WASHINGTON: While Indian-American organisations with different focus areas such as entrepreneurship and philanthropy are doing good work; Indiaspora, a non-profit organisation dedicated to uniting the Indian diaspora for a stronger, more inter-connected global community, is different and has a goal of being more eclectic, Sanjeev Joshipura, the Washington DC based executive director of the organisation, told the Times of India.
“We partner with various organisations representing different sections of Indians in America; but we see a larger and more powerful role for our organisation and by design our members are not just venture capitalists, tech CEOs, bankers and consultants but many are also from outside the corporate world and represent arts, media, sciences, politics, sports and academia,” Joshipura, who was in New Delhi last week for Indiaspora’s G20 Forum, coinciding with India’s G20 presidency, said.
The organisation, which was founded in America 11 years ago, now has the ambitious goal to inspire and position the global Indian diaspora to be a force for good and to build bridges between diaspora leaders in various countries and various professions and leaders in India. “We want to become the Davos of the Global Indians,” Joshipura said.
While America is the strongest base for the organisation, it is also rapidly expanding globally. “We had participants from 26 countries at our G20 event. Our active work is now spread in eight countries including Australia, Singapore, the UAE, UK, Canada and Israel besides India and the US,” Joshipura said.
With people of Indian origin becoming influential in areas of public policy and politics; the leadership of Indiaspora is focussed on how best the success and influence of the global Indian community can be transferred towards creating a positive societal impact. “We are focussed on being impact driven rather than just bragging about the success stories of the Indian diaspora in business, politics and other sectors. Some of the areas that we are working on, both with the Indian diaspora and prominent leaders in India include entrepreneurship, philanthropy, broader civic engagement, engaging with the next generation and climate change,” Joshipura said.
As a larger number of global Indians become influential elected government representatives; Indiaspora sees them playing an important role in helping drive the future direction. “It is important for our organisation to remain cognisant of the history and socio-political and cultural elements and diversities of the Indian diaspora in different countries. In every country, the priorities of the Indian community is different. As we expand globally, we have to also be mindful of local nuances and local flavours,” Joshipura said.
He added that while the first of Indian immigrants in the US and many other countries were focussed on securing themselves financially and did well in business and corporates; members of the community were now diversifying into various new fields including politics, arts, sports. “Many now have the comfort to diversify into new areas and while not all of them may become millionaires; many are working for global societal good,” Joshipura said.