The 29th Annual General Meeting of AMCHAM India was held virtually on September 2nd – 3rd, 2021 themed ‘U.S.-India Partnership: Stronger Together.’ AMCHAM’s AGM was a two-day virtual conference included 12 sectoral sessions and 10 state sessions with participation from over 600 members and special invitees. The inaugural session began with opening remarks from Ms. Ranjana Khanna, Director General CEO, AMCHAM, who shared an overview of AGM and highlighted the investment, innovation, research, skilling and manufacturing that U.S. companies support in India. She read a message from Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the occasion. Mr. Salil Gupte, Chairman, AMCHAM and President, Boeing India, spoke of the human tragedy and hardship that members have endured throughout the pandemic and thanked companies for their support and relief efforts. He said that connectivity and leveraging technology were vital for the economy to recover. Ambassador Atul Keshap, Honorary President, AMCHAM and Chargé d’Affaires, ad interim, U.S. Embassy, in his special address, spoke with real joy and delight of the achievements and partnership between the U.S. and India, evidenced by the frequency and warmth in government to government interactions. Mr. Arun M. Kumar, National Executive Board Member, AMCHAM and Chairman and CEO, KPMG in India gave an overview of the report India: Reset to $5 Trillion, Indo-U.S. Partnership for Supporting India’s Growth Objectives, a report created by AMCHAM and knowledge partner KPMG in India, which was released during the session.
In a pre-recorded keynote address, Ms. Gina Raimondo, Secretary, U.S. Department of Commerce, opined on the strong commercial partnership between both countries and collaboration across sectors. Secretary Raimondo spoke of the U.S.-India CEO Forum and encouraged members to attend the virtual Indo Pacific Business Forum from October 28th-29th. Mr. Sanjay Koul, Vice Chair, AMCHAM and Chairman & Managing Director, Timken India Limited spoke about the undeterred CSR spirit of American companies during COVID-19 and released the virtual CSR photo exhibition Together for Good: CSR Activities of U.S. Companies in India featuring the CSR activities of 104 member companies. Remarks on the U.S.-India partnership in the global context were made by Mr. Atul Dhawan, Honorary Secretary & Treasurer, AMCHAM and Chairman, Deloitte India. Mr. Suresh Prabhu, Member of Parliament, Government of India, gave a keynote address on the U.S.-India partnership in the multilateral fora. The inaugural session closed with a vote of thanks by Ms. Kaku Nakhate, Vice Chair, AMCHAM and President and Country Head (India), Bank of America, N.A. Referring to the U.S.-India partnership, she emphasized the strength of trade, people to people ties and contributions to the global economy.
• New Age Cyber Attacks: Digital India Triumphs
Ms. Ranjana Khanna, Director General CEO, AMCHAM welcomed speakers which included, Lt General (Dr.) Rajesh Pant, National Cyber Security Coordinator, Prime Minister’s Office, Government of India, Mr. Amrit Singh Deo, Chairman – Cyber Security Committee, AMCHAM and Managing Director, FTI Consulting, Mr. Rajnish Gupta, Co-Chairman – Cyber Security Committee, AMCHAM and General Manager, Asia Pacific & Japan, NetWitness, an RSA Business, Mr. Bikram Bedi, Managing Director, Google Cloud India and Mr. Deepak Talwar, National Security Officer, Microsoft. In his Keynote Address, Lt General (Dr.) Rajesh Pant mentioned that India is in the third position in the world as far as cyber attacks were concerned. Cyber crimes in India amid the pandemic have gone up by nearly 500%. He also cited that revising the IT Act was the need of the hour.
• Clean Energy and Transition to a Sustainable Future
Mr. Amitabh Kumar, Program Director, AMCHAM, welcomed all the dignitaries to the session. This was followed by opening remarks from Mr. Chirag Baijal, Co-Chairman – Energy Committee, AMCHAM and Managing Director – Commercial HVAC, India Region and Chairman of the Board, Carrier India. Mr. Tarun Kapoor, Secretary, Ministry of Petroleum & Natural Gas, Government of India delivered the keynote address and Dr. Andrew Light, Assistant Secretary for International Affairs, U.S. Department of Energy gave his special address through a pre-recorded video on the U.S.-India strategic clean energy partnership. An engaging panel discussion followed, moderated by Dr. Amit Paithankar, Vice President of Advanced Design Center and Managing Director, South Asia, Emerson. The eminent panel included Mr. Bill Davis, CEO and Lead Country Manager, South Asia, ExxonMobil Gas (India), Mr. Brian Moran, Vice President, Global Sustainability Policy & Partnerships, Boeing, Ms. Amy Simpson, Executive Vice President, Energy Transition, John Crane, Mr. Michael J. Banach, Managing Director, Honeywell UOP, Mr. Atanu Mukherjee, President & CEO, M.N. Dastur and Dastur Energy Inc. and Mr. Sangeet Jain, General Manager and Director, LanzaTech. The panel deliberated on low carbon pathways for India’s energy transition in the context of the U.S.-India strategic clean energy partnership.
