BC INDIA BUSINESS NETWORK – A MEMBER-DRIVEN ORGANIZATION
BCIBN is a new organization dedicated to building and maintaining economic & cultural ties between British Columbia and India through trade. With one of the largest, most successfully multicultural communities in the world, BC’s connection to India is long-established. BCIBN’s goal is to build on those vibrant connections and create lasting trade relationships.
India’s GDP is set to grow by more than 7% in 2016. This will put India ahead of China as the fastest growing economy in the world. As a member of the Commonwealth and the largest democracy on earth, India’s shared connections to British Columbia make for obvious trading partners.
BCIBN has assembled a team of Directors and Advisors with deep personal connections on both sides of the Pacific and over 100 years of combined experience promoting bi-lateral trade. Our membership will add to the relationships that the Province of B.C. has independently initiated over the past two decades. With that, our members will be able to take advantage of an expanded network of potential trade partners for the benefit of both Indians and British Columbians.
We are looking for great members like you who want to help us increase bi-lateral trade in sectors like small, medium & large-scaled business, tourism, investment, film production, agriculture, clean energy, education, infrastructure development and transport.
OUR BOARD OF DIRECTORS
CATHERINE SAS, Q.C.
Catherine has been providing a full range of immigration legal services for over 25 years and is recognized as a leading immigration practitioner by Lexpert and Best Lawyers in Canada. Catherine was voted Best Immigration Lawyer in the Georgia Straight’s “Best of Vancouver” for the 6th consecutive year in 2017.
Catherine is a member of the Canadian Bar Association, American Bar Association, American Immigration Lawyers Association, and International Bar Association. Catherine is the past National Chair of the Immigration Law Section of the Canadian Bar Association and is presently the Co-Vice Chair of the Immigration and Citizenship Committee of the International Bar Association. She is also registered as a Foreign Legal Consultant with the State Bar of California which enables her to better serve her American clientele in the film and television and digital media industries.
Catherine has been part of Team Canada and Team British Columbia trade missions to countries such as Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, Chile, China, Hong Kong, and the United States. She has participated in Continuing Legal Education seminars, appeared in parliamentary committees on immigration issues, and spoken at international conferences and symposiums. Catherine has worked extensively with clientele from around the world and travels frequently internationally to assist her clients with their Canadian immigration goals.
Vivek Savkur is the Managing Director of Anand Commercial Services Pvt Ltd. Mumbai and Owner of Savkur International Agencies in Vancouver.He has been actively connected with Indo-Canadian Bilateral Trade since the last 30 years. Before immigrating to Canada form Mumbai, India he held several positions in the Indo-Canadian Business Chamber (ICBC), Mumbai and was on it’s National Board for several years and it’s National President for three consecutive years. He is well connected in India and in BC and is conversant with all sectors of trade in the BC-India Business Corridor.
Having immigrated to Vancouver in October 2007, he was appointed Director of the Canada-India Business Council (BC) and it’s President from 2011 to 2013 and President Emeritus in 2014 and 2015. He was largely responsible for establishing the brand image of the Canada-India Business Council in BC.
In 2013 he was awarded the prestigious Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal by the Governor General of Canada, for his Outstanding Contribution to Canada.
He was appointed Advisor-Canada by the Bennett Coleman Group, Mumbai, India.and was responsible for bringing the Times of India Film Award (TOIFA), the biggest Bollywood show to Vancouver in 2013. Vivek is currently the President of the Canada-India Education Council (Western Canada) and is on the India Advisory Council of the Simon Fraser University,Vancouver.
He has a zest for organizing National and International events and actively participated in organizing the World Snooker Championship in Mumbai; the First & Second Himalayan International Car Rally in India; the East African Safari Rally in Nairobi ,Kenya and a Christian Evangelical Rally in 2005 in Mumbai, perhaps the biggest of it’s kind the world has seen.
