Remarks by Amb Sibi George at the Farewell to Shri Anant Kapadiya, Chairman, IBPC Kuwait
Shri Anant Kapadiya, Chairman, Indian Business and Professionals Council Kuwait, Madam Kapadiya,
Office bearers of IBPC,
Shri KP Suresh who is coordinating this event today,
Distinguished Businessmen from India and Kuwait,
Esteemed guests from Indian Community Associations,
Distinguished members of the Media Community in Kuwait,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
A very Good Evening to all of you,
It is always a rather sober occasion to bid farewell to a dear member of the Community and today is no different as we gather largely virtually to bid farewell to an esteemed member of the Indian Community in Kuwait – Shri Anant Kapadiya and Madam Kapadiya.
As a diplomat who spent his entire life wandering from one country to another I fully understand what one feels to say goodbye. I had at least twelve transfers during my career, where I had to pack up my bag and baggage and leave the country for good bidding goodbye to all my friends and colleagues. It was even more painful for my family particularly children to leave a country abruptly forgetting your classmates and schoolmates.
The images of my first farewell in Cairo in 1997 and the most recent one in Vatican in July last year remains alive in my mind. In between I had to say goodbye to my friends and colleagues in Qatar, Pakistan, the United States, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Switzerland and Lichtenstein. Each goodbye has been painful both for me, my family and for those who bid us farewell. I always left the place with a lot of memories, mostly sweet memories, and with friends many of them still connect with me.
I am sure that it is much more difficult for someone like Shri Kapadiya who is saying goodbye after spending forty-five years of his life in Kuwait. He a successful entrepreneur who like many other illustrious Indians made his mark in this friendly region. He is also a socially active Community member and head of the important Indian Business Forum in Kuwait. During his forty-five years of stay in Kuwait he has immensely contributed to promote India in Kuwait both in cultural and business front. I am given to understand that it was Shri Kapadiya who introduced in Kuwait some of India’s top cultural and artistic personalities and maintained a high level of quality all through.
I wish to reiterate what I said in my first address to the Community here in August last year, our Associations and Groups are like beautiful flowers in the garden of Indian diaspora in Kuwait. Each one of our diaspora members are our Ambassadors representing our country in their field of activities abroad. We are seeing it now here in Kuwait, when each of our doctors and medical professionals through their hard work and sacrifice brings respect and admiration to our country. Through their hard work they are building bridges between their motherland and their host country. Each one of these Associations and Groups are our important partners in various endeavours of the Embassy, including in strengthening of our relationship with the friendly State of Kuwait and its extremely warm and cordial people; in showcasing our rich and vibrant culture here in Kuwait; in increasing awareness of the socio-economic and technological advancements in India; and also in ensuring the continued welfare of the Indian Community.
India today is firmly on our way towards achieving a strong post Covid recovery. Our Government is committed to build an Atmanirbhar Bharat (Self-reliant India). We are stridently building a New India, which will see us take leadership positions in science, technology, space, new energy, education, sustainable development and so on. We are now witnessing how India, as the pharmacy of the world, is contributing in the fight against Covid 19 pandemic through its Made in India vaccines including in Kuwait.
We are firmly on a growth and development focussed, forward looking trajectory. In its transformational journey, India regards countries like Kuwait as a natural partner. There is vast scope to combine our relative advantages, in capital, energy, technology, science and human resources, and to work for mutual benefit. Despite the close and strong bilateral relationship, we have not been able to fully realize the true potential. We need to transform our buyer seller relationship into a deeper partnership. There are so many synergies and complementarities between the business ecosystems of the two countries waiting to be explored and tapped into. India’s Flagship Programmes like Make in India, Smart Cities, Digital India, Swachh Bharat (Clean India), Startup India, Skill India, Ayushman Bharat and many other initiatives have several sectors with huge potential to build on our relations with our Kuwaiti partners.
It is pertinent to highlight that in our endeavours to generate awareness and tell India’s amazing growth story to all our Kuwaiti friends, our community groups like IBPC has a crucial role and a huge responsibility to get our message across louder and farther. I am particularly happy that during the difficult pandemic time, IBPC rose to the occasion under the leadership of Shri Kapadiya and came up with a series of business events aimed at promoting Aatmanirbhar Bharat. I am happy that I could attend most of these events.
On behalf of Embassy of India and the Indian community in Kuwait, I thank Shri Anant Kapadiya for playing his part in promoting Indian business and culture and contributing towards development of new avenues of cooperation and linkages between India and Kuwait. I would like to extend my heartiest greetings and best wishes to him and his family. I am sure he will continue to remain in touch with the community and friends here in Kuwait and continue to contribute in further enhancing our dynamic and vibrant people-to-people linkages. We will of course miss his presence here.
Once again, my best wishes to Shri Kapadiya and Madam for their good health, happiness and success in all future endeavours.