Global Business Attorney Reflects on Columbus Market + New Business OpportunitiesApril 1, 2014
Vinita Bahri-Mehra has been practicing in the area of global business for more than a decade. With a dual-license to practice law in both Ohio and India, to say she is well-versed in both local and international law would be an understatement. As an active board member of the Columbus Council on World Affairs (CCWA) and long-time advocate for the organization, Vinita recently attended its annual awards ceremony. Vinita took this opportunity to reflect on how far Columbus has come with international work and how much further she believes it will go:
The CCWA Annual International Awards Ceremony this year definitely kept Columbus on the cutting edge of global developments. The ideas, concepts, themes and perspectives were all geared toward presenting that the city of Columbus is incredibly diverse and globally aware. This is an idea that we, as a city, have been working toward for years, but have never fully reflected on until today.
A new concept this year was to present the global perspective of some individuals from the community, and the role CCWA plays in shaping those perspectives. I was honored to have the opportunity to share my perspective with the audience.
I mentioned that when I met my husband in Mumbai, one of India’s largest metropolitan areas, and he told me that we would be living in Columbus, Ohio, I thought to myself "is that a village?," as I had never heard of it. As it turns out, Columbus is certainly not a village, but it does retain one of the best qualities of a "village." That is, people talk to each other and are invested in each other’s growth and success.
Another fact that demonstrates Columbus’ global relevance is that CCWA’s Global Report gives us evidence (and as an attorney, I like evidence) that Columbus’ influence is growing almost as fast as its diversity. I always got the sense that people in this city are smart and support BIG ideas. In return, I know that I am a much more informed mother and professional from attending CCWA events and educating myself on where Columbus is headed in the global marketplace.
As an example of this, I was especially surprised to learn at one CCWA luncheon that young women in Ohio suburbs are just as exposed to human trafficking as their peers across the globe. And at another luncheon, I learned about how micro-credit lending is giving innovators a route out of poverty both in my adopted home, Columbus, and in my native home, India.
My prediction for the years to come is simple- Columbus will continue to expand with its sophisticated global business work and the days of people wondering if Columbus is a "village" or how the city could possibly play an intricate role in the country's international business pursuits will be much more limited.
With that said, CCWA has become an invaluable resource for Columbus and as this city continues to grow, I thank the organization for providing me a pathway between each place in the world that matters to me, and many community members.