A Special Supplement Commemorating India's 73rd Independence Day
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THE TEAM Publisher and Chairman George F. Middleton Editorial Director Liz O’Reilly Contributors Behnaz Sanjana, Zilia Monteiro, Dick Potter Print Production Manager Sabu Sebastian Layout and Graphics Romeo San Miguel, Hatem Monem
contents BAHRAIN THIS MONTH • INDIA IN BAHRAIN • AUGUST 2019
Upgrades in Trade and Facilities Indian Ambassador, HE Alok Kumar Sinha, tells us about trade growth and life at the embassy.
Photography Editor Muna Yousef Staff Photographers Subeesh Kumar N S, Ranjith Mohan Administration and Finance Samson Vaz, Marlyn Ragasa Corporate Affairs Director Bassem A. Al Khabbaz
Raj Damani, Chairman and founding member of the Bahrain India Society (BIS), explains the group’s history, activities and future plans.
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Enriching the Cultural Quotient
Managing director and principal of the Indian Institute for Performing Arts (IIPA), Ambilikuttan Nair, on the centre’s vision.
Bites from the island’s Indian community.
Off the beaten Track.
Financial expert Pria Masson Tanwar looks at the special bilateral relationship.
COMMERCIAL INDEX Aditya Birla (Ultratech Cement Bahrain Company)............ 9 Al Rashid Group (Centrepoint).........................................IBC BBK.................................................................................... 11 Caravan Group of Hotels (Delmon International Hotel)... 25 Kewalram & Sons Co. (Titan).............................................. 4 Kingdom Pride................................................................... 17 Lulu Hypermarket..............................................................BC
Mega Mart....................................................................... IFC Ramada Hotel................................................................... 13 Ramee Grand.................................................................... 19 The Lanterns Restaurant & Lounge.................................. 23 UAE Exchange................................................................... 15 UNEECO Group.................................................................... 3
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Upgrades in Trade and Facilities Indian Ambassador, HE Alok Kumar Sinha, tells us about trade growth and life at the embassy.
You have now been in the new embassy building for a year, how are you finding it and what has been the benefit for the local Indian community? The new embassy is 3,810sq/m and thus quite spacious for providing effective and efficient services to Indian nationals. The relationship between India and Bahrain goes beyond the usual political or economics, the embassy complex reflects the civilisational connect. The Chancery seats 200 and 6 August 2019
comprises a state-of-the-art, spacious consular hall with disabled access, token machines and a TV. The trade centre has facilitated the organisation of trade/ investment promotional events as well as responding to queries and resolving traderelated complaints. There is also a multipurpose hall with sound system, projector and stage. And the landscaped courtyard also has an open theatre area. In the past year, many cultural
programmes have been organised in the embassy. The Chancery also has a library which is open to all. There are provisions for future expansion of the embassy in terms of increasing the number of officials to meet the needs of the increasing number of Indian expatriates in Bahrain. Earlier this year it was reported that trade between India and Bahrain had increased significantly with a jump estimated at around www.bahrainthismonth.com
india in bahrain 40 per cent between April 2018 and February 2019. Can you clarify these figures? To what do you attribute this impressive rise? Are we seeing trade in new products and services or simply an increased uptake? India-Bahrain bilateral trade for the year 2018-19 reached USD1.282 billion, registering an increase of almost 30 per cent over the previous year. India’s share in Bahrain’s nonoil trade has also increased from 3.5 per cent to 4.3 per cent. India has become the fifth largest trading partner of Bahrain. There is a significant shift in items exported to Bahrain from traditional items like food stuffs, gems and jewellery etc to an increasing share of automobiles, engineering goods and iron and steel. A large infrastructure project pipeline in Bahrain offers potential for maintaining the increasing trend in our exports. The consistent rise in bilateral trade over the past years is due to the synergies and complementarities created because of the Indian Government flagship programme Make in India, which has a vision to make India a manufacturing hub, coupled with various reforms undertaken by the Bahraini Government to diversify the country’s economy in non-oil sectors. Bahrain is re-engineering its fiscal model to encourage greater participation by private capital in driving growth. The efforts to curb government spending coinciding with regulatory reforms and a greater willingness to embrace publicprivate partnership structures; the large project pipeline; the recent discovery of tight oil and deep gas reserves as well as Bahrain’s strategic location as a gateway to the Gulf have all resulted in opportunities for greater economic engagement with the Kingdom. The creation of a trade centre in the embassy complex has provided an excellent venue for visiting delegations to conduct road shows and thus bridge the information gap about the opportunities available for expanding trade and investments in various sectors. It has also been reported that India is the largest external investor in Bahrain, what makes the Kingdom such an attractive prospect? Indian investments have been in sectors like IT, healthcare, pharmaceuticals, real estate and construction, etc. There are significant advantages for foreign investors in Bahrain such as low operating costs, 100-percent ownership and availability of skilled expatriates; thus creating a comparative advantage for Bahrain over many other countries in the region. Success stories from Indian businesses in the Kingdom have also www.bahrainthismonth.com
