Foreword by DG – ITEC m.e.

It feels great to have finally succeeded in bringing out this first-of-its-kind manual of Indian businessmen and professionals operating in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

It also gives me great pleasure to brief you on the progress of the manual from the conceptual stage to the final printing phase, and the difficulties and the challenges we faced in the course of time.

Indians have been present in the UAE for centuries and have played a significant role in the country’s growth & development to the present status. India has become the UAE’s number one trading partner and it is estimated that some 1.7 million Indians are residing in this country. A large number of Indians have been engaged in business, or work as professionals, and many have emerged as business leaders. However, till date no effort had been made to compile a comprehensive data on the Indian business and professional community in the form of a manual although some directories were indeed produced with commercial objectives.

Once the India Trade and Exhibition Centre (ITEC) m.e. was established, the need was felt to produce an authentic and comprehensive document that enlists all the Indian businessmen and professionals operating in UAE; which could be used for enhancing business and furthering professional goals; which would render information on services being provided by Indians; and building brand India with no commercial objectives, the very purpose for which India Trade Centre was set up.

The process of conceptualizing the manual started somewhere towards the end of 2011 and after a lot of deliberations, it was decided to have four sections in the Manual i.e. Business and Professional Leaders, Prominent Businessmen and Professionals, White Pages (alphabetically listing of all Indian businessmen and professionals), and Yellow Pages (classified listing by category of business and profession). Thereafter, a blue print was prepared.

But, when you have such a large number of data to be collected and sorted out to compile and produce the document, it was decided to outsource the services to professional people. Gray Matters, a company engaged in providing services in this field, was engaged in January, 2012 to complete the project by October, 2012. To our dismay, Gray Matters failed to discharge its responsibilities, and finally, we had to cancel the contract in November 2012. At this juncture we were at the crossroads; we either had to outsource the project to some other company or do it ourselves. Ultimately, it was decided to do the project ourselves and we started mobilizing the resources and the team was put in place by the middle of February, 2013.

Since then it has been a 24x7 job for the entire team as we were getting bad name for not fulfilling our commitments of taking out the manual on time. We sent thousands of emails; advertised in the media; verified; sorted and compiled the data; and designed the manual’s format. We hired Xponent Media, a professional company headed by Ms. Meraj Rizvi, to do the profiles of business and professional leaders. The efforts were to enlist in the manual as many of business and professional leaders as possible by the deadline, so that the manual is out by the end of June, 2013.

It would be appropriate to mention here that the inaugural edition of the manual may not be as comprehensive as we have envisioned, but it is a great beginning and we shall remove the shortcomings in the subsequent editions.

The manual is envisioned to act as a link and as a one-stop reference guide on Indian businessmen / professionals and major business establishments, for use by members of all nationalities in the UAE, GCC and MENA regions, Government bodies, Embassies, Consulates, Trade organizations, and high profile Individuals. Back home, the manual should become a source of concentrated information for those looking to establish business contacts; enhance the pride of being Indian; and portray the economic and social achievements of the Indian business community in the UAE.

On the several thanks I would like to convey, first and foremost, I would like to thank my Chairman, Mr. Sudesh Aggarwal, for his all-round support, guidance, belief and involvement in the project without which this manual would not have seen the light of the day. I would like to thank the Board of Trustees of ITEC, whose support is vital for any project we undertake.

The data listed in the manual are the result of the collective efforts of the entire team of ITEC m.e., who have travelled the entire length and breadth of the UAE to collect the relevant information, interact with Chambers, Indian Missions officials, various associations, and professional groups in order to feature the complete Indian Diaspora based in the UAE. It shall be fitting to thank the Chambers, staff of Indian Missions, various associations and councils who have participated by contributing to the content of the manual.

It is our endeavour to continuously update, correct and improve the manual on a yearly basis. Your feedback and suggestions shall assist us in making this a more comprehensive, authentic and useful source of information in the years to come.

The Manual is presented in print form, CD, and an interactive online web portal. To ensure a maximum reach, the manual shall be distributed widely through various media.

Lastly, my heartfelt gratitude to H.E. Shri M.K. Lokesh, the Indian Ambassador to UAE, H.E. Shri Sanjay Verma, Consul General of India, and H.E. Ahmed Mohamed Al Midfa, Chairman of Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry, who extended us their unrestricted support for the success of India Trade and Exhibition Centre itself.

Warm Regards

Ms. Sripriyaa Kumaria
Director General

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