• Make in India for the World
The session commenced with a welcome and introduction of speakers by Ms. Valerie Swope, Program Coordinator, AMCHAM. Mr. B.V.R. Subrahmanyam, Commerce Secretary, Department of Commerce, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Government of India, in his address, provided a history of Make in India and the confidence that India has gained through the initiative. He emphasized that now was the opportune time for India to be connected to the world through trade and discussed free trade and global trade agreements. Mr. Deepak Bagla, Managing Director & CEO, Invest India, thanked members for their COVID-19 relief efforts. With overwhelming optimism, he mentioned that India’s FDI has come across 63 sectors and reached all 29 states. He highlighted the single window clearance launching soon, the ability to soon purchase land online transparently and stakeholder participation in policies. He welcomed and valued members’ feedback aiding to growth. Mr. Ishtiyaque Ahmed, Adviser, NITI Aayog, talked about the employment generation angle of manufacturing and the necessity of technology transfer for India to integrate into the global supply chain. He touched upon the recent labor and taxation reforms. Ms. Manmeet K. Nanda, Joint Secretary, Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade, spoke about the collaboration throughout the pandemic between U.S. and India. She talked about the public procurement policy, exports, ease of doing business, governance and invited industry to share inputs and challenges at any time.
The industry panel discussion was led by Mr. Sanjay Koul, Vice Chair, AMCHAM, Chairman – Manufacturing Committee, AMCHAM and Chairman & Managing Director, Timken India Limited with speakers Ms. Kaku Nakhate, Vice Chair, AMCHAM and President and Country Head (India), Bank of America, N.A., Mr. William Blair, National Executive Board Member, AMCHAM, Chairman – Defense Committee, AMCHAM and Chief Executive, Lockheed Martin India, Mr. Ashwani Bhargava, Director – Supply Chain, India Enterprise, Boeing India, Mr. Chandrakant Nayak, CEO & Country President, Dow India, Dow Chemical International Private Limited, Mr. Richard Hopkins, Senior Vice President of Consumer Devices and India Operations, Flex and Mr. Rajesh Dhar, Senior Director – Hybrid IT, Hewlett Packard Enterprise India. Some of the topics covered included production linked incentives, innovation, infrastructure and ports, supply chain financing for MSME sector, electronics manufacturing opportunities and sustainability.
• Infrastructure Propelling India in the Global Supply Chain
Mr. Nitin Jairam Gadkari, Minister of Road Transport & Highways, Government of India delivered the keynote address. He emphasized that development of infrastructure plays an important role in fulfilling India’s vision of becoming a $5 trillion economy. He stressed that a well-developed infrastructure enhances the level of economic activity and creates additional fiscal space by improving the revenue base of the government. He highlighted various projects and policies initiated by the government aimed towards enhancement of infra facilities. He made the point that India is open to adopt American codes, standards, specifications and guidelines for use of new material and technology in construction. Mr. Sudhendu J. Sinha, Adviser (Infrastructure Connectivity & Electric Mobility), NITI Aayog, Government of India, in his special address highlighted various infra projects and policies related to infra development in India. He traced the infrastructure past and shared his views on the future of this sector as well. He then participated in a panel discussion on the session topic with industry leaders Mr. Sanjay Koul, Vice Chair, AMCHAM and Chairman & Managing Director, Timken India Limited, Mr. Praveen Gosain, Chairman – Supply Chain and Logistics Committee, AMCHAM and Director – Supply Chain, Corning Technologies India, Mr. Chirag Baijal, National Executive Board Member, AMCHAM, Co-Chairman – Energy Committee, AMCHAM and Managing Director – Commercial HVAC, India Region and Chairman of the Board, Carrier India, Mr. Kevin Davies , Global Director – Ports & Borders, Smiths Detection and Mr. Deepak Shrivastava, Country Manager, UPS Express India.
