Suman Kapoor – ‘A gritty and inspiring lady’

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All around us are success stories — some deeply inspiring and others less noticed — of women who have shown courage, will and determination in their lives and careers and have contributed in different ways to the society.

Suman Kapoor is one such personality. She is not an activist, not even a protester but visionary who values and recognises diversity.  Whatever role is entitled to her she does justice to that.

She has led and served various NGO’s “From Lucknow to London” and is currently the   Chairperson of GOPIO International Women Council. Suman is always keen to spread the message of women empowerment.

She has many feathers to her cap. She is an active social worker, has remained Radio broadcaster for Global Mehfil Community Radio, has remained Governing Board member for Age concern and has also been the vice –president, Secretary and Committee member of Waikato Senior Indian Citizen Association. She has worked in various capacities in various places.

All around us are success stories — some deeply inspiring and others less noticed — of women who have shown courage, will and determination in their lives and careers and have contributed in different ways to the society.

She is a creative high achiever with a deep involvement with philanthropic and linguistic areas and is always true catalyst for positive change both within New Zealand and globally.

She has evident knowledge of various subjects as she has been qualified in diverse areas. She did her Master in Science, Chemistry (Organic) in 1973 and after that did her Bachelors of Education from Kanpur University. Later she did Masters in Business Administration from Indore in 1998. After moving to abroad, to keep with the pace, she did Refresher Secondary School Teacher Training from University of Waikato and also did National Certificate in Adult teaching.

Born and brought up in Uttar Pradesh, Suman Kapoor has travelled vastly throughout India and worked in different capacities, but whatever she did was always innovative.

“A person needs a lot of encouragement and courage to do great things. But from my experience I have learnt that one needs the same to do simple things.   I am a very positive person and for me new opportunities make your more experienced and strong, so I am always eager to get involved in new projects”.

“My parents are my inspiration. My Father who is M.Sc. Mathematics ( Christ Church College Kanpur–Agra University)  is my mentor. My mother, Shiv Rani Mehrotra remained my driving force.  She was a graduate from Agra “University and was very active in social works. So I would say that my mother introduced me to the world of social work. Along with her, I have closely worked for AIWC (All India Women’s Council Kanpur Branch) and later worked for the Lioness Club with my Aunt and mother,” says Suman.

“We used to do fund raising programmes, women fair and so many other such initiatives. I have donated many of my hand made painting for raising funds,” she adds.

This is how her journey started and   with the passage of time her involvement with social work also grew.  She became more actively involved in things and used to enjoy all this.

“I have travelled vastly throughout India.   Travelling intensively and settling in many regions and home establishments gave me enough opportunities to network, learn and teach true regional Indian culture, arts and customs”, she says.


“As my husband was in tourism industry, I was fortunate enough to travel a lot with him. Where ever he was posted we used to accompany him and that gave me enough exposure and opportunities”, she adds.

“We stayed for some time in Bangalore as my husband was posted there and from there we went to Mysore. While in Mysore we stayed in Ashoka Hotel   and that stay really added to some amazing memories of my life. There I got opportunity to meet many celebrities including Rekha. There even I got an opportunity to work in the Tourism industry. I was selected there and then trained. So I have a strong connection with the tourism industry and love to explore new places”, she adds.

“My best time remained in Gujarat; there I remained very active and even got associated with many organisations. It was a pleasant experience living in Gujarat”, says Suman.

Later she got involved with the GandhiDham in Kutch.“I became a part of the GandhiDham JAYCEES Junior Chamber – International and then we started GandhiDham Junior Chamber for women. I was a starting member and there were in total 85 members. We used to organise different programmes including medical camps, camps to provide sex education to children and other related programs”.

Gandhidham JAYCEES – is a part of world organisation and Suman Kapoor   is the founder president of the Junior Chamber for Women.

“Being the founder president the duties were numerous and work pressure was also there, but everything went well and I became State Vice President (Gujarat) in 1990.  Now I am its life time member. Even in JAYCEES, there is a rule that after working for 40 years you have to retire. As there was enormous work pressure, so I learnt how to face challenges and that further added to my experience”.

She moved to New Zealand in 2002 and it was a new start for her. She was very disappointed by the astonishing figures of domestic violation prevailing in that area. To deal with such cases of domestic violation she constituted Indian New Zealand Women and Family Group.

“The main focus was to get together all the Indians. It was never a kitty game but our motive was quite serious. Our focus was to deal with social issues and we were quite successful in that”.

While in New Zealand she has worked in different positions and capacities. She worked as a Managing Director for Indian Cuisine Company, Hamilton  from 2005 – 2008, Marketing Manager, Happy Day’s Restaurant, Hamilton, 2005  and also worked as a Restaurant Manager, Nandos Hamilton from  2002 – 2004. 

In 2008, she got an email from the GOPIO’s president and that was how she got introduced to GOPIO. She met the president and he was curious to start GOPIO chapter of New Zealand.

“GOPIO president visited New Zealand and he was very interested in starting GOPIO chapter in New Zealand. Everything went well and we started GOPIO Waikato Chapter.  I am the founder of GOPIO Waikato Chapter, 2008 and I am also the founder of GOPIO Movement in New Zealand in 2008. I also remained the President of GOPIO Waikato Chapter from 2008 – 2012,” says Suman.

Since then she has remained associated with GOPIO in different capacities. She is the Chairperson of Women’s Council GOPIO International from 2012 – present and   also Mentor of  GOPIO Christchurch Chapter Establishment from 2012 to  present  and remained Editor/Publisher, of  Roshini, Annual Magazine from  2009 – 2011.

“I strive to provide others with proactive knowledge, support and links to empower them to achieve a good quality of life within our world. I am an active organiser with a multi-faceted skill base and Diaspora connections which I have utilised across the arts, writing, teaching, entrepreneurial and hospitality industries”, says Suman Kapoor.

“I have a deep involvement with philanthropic and linguistic areas and am a true catalyst for positive change both within New Zealand and globally. I aim to contribute in creating a united society in New Zealand that values multiculturalism and interfaith through encouraging others to be positive, enabling and supportive towards one another”, she adds.

She has attended Pravasi Bhartiya Diwas, Mauritius October 26 2012, where she presented  a paper on Women Empowerment which was broadcast on national TV and  was very well received. She also attended International Conference Chandigarh( India), November 2012 where she gave a presentation on ‘Global Perspective- Rural Women at Cordia College Uncha Pind.”

Suman Kapoor was entitled with New Global Indian Excellence awarded in 2013 for exemplary work in domain of community outreach and women’s empowerment in New Zealand and GIA International Excellence Award 2013 for her outstanding performance and dedication and remarkable contribution in Indian community Service.

Adding to her list of achievement, Suman Kapoor was one of the three Global Indians nominated for the NRI of the Year award for Distinctive Achievement in the area of Philanthropy / Social Good around the world

To recognize globally successful Indians and to celebrate their achievements, Times Now – an English news channel from the Times Group – last month announced a new international initiative to honour successful NRIs around the world and she will be receiving her award as Winner in the area of Philanthropy/ Social Good on March 24.

Suman Kapoor has always remained an inspiration for others. Her journey and process of work are considered a major source of inspiration among women and families all over the world






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