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Celebrating Legacy And Vision

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Thattai Hindu Mercantile Community’s Entrepreneurship Awards 2024

In a momentous gathering, the Thattai Hindu Mercantile Community (THMC) honoured seven distinguished business titans in Bahrain with ‘lifetime achievement’ awards. These luminaries, whose lifetimes were etched with resilience and innovation, stood tall amidst the challenges of commerce.

Among them, the venerable Bahraini business icon, Farouk Yousuf Khalil Almoayyed, took centre stage. Alongside him were Lalchand Chaturbhuj, L R Gajria, Vasdev Bhatia, Navin Megchiani, Indukumar P. Bhatia, and Vithal Karani—each a chapter in Bahrain’s entrepreneurial saga.

As Industry and Commerce Minister Abdulla Fakhro presented the awards alongside THMC President Mukesh Kavalani, the spirit of unity and progress reverberated in the hall, which celebrated not just achievements but the enduring legacy of visionaries who shaped Bahrain’s economic landscape.

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The first-of-its-kind honour was part of the THMC’s debut Entrepreneurship Awards 2024, held at the Sofitel Bahrain Zallaq Thalassa Sea and Spa, under the patronage of His Royal Highness Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, Crown Prince and Prime Minister.

Speaking to Bahrain This Week, Mr Almoayyed, the chairman of YK Almoayyed & Sons, expressed his happiness at being ‘recognised’.

“I’m honoured to be recognised for my achievements in business, and this is very kind of the committee (THMC) to choose me,” said the senior businessman.
“This is a beautiful gesture, and being recognised is indeed always a good gesture. And when they came to tell me that they wish to present this award to me, I said that I’m honoured—I must say, thank you very much.”

Mr Megchiani who shared his views, felt that the recognition for the senior businessmen was ‘well-deserved’ and long ‘overdue’.
“I am happy myself, and at the same time, I would say that honouring these well-deserved senior businessmen is long overdue,” he said.
“Because these people are the ones who have taught us through their guidance, their perseverance, and their life lessons. We cannot learn that from anywhere else in this country. So I think it’s very important that they are recognised for their achievements. Being in this country for three to four generations, this is the way we want to recognise and give back to the community. We (THMC) are a business association, and we believe in the entrepreneurial legacy. And I think doing this also sets an example for our own families or our children who are going to continue living here, maybe working here, or maybe they have their own entrepreneurial abilities. But the whole idea is that we want to foster more community relationships by doing this.”

THMC past president and Board member Bob Thaker, who acknowledged the overwhelming success of the first edition of the awards, said that the community will look into the possibility of making it part of Bahrain’s elite annual event calendar. He expressed his guilt over the long ‘overdue’ of senior businessmen being recognised.
“Mia culpa, for doing it so late, the least that we could have done for our older generation, who founded, struggled, and laid the foundation for all these businesses, was to honour them. And we’re glad we did it, at least now—some of them are into their late 90s. I believe it is all about gratitude. We should never forget what they did for us, and most importantly, we should remind our younger generation not to forget this, because that’s the rich legacy that we have.”

The award categories also covered women in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), the best startup company, the entrepreneur of the year, and the best innovation and technology business of the year.

The Women in STEM award was secured by PLAYBOOK, the EdTech platform founded by Wafa al Obaidat and Shreya Rammohan, while the Innovation and Tech Business of the Year award was grabbed by PROCURAL, a B2B cloud-based tendering platform founded by Uzair Mohammed Usman. The Entrepreneur of the Year was Ahmed Mohamed Faraj, founder of LUMOFY, a learning experience platform. The Startup of the Year was AlKem Health and Wellness, an integrative health and wellness centre located in Bahrain City Centre, founded by Nasra Alabrawi and Aaron Grimley.

In his speech, Mr Fakhro emphasised the support of HRH the Crown Prince and the Prime Minister for providing an attractive environment for innovative ideas and transforming them into projects that contribute to enhancing economic development. He said that entrepreneurship was the basis of economic development and prosperity in the kingdom, adding that celebrating the achievements of distinguished entrepreneurs demonstrates a steadfast commitment to supporting and enhancing a conducive environment to enable emerging companies to develop.

“Team Bahrain is actively engaged in enhancing the entrepreneurial ecosystem within the kingdom through institutions that support entrepreneurship by adopting innovative initiatives within the framework of the SMEs Development Board,” said the minister.
He affirmed Bahrain’s commitment to promoting a culture of entrepreneurship and creating an encouraging environment for businesses by providing supportive programmes and advanced infrastructure. He also expressed appreciation for the role of the private sector and civil society institutions, such as the THMC, in supporting these efforts.

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