contributed towards a consistent increase in Indian investments in Bahrain. Are you able to say, approximately, how many Indian nationals currently make their home in Bahrain? Approximately 350,000 Indians are currently staying in Bahrain. The Indian expatriate community is an important anchor of the India-Bahrain bilateral relationship contributing to the development of both countries. In its role as support to the community, the embassy frequently lays on social, charitable and cultural events. Can you tell us of anything that is planned for the coming months? The various socio-cultural associations within the Indian community in Bahrain organise year-round various activities which are supported by the embassy. Besides events to mark our Independence Day on August 15, India is celebrating the 150th Birth Anniversary of Mahatma Gandhi and a series of programmes has been planned culminating on October 2. We are also celebrating the 550th Birth Anniversary of Guru Nanak Devji, the founder of the Sikh religion, and a number of activities are being planned in this regard from September to November 2019. How will you be marking Independence Day at the embassy? A flag hoisting ceremony will be held in the Embassy complex in the morning. In the evening, the embassy will organise a cultural programme showcasing the heritage of India and the richness of the India-Bahrain relationship. On a personal note, have you found the move to the new embassy has impacted your working life? The move has been quite satisfying as the embassy has been able to provide services effectively to visitors due to the availability of our infrastructure. What are your favourite aspects of the new building? The exterior curvilinear stone façade and the ornamental gate establishing a strong Indian identity; also, being able to meet the long-standing aspirations of the Indian community adding the requisite infrastructure to meet emerging requirements due to the expanding IndiaBahrain ties in diverse spheres. August 2019 7
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EVER-CLOSER TIES B
IS was established in 2008 with 38 members. Today that number has grown to 150 individuals and 16 companies and banks as corporate members. Raj says: “While there are many Indian clubs and societies in Bahrain, each of them caters to the social and cultural needs of a specific community or a specific professional field of interest. “The founding members of BIS felt that given the centuries-old friendly relations between Bahrain and India, there was a need for a society which would represent both the countries, have both Bahrainis and Indians as members with the Indian ambassador as its patron and with an objective to further strengthen the relations between the two countries in a non-discriminatory, non-political and non-profit manner.” The society works in close coordination with the Indian Embassy in Bahrain. And government and semi-government bodies from India maintain regular contact about exhibitions and events taking place all over India. BIS coordinates member attendance either as individuals or as a group. For the past few years, BIS members as a group have attended the Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas, the largest gathering of the global Indian diaspora, in India, which is addressed by the Prime Minister and ministers from many states. “We bring well-known business speakers from India to talk on the Indian economy, budget, banking, business regulations and opportunities,” says Raj. “We also have Bahraini ministers and CEOs of well-known organisations in Bahrain as our guest speakers.” On the attraction of Bahrain, he explains: “Trade links between India and Bahrain can be traced back to the Indus Valley Civilisation of ancient India and the Dilmun Civilisation of Bahrain. There has been a flourishing trade of Bahraini pearls and Indian spices between the two countries for millennia. Many of Bahrain’s prominent figures have studied and have had close ties with India, while Indian traders have been 8 August 2019
living in Bahrain for over a century. “Given this background and the fact that Bahrain has always been welcoming and very tolerant when it comes to practising of one’s religion and culture, plus its geographical location to service the whole GCC market and duty-free access to the US market, surely makes Bahrain an attractive proposition for Indian businesses and their families.” And, as to what differentiates an Indian business, he adds: “Indians in general are very adjusting, loyal and hardworking by nature. Indian businesses do not look for a quick entry and exit. This is the reason one will see Indian businesses established for generations all over the world. This commitment and the philosophy to live in peace, while minding their own business, is perhaps the essential DNA that differentiates Indian businesses from others, even in a common marketplace.” Promotion of cooperation between educational
Raj Damani, Chairman and founding member of the Bahrain India Society (BIS), explains the group’s history, activities and future. plans.
institutions, scientific research institutes and training programmes in both countries is also among the society’s objectives. It encourages student exchange programmes for cultural and sports activities and is planning to showcase the work of Bahraini artists in India. And, the future looks interesting. Raj concludes: “We have a lot of exciting plans for the society for the coming two years. We are collaborating with the Capital Club to bring well-known international speakers to Bahrain. As mentioned earlier, we are planning to hold an exhibition of Bahraini artists in India and also take a trade delegation to India, as there are great investment opportunities in India today.”
india in bahrain UltraTech Cement
Investing in Service Rahul Godbole, Country Head of UltraTech Cement Bahrain, explains his company’s operation in the Kingdom. Can you take us through the journey of UltraTech Cement in Bahrain? UltraTech Cement took over the cement operations of ETA group in the UAE, Bahrain and Bangladesh in 2010. UltraTech wanted to expand its presence in international waters and this was the company’s first overseas acquisition. The Middle East market has always been attractive for global businesses. Since then, we have invested heavily in upgrading and modernising our plant. We have end-to-
end control on our cement production and a state-of-the-art manufacturing facility. What is your company’s take on the present market situation of Bahrain? From cement shortage to cement surplus, Bahrain has witnessed all situations in the last 10 years. We are now in an era when geographical boundaries are disappearing and global/regional play has a huge role in the country’s economics. Times are difficult, but we are confident that the leaders and authorities of this region will ensure impetus is provided to spur growth to support local manufacturing companies. At this point, the way to stay ahead is to be more adaptable and efficient.
