• Surrey Board of Trade – 6th International Trades Awards

    I had the pleasure of speaking on behalf of SFU’s India Advisory Council at the Surrey Board of Trade -6th International Trades Awards on May 8th, 2014. Below is the speech that I was fortunate to give on this night honouring excellence in Surrey.

    I am grateful to Surrey Board of Trade for hosting this evening’s International Trade Awards in recognition of Surrey based companies engaged in international trade. I congratulate all the award nominees. I am pleased to represent Simon Fraser University here this evening as it is an integral part of our community and economy. Over the past few years I have had the distinct honour to serve on Simon Fraser University’s India Advisory Council along with notable community and business leaders including SBOT’s CEO, Anita Huberman. SFU’s India strategy links local community with efforts to build academic, research and business relationships in India. Members of the Advisory Council help open doors and provide advice on local and international engagement.

    In 1981 a young man in his mid-thirties had some university education, a little bit of business experience, an innovative idea, a lot of ambition but no start-up capital. With a $200 loan from his wife and six knowledge partners he launched a small technology company. Today, Infosys is a multinational corporation providing business consulting, technology, engineering, and outsourcing services. It employs 165,000 people around the world including Canada. Its founder, Mr. Narayana Murthy has been listed among the 12 greatest entrepreneurs of our time by Fortune magazine. He has been described as the Father of the Indian IT sector by Time magazine!

    Simon Fraser University is creatively engaging the minds and hearts of its 30,000 students including nearly 6,000 international students to raise-up innovators and entrepreneurs like Mr. Murthy. SFU’s India strategy was developed in 2006 and it has taken many years of visits and efforts to build our reputation locally and in India. For BC and Canada, India is a priority market. Both have been keen on increasing trade and business linkages with India, with particular focus on infrastructure, energy, food security, education, innovation and entrepreneurship. SFU is playing an important role in this. During the recent trip to India by SFU important letters of intent were signed with Indian Oil, India’s largest commercial enterprise and 88th on the Fortune ‘Global 500’ listings, the top-ranked Indian Institute of Technology – Bombay, and the Bombay Stock Exchange Institute.

    SFU has benefited from participating in the mission organized by the City of Surrey, provincial visits to India, and the support of the BC Ministry of International Trade. At the state dinner for His Excellency Governor General David Johnston in New Delhi in February, I had the privilege to sit beside and chat with Mr. Butala, Chairman of Indian Oil. Canada is seen as an energy powerhouse by India. Indian Oil recognizes British Columbia and Simon Fraser University for their global leadership role in the fuel cell development and its commercialization. Thus the exciting research collaboration between Indian Oil and SFU will provide greater opportunities for SFU faculty members and students to advance this field globally and to help meet rising demand for energy in India and around the world.

    SFU’s partnership with Ryerson University and the Bombay Stock Exchange Institute is an innovative collaboration to develop an international incubator and accelerator program for young Canadian and Indian entrepreneurs. The incubator, which I visited along with Governor General David Johnston and his official Canadian delegation in February, will enable start-ups to connect with mentors, customers and investors. It will provide internships, co-op opportunities and support for student entrepreneurs and their start-up and spinout companies. It will develop and situate their business ideas/innovations for the Indian marketplace. This agreement will help Surrey and BC start-up companies that want to develop the Indian market for their products and services and Indian companies that want to develop the North American market. It is expected that these two visionary initiatives will provide Surrey’s business community and young Canadian entrepreneurs an opportunity to explore and engage in significant and meaningful bilateral business activities with India.

    On April 26th in Toronto, in his acceptance speech of Canada India Foundation’s Chanchlani Global Indian Award, Mr. Murthy stressed that there was a need to build a world where more and more wealth is created while human dignity is enhanced. He said the need of the hour is to practice compassionate capitalism – bringing the power of ideas and research together in finding innovative solutions for the benefit of the larger masses. It is said “Time and tide wait for no man.” The trade opportunities for you with Asia and India in particular are enormous. All you need is to seize the opportunity! SFU is there to do its part!

    Mr. Narayana Murthy, Jay Minhas, Barj Dhahan and Dr. Nemy Banthia, CEO, IC-IMPACTS Ltd. (Canada India Centre of Excellence, UBC)

    Mr. Narayana Murthy, Jay Minhas, Barj Dhahan and Dr. Nemy Banthia, CEO, IC-IMPACTS Ltd. (Canada India Centre of Excellence, UBC)

    Mr. Narayana Murthy, Dr. Roseann Runte, President Carleton University, Barj Dhahan and Jay Minhas

    Mr. Narayana Murthy, Dr. Roseann Runte, President Carleton University, Barj Dhahan and Jay Minhas

    Narayana Murthy, Co-Founder and Chairman Emeritus, Infosys and Barj

    Narayana Murthy, Co-Founder and Chairman Emeritus, Infosys and Barj Dhahan