Lokvani is delighted to present the "INSPIRE" award to three community leaders to honor their pathbreaking initiatives that helped create many a "firsts" in the Boston South Asian Community.
Samir Desai’s story is an inspiring one – it is the tale of a young man from a village succeeding against all odds and becoming an inspirational community leader in one of the most elite areas - a suburb of Boston. He founded SRC in 1985. SRC was a one stop systems company that grew from single founder to 600 employees, with about 75 million in annual revenue in 14 years without debt or venture money. “It was growing and profitable every quarter for our 14 year existence," says Desai. Desai is a founding member of TIE and has been actively involved in many community organizations. The Desai Foundation was the key sponsor for the annual Sensational India! Festival at the Peabody Essex Museum. It was a "first of its kind" effort to bring Indian culture to the mainstream. He has contributed extensively to many community organizations. Currently the Desai Foundation is working to empower women and children through community programs to elevate health and livelihood in India & the US.
Vinod Kapoor was the first to introduce India's cuisine to Massachusetts residents. They started with their first restaurant, the iconic Bombay Club that was located in Harvard Square. Their cuisine is always very innovative providing a special twist on many traditional recipes. Later they opened Masala Art, a restaurant in Needham that continues the fine traditions started decades ago. The cuisine has become a gold standard in fine Indian cuisine.
The Dangs were among the first to bring Indian singers to the Boston area for concerts. "We think of some of them like friends," says Harish. "They feel at home with us, having done business with us. And we feel equally close to the artists." Singers who have visited the area under the auspices of Sounds of India include the great singers Mukesh and Hemant Kumar in the 70's. Lata Mangeshkar has visited on numerous occasions. Kumar Shanu is another favorite artist and friend who has been heard in the Boston area. Harish with his wife Binita Dang created the first South Asian radio program in Boston. Called “Sounds of India” it ran uninterrupted for decades. Harish Dang is an icon and an inspiration in the
South Asian community.