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'Indian diaspora business success admired, envied'

Business success of the Indian diaspora has led to both admiration and envy by other ethnic groups, indigenous or migrants, a Commonwealth Secretariat representative said.

world Updated: Mar 30, 2010 07:40 IST

Business success of the Indian diaspora has led to both admiration and envy by other ethnic groups, indigenous or migrants, a Commonwealth Secretariat representative said.

"Worldwide... Indian Diaspora is known for its business leadership, acumen and outstanding success as entrepreneurs from the smallest shops to the largest trans-national conglomerates," said Roli Degazon-Johnson, Education Adviser in the Commonwealth Secretariat- London, while attending the 10th annual conference of the Global Organisation for People of Indian Origin in Durban.

"Whilst acknowledging and honouring this outstanding financial and business acumen and ability, it is important to note that the flip side of this success has led to antipathy and resentment, even, by other less successful groups in the diaspora."

Degazon-Johnson said that this was not unique though to the Indian community.

"It occurs wherever there is competitiveness and where the sources of the competition are easily distinguishable. So for example, Chinese merchants in my own country, Jamaica in the Caribbean have met with similar resentment in an earlier era, and where I am based in London, the success of Nigerian businessmen is discussed widely and with concern."

The speaker said this placed a high premium on the need to explore ways and means to reduce rather than construct such barriers to understanding and experience.

South African delegates at the conference said a similar situation was currently developing locally with Indian, Pakistani and Bangladeshi migrants who have been establishing small businesses here.

These were frequently the first targets during sporadic xenophobic attacks as locals believed that the foreigners were exploiting them or taking away their jobs, the representative added.