• Enhancing the Supplier Ecosystem for Electronics Manufacturing
Mr. Sagar Raj Upadhyay, Manager, AMCHAM, welcomed participants and speakers Mr. Kishore Balaji, Co-Chairman – Cyber Security Committee, AMCHAM and Director – Policy & Technical Affairs, Intel Corporation, Mr. Tabrez Ahmad, Group Director Government Affairs & Public Policy, Dell Technologies, Ms. Anubhuti Bhrany, Senior Director & Head Government Affairs, Flex India and Dr. Ravi Bhatkal, Vice Chairman – Tamil Nadu Chapter, AMCHAM and Managing Director, India, Cookson India Private Limited. In the panel discussion deliberations were made to focus on building the technology, manufacturing and skills development ecosystem for strategically targeted components and materials. The key ingredients to successfully develop a supplier ecosystem for electronics manufacturing were also discussed. Mr. Kishore Balaji and Ms. Anubhuti Bhrany gave the closing remarks and vote of thanks.
• Reskilling for Future: Labor is Vital for Business
Mr. Apurva Chandra, Secretary, Ministry of Labour and Employment and Ministry of Information & Broadcasting, Government of India, in his keynote address, gave an overview of the four new labour codes – the Code on Wages, the Code on Social Security, the Industrial Relations Code and the Occupational, Safety, Health and Working Condition Code. The new codes are aimed at eliminating the multiplicity of laws and in contrast to the earlier adversarial concept, the new codes are advisory in concept. Since labour is a concurrent subject, the government of India is giving time to states to publish their rules. This also allows industry to update and align their systems. Mr. Chandra explained some of the major changes that includes the change in the threshold of retrenchment from 100 to 300 but this threshold limit can be changed by a state government through a notification. In new PF rules, no record which is more than 5 years old can be sought and no enquiry can begin after 5 years. He also talked about the recent launch of the national database of unorganized workers. He pointed out that since it is difficult to distinguish between an organized and unorganized worker, the government is planning to provide single Aadhar based universal account number to every worker that will take care of worker portability and his e-record would be maintained. He also spoke about the first-time inclusion of the service sector and fixed term employment in the new code. Now minimum wages would be linked to skills that would motivate workers to upgrade skills and benefit both the worker and employer. Gig and platform workers are now also identified under the new code.
It was followed by an industry panel discussion with Ms. Swati Rustagi, Director HR, Amazon India, Ms. Rinita Lasker, Director – Human Resources, Emerson Innovation Center, Mr. Kiran Dambala, Chief Operating Officer, TATA Lockheed Martin Aerostructures Limited (TLMAL), Mr. Vivek Abraham, Regional Director, External Strategy – India & South Asia, Salesforce, Mr. Shivaprasad Mundakana, Head of Human Resources, Optum with moderation by Mr. Chaitanya Sreenivas, Chairman – HR Committee, AMCHAM and Vice President – HR & HR Head, IBM India South Asia (ISA). The panel discussed various pertinent topics like the new labour code and its impact on skilling, inclusion of service sector in the new code, the impact of new code on women in the workforce, how companies are developing a learning culture post COVID, innovative skilling solutions, research in skilling and employee motivation.
• Digital Surge: Here to Stay
Ms. Udaya Arun, Director – Aerospace & Defense, AMCHAM, in her opening remarks welcomed all speakers which included, Mr. Ajay Prakash Sawhney, Secretary, Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, Government of India, Dr. Omkar Rai, Director General, Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, Government of India, Mr. Som Satsangi, Chairman – ICT Committee, AMCHAM and Managing Director, Hewlett Packard Enterprise India, Mr. Anand Ganapathy, Country Manager, Enterprise, Dell Technologies, Mr. Anand Ramamoorthy, Managing Director, Micron Technologies, India and Mr. Rajen Vagadia, Vice President and President, Qualcomm India.
In his keynote address Mr. Ajay Prakash Sawhney mentioned that government and industry can work together to create a responsible and secure technology ecosystem. Exponential growth of digitalization in the pandemic has also caused a surge of cybercrime in India and around the world. Dr. Omkar Rai mentioned that the value of software exports by units registered under STPI was estimated to have risen during 2020-21 due to rapid digitization and the IT industry’s timely switch in providing work from home facilities to their employees.