UltraTech Cement Bahrain Company W.L.L P.O Box: 50605, Building No: 590, Block: 116, Road: 102, Dry Dock Highway, Hidd Town, Kingdom Of Bahrain
UltraTech Cement takes this opportunity to wish the Indian diaspora in Bahrain a very Happy Independence Day and we remain committed to partner in the future growth journey of Bahrain. UltraTech is the largest Indian manufacturing company in Bahrain. It is part of the USD45bn Aditya Birla Group, a global conglomerate present in 35-plus countries and diverse sectors such as aluminium, cement, telecom, carbon black, textiles etc. UltraTech Cement is the third largest (excluding China) cement company globally.
Building Bahrain’s Pride August 2019 9
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ENRICHING THE CULTURAL QUOTIENT Managing director and principal of the Indian Institute for Performing Arts (IIPA), Ambilikuttan Nair, tells Behnaz Sanjana of the centre’s vision.
10 August 2019
ailing from a family of writers and musicians, Ambilikuttan was always inclined to music, and pursued Indian classical Carnatic singing alongside his academics. Being confined to a wheelchair due to poliomyelitis in infancy did not hamper his progress or spirit. “On completing my postgraduation in English, I was in a dilemma as to whether to study further, or take the path of music,” Ambilikuttan relates. “At that time, I chanced upon a meeting with my guru, Dr Balamuralikrishna, an eminent Carnatic vocalist whose work has been accoladed by the Indian and French governments. He invited me to Chennai for advanced studies in music, and without another thought, I was on my way there.” Five years of intense tutelage later, Ambilikuttan had his mentor’s blessings to perform stage shows. He says: “I travelled all over the country and abroad, singing classical Carnatic, ghazals and cinematic songs, including to Bahrain on the invitation of various social organisations.” During one such visit, someone lamented the lack of a facility to teach Bahrain’s Indian diaspora classical forms of music and dance. “Continuous travelling had begun to take its toll on me, so I took the opportunity to propagate the performing arts of our motherland in Bahrain.” And thus, IIPA came into being in 2003. The centre is a platform of expression and learning for around 500 students and teaches various Indian classical Carnatic and Hindustani instruments and vocals, as well as traditional dance forms like Bharat Natyam, Kathak, Mohini Aattam and Kuchipudi. Classes in Western classical instruments such as the violin, keyboard and guitar are also offered. “We have recently started teaching the indigenous Indian martial art, Kallari, and will start a new centre in October teaching theatrical arts,” Ambilikuttan adds. To this day, the institute holds up its founder’s belief of music being a universal language. “It inculcates and encourages brotherhood and peaceful coexistence between nations, cultures, people and societies,” says the expert vocalist. At IIPA, age, origin and nationality are no bar. “Some of our students are grandparents; it’s the inclination that matters. We also have some Bahrainis studying Carnatic music. Art is allencompassing and breaks through geographical barriers. After all, we are all just human beings.” During its 16 years, the institute has organised several highquality shows that have been much appreciated by aficionados. “Last year, two ghazal artists, Pankaj Udhas and Ghulam Ali, enthralled audiences. We are preparing for musical maestro Hariharan to perform in Bahrain in January. Our students also perform group and solo shows at our centre’s annual day, a full-day event when they get to showcase their talent and skills,” he adds. Mulling over the question of why expression through art is important, the musician says: “Technologically, the frontiers of the world have shrunk, but the distance between people’s hearts has considerably increased. Music is an ennobling faculty that brings people together. Those who indulge in it gain peace and solace from the complexities of present-day life, and can enjoy a content, healthy mental state. It is an intrinsic part of the Universe – just like the seven continents, days of the week, colours of the rainbow, are the seven notes of music.” www.bahrainthismonth.com
BIS Dinner Abdul Rahman Juma, Vice Chairman of Bahrain India Society, hosted a dinner for the board members of BIS at Brazil Rodizio Grill & Lounge
The Indian Community Relief Fund coordinated an awareness campaign, organised by the Ministry of Labour & Social Development in collaboration with the Ministry of Health, at Bahrain Keraleeya Samajam
Ramee Grand Party
Ramee Grand Hotel and Spa, Seef held a corporate party
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August 2019 11
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Ramada by Wyndham Bahrain
Chef Wilfred Coelho, new Food and Beverage Director at Ramada by Wyndham Bahrain, chats to Behnaz Sanjana about his journey from commis to high-ranking executive and his plans for the hotel.
Food has always been part of my journey. Not being very academically inclined, I really don’t know what other profession I would have taken up!”
lthough only two months into his role at the stylish hotel in upscale Adliya, chef Wilfred Coelho is no stranger to Bahrain. He has been the executive chef with a well-known hospitality group, and consultant for numerous restaurant openings on the island since 2001. “I formally started my career as an apprentice with the Taj group of hotels in Mumbai,” he says. “It was on-the-job training as a third commis chef. I was soon promoted to be first commis, and went on to work in South Africa for around nine years before I arrived in Bahrain.” However, his love story with food dates back to his pre-teens, helping his brother run a catering business back in Mumbai, alongside schooling. “Food has always been part of my journey. Not being very academically inclined, I really don’t know what other profession I would have taken up!” he laughs.
