From addressing global challenges to driving positive change, networks of impact are the dynamic platforms that bring together individuals, organisations, and communities. Dinis Guarda interviews Vijay Goel, former Chairman of the London Chamber of Commerce Asian Business Association and the Chairman of Indo-European Business Forum, in the latest episode of his YouTube podcast, powered by openbusinesscouncil and citiesabc.
In today's interconnected world, collaboration across borders is essential to address pressing global challenges and drive sustainable development. These networks harness collective expertise, resources, and shared goals to create lasting social, environmental, and socio-economic impact. By leveraging the strength of collaboration, these networks have become catalysts for transformative change across various sectors.
A firm believer in collaborations and robust networks, Vijay is renowned for his remarkable achievements and contributions in bridging multiple economies, including India, Africa, and the UK.
He emphasised that networks bring together individuals, businesses, non-profit organisations, governments, and academic institutions, fostering collaboration and collective action. By uniting different perspectives, skills, and resources, networks of impact enable stakeholders to tackle complex challenges that transcend the capabilities of any single entity.
"For the past 23 years, I've been a board member or a member of multiple networks that bring connectivity and help me learn and grow everyday. I learn different cultures, perspectives, business nuances, and then find value in them and help them directly or indirectly through my network", he told Dinis.
Harnessing cultural diversity and expertise with the power of networks
Economies like Asia, Africa, and the UK, are rich in cultural diversity, expertise, and innovative ideas. With the power of effective networks, these regions can tap into their unique strengths and knowledge.
"Creating effective networks happens over a period of time. In my experience of connecting people for business and legal services has been for more than 25 years. These experiences keep building. For an individual, it is difficult to navigate everything. However, a network helps you put everything together", Vijay explained.
On one hand, India, known for its vibrant technology and entrepreneurial ecosystem, can offer expertise in areas such as digital transformation, renewable energy, and healthcare innovation. The UK, on the other hand, with its strong research and development capabilities, can contribute cutting-edge knowledge and resources in sectors like education, finance, and sustainability. Africa, similarly, is a continent brimming with untapped potential that offers valuable insights into sustainable development, agriculture, and inclusive growth.
By leveraging the diversity and expertise of each region, networks of impact can generate powerful synergies and drive transformative change.
Collaborative solutions for sustainable development
Networks facilitate pooling of resources, knowledge, and experiences, thereby addressing common challenges such as poverty alleviation, healthcare access, education, and climate change.
For example, knowledge sharing and technology transfer from India and the UK to Africa can bolster healthcare infrastructure, improve agricultural practices, and enhance educational opportunities. Joint research projects and innovation initiatives can drive economic growth, job creation, and technological advancements.
As the Chairman of Indo-European Business Forum, Vijay has been promoting business corridors between India, UK, and Europe. He is also the Vice Chairman of the Africa Business Forum, navigating Indian businesses to African countries. As the board member of Mauritius Afrinext Stock Exchange, taking care of the listing of the businesses. Speaking from his experience of facilitating businesses through his network channels, Vijay told Dinis:
"Networks allow you to overcome some common challenges that exist in cross-border businesses like navigating the system, getting necessary finances for your project, economic expansion of business, scaling, and cultural nuances."
He also emphasised that collaborative efforts can also foster sustainable trade and investment, contributing to inclusive economic development worldwide.
Collaborations and partnerships empower local communities and promote inclusivity
Networks of impact offer an opportunity to empower local communities and promote inclusivity. By engaging local organisations, businesses, and grassroots initiatives, these networks can ensure that the voices and perspectives of diverse communities are heard and taken into account.
Initiatives such as mentorship programs, knowledge-sharing platforms, and capacity-building projects can provide opportunities for skills development, entrepreneurship, and social empowerment. Highlighting multiple partnerships between India and the UK, Vijay told Dinis:
"Local partners give a headway to basically secure projects across borders. The nature of the business is changing. Earlier, there were very limited sectors to work into, but now we see a diversity of projects coming up. With technology changing everyday, partnerships and collaborations can navigate these projects towards long-term success."
By embracing inclusivity, networks of impact can create a more equitable and sustainable future for all, bridging gaps and promoting social cohesion.
A future of hope and prosperity
Vijay has also been building networks of impact to foster stronger policy and diplomatic collaborations. Through collaborative initiatives like the Singhania Foundation, Bernardo's, Action Aid, Vijay is driving policy innovation and encouraging cross-border investments.
Governments, policymakers, and international organisations can leverage these networks to share best practices, coordinate efforts, and align policy objectives. By promoting dialogue and diplomatic ties, networks of impact can contribute to enhanced partnerships and cooperation between these regions, fostering mutual understanding and shared goals.