• Shifting the Paradigm: Healthcare Collaboration Beyond the Pandemic
Dr. R.S. Sharma, CEO, National Health Authority, Government of India and Ms. Manmeet K. Nanda, Joint Secretary, Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade, Government of India, addressed members. Ms. Ranjana Khanna, Director General CEO, AMCHAM gave welcome remarks and a panel discussion took pace with healthcare leaders, Mr. Rehan Khan, National Executive Board Member, AMCHAM, Chairman – Healthcare Services Committee AMCHAM and Managing Director, India, MSD Pharmaceutical, Mr. Sarthak Ranade, Chairman – Western Region, AMCHAM, Chairman – Pharma Working Group, AMCHAM and Managing Director – Janssen India, Johnson & Johnson Pvt. Ltd., Ms. Meenakshi Nevatia, Chairperson – Medical Technology Working Group AMCHAM, Managing Director, Stryker India, Mr. Manoj Madhavan, Co-Chairman – Medical Technology Group
AMCHAM and Managing Director, Boston Scientific, India Hub and Mr. Wee Yao Ng, Managing Director – India, Edwards Lifesciences. The session focused on the role of digitization, AI and breakthrough technologies in healthcare, attracting investments from global companies into India in areas like R&D and training and skilling and ease of doing business. Industry leaders wanted to ensure continued support from the government when it comes to the key parameters that govern the ability to operate in India including a stable IP environment, a transparent, fair, consistent pricing framework, and removal of barriers so that they can bring the best solutions to the patients in India.
• India as the Next Civil Aviation Hub
Ms. Udaya Arun, Director – Aerospace & Defense, AMCHAM, welcomed participants and panelists Ms. Ashmita Sethi, Chairperson – Aviation Committee, AMCHAM and President & Country Head Pratt & Whitney (A RTX Company), Mr. Tejaswi Narasimhan, Director Sales – India & S.E. Asia, Boeing Commercial Airplanes, Mr. Parag Sehgal, Director – Rotary and Mission Systems, Lockheed Martin India and Mr. Deepak Shrivastava, Country Manager – India, UPS Express Pvt. Ltd. The panelists shared thoughts and challenges that need to be overcome to make the sector commercially viable, building an aerospace hub and looking to the future value-add that U.S. companies could bring. They also shared the role their companies were playing in India, the value-add they were bringing to the civil aviation sector and industry to make it a competitive hub while illustrating vision, improvements and policy reforms that U.S. companies wanted to see to support India in becoming an aviation hub and a $5 trillion economy. The summing up and closing remarks were provided by Mr. William Blair, National Executive Board Member, AMCHAM, Chairman – Defense Committee, AMCHAM and Chief Executive, Lockheed Martin India.
• Positioning India in the Global Food Chain
Mr. Atul Chaturvedi, Secretary, Department of Animal Husbandry & Dairying, Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry & Dairying, Government of India, in his special address, focused on the importance of surplus management especially at this juncture when India is emerging as a significant global supplier of food products. He spoke about government’s initiatives to boost exports which include focusing on end-to-end value chain systems by a cluster-based approach. He shared encouraging statistics for the Indian dairy sector whereas dairy exports are growing at 8.3% compounded annually in the last five years as against the global rate of 3.4%. In FY 2019-2020, dairy attracted 40% of the total FDIs in food processing. He spoke about the government schemes aimed towards enhancing the competitiveness of Indian produce in global market such as the PLI scheme, ODOP, Animal Husbandry infrastructure development fund, interest subvention, etc. Mr. Sudhanshu Pandey, Secretary, Department of Food & Public Distribution, Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution in his special address lauded the Indian agricultural sector for showing tremendous resilience during the pandemic. He asked the U.S. industry to invest in value added products and set up processing units. He also highlighted the issue of surplus management and how warehousing can be a good proposition for investors. He shared about the proposed 2,35,000 metric ton silo development plan and henceforth the need for further investments, technology and deepening integration with the food processing industry. Mr. Arun Singhal, Chief Executive Officer, Food Safety & Standards Authority of India, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Government of India, in his special address spoke about food as a product. He explained the gradual shift from a therapeutic to preventive approach. He highlighted that not only is the USA the largest trade partner of India, over the past 5 years, USA has also emerged as one of the most compliant trade partners. FSSAI offered to engage with the American exporters for capacity building programs w.r.t export requirements led by FSSAI. He also informed that in consultation with the finance ministry, FSSAI was aiming to implement food import clearance fee that would further reduce the landing cost of consignments. He assured the industry that FSSAI aims to minimize avoidable non-compliances and build a more conducive ecosystem. Ms. Shubhra, Additional Director General & Trade Adviser, Department of Agriculture, Cooperation & Farmers Welfare, Ministry of Agriculture & Farmers Welfare, Government of India in her special address gave the Indian agri trade scenario and talked about the inherent advantages the sector possess. She also highlighted the lack of processed foods in the export basket. She spoke about country specific programs being conducted for maximum results in bilateral trade.
