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‘Indian economy to overtake US between 2030-2040’ IBC holds its 11th annual ceremony

KUWAIT CITY, March 20: “The Indian economy will become the largest economy in the world between 2040 and 2050.” I also expect the Indian economy to overtake the US between 2030 and 2040 and will further grow to become the largest economy in the world overtaking China between 2040 and 2050” said Adi Godrej, Indian industrialist and head of the Godrej family. “The most important factor in these projections is the very young demography of India, a young country, he added. Speaking to the elite audience during the 11th annual ceremony of Indian Business Council (IBC) Kuwait at the Regency Hotel he based his projections on the working population which he said will increase by 40 percent in the next 35 years.

Hence the attractiveness of the country as an investment destination will continue to grow very strongly, he added. “Kuwaiti investments, he said, “are largely indirect through portfolio management service. There is a tremendous scope for direct Kuwaiti investment in India. I would encourage the concerned authorities to take this forward.” He went on to say India also offers investment opportunities to Kuwait in infrastructure sector. He said that the two sides should undertake discussions and identify the appropriate investment vehicle for channelizing Kuwaiti investments in India. Adi Godrej was introduced to the gathering by the Indian Business Council Joint Secretary Anant D. Kapadiya. In a glittering ceremony the IBC Kuwait presented its second annual Awards to the prominent members of Kuwait and Indian business where Godrej was the chief guest and former Kuwaiti Ambassador to India HE Issa Al Issa was the guest of honor in addition to a galaxy of prominent Kuwaiti and Indian personalities.

On behalf of the Indian Ambassador, Deputy Chief of Mission Subhashish Goldar in his short speech congratulated Indian Business Council on this important milestone and said Indians have benefitted from Kuwait’s spectacular growth as much as they have contributed to it. The awards winners included Sheikha Hussah Sabah Al-Salem Al Sabah, wife of Sheikh Nasser Sabah Ahmed Al Sabah, Minister of Amiri Diwan. She is the director of the Dar Al-Athar Al- Islamiyyah (DAI) in Kuwait, which hosts a large collection of Indian Islamic Arts. First Holding Company incorporated by the Marafie group, one of the major prominent merchant families of Kuwait.

The award was received by Mutalib Marafie. Khalid Jassim Al Wazzan, Chairman of Mezzan Holding Company, one of the largest family conglomerate in GCC operating food, catering, FMCG, services and industrial sectors. Nael Jassim Al Zayani, owner and Managing Director of Al Zayani group of companies, the man who introduced luxury cars to Kuwait. The group is also promoting Tata and Godrej products in Kuwait. Kaled M Sidik, writer, producer and director, who made the first film entirely produced in Kuwait. An energetic and vibrant personality is fully conversant with fine arts and motion pictures. He has won accolades for his first full length film Arabic feature film titled Cruel Sea (1972). His passion for India, and influenced by his family’s rich background in doing business with India dated back to the 1830s, Yousef AbdulAziz Mohammad Al-Bader in 1992 became the Passenger Sales Agent of Indian airlines and his House of Travel (HOT) was appointed as the General Sales Agent in January 1994 and in 1998 HOT obtained the agency of India’s national carrier Air India.

Franchise Abdulaziz Ahmed Al Ghannam, the founder of Al-Ghannam group and Kapico group. The group has investment in vehicle franchise such as Maruti Suzuki in Chennai and substantial real estate portfolio in INR 3 billion Banyan Tree resort and Spa in Kerala. Saud Abdulaziz Abdullah Alarfaj did his education in renowned school in India, founded Kuwait Indian friendship society. Dr Maqbulahmed Qadi, probably the only Indian General practitioner in Kuwait, on whom the then Amir conferred the Kuwaiti nationality. Dhiraj Oberoi, Managing Partner of KITCO group, who opened the first snack factory in Kuwait. Yusuf Ali M.A. - Chairman of Lulu group, he ranks among the top business personalities around the world. As an Indian businessman in Kuwait for the past one and a half decade, he has strived to promote trade, investment and friendly relations between both these countries for the past several years and is the only nonresident India from the Gulf to be conferred the prestigious Padma Shri award by the President of India in 2008.

Shk Saifuddin Katabjiwala, pioneer in Oil and Gas industry supplies business for the past 40 years, he is an influential local figure in the Dawoodi Bohra community. The posthumous award winners included Sales Bartholomew Monteiro, born in Chorao, Goa. He was one of the few Indian Christian men who came to work in the Arab countries in the 1930s and was instrumental in setting up a Catholic church in Kuwait. Narain Jashanmal, the founder of Jashanmal group, commanding great respect among the Kuwaitis and the expatriate business community. U.C. Kohli, the first Honorary Chairman and founder of the Indian community school. Yousuf Al Alyan, founder and publisher of Kuwait’s first English language newspaper, Kuwait Times. Govind T Mirchandani, founder of Raja Stores and General trading company, a common meeting point for many Indians in the 1960s and Om Prakash Bhasin who established the Bhasin Group, a pioneer in school, Army, Police and scouts uniforms. The IBC General Secretary Ramesh Kohli also informed that from this year, the IBC will offer scholarship for needy students in Kuwait studying in community school. Chairman of Indian Community School Ashok Kalra thanked the council for extending the scholarship facility for the students. The vote of thanks was proposed by IBC Treasurer Ramesh Khanna. This was followed by a sumptuous dinner.

By: Paul Francis X. Fernandes Arab Times Staff

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