The joint dinner meeting of the Indian Professionals Network (IPN) and the International Business Association (IBA) drew more than 200 attendees to the Maharaja restaurant in Tucker May 11, a larger than expected turnout reflecting India’s current status as a hot emerging market.

“India poses many opportunities for our members,” said IBA President Stephen Wright, citing the country’s importance as a market for U.S. exports and as a producer of goods, especially high tech products.

The meeting was the first time both groups came together to socialize and to share personal business experiences.  While feasting on Indian cuisine, the attendees received inspiring, if somewhat contradictory, advice on entrepreneurial and personal betterment from two Indian-born, American-educated speakers — one a retired Coke executive, the other a small-business owner.

Darsham S. Bhatia, former research and development director for Coca-Cola, spoke to listeners about differing parent-child dynamics in the U.S. and in India. Family life should not suffer because of hard work, he said, adding, “let’s not be too busy making a living to find time to make a life.”

The other speaker, Pundi Narasimham, president of Software Technical Services, Inc., said that hard work and sacrifice were key qualities helping him to build a $25 million, 400-employee company in just five years.  Along the way, he would feel compelled to combine family and business time by bringing his children to the office for dinner, he said