Acknowledgment: Original ICFC logo conceived by Ms. Sarina Anand. Redesigned and animated by Mr. Santosh Shail.
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2013 Events (in reverse chronological order)

Dec 1, 2013
Speaker:  Chandrakanth Arya

TOPIC: Entrepreneurship in India, Canada and the GCC Countries

About the Speaker/Talk:

Chandrakanth Arya is a senior executive with global business experience as a corporate investor, industrial banker, economic development executive, entrepreneur, and engineer. He was designated as Canadian Investment Manager by the Canadian Securities Institute in 2006, obtained his MBA from Karnatak University and B.Eng (Mechanical) from Bangalore University. He has lived and worked in India, Canada as well as the GCC countries (Gulf Cooperation Council — Oman and Qatar).

Before moving to Ottawa, Chandra had an illustrious career that spanned India and the GCC countries. As an entrepreneur in Bangalore, he owned and operated a granite manufacturing company and later managed a very successful consultancy serving entrepreneurs/corporates on all aspects of setting up of manufacturing ventures – from conceptualization to implementation, including syndication of debt and equity. In the GCC countries, he developed investment proposals, and invested in, varied industries ranging from petrochemicals & plastics to metals & materials and led teams on several key assignments including the identification of strategic expansion/diversification options for a billion dollar company.

Chandra is currently the Chief Financial Officer of D-TA Group of companies and is also the publisher of the Ottawa Star – a bi-weekly newspaper. He is currently on the board of Invest Ottawa whose mission is to make Ottawa the best place in Canada to start and grow a business. He is the past Chair of Indo-Canada Ottawa Business Chamber and past President of Indo-Canadian Community Centre. Chandra has served on the boards of many not-for-profit and charitable organizations including the Hindu Society of Ottawa Carleton, Ottawa Community Immigrants Services Organization and the OCISO Non-Profit Housing Corporation.

India has advanced in the manufacturing sector and the GCC countries have focused on increasing manufacturing’s share of GDP. As another example, South Korea has become a leading industrialized nation, yet Canada is finding it challenging to grow its manufacturing sector.

In India, Chandra owned & managed a manufacturing company and worked as an industrial banker. In the GCC countries, Chandra was involved in setting up and investing in new manufacturing companies as well as working for six GCC governments to promote industrial investment. In Canada he is involved with a high tech defence hardware manufacturing company and was on the board of a company manufacturing advanced medical devices.

Chandra will draw on his extensive and multi-faceted experience in discussing the financial aspects of establishing a successful new manufacturing business.

Sept. 22, 2013
Speaker:  Prof. Rao Nanduri

TOPIC: A Value System For Individual Happiness And Evolution

Prof Rao NanduriAbout the Speaker/Talk:

Prof. Rao Nanduri hails from Hyderabad, India.

He is educated at Osmania University, Harvard University Law School (Fullbright Scholar), and McGill University. He has Degrees in English Literature, International Law, Constitutional Law, International Protection of Human Rights, Education, and Educational Administration.

Prof. Nanduri has taught English at high school, Law at Marathwada University (Aurangabad), and Delhi University, and International Organizations, Human Rights and Environmental Policy at Concordia University.

His great passions are: "Justice", Music and Dance, Civilizations, Cultures and Philosophies of the World, Gardens and Gardening. He considers himself a perpetual student of all these.

Prof Nanduri has been the President of Bharatiya Sangeetha Sangham (A Fine Arts Society), Montreal, several times over the last 30 years, and cherishes the contacts he has made with great artists of India, which deepened his passion for music and dance.

In his talk on "A Value System For Individual Happiness and Evolution," Prof Nanduri will discuss:

1. The Importance of the "Principle of Balance" at individual, societal and cosmic level;

2. How the Rise and Fall of Civilizations is a guide for individuals and societies today;

3. How modern science helps us on the human evolutionary path;

4. The enduring core values that great cultures teach us how to be happy and progress on "VERTICAL EVOLUTION" rather than "HORIZONTAL EVOLUTION."

June 2, 2013
Speaker:  Andreé Pouliot

TOPIC: Stories of India: Treasured Artisans and Their Textile Legacy

About the Speaker/Talk:

Andrée Pouliot is the Creative Director and chief designer of Soma Blockprints. Her husband Radhakrishnan Nair and she cofounded the company in Jaipur, India in 1984.

Andrée first went to India over 30 years ago as design assistant to her mother, Sarah Pouliot. Sarah’s fashion business, Sarah Clothes, specializing in Indian cotton prints, was well-known in Ottawa for many years.

Andrée continues to enjoy close associations with artisans in India, and loves working with them directly in the field and enjoys documenting their crafts. She maintains a continuous quest for quality handmade textiles from all over India which she sells seasonally in Canada to private clients.

