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Inaugural economic forum a success, bigger event planned for next year

The success of the inaugural Hindu Economic Forum New Zealand national conference held in Auckland over the weekend has now inspired the organisers to plan a bigger event next year.

So much so that next year's conference will be a regional event involving New Zealand, Fiji and Australia, say the organisers of last weekend's conference, which was attended by more than 200 delegates.

Economic progress in New Zealand was the focus of the conference, which attracted a wide range of high profile speakers including politicians, community leaders and sector specialists.

"Yes, definitely we are looking at a bigger conference next year involving Australia, Fiji and New Zealand," organiser Raj Tyagi confirmed.

Tyagi said the whole point of the New Zealand conference - with the theme "grow Together, Share Together" - was to help the country's economic progress, and involving Fiji and Australia was taking it to the next level.

HEFNZ chairman Hardik Desai said they had had "amazing feedback" from attendees about the inaugural conference.

Saturday's conference high profile speakers including Bhav Dhillon, India's honorary consul in Auckland; Phil Twyford, Economic Development Minister; Paul Goldsmith, National's finance spokesman; Ranjna Patel, Tamaki Health Group; Angela Wynne, KPMG; Ragavan Rengachariar, director, FNZCFI; Dr Ajit Swaran Singh, district court judge; Caryn Wesley, Employsure; and Uddhav Kiritikar, Compliance Plus.

The afternoon session included Saten Sharma, Waitakere Hindi School; Lawrence Yule, National list MP; Ram Padullaparty, NZTE; Tui Rutherford, Ateed; Vinod Kumar, Nido; Dr Sangeeta Karmokar, Women Entrepreneurship Network; Chandar Sen, president, NZ-Fiji Business Council; Rachna Dave, mortgage and insurance specialist; and Kush Bhargava, Eco Green Homes chief executive.

While all speakers shared their knowledge and expertise on issues and products, the common message was help the community in its bid to help boost the economy of New Zealand to even bigger heights.

Dhillon, a well-known Auckland businessman, spoke of the need to add to the brain pool of New Zealand.

He highlighted the global success of Indians, attributing it to the ability of the community to learn to live with many different voices and still achieve success.

Twyford emphasised the need to continue building on a special partnership with the community, and hoped the conference would inspire more success.

One of the more inspiring speakers was Vinod Kumar, Hindu Council New Zealand president, who shared his success story from humble beginnings as a civil engineer in Fiji, to becoming a Mitre-10 owner in Auckland, and now the force behind Nido Living.

His message to attendees: Dream it, feel it, do it. "Don't look back, keep moving when something negative comes up."

The Hindu Economic Forum New Zealand follows on from the World Hindu Economic Forum held in Mumbai in September, attended by close to 1000 delegates; the next world conference will be held in Netherlands.

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