AMCHAM, in collaboration with YES Bank Ltd., released a knowledge report on Positioning India in the Global Food Chain. It was followed by an industry panel discussion with Mr. Simon George, Chairman – Agriculture & Food Processing Committee, AMCHAM and President, Cargill India, Mr. Prakash MG, Managing Director, Indian Sub-continent, International Flavours & Fragrances, Mr. Rinkesh Satija, Senior Director and Supply Chain Head, India Foods Operation, PepsiCo India and moderated by Mr. Sunjay Vuppuluri, National Head, Food and Agribusiness Strategic Advisory and Research (FASAR), YES Bank. The discussed focused on drivers shaping global agricultural commodities trade, India’s export competitiveness, critical areas in global food supply chain, India becoming a global manufacturing hub for innovative and high value food products, Make in India, attracting greater private sector investment and FDI in export-oriented processing and steps for India becoming an export hub for food products.
• Urban Rejuvenation: Transition to a Smart and Sustainable Future
Ms. Ranjana Khanna, Director General CEO, AMCHAM, welcomed all the dignitaries to the session. Mr. Durga Shanker Mishra, Secretary, Ministry of Housing & Urban Affairs, Government of India, delivered the keynote address and launched the AMCHAM-YES Bank report on Urban Rejuvenation: Transition to a Smart and Sustainable Future. Mr. Ambrish Bakaya, Chairman – Infrastructure and Smart Cities Committee, AMCHAM and Senior Director, Corporate Affairs Asia Pacific & Japan, Hewlett Packard Enterprise Company, thanked the Secretary and shared his remarks on the report. This was followed by an engaging panel discussion, moderated by session knowledge partner, Mr. Bhupesh Rathore, National Head, Corporate & Government Advisory, YES Bank. The eminent panel also included Mr. R.B. Santosh Kumar, Head, Government Engagement South Asia, Mastercard and Mr. Manya Ranjan, Chief Commercial Officer – India and ROA, Honeywell. The panel deliberated extensively on smart solutions to realize the vision of driving economic growth and improving the quality of life by harnessing technology for urban rejuvenation and a sustainable future. The session closed with a vote of thanks by Mr. Amitabh Kumar, Program Director, AMCHAM.
• Aerospace and Defense: Strategic Partners Forging Ahead
Ms. Ranjana Khanna, Director General CEO, AMCHAM opened the session by welcoming Dr. Ajay Kumar, Defence Secretary, Government of India. Dr. Kumar shared his keynote address and also officially released the AMCHAM-KPMG study on India-U.S. Defence Partnership: The Road Ahead. The panelists Mr. William Blair, National Executive Board Member, AMCHAM, Chairman – Defense Committee, AMCHAM and Chief Executive, Lockheed Martin India, Ms. Ashmita Sethi, Chairperson – Aviation Committee, AMCHAM and President & Country Head Pratt & Whitney (A RTX Company), Rear Admiral Surendra Ahuja, Managing Director, Boeing Defence India and Mr. Ravi Nirgudkar, Managing Director for India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, BAE Systems, deliberated on how U.S. companies were partnering with Indian defense to accelerate the aerospace and defense ecosystem development and how this could be increased while incorporating the Make In India element. They also shared what their companies were achieving in partnership with Indian companies, benefitting both the industries. The aspect of FDI and the opportunities and challenges for increasing indigenous content and transfer of technologies were also discussed. Mr. Gaurav Mehndiratta, Co-Chairman, Defense Committee – AMCHAM and Partner & Head Aerospace & Defense, KPMG in India, gave a brief overview of the defense study.
On September 3rd, the inaugural session on state partnerships began with welcome remarks by Ms. Ranjana Khanna, Director General CEO, AMCHAM, in which she emphasized the importance of strong state partnerships. Mr. Thomas Carnegie, Honorary National Executive Board Member, AMCHAM and Minister Counselor for Economics, Trade, and Information Technology (Acting), U.S. Embassy, set the stage for the day, providing an overview of the sessions, which include the U.S. Consuls General in their respective state session. He talked about the $500 billion goal in trade between U.S.-India. Mr. Carnegie introduced Mr. Richard M. Rossow, Wadhwani Chair in U.S.-India Policy Studies, Center for Strategic & International Studies and Senior Director – India & South Asia, McLarty Associates, a leader in the U.S.-India space who has a unique perspective and valuable insights on Indian states. Mr. Rossow gave a presentation on the role of Indian states which covered the importance to business, the influence of the center government, improvement of states’ policy transparency and emphasized how critical states were to the overall success in U.S.-India ties. Ms. Valerie Swope, Program Coordinator, AMCHAM, closed the session with a vote of thanks.