Douglas Nazareth, a mechanical engineer by profession was selected right out of University to join the Tata Group of Companies, one of the most established business conglomerates in India. He was instrumental in building and running a plant in New Bombay for Tata Press as the Plant Manager before emigrating to Canada in 1989. Douglas is an entrepreneur and has run his own business Ancan Marketing in Richmond since 2002.
Over the last 22 years Douglas has been actively associated with developing bilateral trade between Canada and India. Wearing many different voluntary hats from President to Secretary for a national bilateral trade organization, he brings a wealth of experience to the BCIBN. Douglas has hosted many Indian delegations, organized numerous round tables and conferences.
He is passionate about his Indian roots and strongly believes in the power of networking between like-minded people and businesses.
Lance Monteiro was born in Mumbai, India and regards his upbringing in a multicultural society that shaped his deep understanding and love for the rich and vibrant kaleidoscope of culture, tradition and heritage that India represents. He is fluent in three Indian languages and understands a couple more. His love for travel and adventure made him leave India when he was twenty, and has since lived overseas and immigrated to Canada in Aug 2005.
Lance holds a B.Com and a Diploma in Administrative Management from the Institute of Admin Management, UK. He has worked at senior level positions in several different industries being Media/Publication, Insurance, a major airline and Manufacturing. Presently he’s with BMO financial group as a senior relationship manager.
Lance is an active member of the Richmond Chamber of Commerce. He believes in connecting with the community and has been actively involved in several fundraisers supporting the Richmond Food Bank, Richmond Hospital, BC Children’s Hospital, Covenant House, United Way, etc.
Yusuf Varachia has over 15 years of experience working in the Canadian educational sector. Prior to taking on his current position at SFU International, Yusuf was a teacher for the Toronto District School Board, worked in student recruitment, and managed international and Indigenous student recruitment at SFU. Currently he is the Director of International Strategic Initiatives at Simon Fraser University. In this position, he is responsible for promoting and enhancing SFU’s profile domestically and internationally through the strategic management of SFU’s international partnerships, international visitors, local diplomatic corps, and local international organizations.
Yusuf is committed to helping British Columbia develop strong international relationships on individual, community, and institutional levels.
BOBBY PAWAR, B.A.,MBA
DIRECTOR GOVERNMENT RELATIONS
Bobby Pawar completed his Masters in Business Administration at the University of Windsor in 2003 and in turn attended the Waterloo Management Education and Wilson Learning Centres. In addition, he received his Bachelor of Arts in Criminology and Psychology at Simon Fraser University in 1995. He is currently self-employed as owner and consultant of Earth King Investments and Pawar Consulting Ltd. Prior to venturing into his own business, Pawar held positions of Business Analyst for BMO Harris Private Banking Inc., Marketing Director & Partner at Coregate Inc., and Marketing Director & Partner for Generation Y. He was also employed for the Government of British Columbia in the Law Enforcement field between 1995 and 2003.
Along with Pawar’s professional expertise, he brings along several years of commitment to economic development and social well being of the community. Whether it be as a member of the Surrey Board of Trade (2004-present), the Board of Directors for Delta Chamber of Commerce 2006-2009, the Community Planning Advisory Committee (2006-2009) or the Boys and Girls Club of Delta (2004-2006) Pawar ‘s dedication and determination to bring about positive change and enrich the lives of a culturally diverse community are evident in his notable achievements.
MS. SUDHA KSHATRIYA, LLM, MA ECONOMICS, BSC AGRICULTURE ECONOMICS
Roop Sudha Kshatriya is a Trade Commissioner in the Pacific Regional Office of the Department of Global Affairs Canada. Sudha has been responsible for several key sectors (Life Sciences, Science, Technology and Innovation, Education) and is currently the office lead on Environmental Remediation clean tech sub-sector.
