The invitation was from “The Best Gapp Restructuring and Recovery Networking Club,” named after one of the event’s sponsors. The other sponsor was Vigilance Properties.
The opening speakers were from Best Gapp and Vigilance Properties, two companies that support each other in the insolvency space. There was a sizeable Vigilance representation; Ian Lyons, Commercial Director, John Lennon, Director, and Seb Mackenzie-Wilson, former Times newspaper journalist-turned Chief Operating Officer. Seb was fascinating to talk to and has great affection for India.
There was a neat segue into the Gurkhas because Gukhas are trusted the world over to protect premises whether they are empty or full and functioning.
Best Gapp and Vigilance trust Gurkhas for their properties. Indeed, Vigilance has three senior Gurkhas as part of its management team. All three were present, and Laxman Pun was the Guest Speaker. He is Head of Operations at Vigilance. A former captain in the Queen’s Gurkha Signals, Laxman commanded over 150 men.
His reputation is as a highly skilled communications, logistics and security officer. He is responsible for coordinating all day-to-day company operations, both on the ground and administratively at head office.
He spoke movingly of being a boy from a Nepali village and seemed surprised to find himself guest of honour at The Carlton Club. He spoke briefly about his career and wonderful journey.
In a nice squaring of the circle, the two sponsoring firms, Vigilance and Best Gapp are working with the Gurkha Welfare Trust to raise money to build a school in Laxman’s remote Nepali village. A figure of about 45,000 that needed raising was heard at one point. Piers Lawson, Major Donor and Partnerships Officer of the GWT was on hand. 2015 marks the bicentennial of loyal Gurkha service to the British Crown. In honour of these renowned soldiers various commemorative events will be held throughout the year.
Som Chochangi is Personnel Manager at Vigilance. A senior warrant officer of Queen’s Gurkha Signals, Som oversaw regimental security both in barracks and on operations, most recently in Afghanistan when a successful tour was concluded without loss.
Gagan Thapa is Resources Manager. He was a senior staff sergeant of Queen’s Gurkha Signals, with broad leadership experience across hostile and remote locations worldwide. SC cleared and expert in secure communications, he was also privileged to perform ceremonial duties at the Royal Palaces for Her Majesty the Queen.
Prashant Kunwar, Business Development Manager of Khukuri Beer was also present; he is supportive of GWT and was the beer sponsor for the last IJA annual dinner.