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Gujarati Samaj presents “Business & Professional Networking”

Sanjay Pandya
July 2009
Gujarati Samaj presents “Business & Professional Networking”

About 225 attendees availed of the opportunity to network, listen to speakers, and receive folders full of advice on networking, job searching, resume writing and motivation. Seen here are attendees and speakers.

The newly elected, energetic young team of Gujarati Samaj Atlanta organized the group’s first business and professional networking event on May 30, 2009 as a ray of hope amid the gloomy economic situation of today. The subject of the seminar, “How to Survive in Hard Economic Times,” was timely and attracted many business owners and professionals since it was open to all Asian Americans.

The event spearheaded the Samaj’s new program, called Business and Professional Network (BPN), open for all of the area’s Asian Americans. Drawing on the well-known business acumen of the Gujaratis, the forum was designed “as a catalyst to promote and protect interest of its members by inspiring excellence through programs and initiatives, professional development and community development.” Under its banner, seminars, workshops and networking events will provide resources and information, encourage a high standard of business ethics, and aid professionals in job placement and training.

The networking opportunity of the first presentation attracted many young adults. Samosas and hot tea added flavor to the event. All 225 attendees received a folder of information, articles on networking, job searching, resume writing and motivation. The seminar, educational materials and food were all free for preregistered participants, thanks to sponsors.

The topic, “How to survive in hard economic times,” was approached from various angles. Khyati Patel, leader of the event, spoke on the importance of networking in our modern life, and quoted John Donne, “No man is an island, entire of itself.” President Vipul Patel, an IT manager in professional life, gave a brief history of Gujarati Samaj of Atlanta and described the importance of such an event for the community.

Sapna Patel of New York Life, a founding sponsor and member of the BPN event organizing committee, asked everyone not to panic in such unstable economy and reasoned that responsible financial decisions could turn challenges into opportunities. All the speakers reiterated her advice of “do not panic” during the seminar.

Prakash Parmar, an immigration attorney, member of the Gujarati Samaj board of governors and member of the BPN event organizing committee, explained different categories of visas and what people should expect.

Kirtan Patel, a corporate attorney of the Kumar Pathak law firm spoke on bankruptcy and gave a dose of reality to the audience by saying that the days of “exuberance“ are long gone.

Dr. Dilip Patel, a practicing psychiatrist and long time Gujarati Samaj volunteer, explained both simple and medical ways for coping with stress from the present economic situation.

Mr. Mohan Kapur, a motivational speaker, advised attendees to practice success. Since success is a journey, he said success is what you can do. Do not focus on what you cannot do. Quoting a successful athlete he said, “Just run your own race, do not worry what others are doing.” He advised keeping a positive attitude, and writing down your goals weekly, monthly and yearly. He ended with quoting Robert Frost’s famous poem, “The Road Not Taken.”

“I shall be telling this with a sigh

Somewhere ages and ages hence:

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—

I took the one less traveled by,

And that has made all the difference.

Interestingly, this successful session on business and finances was both opened and closed with poetry, for we communicate and come to understanding in various ways.

The next event is tentatively scheduled in the month of August 2009. Volunteers and sponsors are welcome to contact Networking@gsatlanta.org.

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