Andrée’s design projects have included handcrafted block prints and embroidery of all kinds, inlaid marble home decorations, one-of-a-kind jewelry, hand-painted ceramics, and Kashmiri lacquered boxes.

In addition to her expertise as a block-print specialist, Andrée is an artist and freelance designer. She creates miniature paintings using traditional Indian methods and themes, integrated with a contemporary collage technique. She has exhibited and sold her paintings to collectors in Canada, England, the USA, and India.

Andrée also illustrated 'Guru Nanak The First Sikh Guru' by Rina Singh, published by Groundwood Books in 2011. In Ottawa, Andrée has worked as a curatorial consultant with the Canadian Museum of Civilization and at the National Arts Centre.

Andrée now divides her time between Canada & India, enjoying the Ottawa summers and passing the fall and winter in a restored eighteenth-century haveli near Jaipur.

April 21, 2013
Speaker:  Mohammed Azhar Ali Khan

TOPIC: How You Can Make Canada
An Even Better Country

About the Talk:

Mr. Ali Khan will speak on his experiences in British India during Partition and his experiences in Pakistan when he was living there and as a visiting journalist.

His first introduction to multiculturalism was in Bhopal where he had Hindu, Christian and Sikh friends, went to an English school, had a Hindu teacher as a private tutor, and was enriched by these experiences.

The main thrust of his remarks will be how Canadians, whose origins are in the subcontinent, can make Canada an even better country and how they can also contribute to improving relations, and therefore the lives of millions, between India and Pakistan.

He sees the awards he has received as a tribute to India, Pakistan and Islam because he sees himself as a product of all three, and regards India, Pakistan and Bangladesh as three siblings - children of the same mother.

About the speaker:

Mohammed Azhar Ali Khan is a Canadian who is very attached to his Indo-Pakistani background. He has received the highest honors of Canada including the Order of Canada, the Order of Ontario, the Queens Diamond Jubilee Medal and the Queens Golden Jubilee Medal. He received these for his accomplishments as a journalist, bridgebuilding between Canadians of diverse backgrounds and leadership of Muslims in Ottawa.

After serving at the Ottawa Citizen for 25 years, mostly on the editorial board as the foreign affairs writer and editor, he took early retirement to join the Royal Commission, Citizens Forum on Canada’s Future (the Spicer Commission) as the Director for Multiculturalism. In this role, he travelled to many parts of Canada to consult Canadians and also to conduct refugee hearings. Mr. Ali Khan retired after working for ten years as a refugee judge with the Immigration and Refugee Board deciding on asylum cases.

He was born in Bhopal, lived and studied in India, Pakistan, the Philippines and the U.S.A. He worked as a journalist in Pakistan, where he witnessed the signing of the Indus Waters treaty by Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and President Ayub Khan and, later, Sheikh Abdullah’s visit. He moved to Canada when the National Press Trust was formed, which took over several newspapers, including the one where he was news editor.

Mr. Ali Khan now writes a weekly column in Saudi Gazette, an international English daily paper that is published in Jeddah and read mostly by expats working in the Middle East.

March 3, 2013
Speaker:  Admiral (Retd.) Nirmal Verma

High Commissioner of India to Canada

TOPIC: Canada and India  –  A Bright Future

About the Talk:

High Commissioner Verma’s will review India and Canada’s shared commitment to democracy, pluralism, federalism, individual liberty and free enterprise as well as look at the concerted effort that is underway to transform the bilateral relationship by infusing greater economic content.

He will talk about progress on bilateral framework agreements, energy security, nuclear cooperation, dialogue on emerging agricultural   technologies, mining and geosciences and how Canada is taking over as a preferred destination for Indian students pursuing higher studies abroad and how Canada can leverage India’s abundant human resources.

About the speaker:

Admiral (Retd) Nirmal Verma was commissioned into the Indian Navy in 1970 assuming charge as the 20th Chief of the Naval Staff on 31 Aug 09 and retiring from service on completion of a distinguished career spanning over four decades.  He had the privilege of commanding three ships during his naval career, including the coveted command of an aircraft carrier and has vast experience at the national as well as international level.

Admiral Verma attended the Royal Naval Staff College, Greenwich, UK and the Naval War College, Newport, Rhode Island, USA and is a post graduate in Defence Studies from Chennai University.  In his assignments as a senior flag officer, the Admiral has steered development of maritime capability, formulation of induction policy, guided the HRD programme of the Indian Navy, and structured the framework of transformation of the Navy’s Combat capability and infrastructure development.

Admiral Verma is the recipient of Param Vishisht Seva Medal and Ati Vishisht Medal, awarded to himby the Government of India for his meritorious service.