CBC Toronto - Photo By Timothy Neesam

Ties to India

Metro Morning's Matt Galloway speaks with business leaders about India. (Dwight Friesen/CBC)

Our panel

Here at Metro Morning, we convened a panel of business leaders to get their views on the trade links between India and Canada and how we can build on these relationships. Why does trade with India matter? What are the business challenges? How do we overcome them? If we don't do business with India, what will be the cost? Share your own thoughts.


Audio: Complete panel discussion Listen audio (runs 45:08)
Panel part one - the importance of boosting trade Listen audio (runs 5:28)
Panel part two - navigating cultural differences Listen audio (runs 5:28)
Panel part three - navigating cultural differences continued... Listen audio (runs 5:30)
Panel part four - Canada needs India more than India needs Canada Listen audio (runs 4:27)

Find out more about our panelists

Sriram H. Iyer Sriram H. Iyer, President and CEO of ICICI Bank Canada

Sriram H. Iyer
Sriram H. Iyer

Sriram H. Iyer is the President and Chief Executive Officer of ICICI Bank Canada, and is also the Regional Head of ICICI Bank's operations in North America, including the United States.

He has overseen the Bank's expansion in Canada and has established a strong foundation for its growth. Iyer joined ICICI Bank in India in 1996 and has since held a number of key management positions of increasing responsibility. He was a core member of the executive team that established ICICI Bank in Canada in 2003.

As well, he is an active participant with business and not-for-profit organizations. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of The Conference Board of Canada and is a recipient of Canada's Top 40 Under 40TM Award for 2008. Iyer earned his Bachelor of Engineering from the National Institute of Technology and Master of Business Administration from the Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore.

Aditya Jha Aditya Jha, Entrepreneur

Aditya Jha
Aditya Jha

Aditya Jha is what we can call a serial entrepreneur and his entrepreneurial pursuits include start-up technology ventures as well as brick and mortar turn-around businesses. He co-founded a software company, Isopia Inc., after having a successful career at Bell Canada as General Manager. In July 2001, despite the downturn in the technology industry, Isopia was a major acquisition by Sun Microsystems Inc.

In addition to being a successful Indo-Canadian businessman, Aditya is involved in a unique initiative with the Grand Chief of Nishnawbe Aski Nation to nurture entrepreneurship within the aboriginal communities in Canada. His private charity called the POA Educational Foundation has created endowments at four institutions in Ontario namely Ryerson University, York University, Trent University and George Brown College which grants a total of thirteen bursary awards ($42,000 annually) in perpetuity to students.

Aditya is the appointee of the Government of Canada to the Board of Directors of First Nations Financial Management Board and of the Government of Ontario to Ontario Investment & Trade Advisory Council (OITAC). Aditya was conferred an Honorary Doctorate by Ryerson University's Ted Rogers School of Business Management in 2009. He is the National Convenor of Canada India Foundation (CIF) and led the signing of a $10 million endowment for the Canada India Public Policy Centre at the University of Waterloo.

His approach to philanthropy is featured in the Economist Intelligence Unit and also presented to Standing Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs & International Trade. He accompanied Prime Minister Stephen Harper on his State visit to India in 2009.

Anil ShahAnil Shah, President, Ni-Met Metals & Minerals Inc.

Anil Shah
Anil Shah

Anil Shah is a Chemical Engineer by qualification and a metal trader by profession. He is the President of Ni-Met Metals & Minerals Inc a first generation entrepreneur who started his metal business in 1983 in Mumbai, India. On immigrating to Canada in 1990, Anil established Ni-Met in Canada. The company has branches and associates in India, China, Thailand and the United Arab Emirates.

Over the past 21 years the company has built a network of strategically located offices and associates creating a strong alliance with international producers, traders and end users catering to diverse industries like steel and alloy steel, non ferrous metals and plastics In addition to nurturing business ties with India, Anil is actively involved with charity work and has been working with the Trillium Health Centre and sits on the board of directors of the Trillium Health Centre Foundation. He is also involved in raising money and awareness for the Polio Foundation in Ahmadabad, India.

An avid golfer, Anil has chaired the Indo-Canada Chamber of Commerce's golf committee and India House Project. He is also one of the founding members of Canada India Foundation.

Patricia Koval Patricia Koval, Senior Partner, Torys LLP

Patricia Koval
Patricia Koval

Patricia Koval is a senior partner at Torys LLP, Canadian law firm with offices in Toronto, Calgary and New York. She practises in the area of corporate and commercial law, with primary emphasis on mergers and acquisitions, corporate finance, governance, and securities laws. Among other things, Pat has acted for the Aditya Birla Group in its key North American acquisitions, including the acquisition of Minacs WorldWide, the acquisition by Hindalco of Novelis and the subsequent 2010 Hindalco/Novelis global refinancing, and, most recently, on the Canadian aspects of the Columbian Chemicals acquisition.

Pat is the co-founder and co-chair of the Torys' India Group and she is a member of the Board of Directors of the Canada-India Business Council and its Mining Committee. In addition, Pat is a member of the South Asia Advisory Council of Osgoode Hall Law School, which is helping to guide Osgoode's linkages with Indian law schools and the Indian legal community.

Outside her legal work, Pat is keenly involved in a number of conservation initiatives in India. She is the Past Chair of the Board of Directors of WWF Canada and is integrally involved in its work to support WWF India in its "Save Our Tigers" campaign. Personally, Pat is supporting key tiger conservation work in the corridor between Pench Tiger Reserve and Tadoba National Park/Andhari Tiger Reserve. Separately, she is also supporting the conservation of freshwater turtles and other native freshwater species in India's Chambal River system.

Asha LuthraAsha Luthra, Executive Director, Rajasthan Foundation

Asha Luthra
Asha Luthra

Asha Luthra was elected as the 31st President of the Indo-Canada Chamber of Commerce (ICCC) in 2008 and was the first woman ever elected as president of the chamber. She has been actively associated with the Chamber's activities for more than a decade.

The legacy of her presidency was increasing membership of the Chamber and expanding on its range of events reflecting the ties that bind Canada and India. She championed the special role of the diaspora in building vital links between the India and Canada.

Asha owns and operates her travel consultancy firm which successfully promotes travel and trade between Canada and India. Asha is a member of the board of the Judiciary Appointment Advisory Committee and is also the Executive Director for Rajasthan Foundation.

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