Since first stepping onto the bottom rung of the kitchen career ladder, chef Wilfred has over 25 years of experience tucked under his double-breasted chef’s 12 August 2019
coat. But there were road bumps along the way. “In 1986, it was not well looked-upon for boys from good families to drop out of higher education and work in a hotel’s kitchen. People did not understand why I wanted to do it. It was difficult, but slowly a new trend was set where youngsters started opting for a career in food production.
worldwide and is a promising place to work at. I’ve had an exceptional time so far, and I really appreciate the work culture here.”
While gaining knowledge of world cuisines, Chef Wilfred stayed true to his roots and specialised in Indian cuisine. “North Indian food is my strong point and, coming from a South Indian community, I also have a special touch for its regional cuisine.” Milking his forté, he has introduced some positive changes to the kitchens at the Ramada by Wyndham Bahrain, like building an actual clay tandoor to serve guests ovenfresh flatbread. He says: “Ramada is a famous brand
All changes, however, are implemented only after discussion with the kitchen and service teams. “Teamwork is everything. A leader’s innovations should be acceptable to the staff. They are the ones interacting with guests and can tell what will and won’t work. We have employees working here for 15-20 years; I can learn a lot from them. Likewise, I’d like to be remembered for the skills I impart to them.”
“Working in a commercial kitchen can get very stressful for a beginner, but there is a joy in finally creating a dish to perfection, after much struggle. And the passion just grows thereon.”
Once the clay furnace is ready, Le Jardin, the main dining outlet, will see a revamped menu, focusing on innovative, fusion dishes. “Old-school fare is a bit outdated now and our clientele is dominated by youngsters who know their gastronomy. Of course, we will retain those elements that have kept our loyal patrons returning over several years. A new menu has already been introduced at The Exchange.”
Bahrain India Society held a seminar at Capital Club Bahrain on the topic of “BDB - The Entrepreneurs’ Bank”. The seminar was conducted by Sanjeev Paul, CEO of Bahrain Development Bank
Farewell Dinner A farewell dinner was held for Dr Krishnan & Vani at the Best Western Plus The Olive
14 August 2019
india in bahrain UAE EXCHANGE
Driving An Omnichannel Customer Experience In an age of disruptive technology, where customersâ€™ needs are evolving rapidly, UAE Exchange, a renowned financial services brand in the Kingdom, has been making significant headway by empowering its customers through multiple customer touchpoints, such as retail stores and digital solutions. A front-runner when it comes to leveraging its technological capabilities, UAE Exchange has also been facilitating seamless movement of money across geographies. Its digital offerings echo the brandâ€™s ambitious pursuit of embracing technology for service excellence. For instance, the introduction of self-serve kiosks at UAE Exchange branches facilitates customers with a wide range of bill payment solutions and round-the-clock money transfers. FLASHremit is another popular service as it enables the customer to conveniently and
securely transfer money directly to their beneficiary account in real time. With customers at the nuclei of all its activities, UAE Exchange endeavours to connect the physical world with the digital experience and deliver exceptional customer experiences that combine convenience, speed and value. These are just some of the strides that have made UAE Exchange, a Finablr company, the most preferred financial brand in the country. And with the Indian government encouraging its citizens to adopt digital payments instead of relying on physical cash, UAE Exchange is well positioned to provide the Indian diaspora with its digital
capabilities that cater to their distinctive financial needs and aspirations. UAE Exchange wishes India and its citizens a very Happy Independence Day!
Customer Care: +973 1722 8224 | www.uaeexchange.com/bhr
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AL RASHID GROUP
BE COOL FOR SCHOOL Mothercare, the flagship line from the region’s largest retail giant, enables youngsters to go back to school in style.
ounded in 1973 in Bahrain, Al Rashid Group is a division of the Indian-owned Landmark Group, now headquartered in Dubai. The company, which markets its own homegrown brands as well as renowned international franchises, has completed over 45 years of growth and prosperity, and is one of the largest and most successful retail organisations in Bahrain. Al Rashid Group operates 80-plus outlets across the island, each offering consumers a wide range of quality lifestyle goods which are great value for money. Product category leaders like Centrepoint, Home Centre, Max, Splash, Mothercare and Shoexpress are firm favourites amongst expatriates and locals. The group also operates four malls in the Kingdom: Oasis Malls in Juffair, East Riffa and Muharraq, and Marina Mall in central Manama.
