NetIP-LA Home Page

 

[An article reprinted from India In Touch magazine, October 1994]

The Professional Edge

By Sapna Kumar

Now we join Jeopardy, already in progress...
New clubs for $1,000, Alex.
The answer: NetIP L.A. The question: What new club for young Indian Americans offers fun, professional contacts, philanthropy and cultural education all rolled into one?

The Network of Indian American Professionals (NetIP) Los Angeles is a new networking club for Indian-American professionals or recent college graduates 21 and older. The group formed in July when the Society of Young Indian Professionals (SYIP) and the Society of Indian Americans (SIA) joined forces.

"After a year (on our own), we realized the focus of the two groups was the same, so we decided to make the whole community stronger by bringing both groups together," said Sanjit Singh, NetIP L.A. co-social events chair.

The group is modeled after the first NetIP club, formed in Chicago in 1989, that is on its way to becoming a nonprofit organization. Though there are several NetIP branches in major U.S. cities like Houston, Dallas and Phoenix, they all operate independently of each other.

NetIP L.A. President Niru Savdharia said it is important for young Indians to band together. "We need a new generation of leaders for Indians living in America," she explained. "We have to start developing our ties now. Many of the NetIP L.A. board members are former officers of SYIP or SIA."

"We're drawing upon two years of successes and not-so-much successes," Singh said. "(As a result), the leader-ship is top notch."

"All of us are in different professions and this is a chance for us to learn to work together and bring our own professional experience to the club," added Dushyant Bala, NetIP L.A. secretary.

Following is a little about what the group is all about.

Professional Networking
"We had Indian events in college (that were solely for fun), but slowly we've been maturing and started pursuing things that are of more benefit to us at this level of our lives," Singh said.

To address the professional side of life, NetIP L.A. plans to have business mixers, seminars and speakers. "The club offers a good platform to meet business professionals and young people of the same origin on a regular basis," said Tejas Mehta, NetIP L.A. treasurer.

The group also is planning to put together a file of resumes for people who are either looking for jobs or looking for employees.

Social
"We're trying to offer a variety of activities including camping, hiking, going to sporting events and luncheons," said Naveen Kanal, co-social events chair. "We're offering a variety of events so people can get in touch with each other and meet each other in a relaxed setting. The events are designed to be fun."

Some events in the works include a trip to the USC/UCLA football game at the Rose Bowl on Nov.19 and a NetIP L.A. golf tournament.

Cultural Awareness
"In college, you have Indian clubs to meet Indians your age," said Anisha Dalal, NetIP L.A. vice president. "You get to learn more about your own culture through other people and their experiences. I think it's important you carry that outside of college."

Indians don't often encounter many other Indians at work, she explained, and many times a person's social environment is formed through work. "It's important we form some sort of cohesive force where we can get together and (participate in) charity events, even represent our generation in political events," Dalal continued. "It's important that we network and meet other Indians and share our ideas and experiences. I think it's important to have that sort of cultural bond,that sort of cohesiveness in the community."

One way they plan to do this is with a Diwali function in November.

Charitable fundraising
"We really want to give back to the community, not just to the community here in L.A., but the community in India as well," said Savdharia. "Even as SYIP, we helped raise money for victims of the India earthquake.

"We have so many different subcultures of Indians. Other minority groups band together seemingly more than the Indian community. Other communities have been able to make some of those strides, whether giving scholarships for schools or giving business loans. We need to establish something for our community."

The group is planning to help give out dinners at a local homeless shelter during Thanksgiving.

Put it all together...
"We can make things happen," said Lakshman Koka, NetIP L.A. public relations chair. "We've started focusing on the Indian community, and so far we don't have any political or religious differences. We're putting that aside for a common cause.

Kumar a writer is the INDIA IN TOUCH executive editor. She lives in Chino Hills.

INDIA IN TOUCH OCTOBER 1994

meet the NetiP board

Standing, from left: Naveen Kanal, co social events chair, is a businessperson with his own delivery company and a small-business consultant; Niru Savdharia, president, is a law student at Loyola Marymount University; Lakshman Koka, public relations chair, is a Savin Corp. sales and marketing manager, and co-owner of Krishna Silks and Sarees; and Dushyant Bala, secretary, is working toward a master's degree in public administration at USC. Sitting, from left: Sanjit Singh, co-social events chair, is an Airborne Express sales representative; Anisha Dalal, vice president, is a high school math teacher; and Tejas Mehta, treasurer, is a CPA with his own business. Photo by Sapna Kumar