• Magnetic Maharashtra: India’s First $1 Trillion Economy by 2025
The session commenced with opening remarks by Ms. Surabhi Wahal, Regional Director – Western Region, AMCHAM India. Mr. Sarthak Ranade, Chairman – Western Region, AMCHAM, Chairman – Pharma Working Group, AMCHAM, Managing Director – Janssen India, Johnson & Johnson Pvt. Ltd. shared an overview of AMCHAM, it’s role in channelling the voice of U.S. industries, spearheading of high level engagements with leaders and Indian government officials, U.S. government and regulatory and policy stakeholders. He addressed the progressive landmark reforms and initiatives of the state government with a special mention to Magnetic Maharashtra 2.0. Dr. P. Anbalagan presented on the state, highlighting that industry and FDI friendly Maharashtra had a mandate for industrial development. Mr. David J. Ranz, Consul General, U.S. Consulate General Mumbai, through his special address shared an overview and updates on the offerings of the U.S. Mission in India with a special focus on the western region. He spoke of the various U.S. agencies and their initiatives and offerings. He applauded the incredible efforts of the state government during challenging COVID-19 times to ensure critical businesses continued operations. Mr. Bhushan Ashok Gagrani, Principal Secretary, Urban Development Department-1, Government of Maharashtra made the keynote address stating that Maharashtra represents the vibrant U.S.-India relationship. He highlighted the focus on urban planning projects and improving connectivity and infrastructure in the state. Mr. Gagrani thanked AMCHAM for the continued dynamic partnership with the government.
Mr. Bhavik Damodar, Office Managing Partner – Mumbai and Partner – Deal Advisory, KPMG in India shared an overview of the state, the impact of COVID-19 on the economy and disruptions in supply chain, tourism, automobile, oil and gas, aviation and healthcare industry. He highlighted the proactive measures undertaken by the state government to facilitate ease of doing business. An industry panel session moderated by Mr. Sarthak Ranade had eminent panellist engage. Ms. Kaku Nakhate, President and Country Head (India), Bank of America, N.A. stated that Maharashtra attracts a large part of India’s FDI due to its industry friendly business ecosystem. She also touched upon the CSR initiatives undertaken by Bank of America and other U.S. companies in Maharashtra. Mr. Shailendra Jagtap, Vice Chairman – Western Region, AMCHAM, Managing Director & Country Manager, John Deere India Pvt. Ltd. spoke of the importance of the agriculture sector in India for food security and generating employment. He requested the government for support in precision technologies and incentives for the agriculture sector. Mr. Sudhir Pillai, Managing Director, Corning India highlighted the support received by the state government and local bodies for Corning India’s state of the art manufacturing facility in Chakan. Mr. Chandrakant Nayak, CEO & Country President, Dow India, Dow Chemical International Private Limited shared a brief overview of the company’s presence in Maharashtra. The session concluded with closing remarks and a vote of thanks by Mr. Sarthak Ranade.
• Enterprising Telangana
The session was opened by Mr. Prakash Bodla, Chairman – Hyderabad Chapter, AMCHAM and MD Carrier Technologies India Pvt Ltd. He welcomed the dignitaries and spoke on synergy and how Telangana has carved a path to phenomenal progress and how American companies have always partnered in solidarity with the Telangana government during emergencies. A presentation on Telangana was made by Mr. Adil Zaidi of EY along with Mr. Jayesh Sanghvi, Vice Chairman – Hyderabad Chapter, AMCHAM from EY and they spoke on how Telangana is progressing the ease of doing business and highlighted the need to improve trading and access to ports. Mr. Joel Reifman, Consul General, U.S. Consulate Hyderabad mentioned that the U.S. Consulate was a part of the unparalleled ecosystem of American firms in Hyderabad. He echoed how American companies have contributed not only in terms of revenue and employment but even during the pandemic came forward. Mr. Jayesh Ranjan, IAS, Principal Secretary, Information Technology, Electronics & Communications, Industries & Commerce, Government of Telangana, in his address said that Telangana has far exceeded the people’s expectations. He spoke on the ease of doing business and gave examples of how businesses were satisfied and increased their investment in the state. He suggested that AMCHAM make a dossier of the various sectors in the state to help companies to make investment decisions.
This was followed by a panel discussion moderated by Mr. Jayesh Sanghvi, Vice Chairman – Hyderabad Chapter, AMCHAM and Partner EY India with speakers Mr. Prakash Bodla, MD Carrier Technologies, Mr. Murali Krishna, VP & Country Head, Providence India, Mr. Kiran Dumbala, COO, Tata Lockheed Martin Aerostructures Limited (TMAL) and Ms. Sravanthi Lanka, Sr. Director Operations, S&P Global. The speakers discussed the benefits of doing business in Telangana the challenges in terms of talent, scope for expansion, etc. The session closed with a vote of thanks by Mr. Prakash Bodla.
