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Source: New Zealand Centre for Digital Connections with India

Wellington, New Zealand, 15 August 2023   Announcing the New Zealand Centre for Digital Connections with India to coincide with India’s Independence Day. The establishment of the Centre marks a significant milestone in fostering collaboration and leveraging synergies between New Zealand and India in the digital and tech sectors.

India, the fastest growing major economy in the world, presents a wealth of opportunities for New Zealand’s tech firms. Indian IT majors have a strong presence in New Zealand, serving local customers.

Indian IT professionals, many of whom hold senior positions within the industry, have also established their own successful IT service practices in New Zealand.

Indians also constitute a substantial proportion of digital and tech professionals at all levels in New Zealand.

The New Zealand Centre for Digital Connections with India aims to capitalise on this collective knowledge, experience, insights, and connections between the two markets.

“There is not a single organisation which leverages this opportunity, and it is remarkable that there has been a vacuum in the space for so long,” says Sunit Prakash, Co-Founder of the New Zealand Centre for Digital Connections with India.

Recognising this void, the Centre will serve as a focal point and knowledge hub, to achieve the following objectives:

·       Provide inputs to government policy and strategy through submissions and active participation in advisory groups.

·       Connect businesses to new markets, enabling their success in India and New Zealand.

·       Assist organisations in their diversity and inclusion initiatives in the sector.

·       Ensure newcomers to New Zealand achieve their full potential in the shortest possible time.

“This formalises the work Sunit and I have been doing for the past few decades,” says Lalita Kasanji, Co-Founder of the Centre. “Sunit wrote op-eds ‘PatelNET’ and ‘Satellite TV Revolution in India’ for the DomPost in the 1990’s, and in the 1980’s I wrote a thesis on Indian immigration to New Zealand”.

Looking forward, the New Zealand Centre for Digital Connections with India hopes to play a pivotal role in the ever-evolving landscape of India and technology’s centrality to New Zealand.

Driven by its core values, the centre is fiercely independent, self-funded, transparent, inclusive, apolitical, flat, un-bureaucratic, and action-oriented.

About New Zealand Centre for Digital Connections with India:
The New Zealand Centre for Digital Connections with India is a newly established organisation dedicated to fostering collaboration, knowledge exchange, and growth between New Zealand and India in the digital and tech sectors. With a focus on government engagement, business connections, diversity and inclusion, and newcomer support, the centre aims to unlock the immense potential present in both markets.

About the Founders

Sunit Prakash is an IT professional based in Wellington and previously in Sydney for a Nasdaq listed company responsible for Support Operation Asia Pacific Japan.  He holds an MBA from NMIMS, Bombay University, one of India’s top business schools.  Through his work and cohort, Sunit has a close connection with successful Indian diaspora in IT, in Australia, Singapore and Silicon Valley.  He is a published author and has written extensively on New Zealand, India, and technology and is regularly published in the national and professional press.

Lalita Kasanji completed her Masters in Sociology from Victoria University of Wellington, examining the settlement of the Gujarati community in Wellington and their integration into New Zealand society.  She played a key role in the Department of Internal Affairs’ Ethnic Affairs Service in the 1990’s which was a precursor to the Ministry for Ethnic Communities.  In her position she produced publications, presented at conferences, held workshops, and worked across agencies relating to ethnic communities. Currently she is an active board member for business and community organisations.

Lalita and Sunit recently wrote Indian IT Professionals in New Zealand in From Yesterday to Tomorrow: 60 years of tech in New Zealand (ed Janet Toland)