Plenary Session III

8 January : 1615-1700 hrs   

"Partnering with Diaspora to Accelerate Tourism in India."

Session Brief

Session Coordinator : Mr. Pradeep Rawat, Joint Secretary (EA), Ministry of External Affairs

Speakers at PBD :

  • Mr. Markus, Managing Director, Asahi Travel Service Pvt. Ltd, Japan
  • Mr. Sachin Gopalan, Co-Founder & CEO of Indonesia Business Insight, Indonesia
  • Mr. Pandit Rajendra Arun, President, Ramayan Centre, Mauritius
  • Mr. Anand Prakash Bhatia, American Sale and Marketing Partners, USA
  • Mr. Mohammed A. Dadabhai, Chairman, Bahrain India Society, Bahrain
  • Mr. Benny Benyamin, Owner RT&T Incoming Triple ‘S’ Travel and Tours Ltd, Israel
  • Shri Ven. Banagala Upatissa Thero, Theravada Buddhist Bhikku, Sri Lanka
  • Ms. Malini Sewocksingh, Member of Parliament, Mauritius
  • Mr. Bharath Malkani, President, Federation of Hotel & Restaurant Association of India, India
  • Mr. Subhash Goyal, president, Indian Association of Tour Operators, India
  • Dr. A.K. Monocha, Chairman & managing Director, Indian Railway Catering & Tourism Corporation, India
  • Mr. Deepak Nangla, Managing Director Brightsun Travel, UK.


  •  Shri Ven. Banagala Upatissa Thero, is a Theravada Buddhist Bhikku of Sri Lanka. He has gained prominence and earned national and international acclaim for his demonstrated success in converting dreams into reality and sustains achievements with institutional resilience. He is the President of Maha Bodhi Society which is the world's pioneering Buddhist society which was founded in 1891 with the immediate goal of restoring the sacred Buddhist shrine of Bodhgaya and to propagate the Buddha Dharma. He is the founder of the Yoshida Educational & Social Services Foundation which revolutionized preschool child education in Sri Lanka.  He holds Bachelor's and Master's degrees from the University of Bhopal specializing in Archeology and Buddhist monuments. Fluent in Hindi, Japanese and English in addition to Sinhala, his focus quietly shifted from Buddhist Missionary work to an  active role in promoting international cooperation in the Asia Pacific on social harmony, reconciliation after conflict and multi religious initiatives in confronting faith centric extremism whereever it manifests in whatever form.
  • Mr. Sachin Gopalan, is the Founder and CEO of Chairos International Ventures (CIV), a digital media and content consultancy based in Indonesia which focuses on startups and venture incubation for the ASEAN market. He is the co-founder of several start-ups such as, Orbit Ventura, a science & technology empowerment company,  Indonesia Economic Forum, an economic intelligence service, InAvi, an in-store audio visual digital company etc. Earlier he was the CEO of BeritaSatu Media Holdings (BMH), a leading Indonesian news organization based in Jakarta and widely recognized in the Industry for its product innovation that won several international and local awards.  He is on the Board of Patrons of the national cricket body, Persatuan Cricket, Indonesia where he also served for two years as the Head of the National Selection Committee. He is a University Gold Medalist in Bachelor of Engineering - Production from the College of Engineering, India.
  • Mr. Mohammed Dadabhai, is the Chairman of the Board of Dadabhai Group, one of the most acclaimed groups of companies in the Kingdom of Bahrain which has multiple businesses comprising Construction, Real Estate, Travel and Tourism, Communication and Advertising etc. He is currently the Chairman of Bahrain India Society since 2014, an organization formed by a group of leading Bahraini and Indian businessmen. He was formerly appointed as a Member of Shura Council of the Kingdom (upper house of the Parliament). He has led a delegation to the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas in Gujarat in 2015 and Make in India Week 2016 in Mumbai. He is a Board Member of Bahrain Exhibition and Convention Authority (BECA) and is involved and associated with promotion and development of various Educational, Social, Philanthropic and Sports activities. His focus areas in plenary session are ‘Accelerating Tourism in India.
  • Shri Rajendra Arun, is the President of the Ramayana Centre, Mauritius.  He was born on July 29, 1945 in India and adopted Journalism and went to Mauritius in 1973 to edit Janata Hindi weekly owned by the then Prime Minister Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam.  He has been presenting programmes on national radio on Ramcharitmanas and Indian Philosophy since 1982. He has been conferred upon various awards and honors for his contributions. He has written eight books on various characters of Ramayana.
  • Mr. Benny Benyamin, is the CEO, Triple 'S' Travels and Tours, Israel. He started his career as an employee for ELAL and later started his own car rental business that turned into a Travel Agency and incoming/outgoing tour operating business-Triple. He has been honored by the Israel Ministry of Tourism with an Award for Excellency as a Tour Promoter. He works with the Indian and various Embassies in Israel. He is the Councilor of the Ramla Municipality and also President of the National Convention, which present Cultural (ICCR group) and Bollywood shows.
  • Mr. Andy Bhatia, is the President, American Sales & Marketing Partners LLC has extensive sales and marketing experience in the travel Industry, America. He retired as the Area Sales Manager based in New York  from Air India where he  worked  for nearly 35 years, both in the field and at the North American Headquarters in various capacities. He is credited with conceptualizing  and launching the 'Know India Seminars' in USA & Canada which were attended by more than 6000 American travel agents. He was also instrumental in the launching of a bimonthly India Travel in newsletter and the Traveler's India Magazine. Today he continues to remain engaged in various aspects of the industry as a consultant and is a member of many travel trade associations including the Pacific Asia Travel Association, New York Chapter and the American Society of Travel Agents. A community activist, he presently serves as the Executive Vice President of the Federation of Indian Associations of NY, NJ & CT. It is an umbrella organization with membership of over one hundred Indian associations in the tri-state area.
  • Mr. Markus, is the Managing Director, Asahi Travel Service Pvt Ltd, Japan. He is in travel trade for last 40 years and expert in handling Japanese visitors for Business meetings, Yoga tours, World Heritage tours, Ayurveda tours. And top of all Buddhist Piligrimage tours. He speaks fluent Japanese. He has delivered more than 150 lectures on Indian Culture & Tourism in Japan which have been covered by Magazines, T.V Radio and News papers. He has published a book on Indian Culture in Japan.  He loves to work as a bridge between India and Japan.
  • Mr. Bharat H Malkani is a second generation entrepreneur having completed his Masters Degree in Technology Management from Washington University, USA and a Bachelors Degree in Electronics and Communication Engineering from Manipal Institute of Technology, India.He leads the Malkani Group of Companies with diversified business interests in Aviation, Hospitality and Realty sectors. He is the Chairman & has been the Managing Director of the following Companies: Max AeroSpace & Aviation Pvt. Ltd., Max MRO Services Pvt. Ltd., Maxaero Aircraft Engines Private Limited, Hotel Transit Private Limited, T 24 Residency. He is an active member of various aviation and corporate bodies, including: Chairman of the Aviation &  Defence Committee of FICCI, Past President - Federations of Hotel and Restaurant Association of India (FHRAI), Past President - Hotel and Restaurant Association of Western India (HRAWI), Chairman CII Committee on Aerospace and Defense "Make in India", Treasurer, MRO Association of India.

