Bollywood actor and entrepreneur Suniel Shetty is among a group of achievers to be awarded for excellence in their respective fields at an annual Indo-European Business Forum (IEBF) summit in the House of Lords complex in London.
Shetty, the Bollywood action icon and founder of FTC Talent Media & Entertainment, was felicitated with the Award for Excellence for his Contribution to Indian Art and Culture.
"The motivation behind FTC was to protect kids from exploitation when they step into the entertainment industry," said Shetty, as he received the award from former Indian cricket captain Kapil Dev and Indian-origin House of Lords peer Baroness Sandy Verma on Monday evening.
"It is for the children to be able to showcase their talent and today we have over a thousand success stories with plans to grow this initiative," the actor, known for box-office hits such as "Mohra", "Dhadkan" and "Hera Pheri", said.
Some of the other IEBF Awards for Excellence were handed out in the category of Contribution to Social Sector Reforms to Ritu Prakash Chhabria, managing trustee of the Mukul Madhav Foundation and daughter of Hinduja Group co-chair GP Hinduja, for her work in the field of medicine and education; Contribution to Profit for Purpose to accounting software firm Accloud; and Contribution to the Media Industry to Manish Tiwari, the founder of UK-based ethnic media agency Here and Now 365.
The event also marked the launch of a report entitled 'India: A 5 Trillion Dollar Economy by 2024-25', compiled by IEBF India lead Sunil Gupta.
"The Indian economy has been on a growth trajectory since the last few years and is heading towards achieving its humongous target of a 5-trillion-dollar economy by 2024-25.
"In the recent trend of global economic slowdown, India is moving forward towards achieving its dream target with the help of various factors like democracy, demography, demand, decisiveness, ease of doing business and ease of living, among others," Gupta said.
IEBF founder-chair Vijay Goel said the association was set up in 2007 "to help promote India among the countries of the European Union and will continue that work, Brexit or no Brexit".
GP Hinduja, as a major investor in India through the Hinduja Group, addressed the event to flag some concerns that still remain around the ease of doing business in India.
"Prime Minister Modi has an excellent vision for the country but the reforms are not being able to keep pace with that. We, the OCIs, (Overseas Citizens of India) are a real asset for India and a lot can be done to harness the strengths of the OCIs and NRIs (Non-Resident Indians]," he said.
Dev, a member of the IEBF India Advisory Board, addressed the concerns raised by Hinduja, saying India was undergoing some "teething problems" as it continues to grow at a fast pace.
"India is one country that believes in peace and wants to do business. That is the strength of India. Come and invest and India will not let you down," added the former Indian skipper.
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