ICCC's 2016 Annual Awards & Gala Night

11 Jun 2016 7:00 PM | Mayank Bhatt

ICCC's 2016 Annual Awards & Gala Night

  • A dazzling evening of pomp, pageantry, and awards
  • Federal Minister Navdeep Bains &  Capgemini's Paul Hermelin emphasize innovation
 2016 ICCC Award winners and ICCC board of directors pose for a group photograph
with the chief guest for the evening Minister Hon. Navdeep Bains
and keynote speaker Paul Hermelin of Capgemini

The Indo-Canada Chamber of Commerce's 24th Annual Awards and Gala Night was celebrated with pomp and pageantry at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre Saturday June 11. Nine Indo-Canadians were honoured with ICCC's prestigious awards. The grand theme of the 2016 Gala was 'Transform and Transcend - Leading the way forward.'

Hon. Minister Navdeep Bains, Canada’s Minister for Innovation, Science and Economic Development, who was the chief guests of the evening, delved deep into the framework that the federal government is setting up in Canada to promote innovation. He spoke about the need to develop a mindset of innovation in Canada. Hon. Bains spoke about the Liberal Government’s endeavours of enhancing Canada-India bilateral relations.

Paul Hermelin, the chairman and CEO of Capgemini, during his keynote address, enumerated the numerous measures the global IT conglomerate has initiated globally and especially in Canada and India to promote innovation. He announced that during his Toronto sojourn, Capgemini’s Toronto innovation centre was inaugurated.

Vishnu Prakash, the High Commissioner of India in Ottawa, in his remarks emphasized the growth story of India. He explained that the next decade-and-a-half belongs to India, as it gallops ahead to emerge as one of the fastest growing economies in the world.

Sanjay Makkar, President, ICCC, in his Presidential address, spoke about the incumbent leadership’s effort to bring about change, growth and governance. He said his endeavour during the last year has been to bring about transparency and accountability in the Chamber’s operations.

Of course, the evening belonged to the award winners. After a dance interlude from the troupe from Sampradaya Dance Academy, the award presentation ceremony commenced. 

The 2016 ICCC Annual Awards were bestowed upon the following achievers:

Female Entrepreneur: Geeta Sankappanavar

Geeta is recognized as a finance and investment expert in Canada and for her highly perceptive and successful leadership of Grafton Asset Management Inc. A graduate from globally renowned Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Geeta began her business career as a consultant with McKinsey & Company in New York. Through her astute leadership, she transformed Grafton into Canada’s third largest energy investment firm.

Male Entrepreneur: Karnail Singh Sidhu

With over two decades of in depth experience in organic agriculture, Karnail launched Kalala winery a decade ago in 2006. And within a decade has turned it into a globally known wine brand, considered among the best in the world. Overcoming his humble origins in rural Punjab, Karnail came to Canada in 1993. Although an electrical engineer from India, his passion for organic growing and winemaking led him to become an Organic Inspector in 2003.

Professional Female: Ritu Bhasin

Ritu is a leadership and inclusion expert, and has extensive experience in delivering programming, consulting and coaching across a range of people management areas with a focus on leadership development, diversity, inclusion and advancement of women. She is the Founder and Principal of Bhasin Consulting Inc, and is known for her diversity and inclusion expertise in cultural competence and unconscious bias.

Professional Male: Samir K. Sinha

Samir is a passionate and respected advocate for the needs of older adults. A Rhodes Scholar, Samir serves as Director of Geriatrics at Sinai Health System in Toronto. He is the Peter & Shelagh Godsoe Chair in Geriatrics at Mount Sinai Hospital, Assistant Professor in the Departments of Medicine, University of Toronto and Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. 

Young Achiever:  Aditya Mohan

Aditya is a youth leader in STEM from Ottawa, who has always keenly interested in science and the potential it holds to make a difference in the world. He has completed and has been awarded in numerous scientific competitions with his work on biofuels, HIV, and cancer research.

Corporate Executive: Pavi Binning

Pavi Binning is President & CEO of George Weston Limited, one of Canada’s largest public companies and the parent company of businesses including Loblaw Companies Limited, Shoppers Drug Mart, Choice Properties REIT, Weston Foods, President’s Choice Financial and Joe Fresh.

Lifetime Achievement: Dr. Virendra Jha

Virendra is a pioneer in Canadian space program, with over 42 years of experience in the field. He began his space career in 1972 with Aerospace group of RCA Limited Montreal. Virendra served as Acting President of the Canadian Space Agency. He was Chief Engineering Adviser at the Canadian Space Agency until his retirement in 2014.

Member of the Year: Nareshkumar Chavda

Naresh is the President of Globayan Immigration Corporation. In the last year, as a Life member and Chair of the Membership Committee of Naresh contributed significantly to building the Chamber’s membership and diversifying it to include new categories of members. He was instrumental in the 60-day membership augmentation drive the Chamber conducted in 2015-16.

President’s Award: Bharat Masrani

Bharat Masrani was appointed Group President and Chief Executive Officer of TD Bank Group on November 1, 2014. He has more than 27 years of banking experience and is a member of the TD Bank Group Board of Directors. He most recently served as Chief Operating Officer for TD Bank Group from July 2013.

Jagdish Bajaj, Vice President, Programs and Events, gave the vote of thanks, and thanked the sponsors, the Chamber’s Partners in Success; the vendors for the Gala for the décor, the dinner, the venue; and the audience for making the Gala an unprecedented success.

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