Alex Wilson Coelho, President of Goan Welfare Society (GWS), a leader in his own right, and a well-known personality among Indians in Kuwait, who was presented with the NRI Community Service Leadership Award by the Goa State Government at the ‘Conference on Indian Expatriates in the Gulf Countries’ held recently at Hotel Mandovi, Panaji – Goa, will be lauded for his great achievement by the Goan Welfare Society at its Annual Grand Event – The May Ball to be held at the grand Istiqlal Ballroom, Hotel Ramada, Riggae, on 8th May, 2008.

Wilson was among 11 frontline Goan personalities from the Gulf awarded in Goa. The awards were given for recognition of social activities and service towards the Indian community. Union Minister for Overseas Indian Affairs, Shri Vayalar Ravi presented the awards. The function was presided by Commissioner of NRI Affairs Shri Eduardo Faleiro while Chief Minister of Goa, Shri Digambar Kamat was the chief guest.

Born in Goa, Wilson first came to Kuwait in 1976 and has been involved in community service and social work ever since.

Wilson with wife Sheela, son Shane and daughter Sheena

Although Wilson holds Canadian citizenship (Overseas Citizen of India) and his family migrated to Canada, he continues to work in Kuwait and manages a colossal portfolio as Unit Head of International Lending & Contracting Unit of Burgan Bank - Kuwait.

In his younger days, Wilson completed Portuguese Segundo Ano do Liceu at Liceu National Afonso de Albuquerque – Panjim, and later studied at St. Xavier’s school, Curtorim, his hometown. He later graduated in Economics and Statistics from S.P. Chowgule College of Arts & Science, Goa. Wilson also has a degree in Physical Education from Aurangabad University and has to his credit various other achievements in leadership management relating to his field.

Wilson’s ambition in life was to join the Indian Police Service and be one of India’s top most police officers but was disappointed with the corrupt selection process, denied, and thus forced to look for greener pastures.


Wilson Coelho has accomplished many things during his residency in Kuwait. He is a member of the Board of Directors of Gulf Goans Hotels Co. Ltd (promoters of Hotel Goan Heritage in Calangute, Bardez – Goa), which is owned by NRI Goan share holders, all based in Kuwait. Wilson was primarily instrumental in getting the project to move ahead after gaining full confidence of the Board/Shareholders and presenting the project report for financing. Economic Development Corporation (EDC) of Goa had declared the project as the best project ever financed by EDC. The project has been a big success. It is paying high dividends to all its investors and shareholders.

“It was a real challenge initially to bring about harmony in the Board and get the project off the ground,” recalls Wilson, “Had I not put my efforts in the project, it would never see light of the day. I am proud to say that I still have full trust and confidence of the Board of Directors and shareholders in the affairs of this company.”

During the invasion and occupation of Kuwait by Iraq, Wilson diligently assisted in the evacuation of Indians (Goans in particular) from Kuwait and he was one of the last to leave Kuwait. He left for Mumbai on the last voyage of the ship ‘Akbar’ along with other Indian volunteers.

After a hero’s welcome in Goa by fellow evacuees, Wilson was actively involved in the Goan Evacuee Society formed in Goa and was suitably elected its Honorary President, to take the reins of Goan Welfare Society – Kuwait, an umbrella association of Goans.

Initiator of GOA Day

Wilson has been one of the persons instrumental in promoting Goan culture in Kuwait prior to the invasion of Kuwait under Kuwait Goans Association (KGA). He continued with his service after the liberation, right from the very onset of ‘Goa Day’, a festival of Goan food and culture which was first initiated in Kuwait. “The first Goa Day was attended by over 3,000 people,” says Wilson proudly, “It was a grand success and helped bring together Goan Clubs/Associations in Kuwait under one banner in friendship and unity.”

‘Goa Day’ which has become synonymous among Goans worldwide is now celebrated annually in other parts of the globe.

Wilson has helped destitute Goan maids by rehabilitating them in the Maid House under the auspices of the Indian Embassy. He has also judiciously financed their repatriation using funds of Goan Welfare Society besides undertaking donations to various charities and setting up scholarships for the needy back home in India. Wilson leaves/left no stone unturned to pursue compensation cases of accident victims in Kuwait that were brought to his notice. “Full benefits of these kind of cases have been secured for the next of kin,” disclosed Wilson.

In recognition for his dedicated services to the Goan/Indian Community in Kuwait and his academic background, Wilson was invited by Indian Community School, Kuwait to be on the Board of Trustees as representative of the Goan Community in Kuwait. He served as a Member on the Board of Trustees.

Role in issues pertaining to Goans

Time and again, Wilson has personally taken up issues pertaining to the Goan Community in Kuwait such as Immigration Clearance for domestic workers and other category of job seekers, recognition of Goa University Degrees for employment in Kuwait, attestation of Degrees at State level which is still a issue, reservation of seats for NRI students in Government and specialized private Colleges in Goa, and other innumerable issues affecting Goans in Kuwait and the Middle East including strongly lobbying for the NRI City in Goa.

Wilson Coelho speaking at one of the Indian Football Finals recently

Wilson was also one of the persons instrumental in introducing Indian Airlines direct Kuwait/Goa/Kuwait flight after the liberation of Kuwait besides re-introduction of Air India (Kuwait/Dubai/Goa/Kuwait) which brought about competition thus benefiting the travelers to Goa in terms of cheaper fares and better facilities.

Presently the Honorary President of the Goan Welfare Society (GWS), one of the largest Indian organizations in Kuwait, Wilson has been on the forefront of the affairs of the Society for over 10 years now.

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