Rao Maddukuri is the Founder and President, Poland India Business Council and the recipient of the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Award (The highest Civilian Award given for Indian Diaspora by the Govt. of India)
HAPPY 70th BIRTHDAY AND MANY RETURNS OF THE DAY HON’BLE PRIME MINISTER SHRI NARENDRA MODI, ON MY BEHALF AND ON BEHALF OF THE PRAVASI BHARATIYA SAMMAN AWARDEES!
In early January 2006, I first time met Shri Modi JI in person at the Raheja IT Park in Cyberabad/Hyderabad. I came to attend the Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas (PBD) as a delegate and Shri Modi was a guest and keynote speaker. Shri Narendra Modi was the Chief Minister of Gujarat at the time and wanted to learn more about the IT industry progress in Cyberabad/Hyderabad, also meeting with TCS management. He convinced the parties to join hands with the Gujarati Govt and boost IT investments in Gandhi Nagar.
Later in the day, I had the opportunity to listen to Shri Narendra Modi at a speech addressed to delegates of the PBD event. Amongst all other Chief Minister speeches, Mr. Modi’s stood out as outstanding, and he showed his hospitality when we invited the delegates to visit Gujarat as his guest during their stay in India. Since the initial PBD event, I have attended many PBDs and will note that Shri Modi was the only Chief Minister to never miss participating and meeting the delegates. The meeting rooms were always packed with delegates who wanted to listen to him. Resultingly, Shri Narendra Modi cultivated a special bond with the Indian Diaspora, which continues to become evident as he always meets with Diaspora during his official visits as PM.
After almost 5 years, I decided to attend Vibrant Gujarat personally and felt great hospitality. It was a magnificent show with captains of the Indian industry present on the dais, including Shri Ratan Tata, the Ambani brothers, and others. They were sharing their positive experiences of doing business in Gujarat, alluding to examples such as the Govt’s proactive help in supporting the TATA NANO project within a short period.
From these experiences, I was personally motivated to promote stronger relationships between the Gujarat state and Poland/Europe. I had convinced Marshals/Heads of three Polish regions (Malopolska, Wielkopolska & Mazowsze regions) to extend an official invitation to Shri Narendra Modi during his time as Chief Minister of Gujarat to lead a business delegation to Poland. In early March 2012, I took the official invitation letters to Gandhi Nagar and presented them to Shri Modi Ji. During our brief interaction, he shared a powerful story of how the Maharaja of Jamnagar had historically rescued hundreds of Poles and provided them with shelter and education, which emphasized the binding ties between Poland and Gujarat.
Following our conversation, I again led a delegation the following year to attend Vibrant Gujarat 2013 and met with Shri Modi Ji there. We had organized a seminar at Vibrant Gujarat and signed an MOU with the Govt of Gujarat. Again, I recall these meetings always being filled with warmth and cordiality. After being a part of the historic changes that happened in Poland during the last 35 years, I couldn’t miss the historic times happening in India. Once the election results were announced, I immediately came back to India to be a part of Modi Ji’s victory celebrations by attending the Swearing in Ceremony at Rastrapathi Bhavan in May 2014 and again in June 2019.
Most recently, I had the honor to attend the Howdy Modi event in Houston, Texas. Prime Minister Modi’s popularity and connection with the Diaspora was fully evident throughout the event, with President Trump in attendance.
Ultimately, The Modi Govt recognised my services for building better relations between India and Poland, bestowing on me the Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Award during the PBD 2019 event in Varanasi. I am thankful for the recognition and feel indebted to serve more for the betterment of India.