Mothercare is the foremost brand of this iconic multi-retail conglomerate, with a network of over 230 stores across 13 countries. It is a one-stop destination with the widest range of world class children’s products from leading international brands. The product range encompasses all essentials in fashion apparel, preschool and early development toys, nursing and baby basics, feeding, bath and toiletries, travel systems, nursery furniture and more for the little ones. As the summer vacation comes to an end, prepping for the new school year takes priority in many households. To put the enthusiasm back into returning to school, Mothercare has launched the latest Back to School collection, featuring top-trends and the best character merchandise for children across all age groups. This year’s selection offers a brilliant range of products at amazing prices. A wide variety of backpacks and trolley bags is available with a
one-year guarantee, adding more value to your purchase. For toddlers, the range is a blend of practical design with eye-catching motifs, perfect for little ones who are making that momentous move to nursery. Featuring fun characters, these colourful designs are sure to be a hit as the new term begins. Teens will make their mark at the start of the new semester with cleverly designed kits from cool brands. Boys and girls can pick from the widest range of licensed character products in the market featuring LOL, Pikmi Pops, Frozen, Ferrari, Real Madrid, Spiderman, Rocco and Pepe. Stock up on this exceptional assortment of school gear from any of the standalone Mothercare outlets at Marina Mall and Segaya, or those part of the Centrepoint stores at Oasis Mall Juffair, Muharraq, Riffa and City Centre Bahrain. Visit www.mothercarestores.com
Under its long-standing social campaign, ‘Child Safety First’ the brand continually collaborates with associations and government bodies responsible for kids’ development and well-being. 16 August 2019
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Opposite Shk.Abdul Aziz Mosque, Sehla Supermarket and Department Store
Tel: 17402852 - SEHLA www.kingdompridecenter.com
GOODS FOR ALL OCCASIONS Whatever you are looking for, you will find it at Kingdom Pride Center. Established in Bahrain since 2007, Kingdom Pride has a much longer history being one of the country’s oldest family-run businesses. Owner Gulum Abbas came to the island from India in 1952. He started Noble Traders in 1955 as a wholesaler in stationery, household goods and toys and the operation is still thriving in Manama today. Seeing a gap in the market, Mr Gulum set up Kingdom Pride Center at North Sehla in 2007 and, over the years, it has become a favourite for those seeking reasonably priced, good-quality items for home, school and work. The department store stocks a vast range of more than 24,000 items, including toys, household goods, plastics, furniture, stationery, food, cosmetics, cleaning items, shoes, car accessories, electronics, electric items, bukhoor, candles, frames, artificial jewellery and much more. The most popular, fast-moving products are toys and household goods, both of which are in constant demand with the store being a miniParadise for kids who love to browse the shelves checking out the everchanging range of goodies under the watchful eye of the helpful staff. The store can be found in North Sehla opposite the Shaikh Abdul Aziz Mosque and there are plans for expansion in the coming months to make Kingdom Pride Centers even more convenient for customers around Bahrain.
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Call 17 402-852. www.bahrainthismonth.com
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RAMEE GRAND HOTEL & SPA
SUMMER OFFERS Ramee Grand Hotel & Spa knows how to keep you busy through the summer holiday period in Bahrain.
enowned hospitality hub, Ramee Grand Hotel, is part of the Ramee group of Hotels, Resorts and Apartments. This Indian brand has a slew of high-end and budget properties across the subcontinent, including in India, Oman, the UAE and Bahrain. Ramee Grand Hotel, located in Seef, has a host of enticing offers that will make the prospect of a sweltering summer a little more bearable for islanders. The property has special deals lined up for its esteemed guests this season. Ruka, the stylish Japanese restaurant, is one of the best known in town. Surround yourself with a high-end ambience as you nibble on the freshest bites from the Orient. During the hot months, Ruka is the perfect place to cool down by taking advantage of its Summer Cocktails promotion. A plethora of special drinks await you, full of sunny flavours that’ll transport you to floating on cool blue waters around tropical lands. If it’s business as usual for you through the month of August, pop in to Lemon Tree restaurant for a quick, but energising lunch. If you are in and out of meetings and struggling to meet deadlines all day, this is a perfect mid-day ‘pick-me-up’. Dig into comforting flavours from the extensive buffet and top all the deliciousness with a satiating sweet treat, all for just BD5. Besides mouth-watering food from the Indian subcontinent, Tanatan, the hotel’s popular Indian restaurant has some great offers for you. Monday is all about Hoteliers Night, where those in the hotel industry can come in to unwind and beat the stress. As an added bonus, they get a flat 30 per cent discount on food and also can make the most of the ‘Buy 1 Get 1 Free’ offer on selected drinks. Partial to Bahrain’s lovely ladies, every evening at Tanatan is Ladies’ Night. As part of this unmissable offer, ladies can order a main course and get another one absolutely free of cost! Now that’s a bargain no smart woman should forego. The offer is valid up to August 31. Moving on to accommodation, Ramee Grand is reputed for its wellappointed rooms and suites, and now is your chance to experience them at a special price. At only BD40, guests can enjoy staying in an elegantly appointed, well-equipped single or double Deluxe room, inclusive of breakfast at Lemon Tree restaurant. After a sumptuous breakfast, why not make a splash in the pool or hit the gym to get the endorphins going? The hotel’s gymnasium is equipped with a diverse range of work-out machines for an invigorating exercise session. Reborn Spa is where you can embark upon a journey to refresh you mind, body and soul. This unbeatable staycation offer is valid on all days up to August 31, excluding the Eid al-Adha holidays. Guests need to furnish their Bahraini resident permits to take advantage of this fantastic deal. Call 17 111-999 or WhatsApp 33 590-045.
18 August 2019
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On the occasion of India’s 73rd anniversary of independence, come experience the country’s true flavours at Mega Mart.
