Syndication. He is a chartered accountant from ICAI and holds CFA, FRM, ERM certifications.
The presentations were followed by Q & A from the attendees and interesting questions were asked regarding the new app technology as well as ICICI Bank’s services.
We also had David Wiener, Consul & Senior Trade Commissioner, Canadian Consulate who attended the event and shared brief details about the services provided by his office towards business and trade development and investment opportunities in Canada.
Anita Ninan provided concluding remarks including information regarding prospective Chamber events, including the Atlanta Indian Film Festival 2019 on May 10, 11, 2019 and a Tourism Event in the Fall.
On December 4, 2018, GIACC hosted a Welcome Reception for the new Indian Consul General, Atlanta, Dr. Swati V. Kulkarni, and a panel discussion on Indo-US trade. Indo-US trade has accelerated in the last decade due to close relations between the respective governments, and sustained efforts of diplomats, business leaders and trading partners between the two countries. The defense, aviation and technology sectors have seen significant growth and Indo –US cooperation over the last decade. Major American companies like Amazon, Wal-Mart, Lockheed to name a few, have increased spend multifold in India, the 3rd largest economy of Asia and one of the fastest growing economies in the world.
Dr. Kulkarni shared a current overview of Indo- US trade and how it has accelerated in the last decade followed by a Q & A with the audience. This was followed by the panel discussion, moderated by Sonjui Kumar, founding Partner, KPPB Law, and consisting of Dr. Jag Sheth, the Kellstadt Professor of Marketing at Emory University’s School of Business; Atman Trivedi, Managing Director of Hill and Company, which advises Fortune 200 companies on trade, investment and commercial diplomacy and politics; Elliott Page, Director of Air Service Development at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport; and David Gault, President of the Direct Resources Group, a logistics and sourcing company that works with retailers and importers from all over the world, helping them bring their products to market.
GIACC 12 4 2018 v4Dr. Sheth focused on how India will become the second sourcing destination to China for export of goods made in India and at the same time, it will become the global destination for talent for technology multinationals such as Microsoft, Google, Facebook as well as for R&D across several industries. Dr. Sheth also predicted a shift from trade to foreign direct investment, specifically in the defense sector.
Atman Trivedi provided a general overview of the US-India trade, investment, and commercial relationship, which will reference the positive growth in the broader U.S.-India relationship, the role of the Indian American diaspora communities, and of the talented entrepreneurs and private sector businesses in both countries who are also creating momentum.
Elliot Page gave the audience a glimpse into the current cargo and passenger air traffic between India and Atlanta. He confirmed that India is Atlanta’s largest origin-destination passenger market without nonstop service and is a priority market for Atlanta. The launching of this flight is vital to promote trade and investment, and build the “bridge” of demographic ties between these two nations. While he did not confirm when this service would be launched, he tantalized the eager audience by stating that it would be soon!
David Gault, who has been involved in the US-India trade channel since 1991, shared his observations of the impact of the recent Trump tariffs, in that his customers are pivoting from China as the major sourcing option, to India and Indonesia, with respect to their furniture, lighting and other home decor items.
The event concluded with several interesting and insightful questions from the audience to the panelists. It was hosted at the Buckhead, Atlanta Office of Greenberg Traurig LLP and was very well attended by the GIACC Board and its members, other Business Chamber members, and trade representatives of the Taipei and Canadian Consulates.
On October 18, 2018, GIACC proudly presented Business Continuity Contingency planning event.
We had Industry business experts present to share ideas with Business Owners about what kind of contingencies to expect and plan for as they develop a succession plan for an unexpected death or disability. We also discussed proper succession planning when eventually either you want to sell your business or pass it on to family.
The panel was presented by:
Douglas Stein, www.SteinLawLLC.com
Founder, Stein Law, LLC
Suzie Jurenek CFP®, CLU®, ChFC®, email@example.com
Vice President, Insurance, Wells Fargo Advisors
Financial Advisor, Wells Fargo Advisors
Some of the key points made were as follows:
The meeting was attended by several board members and guests.
