Sanjay Deshwal is a notable figure in the Indian community in Sydney, Australia, serving as the President of the Little India Harris Park Business Association. and lead person responsible for Naming part of Harris Street to LITTLE INDIA. With his passion for fostering community engagement and promoting Indian culture, Sanjay has made significant contributions to the growth and development of the Indian business community in Harris Park.
As President of the association, Sanjay has been instrumental in organizing various cultural events and initiatives that showcase the vibrancy and diversity of Indian traditions. Under his leadership, the Little India Harris Park Business Association has become a thriving hub for businesses, residents, and visitors alike, providing a platform for community members to connect, collaborate, and flourish.
Sanjay’s commitment to strengthening the Indian community in Sydney is evident through his efforts to support local businesses, encourage entrepreneurship, and promote the cultural heritage of India. His inclusive and collaborative approach has fostered a sense of unity among Indian business owners and residents, making Little India Harris Park a cherished destination for authentic Indian cuisine, shopping, and cultural experiences.
IIS: Tell us about yourself.
SD: I came to Sydney as a student in 1994 as a 29-year-old. hold two degrees from India but came to study a master’s in business from the International Business School at Western Sydney University I became Permanent Resident in 1995, Then went onto becoming a migration agent in 1996, however it still wasn’t a huge industry in Australia, so it acted more as a side business to his career as a train driver and then at airport as a federal officer. Since then, I have helped over 11,000 people in Australia for different visas and continue to do so.
IIS: How long have you been a member of the Indians in Sydney Facebook group, and do you have any feedback/suggestions for us? Are there any specific areas where you believe the Indians in Sydney Facebook group can further contribute to the local community and society at large?
SD: Don’t remember, find it very informative and sharing of expertise with new people is inspiring
IIS: As the President of the Little India Harris Park Business Association, what inspired you to take on this role and what are your key goals and aspirations for the association?
SD: I used to have an office in Pitt Street in Sydney CBD, moved in 2010 to Harris Park, and saw the progress and development in this area.
Registered the First organisation – Little India Harris Park Business Association in 2015 – with Nitin Setia – founder of Ginger Indian Restaurant
First time flag hosting in 2015 and 2016 for 26th Jan and 15th August on Wigram and Marion streets
Planned the First ever Little India Deewali Fair – street Festival in 2017, Event Director and now that event is the largest festival of Indian Community. now, Naming has been done, WE are keen to get official sign boards and Little India Gate – we have been allocated 3.5 million from Federal MP Andrew Charlton for development of Little India precinct – but it will still take time to bring all these dreams to reality.
IIS: What role do you believe social media platforms, such as the Indians in Sydney Facebook group, play in connecting and mobilizing the Indian community for various causes or initiatives?
SD: In todays world social media is all important, easy and more popular than any other media
IIS: How has the presence of the Indian business community in Harris Park contributed to the local economy and cultural landscape?
SD: It has become an iconic place, it used to be a quiet and unsafe place before, Indian diaspora has elevated it to World stage, a place to be for Australian Indian Friendship monument
IIS: Can you share some success stories or notable achievements of the businesses in Little India Harris Park that exemplify the entrepreneurial spirit of the Indian community?
SD: You must come and see the queues, you have to see large number of people coming over here
Dosa Hut has iconic lines – crowds throughout the day – yummy food
Chatkhaaz has unique flavours – big hit with al people
Lajawab has fresh jalebis and distinctive menu
Mad Down under has modern indian cuisine
Ginger Indian Restaurant is award winning restaurant
Pathan Supermarket has great range of groceries
Radhe Supermarket is largest supplier of indian groceries
Shalinis Indian Fashion has amazing dresses collections
Akshara Jewellers has amazing jewellery and designs
IIS: In your opinion, what are the main challenges faced by Indian businesses in Harris Park, and how can they be addressed or supported?
SD: All are doing well; parking is a bottleneck. Once it is declared a precinct and well-advertised by Destination NSW and Tourism Australia it will be further populated
IIS: How do you envision the future growth and development of Little India Harris Park, and what steps are being taken to ensure its sustainability and relevance in the coming years?
SD: Councils and locals MP should work hand in hand with us. Our Indian diaspora should promote an dhelo us maintain
IIS: Are there any plans to expand the reach and influence of the Little India Harris Park Business Association beyond the local community, perhaps through collaborations or partnerships?
SD: As on date LIHPBA is talking to other councils and people from overseas has also contacted us about the success of LIHPBAWe are already talking to Greater Cumberland Chamber of Commerce of tie up
IIS: What role do you believe Indian businesses and cultural establishments in Harris Park can play in promoting tourism and attracting visitors to the area? How can the Indian community in Sydney actively contribute to the success and growth of Little India Harris Park, both as patrons and as ambassadors of the district?
SD: we all are the Ambassadors of Little India and if we all maintain discipline and help the businesses grow together, it will be a shining feather in Australian Indian relations.
IIS: Are there any specific challenges or opportunities that you would like to address or explore further to enhance the overall experience and offerings of Little India Harris Park
SD: It’s a great moment in history, let’s all work together and hope we all can overcome bureaucracy.
1) to name Little India precinct soon – there are challenges from Geographic Board on NSW. we are in dialogue with Lord Mayor Sameer Pandey to see it through.
2) we all need to expedite Little India Gate. Money has been granted, only DA and paperwork has to be done by Parramatta Council
It will be done soon!! We all hope , wish and pray for it soon !!