Bhav Dhillon, a renowned figure in the New Zealand-India business and cultural spheres, has recently taken up the prestigious role of Patron at the India New Zealand Business Council. As the former treasurer of INZBC and the Honorary Consul of India in Auckland, Dhillon brings a wealth of experience and insight to the organisation.
His impressive career encompasses a range of leadership positions, including the former Chair of Foundation North, Managing Director of Cemix & Dunlop Drymix NZ, Chair of Indian Weekender, Kiwi Indian Hall of Fame, and the There’s a Better Way Foundation.
His dedication to strengthening India-New Zealand ties, both in business and cultural sectors, positions him as a key asset to INZBC. At the INZBC’s year-end event held in November 2023 where he spoke alongside Hon Todd McClay, New Zealand’s newly appointed Minister for Trade, Agriculture, Forestry, Hunting & Fishing, Dhillon shared his vision for enhancing bilateral relations between New Zealand and India.
To cultivate a mutually beneficial alliance, Dhillon stressed the need for multifaceted steps, noting the importance of drive and passion in building relationships with a country as large as India.
“In a big relationship, we have to create some momentum and positivity between both countries,” he stated. Dhillon identified key sectors where New Zealand could focus its efforts. He highlighted education as a significant contributor to the trade balance between the two nations.
“Education has always been a big source of this trade balance between the two countries,” he remarked. Despite the dip in Indian student enrolments due to Covid, Dhillon observed that students were gradually returning, making India, once again a growing market for New Zealand’s international education sector.
Tourism, another ‘low hanging fruit’, as Dhillon described, has seen India become the fifth-largest source of overseas visitors to New Zealand in 2023, climbing up from 19th in 2003. Notably, a significant proportion of these visitors came to visit friends and relatives. Dhillon also pointed out opportunities in the automotive and farm machinery industries, which have been adding significant dollar value to the bilateral relationship.
Highlighting India’s status as the pharmacy capital of the world, a previously released INZBC white paper on the ‘Pharma Landscape in New Zealand’s hows that New Zealand imported NZ$ 91.03 million of pharmaceutical products from India, accounting for 2.3 percent of its total pharmaceutical imports. Dhillon saw vast potential for growth in bilateral trade in the pharmaceutical sector, noting India’s pivotal role in the global supply chain.
In his concluding remarks, Dhillon underscored the importance of mutually beneficial trade relationships. “I have always said trade or business is like any other relationship, we have to create win-wins situation for both parties,” he said.
Dhillon’s vision and leadership at INZBC herald a promising future for New Zealand-India business relations, marked by strategic partnerships and a deeper understanding of the vast potential in this dynamic relationship.