On our July 19th “Samosa and Chai” speaker and networking event GIACC hosted Imad and Reem Younis; co-Founders of Alpha Omega Engineering, a global high-tech company with offices in Nazareth, Israel, Atlanta, Germany and China that incidentally celebrates its 25th Anniversary this year. The session was attended by over 50 people and organized at AC Hotel Atlanta Buckhead at Phipps Plaza.
Imad and Reem talked about their journey as fresh young Engineering graduates just out of college in Israel looking for a challenging career who had to venture into tech innovation and start Alpha Omega because discrimination against ethnic minorities like themselves kept all the career jobs out of reach. Through these struggles where they had to operate in shoestring budgets and uncertain futures they developed innovative engineering solutions for Neuroscientists specifically in the field of neuromodulation work in animals. Imad and Reem shared that they key to their success was hard work and dedication of course but more importantly working closely with end users and Customers. They spent the first decade simply building solutions working directly with Scientists who one after another became their Customers.
As business grew, Alpha Omega made took its biggest step forward by venturing into medical devices by securing FDA approval for its products and technologies that they had so diligently developed with Neuroscientists working in animals. Since then, Alpha Omega has grown to close to over 100 employees worldwide with the largest market share in the United States in electrophysiological mapping equipment and technology for Deep Brain Stimulation Surgery (DBS). DBS is a procedure where electrodes are implanted in the brain in very specific nuclei or targets for alleviation of symptoms in movement disorders like Parkinson’s disease using electrical stimulation in the brain. To enable the Surgeons to place those chronic implants in the right locations in the brain, Alpha Omega has FDA approved solutions including hardware and software that help the surgical team perform electrophysiological mapping essentially acting as a GPS of the Brain (https://www.alphaomega-eng.com/haguide-30.html) for the mapping part of the DBS procedure.
Imad and Reem shared that they Company’s mission is to help standardize the DBS procedure so that it can be performed efficiently, effectively and quickly by more and more neurosurgeons worldwide making the procedure accessible to tens of millions of patients that are unable to have access to DBS. Alpha Omega has substantial interest in helping patients of movement disorders in India by bringing cost-effective solutions since DBS is still an extremely unaffordable procedure in India currently accessible to a very small percentage of the patient population.
The session rounded off with the point that a Company started by two people from an ethnic minority in Israel because they couldn’t find jobs because of discrimination is now one of the leading high-tech companies in Israel employing people of all faiths, demographics and religions. Imad and Reem Younis were recently recognized by the Israeli government to be among the top 10 technology innovation Leaders of the last 70 years since Israel’s independence.
Related Links of Interest
The Georgia Indo-American Chamber of Commerce (GIACC) hosted the Atlanta Indian Film Festival over the weekend, on May 11 and 12, 2018, at the beautiful Historic Academy of Medicine at Georgia Tech, in Midtown Atlanta. Key partners in this initiative were the Consulate General of India – Atlanta, the New York Indian Film Festival, the Atlanta Film Festival, and the India China and America (ICA) Institute.
The film festival was in keeping with the mission of the GIACC, namely, to develop, encourage, promote, and foster trade, business, financial, or professional interests and commercial relations between India and the United States, including, specifically, Georgia. Recognizing one of the rapid growth sectors currently attractive to both countries as being the film/TV industry, (the movie industry in the State of Georgia has grown in the last decade from $240 million in 2007 to its current $9.5 billion), GIACC decided to focus on this initiative as its flagship event for 2018.
Lighting of the lamp with GIACC Chairperson Unmesh Mishra, CGI Nagesh Singh, President of GIACC Anita Ninan, Deputy Director of Mayor’s Office of International Affairs Vanessa Ibarra, and Dr. Jag Sheth. (Photo: Vinod Devlia)
Read the full story in the June 2018 issue of Khabar magazine.
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