IABCA Gala Award Night honours business and community

By Rekha Rajvanshi

India Australia Business; Community Alliances Gala award night 2022 took place at The Star with the help of Investment NSW and Austrade. The event reminded us of the possibilities for Australian public diplomacy to strategically leverage its domestic business diaspora to achieve its foreign policy and commercial goals. Also, Indian public diplomacy has a potential to use the Australian Indian diaspora to globalise its development initiatives.

Affirming that the best is yet to come. The India Australia Business & Community Alliance (IABCA) was established in 2014 by Sonia Sadiq Gandhi of Gandhi Creations, whose dedication and hard work has made it the largest platform for strengthening the India-Australia relationship.

Speaking about the IABCA partnership, Minister for Enterprise, Investment and Trade, Tourism and Sport, and Western Sydney, Hon Stuart Ayres MP said, “The partnership the NSW Government shares with IABCA strengthens ties between India and Australia. The IABCA continues to be at the forefront in fostering stronger economic, diplomatic, and cultural ties between our two nations.”

Across a 12-month campaign that culminated on Friday 29 April, the IABCA platform brought together 1000 key influencers and bi-lateral leaders from across the two nations. Comprising of the IABCA Global Leaders Forum and the Awards Ceremony, this ‘Meeting of Minds’ showcase at the dazzling Star Events Centre connected entrepreneurs, innovators, and disruptors from across Australia and India.

The IABCA Global Leaders Forum featured three separate panel discussions that explored the India Australia relationship across Technology and Innovation, Soft Power & Business Diaspora Diplomacy, and an insightful AIBX India Market Update by Austrade. Following the Global Leaders Forum, guests were transferred across to an awards ceremony that honoured 14 winners across trade and investment for their bilateral contributions. Congratulating the winners and the IABCA Alliance, The Hon Dan Tehan MP, Minister for Trade, Tourism, and Investment shared

“The India Australia Business & Community Alliance is an excellent platform to recognise and honour the deep business and community links between our two countries. I congratulate all the award finalists and commend you for your contribution to our strong economy and the Australia India relationship.”

Winners listed below:

IABCA YOUNG PROFESSIONAL OF THE YEAR – Rishi Kher, Co-Founder and CEO, Holy Sanity

IABCA BUSINESS LEADER OF THE YEAR – Shailendra Kumar, Global AI Thought Leader & Practitioner, Author of Amazon Bestseller “Making Money Out of Data”

IABCA MANAGING DIRECTOR OF THE YEAR – Mayank Manish, Founder and Executive Director, OpEzee

ABCA COMMUNITY SERVICES EXCELLENCE AWARD (Individual) – Professor Manjula O’Connor, Psychiatrist, Clinical Hon Associate Professor, Department of Psychiatry, University of Melbourne

Highly Commended Certificate – Dilpreet Kaur Taggar, Founder, South Asian Today


Highly Commended Certificate – The Association of Haryanvis in Australia (AHA)

IABCA BUSINESSWOMAN OF THE YEAR – Elaine Starkey, CEO, Global Study Partners

IABCA AUSTRALIA INDIA IMPACT AWARD (Individual) – Dr Meenakshi Arora, Associate Professor in Environmental Engineering, The University of Melbourne


Highly Commended Certificate – Australia India Travel & Tourism Council (AITTC)

AUSTRALIA INDIA SCIENCE, RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT AWARD (Individual) – Dr Pamela Humphreys, Director, Macquarie University College


EXCELLENCE IN TRADE & INVESTMENT – Dr Badri Narayanan Gopalakrishnan, NITI Aayog


SME OF THE YEAR – AirPhysio Highly Commended Certificate – RD Facilities Management

IABCA most coveted award, the IABCA Lifetime Achievement Award, was conferred to Amb. Anil Wadhwa, Former Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India, Author Australia Economic Strategy Report 2020.

The evening featured cultural segments such as the National Anthem and songs performed by IABBV students, didgeridoo playing, a peaceful meditation session, dancing, and a magic display, all of which were expertly hosted by Kartik Mohandas. From January 2023 onwards, the IABCA will be hosted biennially in India across Mumbai, Delhi, and Chennai, marking the beginning of an ongoing rotational campaign between the two nations, marking its 10-year anniversary.

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