Celebrating Indian Eminence in Africa

  • November 23, 2015

Amom with two small kids in tow kept up a continuous stream of chatter: “Superb job pushing the cart, Akachi, you are so smart.” “Good work picking out a pepper, Mabel, now put it back.” It went on and on – kids do something/ anything, mother retorts with an encouraging statement, kids do another something, mother responds. Consequently, constant motivation/ recognition is actually imperative to help individual attain greater heights. Similarly, to recognize the efforts of Indian business leaders/companies who exhibit innovation, profitability, and business excellence, Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM ) – one of the leading Chambers of India initiated the 1st Africa Award series of India (Africa – India Champion in Biz Awards 2015) on 19th October 2015 ahead of the 3rd IAFS .

The prestigious award function was inaugurated by the Union Railway Minister of India, Mr Suresh Prabhu. Considering that both India and Africa share various social and economic development related concerns, the government of India is looking forward to working with Africa to promote industrialisation, job creation, agriculture production, growth of small and medium enterprises, Union Railway Minister, Mr Suresh Prabhu said at the event. Mentioning to the upcoming India- Africa Forum Summit, Prabhu said, “This will be the largest congregation of world leaders coming to India from a continent, which has very good relation with India.” Representatives from 54 African nations are expected to participate in the four-day summit beginning October 26.

Government of India is now committed to make sure that Africa becomes a close ally of India in terms of shifting the gear of developmental goals in the world. The Minister said that these goals can be achieved through government to government interaction, private sector participation, and joint ventures between government-private players and in many other ways. He also released an ASSOCHAM – TARI (Thought Arbitrage Research Institute) joint study titled, ‘India- Africa Trade: Continuous sunshine.’ Highlighting that true potential of India-Africa economic alliance is grossly under-utilised, the ASSOCHAM – TARI study has noted that there is an enormous scope for Indian companies operating in banking, construction and infrastructure, consumer goods, telecom sectors. “Indian government should immediately engage itself with all trade blocs and associations, including African Union, in the light of formation of Tripartite Free Trade Area (TFTA ) and the proposed African Free Trade Zone,” recommended the ASSOCHAM – TARI study.

It’s important to note that India and Africa have been working together on key pillars of trade, technology and training, with India contributing towards renovating Africa’s socio-economic landscape through innovative capacity building programs, setting up training institutes and deployment of ICT to help build Africa as a knowledge economy. These initiatives will help in creating a new generation of skilled and technology-driven workers across key sectors including agriculture, food processing, IT , vocational training and entrepreneurship. Yes Bank was adjudged the ‘Pioneer in Banking and Financial Services’. The prominent award was conferred to Yes Bank for indicating inspiring and continued progress in offering customized and innovative Banking & Financial services complemented by prudent Risk Management and regulatory compliance.

Angelique International limited was conferred with the “EPC Company of the Year”. This company has grown into an EPC giant with turnover now nearing USD 350 million, undertaking turnkey projects in power, water, irrigation and agriculture sectors as well as industrial projects in international markets of Africa, Middle East and South East Asia. A company who has been on its toes for infrastructure development in Africa and is very proactive on the CSR front, Overseas Infrastructure Alliance (OIA ) was awarded with “The Most Socially Responsible Company of the Year” and “Dedicated Leadership in Infrastructure” award.

ICRISAT is without doubt a prominent name in the African Agriculture market. The ABI Program by ICRISAT was the first agribusiness incubator in the country (established in 2004). Steadfastly involved in the field of Agribusiness promotion, ICRISAT has been offering business incubator services to farmers, women and youth. Over the years, they have also been endorsing similar agribusiness incubators in India and Africa through our co-business incubation approach. Enthusiastic efforts of ICRISAT were also recognized when they were given the award for “Exemplary Contribution in Agriculture”. Nobody can neglect the distinguished presence of Sonalika Tractors, which started exporting to Africa 11 years ago, and is now present in around 30 countries on the continent. The decision to set up new assembly plants in Africa is part of the company’s strategy to ace in the available market segment. Hence, infrastructure development in 61+ countries across Africa, Americas, Central Asia, Middle East, South Asia and South East Asia.

ISO N Technologies, through their regional hubs in Nigeria, Congo and Kenya, offers end-to-end IT services including systems integration, application management, cloud, analytics and managed services. Without doubt, they are among the leading pan-African partners for major companies such as AVAYA, IBM, Cisco, Oracle, Juniper and Riverbed. ISO N was hence awarded with “Distinguished Achievement in IT & IT ES” award. Grabbing the award for the best “Entrepreneur of the year” was Dr. J.E. Arulraj, Chancellor, St. Joseph University in Tanzania. Dr. Arulraj has been working aggressively but silently, towards augmenting the bilateral relations between India and Africa using education as the base for his plan of action. Serving in the capacity of President, Vice President, Chairman, Trustee and Executive Member of various bodies such as the Society of DMI , DMI Trust, Tiruttani Rural Development Society and many more, Dr. Arulraj has greatly contributed by conducting regular trade activities along with performing CSR in various African countries. DMI Foundation Trust was also bestowed with “Excellence in the Field of Education” award.

“Top Start-Up of the Year” was given to Mohan Mutha Exports Pvt. Ltd., Auro Nigeria Pvt. Ltd. and Gandhar Oil Refinery (India) Ltd. Mohan Mutha Group is a government of India recognized star Export Trading house, involved in exporting of Building materials, Chemical, Engineering Products, Agro Commodities and various other products for more than four decades. Auro Nigeria pvt. Ltd. is providing distributed gas based on-site power generation solutions in Nigeria since 2012. It has an expanding gas based rental fleet comprising – Gensets, Boilers and Chillers, offering reliability with uptime in excess of 98.5%. Moreover Gandhar Oil Refinery India Limited has done pioneering work with regards to export of products to Africa. The company’s exports of Products like liquid paraffin, white oil Transformer oil, Petroleum jelly etc constituted to around USD 4.2 crore to Africa.

Appreciating the endeavors made by Consortium of TCI L & CT PL, they were treasured with the “Distinguished contribution in area of Communication” award. They have indeed executed a large number of projects in various countries of Africa in the past. TCI L is executing the Pan African E-network project, which consists 48 member countries of the African union, which aims at providing Tele-Education, Tele-Medicine services from Indian institutions to the African countries and VVIP connectivity for video conferencing and VoIP services among the heads of the states.

The “Leader in steering the Automotive Sector” was Maruti Suzuki India ltd. MSI L has been promoting ‘Make in India’ products in Africa in a big way. They are indeed bringing revolution to mobility in Africa by replacing old gas guzzling big used cars with our Fuel-efficient, Environment Friendly, Small new cars like Alto 800, Alto K10 and Celerio. And as they say, save the best for last. On bringing the true story of the African continent on platter, TH E TIM ES OF AFRICA bagged two awards for “The Best Media Outreach in Africa-Print and Online). Additionally Media Value Works was also bestowed with “The Best Media Outreach in Africa- Online” for rendering its media services.

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