• Uttar Pradesh: Unlimited Possibilities
In his keynote address, Mr. Sidharth Nath Singh, Cabinet Minister Investment and Promotion, NRI, MSME, Export Promotion, Khadi and Villages Industries, Sericulture Industries, Handloom and Textiles, Government of Uttar Pradesh, referred to the growing association between the state of Uttar Pradesh and U.S. companies. He made specific reference to the sectors of defense, agriculture and food processing, pharma and MedTech and IT manufacturing, amongst others. He highlighted the enhanced status of ease of doing business in Uttar Pradesh and mentioned that policies and procedures were additionally on the anvil to further streamline this area. He emphasized that U.S. companies must consider and take up the possibility of establishing an MRO in Uttar Pradesh for civil aviation requirements of the country. He also extended an open invitation for sectoral teams to visit and discuss with government officials, all issues that can possibly be taken up. Dr. Navneet Sehgal, IAS, Additional Chief Secretary, Department of MSME & Export Promotion, Khadi & Village Industries, Government of Uttar Pradesh, made a presentation on the business environment in Uttar Pradesh highlighting the various reforms recently accomplished towards ease of doing business. U.S industry was represented by Mr. William Blair, National Executive Board Member, AMCHAM, Chairman – Defense Committee, AMCHAM and Chief Executive, Lockheed Martin India, Mr. Mukul Varshney, Co-Chairman – Manufacturing Committee AMCHAM, Director Corporate Affairs, Media, PR and Communications: India, Africa, Middle East, Southeast Asia, John Deere & Company, Ms. Diana Philips, Senior Advisor – Government Relations, Dell Technologies, Mr. Vikram K, Senior Director, Industry Verticals, Hewlett Packard Enterprise India and Mr. Viraj Chouhan, Chief Government Affairs & Communications Officer, PepsiCo India. Closing remarks were made by Mr. Michael Rosenthal, North India Office Director, U.S. Embassy.
• Vibrant Gujarat: The Growth Engine
The session commenced with opening remarks by Ms. Surabhi Wahal, Regional Director, AMCHAM India. Ms. Kaku Nakhate, Vice Chair, AMCHAM, President & Country Head (India), Bank of America, N.A. welcomed the eminent speakers and set the stage. She highlighted the economic potential that Gujarat holds along with the pragmatic policies encouraging investment in the state. Dr. Rahul Gupta, Industries Commissioner, Industries Commissionerate, Government of Gujarat, in his keynote address emphasised the macro-economic indicators that make Gujarat an investment destination. He highlighted Gujarat’s industrial policy 2020, the state’s futuristic industrial development including Gift City, Dream City, Dholera and unconventional energy projects. Mr. David J. Ranz, Consul General, U.S. Consulate General Mumbai spoke of the U.S. Consulate’s initiatives in the western region, especially in Gujarat, which aim at nurturing the growing commercial relationship between the U.S. and India. He spoke of the facilitation and focus initiatives of the U.S. Consulate and the work done by U.S. agencies such as DFC, EducationUSA and USAID. Dr. Dhaval Sheth, Director and Geography Head for Gujarat, KPMG in India, shared an overview of vibrant and resilient Gujarat and highlighted factors that made it a preferred investment hub.
A panel discussion moderated by Ms Kaku Nakhate had Mr. William Blair, Chief Executive, Lockheed Martin India, speak of the export potential in Gujarat in the aerospace and defence sector, their manufacturing in India and their energy storage facility that enables the acceleration of stored renewable energy. Mr. Sandip Patel, Managing Director, India/South Asia, IBM, IBM India Pvt. Ltd. spoke of the expansion of IBM’s software labs in the state and the growing need for cybersecurity. Mr. Chirag Baijal, Managing Director – Commercial HVAC, India Region and Chairman of the Board, Carrier India shared his views on energy efficiency, the increasing demand for cooling systems that will emerge in the next few decades and the need to meet this demand in a responsible manner. Mr. Nilam Patel, Managing Director India, S&P Global shared positive feedback on the connectivity infrastructure in Gujarat that ensured business continuity, productivity, and employee safety during the pandemic and admired the agility of the state government. Mr. Milan Sheth, Executive Vice President – IMEA & ROW Region, Automation Anywhere Software Pvt. Ltd. shed light on the role of automation processes and AI in leading India to the $1 trillion economy by 2025. The session concluded with closing remarks by Ms. Kaku Nakhate.
