Assim Datta

Asim Datta is a community builder. The Indian-born entrepreneur and community leader says his love of people is what drives him to succeed not only in business, but in showcasing the vibrant, diverse cultural landscape of Cleveland.

“All through this journey in my life, there is one thing that was very important to me: connecting with people,” says Datta, who has lived in Greater Cleveland for more than 30 years.

After starting an ad business in his native Kolkata, Datta came to Cleveland in the early 1980s to continue his studies in advertising and marketing. With an uncle and two cousins already in the area, Datta found Cleveland to be a “natural draw.”


What he also found here is a friendly, ethnically diverse city with up to 150 different cultures. The Cleveland Council of World Affairs paired him with a host family, who helped him adjust and introduced him to the area’s gems, including sports teams and Datta’s beloved Cleveland Orchestra.

He began his studies at Cuyahoga Community College’s Metro Campus and worked part-time for the college in the academic computer services department, a job he kept until 1999.

“Here was the turning point in my life,” says Datta, whose wife stayed in India and joined him in Cleveland more than a year later. They are parents to a daughter.

The affable Datta, who was in charge of five campus computer labs, found that students were more comfortable approaching him for help rather than the younger lab employees. And he got great satisfaction in helping those students learn.

“I became somebody who has a need to make an impact on people,” says the Cleveland Heights resident.

In 1992, while still working at Tri-C, Datta launched his travel agency, Point-To-Point Worldwide, which provides a wide array of international services. It is a business borne of Cleveland’s rich cultural diversity, which fascinates Datta.

As Datta’s business grew, so did his passion for connecting with people and he became more active in the cultural landscape.

“My experience with my host family made me aware of the need to give back,” says Datta, who is a permanent resident of the United States.

For eight years, he has connected with the Indian community through his work with the Federation of India Community Associations (FICA) of Northeast Ohio, serving as the group’s president for the past three years. He, too, is a creator of the International Community Council-Worldwide Intercultural Network, (WIN-ICC) a multinational cultural education and outreach program.

With an unending passion for “his city and its people,” Datta also gives his time to the annual Cleveland Asian Festival, has worked with Global Cleveland’s Talent Attraction Initiative and is a past trustee for the International Services Center.

“I am an extremely happy man in Cleveland,” he says. “It’s all about people. I am just one in a few hundred thousand people who love this city and want to make it a great place to live.”