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Fourth Annual Convention Of AACSA A Grand Success

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Fourth Annual Convention of AACSA a Grand Success 

      AAPI, AAHOA and AASCA decide to join hands

    Convenience store owners discuss implication of financial crisis

Meeting in the backdrop of the current financial crisis, which has affected their business by at least 20 percent, Asian American convenience store owners met in Tampa, Florida November 22 to have a brain storming session to evolve a joint strategy on their most pressing problem of the day.

Convenience store owners from all over the country attended the day-long fourth annual convention of the Asian American Convenience StoresOwners Association (AACSA). Founded in the year 2005, AACSA is the apex body of the Asian American convenience stores in the US.

Terming it as a historic meeting, Satya Shaw, AACSA founder and president said that this is for the first time that leaders of American Association of Physicians of Indian Origin (AAPI), Asian American Hotel Owners Association (AAHOA) and AACSA have joined hands and come together on one platform.

"We will jointly fight for our cause," said Shaw, adding that topping their list is the issue of racial profiling which members of all the three organizations are facing. "Racial profiling is one of the issues, which is common to all three of us," said Dr Rajender Gupta, Chairman, Board of Trustees, AAPI. 

AAHOA treasure, Hemant Patel, said time has come for the community to work together on the political empowerment of the community. The three organizations would work together on this issue, he said. "Nothing could be achieved without any political power," Patel said. AAHO owns 52 percent of the economy lodging in the country.

Addressing the fourth annual AACSA convention, Shaw said: "Many of us do not realize the strength we have in big community and the impact of our community."

He said: "There is no hospital in America without an Indian doctor, There is no highway in America without Indian motel owners and there is no town in America without an Indian store,"

The current financial crisis, dominated the proceedings of the convention, wherein store owners discussed and shared among themselves the problem they have been facing in view of the drop in their business by about 20 percent.

"As most of us these stores are family run businesses, many of them have started themselves working at the stores and gas stations and lay off their employees," he said. "Income is down, because the volume (of trade) has dropped," Shaw said. "Owners are going back to work themselves, to reduce the cost of operation," he added.

Michael Davis, vice president of National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS), praised the resilience capacity of the Indian American convenience store owners, who according to him knows the best how to survive under such adverse circumstances.

NACS is the apex national body of convenience stores in the US. Davis said there are more than 146,000 convenience stores in the United States with combined turnover of $570 billion. AACSA estimate that there are over 50,000 convenience stores run and operated by Indian Americans. "There is no town in America, without an Indian store owner," he said.

It is because of their resilience capacity, Davis said, he has hardly come across the closer of a convenience store owned by an Indian American. "They are excellent merchant and good negotiators," Davis said.

The Fourth Annual AACSA Convention also felicitated a number of eminent individuals for their contribution in the field of convenience stores. Prominent among them include Vijay Gandhi, CEO VP Enterprise;  Delbert Wheeler, owner-King Mountain Tobacco; Sharad Patel , Siddharth Shah , Dr.Rajendra Gupta, AAPI Chairman; Vijay K Patel, CEO Kwick King Stores;Pankaj Patel,a to Z Discount Beverage; Dr.Venkant Emandi,Michael Davis, NACS VP; Hemant Patel, AAHOA treasurer; Jayantibhai Patel, multi-store owners; Laura Chin, Director of MONSTER Energy Drinks; Dr.Kantilal Bhalani, Dr Chandresh Saraiya, President, Ekal Vidalaya; Krishan Batra, Dr.Kiran Patel ,Michael Glassman of BP Global director,and Ankit Gandhi, Penn - Jeferson Medical College.

Over 70 vendors showcase their products and services at the Trade Show area. DK Bollywood Dance group from Toronto, and Sunehar Pal Music group from India entertained the audience of over a thousand.

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