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February - March 2007


An Evening of "Afro-Asian" Splendour

The luxurious Orchard Suite at the Millenium Gloucester Hotel, Kensington, was decked with flags of various countries showing the names of towns and cities in Africa and South Asia, depicting the typical geographical areas from where the business activities of “Afro-Asian” emanate. The guests present also reflected these geographical regions.

Mr Shadreck Lubasi addressing the guests

Afro-Asian Insurance Services (UK and India), the well-known international insurance and reinsurance brokers, hosted some 300 guests from the UK, Europe, Africa and South Asia to a memorable evening of entertainment and dinner. The “Afro-Asian” team, and its Managing Director, Udai Patel, also took the opportunity of celebrating the 70th Birthday of their Executive Chairman, Rasik H. Patel, in the presence of a number of notable dignitaries. Among them was former Vice-President and Prime Minister of Tanzania, Hon. John Malecela MP, who is currently Vice Chairman of the Ruling Party (CCM) and a member of the Central Committee of the Party. He was accompanied by his wife, Hon. (Mrs.) Anne Malecela MP, Hon. Martha Mlata MP, among others, who had travelled with him from Tanzania.

Hon. John Malecela MP addressing the guests with Mr. Rasik Patel lookingon

Others present from overseas were Mr. Shadreck Lubasi, Managing Director of PTA Reinsurance Company in Nairobi and his colleague, Mr. Rajni Varia, General Manager of that company and Mrs Varia; Mrs. Margaret Ikongo, Managing Director of the National Insurance Corporation of Tanzania, accompanied by her husband James, and the Acting Director for General Insurance, Mr. William Yambi; Mr. Dhananjay Date, Manager of Swiss Reinsurance Co. in Mumbai; Mr. Anil Sant and Mr. Sanjay Mukashi of the General Insurance Corporation of India (GIC Re); Mr. Adam Hassan, General Manager of Albaraka Insurance Co. of Sudan; Mr. Khaled Sayed and Mr. Mohsen Mounir from the Egyptian Reinsurance Co. in Cairo; Mr. Jagmohan Singh of the NRI Institute, Delhi, and Mrs. Sharanjit Kaur; Mr. Dilip Shukla, Executive Director and Mr Anant Kumar, General Manager, respectively, of Afro-Asian Insurance Services (India), and many others who had travelled long distances to be present at this function.

Udai Patel welcoming the guests

Charming guest in opulent traditional dress from Tanzania

Among the numerous friends and relatives who made a special effort to be there for this occasion were Mr. C.B. Patel, Editor and Publisher of Asian Voice and Gujarat Samachar; Mr. Krishen Ralleigh, Editor of India Link and his wife Vijay; Mr. Rajan Sehgal & Mrs. Karthik Sehgal of Skylord Plc; Dr. & Mrs. S. P. Sharma; Mr & Mrs George Jatania of Lornamead fame; Mr. K.G. Arora, Chief Executive of the New India Assurance Co. (U.K.) & his family; Dr. I.P. Patel, MBE and Mrs. Sarojben Patel; and many others.

L to R:Hon. Martha Mlata MP, Udai Patel, a guest, Hon. John Malecela MP,
Rasik Pael, Hon Mrs. Anne Malecela and a guest

The unique intelligent lighting system of the Orchard Suite coupled with the presence of an excellent band which played English, Hindi and Swahili numbers throughout the night, and the mock gaming Casino that had been set up outside the Orchard Suite, added to the enjoyment of this well-planned and well-thought out function. One of the most attractive aspects was, of course, the spectacular dance presentations choreographed by Ruby of “Indiadances”.

L to R: Jagmohan Sigh, Rasik Pael, Kartick Sehgal, Rajan Sehgal & GS Bhalla

In his address Mr Udai Patel, Managing Director of “Afro-Asian” (UK and India), expressed his appreciation and thanks to the numerous friends who had travelled from abroad and to friends and family for their presence at the function. He then called upon his father, the Executive Chairman of “Afro-Asian” Group, to cut his 70th Birthday cake with a ceremonial sword.

Rasik Patel cutting the cake with a ceremonial sabre

In his response, Mr. Rasik Patel acknowledged the unflinching support he had always had in the past 46 years from his wife, Kunj, who he said had been a pillar of strength for him and had sacrificed so much to achieve the happiness in his family. He added “She brought our only offspring, Udai, into this world, and brought him up with little or no help from me.” Rasik Patel also expressed his appreciation for an intelligent and diligent son like Udai, who with the support and clever guidance of Priti, his wife, have successfully built up the business. Rasik added that both Udai and Priti had “given us two wonderful grandchildren, Tanya and Anushka.” “ What more could a man ask for on his 70th birthday?” he asked.

Hon. John Malecela MP, former Vice President of Tanzania in conversation with Jagmohan Singh
(Sec.Gen NRI Institute New Delhi )& Mrs. Sharanjit Kaur

Mr. Lubasi and Hon. John Malecela also addressed the august gathering. Mr. Lubasi praised Mr. Patel’s long and committed work for the development of insurance in Africa over the past 30 years or so and wished him many more years of active life.

Winning at roulette was a great attraction for the guests

Hon. John Malecela compared Rasik Patel’s travels in Africa and Asia to those of the historical traveller, Ibn Batutah. He ended by proudly emphasising that although Rasik was now in the United Kingdom “to us in Tanzania he will always be, and is a product of Tanzania.”

Numerous messages of goodwill were received from friends including those from the Ghana Reinsurance Co. Ltd., the Managing Director of the African Reinsurance Corporation in Lagos, the Chairman cum Managing Director of the Oriental Insurance Co. Ltd. in New Delhi, the Chief Executive of SANTAM, South Africa, Mr. Steffen Gilbert; the Chief Executive of the East African Reinsurance Company in Nairobi, and many others.

Guests left with a pleasant memory of a most enjoyable evening.

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