Sudha works closely with the TCS network abroad to assist organisations/firms with export advice and guidance to help them achieve their international goals. Sudha has very good knowledge of the India market from having served in New Delhi (2009 to 2012) as a Trade Commissioner (Agriculture and Agri-Food). Her international work experience also includes four plus years in Brussels as the Agriculture Affairs Officers at the Canadian Mission to the European Union. Prior to returning to her hometown, Vancouver, Sudha spent a few years in Ottawa as the Senior Trade Policy officer. Sudha was on the Board of Governors of Canada-India Business Council (BC Chapter) from 2012-2015.
HON. STOCKWELL DAY, PC
The Hon. Stockwell Day, PC, is Canada’s former minister of international trade, minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway, and regional minister for BC. He was also the leader of Canada’s Official Opposition (2000-2001). Before that he served as treasurer (minister of finance) and acting premier of Alberta.
Mr. Day serves on a number of corporate boards and NGOs, including Telus, RCI Capital, Western One Equity, Baylin Technologies, AWZ Ventures, the International Federation of Christians and Jews, the Canada-India Business Council, the Canada-China Business Council (vice-chair), and the Council on Jewish and Israel Affairs. He also serves as a Distinguished Fellow for the Asia Pacific Foundation.
HON. HERB DHALIWAL, PC
Herb Dhaliwal, PC, is a graduate in commerce of the University of British Columbia (1977). He was a senior Minister for Western Canada in the federal Cabinet of Prime Minister Jean Chretien. Between 1997 and 2004 he successively held the portfolios of National Revenue, Fisheries & Oceans and Natural Resources in Ottawa.
Prior to entering national politics, Herb was – and since retiring from public life continues to be – an entrepreneur, business owner, corporate director and advisor, with interests in transportation, building maintenance, housing construction and real estate development. Before sitting in the Parliament of Canada as M.P. for Vancouver- South/Burnaby constituency from 1993 to 2004, Mr. Dhaliwal had been appointed by the B.C. Government as Vice-Chair of the B.C. Hydro and Power Authority board of directors, where he chaired the budget and audit committees. In 2000 the VANCOUVER SUN called him one of the Top 100 most influential British Columbians in the last century.
HON. KERRY-LYNNE D. FINDLAY, PC, QC, BA, JD
Hon. KerryLynne Findlay served as Minister of National Revenue, member of Treasury Board and the Economic Prosperity Cabinet Committees 2013 – 2015; Associate Minister of National Defence, member of the National Shipbuilding Procurement Strategy and Foreign Affairs and Security Cabinet Committees 2013; Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Justice and Attorney General, Chair of the Government’s Caucus Advisory, House of Commons Standing Committee on Justice and Human Rights member, Supreme Court of Canada Selection Committee member; 2011 2013. She was Member of Parliament for Delta-Richmond East; 2011 -2015.
Ms. Findlay graduated from UBC with a B.A. and Juris Doctor, followed by Advanced Negotiation and Constitutional Law studies at Harvard Law School, and training in Mediation, Professional Coaching and Collaborative Law. She is a civil trial lawyer and certified mediator, who has appeared in all levels of Court, including the Supreme Court of Canada. She resigned a 5 year tenure as an Administrative Law Judge on the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal to serve in Canada’s Parliament. She was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 1999, a year after serving as elected BC Branch President of the Canadian Bar Association. Additionally, within the CBA she was National Constitutional Law Chair, National Sections Council Vice-Chair, and Founding Chair of the Women Lawyers Forum (National and BC) dedicated to supporting women in the legal profession through mentoring, education and networking opportunities.
Ms. Findlay has been recognized for leadership and service through a 2016 nomination for the AGD International Distinguished Citizen Award, 2015 Golden Scissors Award from CFIB for red-tape reduction, 2012 Queen’s Diamond Jubillee Medal for significant contributions to Canada, 2012 Crofton House School Lifetime Achievement Award for professional excellence and championing the role of women in society, 2011 Cecilia I. Johnstone national Award for mentoring women and advancing their professional participation, and 2001 YWCA Woman of Distinction Award [Management, Professions & Trades].
WALLY OPPAL, Q. C.
