Melbourne, October 31: A Chaiwalli and an Autocare business were among the winners at the 3rd India Australia Business & Community Awards, held in Darling Harbour at Four Points by Sheraton Sydney, Friday.

The winners in 14 award categories were announced at the gala awards ceremony amidst nearly 500 guests The most coveted award for the night went to Peter Varghese AO, Chancellor, The University of Queensland for Indian Australian Ambassador of the Year.

Showcasing migrant talent from Indian diaspora in Australia, Melbourne based corporate solicitor, Uppma Virdi was named Business Woman of the Year 2016 for her Collingwood based business, Chai Walli; and Hoppers Crossing based BDS Autocare won the Micro Business of the Year 2016.

Chai Walli - Virdi Uppma, Business Woman of the year 2016
Chai Walli – Virdi Uppma, Business Woman of the year 2016

Uppma Virdi, better known as chai guru, showcased her idea and the chai concept at inaugural Melbourne Tea Festival, earlier this year.

Featuring as the Chai Walli (female tea-vendor) she presented her heart-warming spiced, authentic brew and it was literally, lapped up by visitors in true earnest.

Uppma’s chai mix varieties, recipe for which was passed on to her by her grandfather, is slowly taking off in Melbourne and many cafes are featuring her speciality.

Uppma, 26, built her chai brand in the last couple years, going after her grandfather’s passion for ayurvedic herbs and spices; and being a solicitor also registered her concept and IP with trademarks.

She sells online and also supplies to outlets, from her warehouse based business where the art of ‘grounding spices’ for the dry chai blend, has been mastered.

BDS Autocare, Micro Business of the year 2016
BDS Autocare, Micro Business of the year 2016

Micro Business winner, BDS Autocare, originally of Geelong has used sensible management skills to micro-manage at 3 other locations – Hoppers Crossing, Point Cook and Melbourne.

According to the company, “great care is taken by the skilled and sensible technicians who possess considerable skill, overhauling cars” in all 4 locations.

Keynote guests on the night were Gladys Berejiklian MP, NSW Treasurer representing the Premier of NSW; B. Vanlalvawna, Consul General of India in Sydney representing High Commissioner of India in Australia; Luke Foley MP, Leader of the Opposition; Daniel Mookhey MP and Tracey Spicer, Ambassador, National Breast Cancer Foundation.

Shalini Singh

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