Very rarely does one come across business events with so much grandeur, meaningful networking and professionalism. Rahul Laud attends the third-anniversary celebration of the Overseas Maharashtrians Professionals and Entrepreneurs Group (OMPEG)
On the outskirts of Oxford city at a prominent hotel, well dressed, suave and dapper professionals – men and women both gathered to celebrate the third anniversary of OMPEG. Start-ups, SMEs and few medium-sized businesses rubbed shoulders to network, exchange experiences and carve a path for future business growth.
The show stealer was the keynote speaker Abhay Havaldar, Global Investor and Technology Humanist who brought to the table his erudite insight into the world of venture capitalist investment.
In his absolutely engaging discourse on the Topic ‘’Capital Partnership: Navigate through the maze, so you are never lost again,” a pin drop silence audience with mobiles switched off heard him patiently as thoughts triggered in their minds how to approach a venture capitalist.
Although academic in nature, Havaldar pointed out the Dos and Don’ts and offered valuable business tips to all business houses present. His theory of building ‘’Capital partnership’’ working through the maze of different business relationships ensured it as not a typical B School class but a sharing of hands on work experience. Havaldar tracked the origin to feudalism in India and pointed out the difference between banks and venture capitalists and equity funds.
His address would drive those gathered to return to their drawing boards, draw up business plans adequately have a short term and long-term vision for business. He received a standing ovation as the audience was spellbound with his humility and expertise.
In the august presence of Rahul Nangare, First Secretary (Trade), at the Indian High Commission in London was the Guest of Honour. Bubbly did flow, and a cake was cut as several members later ensconced on the lounge sofas till wee hours of the morning with Marathi songs.
Maharashtrian ethos but not necessarily Marathi coupled with professionalism was the cornerstone of the evening. OMPEG is ‘’to establish a platform for nurturing the spirit of entrepreneurship within the UK based Maharashtrian community,’’ echoed in unison all the core and founder members Jay Tahsildar, Ani Kaprekar, Ravi Gadgil, Reshma Deshpande, Sushil Rapatwar and Rajan Shegunshi. They had put in every effort and left no stone unturned to make the celebration a grand success. of OMPEG.
During the celebration some of last year’s events were highlighted giving a glimpse by OMPEG members and OMPEX 2018 which was the first ever business expo of Maharashtrian businesses. Young talented a former engineering student turned into a cinematographer and videographer Vihang Ingle captured all the action on his lens with his young team mates. Dr Maha Bhide held the audience in splits with his light hearted wit and humour in his closing remarks.
The event celebrated winners for their contribution. The Chanakya award: Professionals with industry or social influencing was bagged by Santosh Deshpande and Pratap Tambay. To encourage young entrepreneurs the Dare to Dream category: New ventures, recently launched or about to launched was awarded to Swapna Toley and Shaheena Shaikh. The Fire in the Belly: Running 1-2 years and growing businesses awardees were Renuka Phadke, Sushil Gaikwad and Abhijit Shinde. Dilip Amdekar and Raj Deokar were awarded The Eagle’s Nest: for being successful in five years in business and growth.
Explaining the OMPEG journey, the Core team boasted that OMPEG that started from a coffee shop is the ‘’ 1st and the only business network of UK Maharashtrians.’’ Founded in April 2016, OMPEG has over 150+ – Fee Paying members (entrepreneurs and professionals). Over the last three years 30+ high value events were organised. ‘’The success rate has been so high pointed the organisers that over20 new businesses have been launched,’’ they claimed.
One of the objectives of OMPEG is to bridge the IMAGE gap as most people don’t see Maharashtrians as business folks, pointed the organisers. They emphasised that OMPEG is not a social club or any other Maharashtrian Mandal.
‘’OMPEG is all about its members. Their aspirations and their successes,;; the organisers concluded on a jubilant and happy note.