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Georgia Retailers’ Association launches membership drive

Mahadev Desai
April 2009
Georgia Retailers’ Association launches membership drive

GRA officials and members at the membership drive

The Georgia Retailers’ Association (GRA) launched its first membership drive with a glitzy Valentine’s party at the Ashiana Banquet Hall in the Global Mall in Norcross on Friday, February 13. The gala was attended by the community’s leading wholesale and retail business owners and service professionals and was graced by the presence of the chief guest, Ron Thompson of Thompson & Singer, P.A.

Atlanta’s well-known musician, Tanweer Mian, entertained guests with popular Bollywood sizzlers like Haule Haule, Jabse Tere Naina, and Chand Sifarish. Sanah Sayani hosted the event. Alyzza Ukani, a Parkview High School student, sang the American National Anthem.

Introducing GRA President Shaukat Sunny Sayani, Sanah described him as a seasoned entrepreneur with a wealth of business experience accumulated over the years through his wide travels and meetings with many business representatives. Recently, Shaukat Sayani launched the highly popular desi radio station, Bollywood Beats 1040 AM, in Georgia.

Shaukat Sayani introduced GRA Associates Vice President Monty Hudda, Executive Officer Mihir Desai, Executive Officer/Honorary Secretary Zul Issani, Treasurer Hiren Desai, and Directors Anand Acharya, Shabir Isani, Mamud Dhanani, Ashish Patel, Balbir Singh, Salim Panjwani, Kanaiyalal Patel, Rafiq Khoja and Mohamed Sohani.

Chief Guest Ron Thompson actively volunteers with Habitat for Humanity and Big Brother, Big Sister humanitarian projects. In his well-received speech, Thompson said, “It is great to be here and celebrate with you all tonight. I have often wondered what constitutes great things. Van Gogh said, ‘Greatness is putting small things together.’ Mother Teresa said, ‘It is taking small things and doing it with love.’ Hegel, the philosopher, said, ‘Anything you do with enthusiasm is a great thing.’ And Ralph Waldo Emerson said, ‘Anything you do with passion’. Well, after 30 years of business and voluntary work, I feel any of us can do great things and be part of it. We need a goal. In GRA Associates, I have seen passion and enthusiasm to achieve their goal. They have faced many challenges but they have persevered and succeeded in forming GRA and I am proud to be a part of GRA.”

GRA Vice President Monty Hudda has been an Atlanta resident for over 20 years. While he has been running a wholesale business for 15 years, he has also played a big role in inviting Bollywood stars like Amitabh Bachchan and Shah Rukh Khan to perform in Atlanta. In his speech, Hudda gave a brief history of GRA, saying, “We thought of repaying the retailers for their gratitude and sincerity over the years. As a token of our appreciation we formed GRA. Our mission is to maximize sales and profitability by negotiating group contracts with manufacturers, suppliers, distributors, and professional service providers. Any retailer in Georgia can join irrespective of race, religion, color or ethnic origin and reap the benefits of unity under the GRA umbrella.”

Dr. Narendra Gupta, a noted nephrologist and a visiting assistant professor at Emory University, stressed the need for unity and added, “This is a very big moment for GRA. The economy is in a recession and this is an opportune moment to come together as it will be a win-win situation for all.”

Anand Acharya, a GRA director, informed the gathering about the membership, rebate and vendor compliance processes. Executive officer Mihir Desai thanked the guests.

For more information on GRA, visit www.georgiaretailersassociation.com.

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