Ambassador of Argentina extreme right, the new JS(LAC) Ravi Thapar, Ambassador of Suriname and DG, CII, Mr Mehta
In my speech at the lunch hosted by the Confederation of Indian Industry on 13 September, I expressed thanks to the proactive role played by them in promoting business with Latin America. It has been a pleasant and rewarding experience for me to have worked with the committed and competent young professional executives of CII.
Hmm .. it is more than that. These executives have also displayed a passion for my querida america latina. It started with Subha, who visited Latin America in 1997 and came to Sao Paulo when I was there. I took her to a samba school .. caramba ! she danced like a mulatta ! Although she no longer deals with the region she has retained her passion and attends Latin America meetings, asking me to quote latino poems, being a poet herself. Then came Indrani, La Reina da Salsa ( the salsa queen), who organised many business events and arranged exchanges of delegations. She created history in CII by making it a party to partying at the night clubs " Just my kind of place " and " F- Bar" where CII co-hosted the salsa parties for the launching of my book on latin america and later my website.
And now we have Gunveena, who has started greeting in spanish and is becoming younger by 5 years after her each trip to latin america. She has developed a passion for Latin America and is very enthusiastic in promoting business with the region. She has taken delegations to countries such as Ecuador and Bolivia, the first-ever business delegations from India.
I should also pay tribute to Vidya and Deepa, the two sweet ladies who have been working at the backend quietly but efficiently to make every event a success. They remind me of the poem " Quisera oir tu silencio.. quisera callar mis palabras" ( I want to listen to your silence and silence my words ). And of course, Mr Mehta, the DG of CII and the charming Supriya have been supportive of latin America activities. They were always willing to host meetings for the Latin American delegations, even at short notice.
In June 2007, CII organised the first ever Indo- Latin American Business Conclave in Delhi. They are going to do the second edition in Sao Paulo in December 2007.