FROM INCREDIBLE INDIA
ith a vision and mission of satisfying customers with wholesome products that remind them of the goodness of home, Mega Mart enriches the Kingdom’s retail sector with 12 world-class branches under the Babasons, Mega Mart and Macro Mart banners. The company is committed to providing the best-loved Indian brands that are of the highest quality and at the best prices, something which Mega Mart is reputed for. The organisation caters to all the basic household demands that shoppers might have. Fresh fruits and vegetables that are sourced from local and international vendors, a variety of meats and deli items from trusted suppliers, as well as imported and locally-caught fresh fish are available every day. Customers can relish sweet and savoury baked treats just out of the ovens, including a range of breads, cakes, pastries and teatime bites. Household Indian names such as Parle, the world’s largest-selling biscuit brand; Gits, the pioneer of convenience packaged foods and instant mixes; Bikaji, a leading exporter of tasty traditional snacks like Bhujia, Namkeen, Papad and sweets; Mother’s Recipe for pickles, condiments and curry pastes; and Milma, the provider of high-quality milk and dairy products,
are all available under one roof. Cool off with rich and creamy ice creams from Vadilal, the Indian brand that has been delighting customers for decades. Try evergreen Indian flavours like Anjeer (fig), Raj Bhog and tender coconut, as well as classics such as vanilla and chocolate. Frozen vegetables, parathas (stuffed flatbreads) and cottage cheese are also part of its inventory. To celebrate special occasions, or just for a taste of home, take your pick from the delicious Indian sweet counter. Authentic delicacies like Ras Malai, Gajar Halwa and traditional milk
cake, which are frozen to preserve and enhance their taste, are popular with Mega Mart’s Asian and Middle Eastern clientele. The Segaya, Muharraq and Riffa branches of the supermarket chain have food-to-go counters that serve tasty and freshly-prepared Arabic, Indian and Chinese fare. Stop by the Chaat counters for a tangy summertime snack that you can take home, assemble and serve. The stores also undertake catering orders on advance booking. When it comes to domestic necessities, whether it’s for the Bahraini, Indian or any other home, they’re all available on the shelves here. Laundry and cleaning supplies, personal toiletries and basic beauty essentials from prominent Indian and foreign brands can be bought according to your specific needs. Besides groceries and non-perishables, garments, innerwear, linen, kitchen essentials and home appliances can be found at Mega Mart outlets. The company is also a reliable wholesaler across Bahrain, thanks to a well-managed and professional infrastructure. The management and staff of Mega Mart wish their Indian patrons a very happy Independence Day. Call 17 341-070 or visit www.megamart.bh
20 August 2019
india in bahrain
A SUPPORTIVE PARTNER Quality is assured with this local-international partner which has been recognised for its support of the Indian community.
NEECO (Universal ElectroEngineering) is the go-to for several world-renowned brands of electrical, electronics and mechanical products, including India’s L&T and Modutec and, in recognition of his support of the Kingdom’s Indian expats, its chairman, Abdul Rahman Juma, recently received a prestigious award from Bahrain Keraleeya Samajam (BKS). The company, which was established in 1976, is a leading manufacturer of lowvoltage switchgear products in the Kingdom particularly building panels for Schneider Electric and L&T. It also markets various high-voltage equipment such as vacuum switchgear, ring main units and transformers which are manufactured by well-known companies globally. The most popular of its inventory are Saudi transformers, Raychem for medium voltage, electrical switchgears, transformers, ring main units, fuse boards, termination and joints etc. It will also soon begin providing items from RR Global and Modutec panels. www.bahrainthismonth.com
UNEECO’s products are well trusted and can be found in major residential, commercial and retail developments across the Kingdom and it also supplies equipment to the Electricity and Water Authority The company currently employs 180 people, of whom many are Indian expatriates, leading to the Business Icon Award, which was recently handed to Abdul Rahman Juma. Presenting the award BKS president P V Radhakrishna Pillai said: “The Bahrain Keralyeeya Samajam is very thankful to Mr Juma. Over the years, his company has employed hundreds of our compatriots which has helped them in supporting their families. We take pride in applauding such great personalities.” For the future, the company has plans to expand across the wider GCC bringing products, services and employment to a wider market. Call 17 826-644 or visit www.uneeco.com August 2019 21
india in bahrain
News Street Art Winners
India in Their Sights
Indian 3D artists Limnesh Augustine and Jincy Babu, flew the flag for their adopted Bahraini homeland when they took the top spot at the International Street Art Festival in Blumberg, Germany. Concentrating on a theme of children at play and the importance of bringing back board games to counter the rise of mobile play, the pair created a giant piece called ‘Schlange argere dich nicth’ (Snake don’t argue with you) – which was a combination of the snakes and ladders game and the German version of Ludo. A second, slightly small piece, featured a baby dragon for kids to play with. This was the couple’s third consecutive win at the festival since 2017 and they were also invited to take part in the Sarasota International Chalk Festival, Florida, US.
Sofitel Bahrain led the way for destination weddings at the 6th Travel Wedding Show In India. As interest in destination weddings picks up in the USD30 billion Indian wedding industry, the hotel, along with wedding planners from across the world, travel agents, domestic and international tourism boards came together in a unique B2B platform held recently in Mumbai. Businesspeople from all over, including guest and panelist Sofitel
India Flights Increased Bahrain’s national carrier, Gulf Air, has increased the number of direct daily flights to New Delhi from two to three. The company’s CEO, Krešimir Kucko said: “We are constantly developing strategies to satisfy the high demand to and from India and cater to our passengers’ needs across the Gulf Air network.”
He added that the increased flights will both add flexibility and create improved connections for those travelling from India to Gulf Air’s connections across the globe. Gulf Air currently serves eight destinations in India – Mumbai, Delhi, Chennai, Thiruvananthapuram, Cochin, Hyderabad, Calicut and Bangalore – with 75 flights each week.
