India-Australia ties the focus of IEC Awards 2013, says chairman

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Vinay Sharma adds that IEC received a record 105 nominations

Vinay Sharma joined the Indian Executive Club (IEC) in December 2011, a private enterprise that has over 200 members, and is currently its chairman.

IEC first came into existence to offer entrepreneurs of South Asian origin a platform to promote their business. The club has now grown in numbers, where a full-time focus is required to meet the needs of the clubs participants.

Vinay, a graduate diploma holder in Finance and Investment and a qualified CPA, landed in Melbourne in 1987 and went on to work for two of the leading banks in Australia.

Vinay, manager of business services for an accounting firm, and father of two was the secretary for Victoria Chapter of Australia India Business Council (AIBC) and Australia India Chamber of Commerce (AICC).

In his tenure as Chairman of IEC, Vinay says he plans to work on various initiatives that nurture the aspirations of young executives in Australia.

Shveata Chandel Singh caught up with Vinay Sharma to understand the IEC and its plans for the year.

Being chairperson of the IEC, could you tell us its main objectives?

The objective of the IEC is to continue to support, inspire, reward and recognise the small to medium enterprise businesses and executives from the Indian Diaspora in Australia. We do this through the Indian Executive publication, holding regular value adding networking event from time to time across various locations and the IEC signature event, the Annual Business and Community Awards.

What is the thrust of the third IEC Awards? Why is there an Australia-India focus?

The thrust of this year’s awards is to reach out to as many SME business and executives from the Indian Diaspora as possible and encourage them to tell their story. We also wanted to increase participation of women and so introduced the Young Executive Female and Executive Female categories. We also wanted the Indian Diaspora’s achievement to be recognised in mainstream Australia and were delighted when Mr John Howard accepted to be the keynote speaker for this event.

The team at IEC has received 105 nominations for this year’s Business and Executive awards.

The opportunities for Australia in the Asian century have been well documented and I feel in order to further fulfil the next level of opportunities that exists in the Australia-India markets we need to recognise that in Australia the Indian Diaspora is a crucial conduit. It was therefore important that we requested Mr Howard to deliver his key note address on the Australia-India focus.

How has the IEC journey been so far?

Challenges are part of life and I believe there are three key aspects. First, if you are passionate about what you do overcoming challenges become easier. The whole team at the IEC is very passionate about assisting the Indian Diaspora in Australia. Second, it is also important to recognise the needs of the Indian Diaspora and in our organisation we work hard to listen especially in the SME businesses and executives market and deliver the appropriate solution.

Third, a team approach and team spirit is very important and in IEC we do not focus on titles. Instead, we all come together as a team and work in the spirit of being a selfless servant of the community.

As you possess a strong banking, business advisory and accounting background, how are you using these experiences in your current role as chairman?

The experiences allow me to share the knowledge and wisdom. It also allows me to profile the IEC among many other business networks and communities in Australia having served in few of these communities earlier. My banking career was predominantly in the SME market and that helps me connect the IEC members to much SME business that I assisted in my earlier banking and current business advisory and accountant roles.

How has serving in AICC and AIBC helped?

I have gained an in-depth understanding of the Indian market and its networks. I am also indebted to Mr Harish Rao and Mr Neville Roach for their mentoring, wisdom and coaching whilst I held the secretary’s role with the AICC and AIBC-Victorian Chapter. I feel this helped with my current role in the IEC.

How the preparations going on for IEC awards 2013 and what are are few highlights?

The nominations are now closed and we are delighted as we received a total of 105 nominations.

The independent judges have commenced the judging process and they will be the only ones who will know and announce the winners on the awards night. Mr John Howard being the keynote speaker is another major highlight and also the support we have received from all the sponsors. Having the female categories this year for the Young Executive and Executive is another major highlight.

I would request the readers to come and participate in this year’s gala awards night, listen to Mr Howard’s keynote address and celebrate and support the Indian Diaspora.

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