Rajagopaul Kalyan Ram, who was part of the first ever three-member Indian trade delegation to visit Australia and New Zealand in 1969, along with the chairman and director of the Government of India’s premier trading organisation known as the State Trading Corporation of India Ltd, was recently conferred the Order of Australia Medal, which was announced at the recent Queens Birthday award.
Ram arrived in Sydney in 1970 to set up the regional office of STC of India to oversee bilateral trade between India and the Australasian region. “This was the first major trading presence in the entire region from India and ensured the continued growth of trade between the two countries in items such as wool, tallow and Jute goods and other commodities,” says Ram.
Between 1975 and 1990 he continued with his efforts to promote bilateral trade between the two countries in various capacities as a trade consultant as well as being part of senior management in different Australian companies engaged in trade between the two countries. Between 1991 and 1997 he was engaged as an International Purchase and Supply Management (IPSM) consultant by ITC- UNCTAD / GATT, Geneva and travelled extensively throughout the Pacific Island nations from Fiji to the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM).
Ram has had a long career both in India and Australia in the area of international trade and marketing and has held senior management positions with leading public and private sector companies. He acquired his knowledge on the theoretical aspects of international trade and marketing through a summer course at the International Marketing Institute-Harvard Business School, Boston, USA, in 1966.
He has maintained an ongoing interest and commitment towards the social sector on behalf of the Indian community in Sydney, NSW, initially in terms of their cultural and religious needs. “Since 2003, we have tried to focus on the wider South Asian community in NSW, because culturally and socially there is a considerable commonality between the people of India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Nepal and Bhutan in terms of their social and welfare needs as migrants in the focus areas of education, health and employment. This has led to the creation of SEVA and creative and cross-cultural and other entrepreneurial activities,” says Ram.
“I’ve always had an abiding faith in the growth and enhancement of bilateral trade and other relationships between the two countries,” he adds.
Published in The Indian Sun (Indian Australian Magazine)