A Hero’s Farewell
Bahrain recently said goodbye to a woman who has made it her mission to help the less fortunate for more than 16 years. Marietta Dias, former 22 August 2019
Bahrain Zallaq Thalassa Sea & Spa’s director of sales and marketing, Emre Kirazci, gathered to showcase products and services, demonstrate their expertise and increase awareness, generating sales from a qualified audience with maximum exposure. Proudly cradling the award he received at the show, Emre highlighted the impact destination weddings have on Bahrain’s tourism and how the Kingdom is fully equipped to handle such grand scale weddings.
chairwoman and co-founder of the Migrant Workers Protection Society, has left the island after 56 years to head back to her native Bangalore. Mrs Dias is widely known for her compassion to lowly paid workers who find themselves in difficulty. Over the years, she had become a familiar face at both police stations and immigration offices, doing her best to help. She has been honoured by the US State Department for her volunteer work, receiving the Hero Acting to End Modern-Day Slavery Award in 2008.
Multi-million Dollar Investment Achieved Bahrain-based Investcorp closed its maiden India private equity fund offering at USD142 million. In a filing to Bahrain Bourse, the firm announced the total capital commitment just a few few months since launching its presence in India. Fund partners include Indian banks, insurance companies, family offices and international funds. Investcorp’s co-chief executive Rishi Kapoor said: “The fact that we were able to close our maiden India fund offering at a size of $142m in a few months is testament to investor confidence in our market entry approach and investment strategy for India.” Investcorp entered the Indian market last year through the acquisition of the private equity and real estate funds businesses of IDFC Alternatives. www.bahrainthismonth.com
Lanterns Lounge & Restaurant held its annual staff party at Ramee Grand Hotel & Spa, Seef
Lanterns (Riﬀa, Budaiya, Juﬀair, Adliya (Dining room only))
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MMER BONA U S Y NZ A D K A E E W
Dish absolutely free!
Of lesser or equal value. Valid from Sun-Wed. No limit on purchase. Excluded during holidays. Can not be combined with any other oﬀer or discount. Dine in only. Exp: Sep. 30th 2019.
August 2019 23
india in bahrain
Forget the Taj Mahal, Varanasi and the Pink City of Jaipur. It’s time to go for something different and take the road less travelled.
EXPLORE TEA ESTATES IN DARJEELING The Himalayan city of Darjeeling, in West Bengal, is an area of stunning vistas with houses running up the steep hillsides. Aside from its vibrant markets; eclectic mix of restaurants; the Padmaja Naidu Himalayan Zoological Park, home to a range of endangered animals; numerous temples and the famed Tiger Hill; the thing the area is perhaps best known for is tea. First produced here by the British, many of today’s tea plantations are still reminiscent of those old Colonial days. Workers, often women, can been seen in the fields picking the richest of the crop by hand. Visits to tea gardens mean starting out early on mist-shrouded mornings and taking your time to sip lots of different varieties until you find your favourite.
GO TIGER TRACKING IN RANTHAMBORE This might sound too good to be true and one might not necessarily think of India to go on safari, but you won’t regret heading to Ranthambore National Park which is one of the biggest and most renowned national parks in the region. Found in the Sawai Madhopur district of southeastern Rajasthan, it is about 130km from Jaipur and 400km from Delhi. A former hunting ground of the Maharajas of Jaipur, today it is a major wildlife spot and an important tiger conservation area. Book your tours before sunrise and in the late afternoon for a chance to see these magnificent, endangered beasts and keep your eyes open for several other carnivores including the caracal, striped hyena, ratel, leopard, sloth bear and jungle cat. 24 August 2019
Travel – Off the Beaten Track Ladakh
VISIT SNOW-CAPPED PEAKS IN LADAKH Known as The Land of Snows, Ladakh is often referred to as “Little Tibet” and is an area not much known to foreign travellers. It is in a disputed zone, so you may need special permission to travel there; but it is worth it for the stunning vistas and uniquely preserved culture. From snow-capped Himalayan peaks to gorgeous alpine lakes, fabulous treks and friendly people, you will find a warm welcome in this faraway place. The main city is Leh, where there is much to do and see, including the massive 17th-century Leh Palace, modelled on the Dalai Lama’s former home (Tibet’s Potala Palace), which overlooks the old town’s bazaar and mazelike lanes. Make sure to take in religious sites such as the Deskit Monastery, with its colourful Buddha, and the Thiksey Monastery, which offers homestays and amazing views of the Indus river.
india in bahrain
Delmon International Hotel
An Authentic Experience
puffed puris – are prepared on live stations. Then try the rice and khichdi. To bring your meal to a sweet conclusion there’s a variety of desserts, including sitaphal basundi or Aam Raas, based on the seasonal availability. Jelebi served hot and prepared in pure desi Ghee is served occasionally. The menu is prepared daily with the chef insisting on only the freshest ingredients. And the portions are so generous as to satisfy the heartiest appetite. And at the end, the traditional mukhvas with dana and sweet saunf are offered.
Celebrate the spirit of freedom with a scrumptious buffet dinner at Café Sayah
for reservations 17224000 / 36401071
This authentic Gujju experience is a great treat for just BD3 per person. And children below eight years pay BD1.900. Call 17 224-000.
