Four prominent Indian Americans and three Americans have been awarded by a Houston-based chamber of commerce for their outstanding work as entrepreneurs and “building bridges” between India and the US.
The awards were given by Indo-American Chamber of Commerce of Greater Houston (IACCGH) at a gala event in Houston.
The “Young Professional of the Year” was presented to Malisha Patel, 36, who is the Chief Operating Officer of Memorail Hermann Hospital Sugarland.
Woman entrepreneur award was presented to Revati Puranik, CFO, Worldwide Oilfield Machine, a company that specialises in manufacturing oil and gas equipment.
Bhavesh (Bob) Patel, CEO LyondellBasell was awarded Business leader of the year, while entrepreneur of the year was given to Abezaar S Tayabji, founder and CEO Shipcom Wireless.
Lifetime Achievement awards were presented to three Americans- Marvin Odum, former Shell USA President, Richard Huebner, former president Houston Minority Supplier Development and Dr John Mendelsohn, former President M D Anderson Cancer Center, for bridging barriers between India and USA.
A gala event themed “Building Bridges” was attended by over 700 guests, comprising top business leaders, prominent community members, Counsil General of India Dr Anupam Ray, University of Houston Chancellor and President Dr Renu Khator.
Various elected officials like Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee, Congressman Al Green and Pete Olson, Harris County Judge Ed Emmett, Mayor of Houston Sylvester Turner, Council member Jack Christie, City of Houston Controller Chris Brown were also present.
The chief guest and keynote speaker was Bruce Culpepper, President, Shell USA.
Executive Director of IACCGH Jagdip Ahluwalia said the Chamber has connected entrepreneurs, doctors, educators, technocrats in an informal setting to create lasting business relationships.
Consul General Dr Ray in speech said it is a good time to be a diplomat in the US and this is evident from the fact that a few days ago on the same day the US Secretary of State was in India and the Indian Defense Minister was in Washington.
Both countries were talking about issues like defense, cybersecurity, increase in trade, he said.
“When you do business in India you are essentially doing business with a country that is more like the US than many countries in the world”, Ray said.
Houston Mayor Sylvestor Turner said the Indian presence in Houston makes it the most diverse city in America.
More than 700 companies in Houston do business with India.