Fijian diaspora team up to launch Auckland business network


The Fijian diaspora in New Zealand came together in a show of unity with the launch of their own business network in Auckland last week.

More than 70 entrepreneurs, professionals and individual operators gathered in Mount Roskill, Auckland, for the launch of the Fiji Business Network, which had been in the works for months, but Covid restrictions prevented a physical meeting.

Maungakiekie Golf Club was the venue for the inaugural networking evening for members excited about forming their own group that aims to foster and develop entrepreneurship, while helping to boost New Zealand’s economy.

The Fiji Business Network was launched at a networking dinner in Auckland on December 13.  In the center is former Fiji's trade commissioner to the United States, Praneet Singh, and to the right, Pritesh Patel and Prince Kumar to the left.

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The Fiji Business Network was launched at a networking dinner in Auckland on December 13. In the center is former Fiji’s trade commissioner to the United States, Praneet Singh, and to the right, Pritesh Patel and Prince Kumar to the left.

The formation of the network took place following a series of online meetings over the past few months by a select group of individuals, and the organization is now a formal entity with an increasing number of members.

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Raj Chand, one of the founders of the network, said that while the group is aimed at businesses or individuals with ties to Fiji, membership is open to anyone.

Launch of the Fiji Business Network: Dr Prashant Kalyan, standing, was instrumental in securing the Maungakiekie Golf Club site for dinner.  The others are, from left to right, Dharmesh Patel, Dixit Chauhan, Dhirend Sharma, Pritesh Patel and Raj Chand.

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Launch of the Fiji Business Network: Dr Prashant Kalyan, standing, was instrumental in securing the Maungakiekie Golf Club site for dinner. The others are, from left to right, Dharmesh Patel, Dixit Chauhan, Dhirend Sharma, Pritesh Patel and Raj Chand.

“This evening is an opportunity for us to meet, connect and bring together various founding members as well as interested parties and many new members have joined as well,” said Chand.

“It’s a great start for the organization: it’s connecting businesses, it’s connecting our community together, and it’s also serving the community and nurturing new businesses, and providing mentorship to new businesses. “

The network, which has assembled nearly 50 members in recent weeks, has so far attracted a powerful core group with broad skills, including two trade commissioners at Glynis Miller of Pacific Trade Invest and Praneet Singh, the former Fiji trade commissioner. in the USA.

Arvind Kumar / Tips

Fiji Business Network (NZ) member Vinay Kumar talks about investment opportunities in Fiji at the network’s launch in Auckland on Monday.

Chand said a concerted membership drive continues and they hope to get at least 200 members by early next year.

“There are many events planned as we grow, and one of the most important events will be a trade show which we hope will take place in the first half of the year. “

The Fiji Business Network is run by a working committee whose members take turns, eliminating the need for a structured hierarchy of officials.

Pritesh Patel and Nikita Chand pose for the camera.

Provided

Pritesh Patel and Nikita Chand pose for the camera.

According to a recent analysis by the Whanau Community Center, nearly 150,000 people of Fijian descent live in New Zealand and run 15,000 businesses employing 45,000 people.

Fiji is New Zealand’s largest regional trading partner and one of its top 20 trading partners, while New Zealand is Fiji’s third largest trading partner and second largest tourism market.

Launch of the Fiji Business Network: intense discussion between Vineet Sharma, Atesh Bhej, Deven Maharaj and Mahendra Sharma.

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Launch of the Fiji Business Network: intense discussion between Vineet Sharma, Atesh Bhej, Deven Maharaj and Mahendra Sharma.

The atmosphere was cordial when the Fiji Business Network was launched.

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The atmosphere was cordial when the Fiji Business Network was launched.

Fiji Business Network Launch: Former FijiTV reporter Rachna Nath was MC for the evening.

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Fiji Business Network Launch: Former FijiTV reporter Rachna Nath was MC for the evening.

Vinod Kumar, Venkat Raman, Jacob Malhotra, Prince Kumar at the launch.

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Vinod Kumar, Venkat Raman, Jacob Malhotra, Prince Kumar at the launch.

Praneet Singh, center, and friends enjoy dessert.

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Praneet Singh, center, and friends enjoy dessert.

Rachna Nath and Richard Kumar.

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Rachna Nath and Richard Kumar.

Sanjay Sharma, Vineet Sharma and Deven Maharaj.

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Sanjay Sharma, Vineet Sharma and Deven Maharaj.

Launch of the Fiji Business Network: Pritesh Patel, left, Rachna Nath, Atesh Bhej and Raj Chand.

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Launch of the Fiji Business Network: Pritesh Patel, left, Rachna Nath, Atesh Bhej and Raj Chand.

Rachna Nath, left, Kashika Singh and Roshila Prasad.

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Rachna Nath, left, Kashika Singh and Roshila Prasad.

Launch of the Fiji Business Network: Dev Narayan, left, and Ashwant Sahay.

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Launch of the Fiji Business Network: Dev Narayan, left, and Ashwant Sahay.

Launch of the Fiji Business Network: Atesh Bhej, on the left, and Ahmed Bhamji.

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Launch of the Fiji Business Network: Atesh Bhej, on the left, and Ahmed Bhamji.

Launch of the Fiji Business Network: Henry Rogo, left, Vincent Naidu, Madhavan Raman and Nik Naidu.

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Launch of the Fiji Business Network: Henry Rogo, left, Vincent Naidu, Madhavan Raman and Nik Naidu.

Dharmesh Patel, left, Amar Prakash and Dev Narayan.

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Dharmesh Patel, left, Amar Prakash and Dev Narayan.

Venkat Raman, left, and Jacob Malhotra at the launch.

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Venkat Raman, left, and Jacob Malhotra at the launch.

Ann Pala, left, and Naleen Chand.

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Ann Pala, left, and Naleen Chand.

Tupou Kamoe, left, and Rachael Mario.

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Tupou Kamoe, left, and Rachael Mario.

Launch of the Fiji Business Network: Vishwa Gounder, caterer;  Nik Naidu and Shakti Harduar.

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Launch of the Fiji Business Network: Vishwa Gounder, caterer; Nik Naidu and Shakti Harduar.

Vinay Kumar, left, Raj Chand and Pritesh Patel at the launch.

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Vinay Kumar, left, Raj Chand and Pritesh Patel at the launch.

Ahmed Bhamji, left, Imraan Hussain and Vinay Kumar at the launch of the Fiji Business Network.

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Ahmed Bhamji, left, Imraan Hussain and Vinay Kumar at the launch of the Fiji Business Network.

Dharmesh Patel, left, with Yashveen Singh, a key figure in the formation of the network.

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Dharmesh Patel, left, with Yashveen Singh, a key figure in the formation of the network.

Launch of the Fiji Business Network: Vincent Naidu and Kishore Pala.

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Launch of the Fiji Business Network: Vincent Naidu and Kishore Pala.

Launch of the Fiji business network: Vincent Naidu, Ann Pala, Madhavan Raman and Asish Prasad.

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Launch of the Fiji business network: Vincent Naidu, Ann Pala, Madhavan Raman and Asish Prasad.


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