* T & c Apply
he sumptuous Gujarati Thali Lunch at Al Hamra Restaurant in the Delmon International Hotel is a royal treat of luxurious Indian style. On arrival you are treated to a plate of roasted pappads with assorted chutneys and Chaas. And, although the lunch is a buffet in the sense that the thali is unlimited, the dishes are initially presented in the katori – a large stainless-steel dish. For snacks, make sure to try the dhokla and patra with the traditional Gujarati sautéed julienned cabbage and carrots that complement the taste and texture of other preparations served. The main-course dal is slightly on the sweeter side and there are great looking, tasty green vegetable dry preparations consisting of palak and different kinds of green beans. You’ll also find the usual pulses, drumstick kadi and alu in tamatar gravy, Sev Tamatar and the all-time favourite, Undhiyo. Hot assorted rotis – thepla, phulka and large
August 2019 25
india in bahrain
Financial expert, Pria Masson Tanwar, looks at the IndiaBahrain relationship.
A PARTNERSHIP ON A GROWTH TRAJECTORY
s in life, among economies, the most seemingly unlikely partners sometimes end up making fantastic teams. This is based on the complementary nature of the benefits that can accrue to each country. Bahrain’s history with India is based on this very evidently complementary factor. Geographic proximity, cultural familiarity and a welcoming ambiance have transformed this beautiful island into a second home for many Indians. Economically, Bahrain has been a focus for tradesmen and service providers looking for an in-road into the region, or, more often, as an expansion strategy within the Middle East. To me however, the dynamic between these two countries is at a threshold of change with tremendous opportunities just waiting to be utilised. This optimism I have is based on the changes that have been occurring in both countries. Bahrain is an island economy with demographic and cultural diversity. Indians form a large part of this ecosystem and yet, there is an interesting cultural mix that makes it a very small global melting pot. It is a relatively small market that can act as an excellent testing ground and landing spot – whether for expansion in India or for expansion to the alluring GCC. Within Bahrain, there is a clear impetus for 26 August 2019
new industries. Tourism is being given a significant push, as are technology-led businesses. Start-ups are a specific focus and the whole ecosystem to welcome new business and new entrepreneurs in very steadily being put in place. Education and healthcare are at inflexion points. It is an economy waiting for its moment to exhale and welcome the world in. The country offers opportunities in each sector that it is focusing on. If you look at healthcare, for instance, core provisions such as doctors, nurses, supplies etc aside; healthcare systems or using artificial intelligence in healthcare could be emerging opportunities waiting for the right partnerships. In the tourism space too, Bahrain has so much potential that could make it akin to many small destination locations. Being an island with ample sunshine, good infrastructure, a central location and a convenient connection hub makes for a potent combination for tourism. Steadily, the number of resorts with interests in the island has been rising. During the non-summer months, the number of destination weddings in Bahrain has been increasing. Again, a significant opportunity for alliances with India with its geographic proximity and easy access. In education, Bahrain is now at the inflexion
point where private schools are gaining prominence. There is a significant need gap in the affordable, private, quality education space – an area that India has had decades of expertise in. India on the other hand has been down these paths. Entrepreneurship, start-ups and most industries have been developing and innovating at a rapid place. Technology, of course, is at the forefront in some form or another. The idea to keep in mind, however, is that one of the most essential requirements for a successful business is the ability to identify a suitable market to incubate the project and learn the ropes. That is the biggest opportunity for Bahrain and Indian entrepreneurs alike i.e. the potential that Bahrain could be a relatively safe landing spot for entrepreneurs. The most basic financial tenet is that risk and reward go hand in hand. Which means, if you’re willing to take it slow, you can minimise your risk, achieve moderate returns and then wait for your moment of glory in the sun. Indians and Bahrain have been interacting for decades; however, it seems the time is ripe to further deepen and expand the scope of the partnership. You can follow Pria on Instagram at money_ cues or visit http://www.i2d-consulting.com to know more about her professional experience. www.bahrainthismonth.com
india in bahrain
Whether you are celebrating Indian Independence Day, Eid al-Adha or any other momentous occasion, make sure to check out the new Ethnic fashion range, currently in store at Lulu. www.bahrainthismonth.com
August 2019 27
Farewell Party Dr Dhaffer Al Umran held a farewell party for British Ambassador, HE Simon Martin, and his wife Sophie at the Capital Club
Truck Dhina Dhin Dinner
A Truck Dhina Dhin Dinner was held at Rivaaj Restaurant, Sofitel Bahrain Zallaq Thalassa Sea & Spa
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Peru Fiestas Patrias
A Peruvian Festival was held at Tapas Bar & Restaurant, Sofitel Bahrain Zallaq Thalassa Sea & Spa To view more images, scan the QR code
28 August 2019
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US Independence Day Brunch
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A Summer Independence Day Brunch was held at Saraya Restaurant, Sofitel Bahrain Zallaq Thalassa Sea & Spa
Bastille Day Brunch A Summer Bastille Day Brunch was held at Saraya Restaurant, Sofitel Bahrain Zallaq Thalassa Sea & Spa
30 August 2019
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A Special Supplement Commemorating India's 73rd Independence Day https://www.bahrainthismonth.com/tag/india-in-bahrain-2019