Wally is an experienced counsel and strategic advisor. His practice focuses on alternative and traditional dispute resolution as well as Aboriginal law.
After graduation from the University of British Columbia Law School, Wally went into private practice for a number of years. During this time he was appointed as a Special Prosecutor on many high profile criminal and commercial cases. Wally’s judicial career spans over two decades commencing with his appointment to the County Court in 1981, to the Supreme Court of British Columbia in 1985 and to the British Columbia Court of Appeal in 2003.
In 2005, he was appointed as Attorney General of British Columbia and served as Minister Responsible for Multiculturism until 2009. Wally was involved in many significant reforms of the justice system, including the establishment of Canada’s first community court to deal with chronic offenders, developing new Rules of Court in order to promote quicker resolution of disputes and developing new initiatives in dealing with violence against women.
A lifetime resident of British Columbia, Wally has dedicated his entire working life to the pursuit of social justice and community safety. His landmark report on policing in British Columbia led to many policing reforms after its publication in 1994. Wally’s service to the public of this province, most recently as Commissioner of the Missing Women Commission of Inquiry, is of special significance.
CONSUL-GENERAL ABHILASHA JOSHI
Mrs. Abhilasha Joshi joined the Indian Foreign Service in 1995 after obtaining degree in M.A. (Psychology) from the University of Delhi.
Her first assignment abroad was at the Embassy of India, Lisbon after which she returned to New Delhi to handle political work relating to Sri Lanka & SAARC and Consular work till 2008. She was posted to Sao Paulo as Consul(Commerce) from 2008 till 2012 and thereafter to New Delhi as Director/Deputy Director General (Indian Council for Cultural Relations).
Mrs. Abhilasha Joshi served as Consul General of India in Sao Paulo, Brazil from 2014 to 2017 from where she has been posted as Consul General of India to Vancouver.
She assumed the charge as the Consul General of India in Vancouver in August, 2017. She is married to Mr. Nitin Joshi and has one daughter and one son.
Mrs. Joshi speaks Hindi, English and Portuguese.
Rana Vig is an entrepreneur who has 30 years of business experience, during which time he has helped to launch five business ventures in private industry. He is well-known in the South Asian community for pioneering the first Canadian South Asian full colour glossy lifestyles magazine, known as Mehfil Magazine.
In 2010, Rana became involved in publicly traded companies – first as the Executive Vice President at RTN Stealth Software Inc., then as president of Musgrove Minerals Corp, and in 2013, as Chairman and CEO of TSX listed Continental Precious Minerals.
Beyond private enterprise, Rana is a former chair of British Columbia’s Open Learning Agency, an active investor, and has and continues to serve on public company boards and committees. He is also active in numerous charitable and community organizations acting as chair, director and advisor for many.
MR. GURMINDER SINGH PARIHAR
Gurminder S. Parihar has been a Partner with Parihar & Associates, CPA, CGA public practice firm in Surrey BC since 2004. Previously, he was a Senior Accountant with Delves Freer Anderson Regina Cain, CGA, Kanester Johal Chartered Accountants and CA firms in England.
He has a wealth of experience in general accounting, tax planning, and business consultation combined with a superlative track record in public engagement as well as significant experience in board and committee leadership. Mr. Parihar holds his Certified General Accountants and Chartered Professional Accountants designations. Currently Mr. Parihar is holding an appointment as board of directors of the College of Optometrists of British Columbia.
DR. LANE TROTTER
Dr. Lane Trotter joined Langara College as President and CEO in January of 2014. His career in Canadian higher education spans more than 24 years, including previous roles as Senior Vice President, Academic at Fanshawe College, and Dean, at both BCIT and St. Clair College. He also spent many years serving in BC’s Ministry of Advanced Education. Dr. Trotter is the author of many papers and presentations on higher education and is active in a variety of national committees, and local, provincial, and national boards. He currently serves as Chair of the Council of Presidents of BC Colleges. He earned his Doctorate of Education from Simon Fraser University (2010) and holds a Master of Public Administration from the University of Victoria (1992).
