Advocate Bindu Suresh Chettur is a woman of many seasons. Besides a professional lawyer, she is a caring, hands on mother to a teenager and heading one of the most influential business forums in the UAE – the Indian Business and Professional Council. She is associated with many charities and community forums. She captured global media attention when the government of India appointed her as the lawyer for 17 Indians who were in jail over the death of a Pakistani bootlegger. Asian Lite’s Kaliph Anaz meets Advocate Bindu, president of IBPC, Dubai.
You moved the goalposts and raised the bar, literally, how did you do this?
Indian Business and Professional Council (IBPC) is the largest and the only registered organization, functioning under the Chamber of Commerce & Industry in Dubai. We have more than 1000 members. I have been practicing in Dubai as a lawyer for the past 17 years. I joined this council in 2013 as an ordinary member. After one year of my joining there was an election and I was compelled my some of the members to contest to ensure a female representation. I stood and with God’s grace I was elected. I was the only lady in the board which comprises nine members.
The new post helped me pursue my women empowerment activities. In the next election I was elected with the highest number of votes and was unanimously elected as the President of IBPC.
How does the organisation impact on and work with Indian businesses.
Indians comprises the largest expat community in the UAE. Around 2.6 million Indians are here, who are working and engaging in commercial activity. Indians are very successful in business in Dubai and many of the richest Indians doing business in Dubai are members of IBPC. Dubai is the ideal hub for international trade and business as the Dubai government promotes and encourages more individuals and groups to form companies to do business. The flying distance to India from Dubai is hardly 4 hours and hence for Indians, Dubai is the most favourite place to work, invest and do business. It is not just Indians; people from more than 200 countries come here for business and work, where Indians are the majority.
Several events take place in Dubai to promote Indo-UAE business relations. How are these events supporting the business community?
Events like Indo UAE Economic Forum, Startup Summits etc. become great fixtures where you can meet others and exchange ideas. Let me state that the IBPC is totally committed to supporting the business activities of Indians in the UAE. IBPC is the platform for such summits and meetings and has successfully conducted many seminars and conventions in this connection in the past and are keen to conduct them in the future too.
What are the projects you are involved in now?
We are planning road shows in Indian cities and in the UAE starting from January 2018. We will organise 8 to 9 road shows in alternative months in India and in UAE to support businesses. IBPC is again strategically committed to being a catalyst and match maker by bringing in investors from both countries. IBPC is also helping to find the right partners for those Indian business entities who want to start Business/Invest in UAE and to raise seed capital, growth capital and joint venture capital as well as taking care of the flagship projects of the Indian Government like Digital India, Make in India etc.
Business is usually a male dominated sector. There are lots of educated and qualified women, who want to start business in Dubai and other parts of the UAE. What support IBPC is giving to them?
First of all, I should say that no profession or business or trade is male oriented or dominated. Myself as a lawyer, I can proudly say that I never felt the male domination in my 25 years of career which was once considered as male oriented or dominated profession. When it comes to IBPC, where I became a member 4 years back. Within four years, I become the President. I am keen in women empowerment and always ensured my support and guidance to those women who are starting a business, launching a professional service or trade in the UAE. I am also offering them free legal and management consultation for setting up a business.
As the President of the largest business forum in Dubai, what is your advice to the new generation entrepreneurs from India?
Of course the youth of India is the huge human capital. India can be very proud of its youth because by 2025, India will have the largest population in the world with the largest youth population who are below the age of 33. As the President of IBPC and personally I assure that IBPC is totally committed to give all sorts of support and guidance to all my fellow Indians and sisters in particular who would like to start their profession or businesses in the UAE.