  • Dr. Subhash Goyal, is a President of Indian Association of Tour Operators, India. (Hora Gold Medalist from Sri Ram College of Commerce) Member National Tourism Advisory Council, Ministry of Tourism, Government of India, is the Chairman of STIC Travel Group, one of India's biggest travels Group with branches in all the major cities of India. He is the Chairman Tourism & Services Sector of Federation of Indian Export Organizations (FIEO) and also the Chairman of the Civil Aviation & Tourism Committee of the Indian Chamber of Commerce & Industry (ICCI).  He is also the Advisory Board of several Govt. bodies and contributes frequently to National dailies like Hindustan Times, Economic Times, Times of India & various Travel & Trade Magazines on tourists.  He is an author of a book entitled Poverty Eradication & Economic Development through Tourism which has won him wide recognition and acclaim.
  • Ms. Malini Sewocksingh, started her career in the early childhood Development project organised by the UNICEF. She is also an entrepreneur in the Tourism Industry with nearly 15 years' experience with a proven track record of developing new business and having customers who have always been delighted with her services. Her active social life, helping the elderly and the vulnerable one, has helped her lot to get along with the citizen. It was not a surprise when she was for the first time elected as Councillor at the Municipality of Curepipe Two years later she was elected as Member of the National Assembly, Republic of Mauritius. She is also a member of the Pan African Parliament.
  • Mr. Deepak Nangla, is the Managing Director of Brightsun Travel, UK. The company employs around 200 people in 3 offices spanning the UK and India. Brightsun Travel has been identified for the second year running as one of London Stock Exchange 1000 Companies to Inspire Britain and in addition has won numerous industry awards.  He has his Bachelor of Engineering, and Masters Degree in Control Systems from Imperial College London. His area of expertise is outbound tourism from the UK to long-haul destinations and his knowledge of aviation routes worldwide. His strategic vision for the company is to continue growing their customer base both b2b and b2c, increase the type of products offered, continue to develop relevant technology in-house and further strengthen long term partnerships with all the major global airlines. His focus in the context of the panel will be to increase tourism into India.