Suresh Kumar, Chairman, IBPC Dubai Image Credit: Supplied

What does it mean for IBPC Dubai to be recognised by the Dubai Government at the BEA?

IBPC Dubai is encouraged and enthused that this recognition is awarded for meeting the Model of Excellence criteria set for the Business Excellence Award (BEA) and for IBPC Dubai’s continuous improvement. It is also a validation and appreciation of the transparency in disclosures and good governance.

How is the IBPC Dubai helping the Indian business community forge strong partnerships and build excellent business models within the UAE?

Through IBPC Dubai’s sector-wise Focus Groups and Forums, the business community is provided access to leaders in each business activity. We are also reviewing the establishment of Centres of Excellence (CoE) strategically.

Offering memberships to Emiratis within the IBPC Dubai was an excellent step by the management to forge closer business and trade partnerships between the representatives of both nations. What has been the response, are there any similar initiatives in the offing soon?

This initiative is work in progress and opens up avenues for not just business and trade partnerships but importantly investment flows. Yes, there are a few interesting initiatives in the offing; e.g. a Family Office Forum. More as we roll out.

How did the pandemic make the IBPC Dubai revise its events schedule, how has the response been to the IBPC Dubai webinar series over the course of the year? Are the IBPC webinars expected to continue once live events come back into play?

We anticipated and adapted early to be the first Council to seamlessly switch to the virtual Webinars. Going forward when live physical events resume, webinars will remain a rapid and ready option. We see a hybrid model for a while. It is cost and time effective.

How is IBPC Dubai supporting Indian businesses in the UAE as they prep to meet challenges in a post-Covid world?

Policy advocacy in the last few years has enabled the large Indian business and professional community to articulate and escalate issues after careful examination of the pros and cons. The Federal and Dubai Governmental authorities have been appreciative and sensitive to such policy advocacy initiatives. We believe that post Covid this role will become even more critical across business sectors via our strategically established Focus Groups.

With the Expo being hosted next year in the Emirate, are there any plans that IBPC Dubai has in place for the extravaganza that you would like to share?

We work closely with the Expo authorities and they have already addressed our Members twice in physical and webinar modes. The Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry or FICCI, in India is coordinating with us and we will facilitate our members via these alignments.

IBPC Dubai spent Dh350,000 on blue collar workers during this year to support them during the pandemic. Could you elaborate on this CSR initiative?

IBPC Dubai established a Community Social Responsibility (CSR) as would befit well founded and resilient not- for profit organisation. Annually we support deserving institutions in Dubai and in India and give them higher profile and awareness among our members; who in turn can contribute their mite generously.

In 2018, we featured Al Jalila Foundation and in 2019 we supported Al Noor Foundation with a contribution of Dh100,000. In March this year, the Indian community organisation rallied to provide relief to the Covid-affected persons in the UAE — both in cash and kind.

IBPC Dubai chose to contribute by paying for the salaries of doctors, nurses and other medical staff who voluntarily helped operate the medical isolation centre at Al Warsan. The costs exceeded Dh350,000 which IBPC Dubai had underwritten and paid.

Additionally, an IBPC Dubai Doyen, Paras Shahdadpuri had generously committed Dh100,000 for repatriating Indians who could not afford to buy tickets on their own.