DR. ARUN GARG
Dr. Arun Kumar Garg is a Clinical Professor of Pathology in the Faculty of Medicine at the University of British Columbia. He holds a Doctor of Philosophy in Biochemistry from the University of Saskatchewan, Doctor of Medicine from the University of British Columbia, Fellowship in Medical Biochemistry from Royal College of Physicians and surgeons of Canada.
For last several years he is working on awareness amongst South Asian community of high prevalence of Chronic Diseases. Founded Canada India Network Society (www.thecins.org; www.twitter/thecins) in 2010 to build strong links between Canada and India in Life Sciences and Health Services. He is actively working with several partners and organizations in India and Canada to promote better health and health care. He is medical director of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology and Medical Lead for South Asian Health Institute in Fraser Health (www.fraserhealth.ca).
Gurdev Sandhu, an Indo-Canadian businessman and owner of Northwest Development Ltd., has had a very successful career in the real estate business. Gurdev is married with two sons. Being born to humble beginnings in Punjab (India), Gurdev realizes the importance of sharing his success with others. Gurdev is proud to belong to several community initiatives, participating in local and international charities by giving back much proceeds to BC Children’s Hospital, Surrey Memorial Hospital Emergency Ward, The Rotary Club, Janta Sewak society (a charity that provides Health and Education services), and several charities that conduct eye surgery camps in India.
Gurdev is the founder of Northwest Development which has emerged as prominent development company throughout Vancouver and the Fraser Valley with a portfolio that includes many prestigious projects such as Zaan Townhomes in East Newton, Guildford Greens in the Guildford area, Joy of Living Luxury Townhomes in Cloverdale, Avalonna Townhomes in Vancouver East, and the Little India Plaza in Surrey. Gurdev has been a Medallion Club member for 18 years, a President’s Club member for 10 years, ranked as the top agent in Vancouver East by the Real Estate Board of Vancouver in both total units and dollar volume, earned the Million Dollar commission award, just to name a few.
DAWOOD SHAKIR – GENERAL SECRETARY
A vivid International business advisor with depth and breadth of experience in consultancy and delivering business projects in Canada, UK and India. Gained an impeccable track record from working for the Ministry of International Trade, BC government as Trade Commissioner for British Columbia and in UK Trade & Investment at the British Deputy High Commission in India. Along with my industry experience, I collectively offer nine years of experience. Successfully landed FDI projects of more than 100 Million dollars in Canada and UK and continue to help companies interested to enter the Indian and the Canadian market.
FARAH H. MISTRY – MANAGER – ADMINISTRATION & EVENTS
Farah comes to BCIBN with over five years of experience in international trade. She has worked for the Consulate General of Canada in Mumbai and been a part of trade missions for former Prime Minister, Hon. Stephen Harper, former Minister of International Trade, Hon. Stockwell Day and former Premier of Quebec, Hon. Jean Charest.
She has also worked with the Western Australia Trade Office in Mumbai. As a result of her work as a Trade Officer, several Western Australian companies have gained visibility in the Indian market.
Farah has a Masters in Global Management from Royal Roads University in Victoria, BC. She is passionate about the potential of increasing trade between the country of her birth and the province that is her new home.
SAGAR SAXENA – PRINCE GEORGE
After completing his MBA from Cardiff University, Sagar began Caravan O Herbs, an agriculture-based company with the vision of combatting unethical business practices and unreliable supply chains through corporate social responsibility projects within communities in India. Eventually Caravan O Herbs carved a niche for itself within India, Europe and the United States. In 2014, Sagar shifted to Canada and joined the University of Northern British Columbia, where he is responsible for Marketing, Partnerships and New Initiatives. While promoting and nurturing new synergies for UNBC Research, Sagar is committed to exploring and nurturing models of sustainable economic growth within remote communities of northern British Columbia.