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WHAT: 69th India’s Republic Day celebration organized by the Federation of Indian Associations (FIA) of Tampa Bay
WHEN: Sunday, Feb. 11 – 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.
WHERE: India Cultural Center, 5511 Lynn Road, Tampa
FOR INFORMATION: FIA president: Ramnarayanan Mani, (201) 238-4263; event chair: Sheila Narayanan, (813) 335-8000; event co-chair: Shreya Narayanan, (813) 961-6120.


Here are the programs/activities for the day:

1. Cooking Competition – 9 a.m. to noon. Contact Aparna Srinivasan at (727) 267-1451 or Sumithra Balaji at (813) 405-9758. Or [email protected]

2. Rangoli competition – 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Contact Gautami Khadkatkar at (813) 830-8685 or [email protected]

3. Kids’ Fancy Dress Competition and Parade – noon to 1 p.m. Contact Gayathri Ramaka at (813) 368-3178 or Vrushali Pednekar at (813) 333-1295. Or [email protected]

4. Blood Donation and Bone Marrow Drive from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. – All blood donors to receive T-shirt, light snack and wellness checkup, including BP, temperature, iron count, pulse and cholesterol screenings. Contact for blood donation: Ramesh Pusala at (813) 580-0068 or bone marrow: Vani Shimoga at (561) 212-9265. Or [email protected]

5. Flag hoisting at 1:30 p.m.

6. Cultural Talent Show – 2:15 p.m. to 7 p.m. and exhibits by member organizations – 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Contact Sheila Narayanan at (813) 335-8000 or Shreya Narayanan at (813) 961-6120. Or [email protected]

Business (vendor) booth opportunities – daylong. Contact Vijay Prakash at (813) 486-1912 or [email protected]

Also, fundraising for Puerto Rico Hurricane Relief Funds. Contact Kamakshi Shete at (813) 817-5602 or [email protected] and prize distributions to competition winners.



Yog Melwani

IACCThe New Year brings new opportunities for business professionals across Florida. For the Indian American Chamber of Commerce in Orlando, 2018 brings a new president with a new vision for the future. Yog Melwani will serve as president for 2018 and 2019.

“The Indian American Chamber is committed to helping business professionals build strong relationships and to help grow their businesses in 2018 and beyond,” says Melwani. “The IACC includes some of the most successful professionals in Central Florida. Our leadership team constantly works to expand opportunities for entrepreneurs who want to do business with Orlando’s growing Asian Indian American community.”

Demographics tell an intriguing story for business owners, who are considering getting more involved with the IACC. There are 28,281 Asian Indians living and doing business in the Orlando MSA. (data provided by Orlando Economic Partnership)

“These business professionals have a 23 percent higher median household income than families who are not Asian Indians,” says Melwani, creating a powerful boost to Central Florida’s economy.

The IACC is taking on a new initiative for 2018. The chamber will take a proactive role in Orlando’s Smart Cities initiative by facilitating meaningful dialogue with community leaders to see how this initiative can benefit the community, whether it is via healthcare, transportation or tourism.

The chamber president believes Orlando can gain a technological edge over other American cities by leveraging the Smart Cities initiative.

The IACC in alliance with the city of Orlando and Rollins College will host a Smart Cities Roundtable Event on March 14 at the Bush Auditorium, Rollins College. The college and New York Life are co-sponsoring the Business After Hours portion of the high-tech discussion, among business and government leaders. Chris Castro, director of sustainability for the city of Orlando, Rasesh Thakkar, senior managing director and director of Tavistock Group, and Nagesh Singh, the Consul General of India based in Atlanta, are expected to take part in the roundtable.

A real strength of the IACC is that the chamber is not just about doing business. It’s also about giving back through community service projects.

The 6th annual India Day Celebration will be another big project for Melwani’s team in 2018. IACC partners with the Orlando Magic and other corporate sponsors to celebrate Indian culture and heritage at a Magic game. India Day Celebration 2018 will be held on Feb. 3 as the Magic host the Washington Wizards.

For details, visit www.IACCOrlando.com

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