• West Bengal: Ride the Growth
The session was moderated by knowledge partner Mr. Narayana Ramaswamy, Office Managing Partner East, KPMG. The keynote address was given by Dr. Amit Mitra, Minister of Finance Department, Planning & Statistics Department and Programme Monitoring Department, Government of West Bengal. A special address was given by Dr. Partha Chatterjee, Minister for Commerce & Enterprise & Information Technology & Electronics and Parliamentary Affairs, GoWB, and the U.S. Consul General Kolkata, Ms. Malinda Pavek. Dr. Mitra spoke positively of the GDP growth, budget allocation and planned expenditure during the state’s leadership and its tenure. He reiterated the recovery in Q1 FY 2021-22 was less than expected as the country hasn’t reached pre-pandemic levels, and recovery was bound to take more time. He emphasized for demand side economics, which gives more money in the hands of the consumers and encourages spending and indirect injection of money in the business ecosystem and provided sector wise information of core companies and their investment size, employment and plans of expansion. Dr. Partha Chatterjee spoke broadly on the financial health, and industrial scenario of the state, covering key areas. He spoke about the pipeline of proposals for spending in IT by the state due to which the state has welcomed investments from Wipro, Infosys, Amazon and TCS amongst many others, which have expanded considerably. He also spoke about the MSMEs being encouraged in the technology space which was generating employment and said the government could give further support. The industry department is strongly focusing on improving connectivity, provision of electricity and other resources, which are crucial to the overall ecosystem development of industries. He also spoke about the data policy being drafted to give due importance to the sector. Ms. Melinda Pavek, U.S. Consul General Kolkata, spoke about how the enhanced partnership of the two countries have revealed opportunities for the like-minded nations in areas including sustainable energy and infrastructure development, climate saving technologies, more resilient supply chains in critical sectors, and research and development collaboration in emerging technologies. These kinds of joint efforts will support economic recovery from the pandemic and provide high-quality jobs for workers. She spoke about the pandemic’s disproportionate impact on women and highlighted the Consulate’s public diplomacy programs to provide support for traditionally marginalized gender groups. She also encouraged AMCHAM members to participate in the Indo-Pacific Business Forum in October.
In the industry panel discussion, Mr. Debdas Sen, CEO, TCG Digital spoke about the different verticals of the Chatterjee group in Kolkata and shared that one of their companies provides laboratory software which was used by Pfizer and Moderna to come out with the vaccines. TCG Digital supported United Airlines significantly during the pandemic and how several flight operations were supported from Kolkata during the pandemic. Mr. Sajid Hussain, Central Head, Kolkata, Cognizant, said that IT has had tremendous growth globally and how West Bengal has a market to really capitalize on. Cognizant Kolkata currently has 18,000 employees. He said that talent for a digital future the is key – the company plans to create an ecosystem with the right talent to deliver services moving forward and the need to support and think about this new model of working. Mr. Parag Sehgal, Director – Rotary and Mission Systems, Lockheed Martin India highlighted that Lockheed Martin has been in West Bengal for a long time serving the aviation, aerospace and defense industries. He spoke about the high demand for civil aviation in the state, especially for helicopters. Potential of civil aviation and helicopters for tourism, health services, emergency must be explored. The market potential is large, but India’s commercial helicopters fleet size has seen a reduction instead of a large uptick. Mr. Ahmed ElSheikh, President and CEO, PepsiCo India spoke about the marginal interruptions which were initially seen due to internet connectivity issues in the state. He spoke about how Pepsi’s business in West Bengal was the hub for exporting to Nepal, Bangladesh, and South East Asia and created jobs for 20,000 expats, 1,800 employees and 50,000 retailers. He emphasized that investments in agriculture, allied technology, and tools would ensure money and consumers have access to direct cash to spend which is crucial to balance supply and demand side metrics. Mr. Atanu Mukherjee, President and CEO, M.N. Dastur and Dastur Energy Inc. said his company is a homegrown company of West Bengal and that lots of work has already been done on energy systems and the sector overall. He spoke about the focus on new energy systems, clean energy and pureplay manufacturing. Ms. Smriti Sharma, Head, Public Policy (Operations), Amazon, stated that e-commerce could play a pivotal role given the COVID-19 situation and adoption of technology. She mentioned that during the COVID pandemic and lockdown, Amazon helped MSMEs sustain their operations and businesses. A lot of small shops which were earlier brick and mortar, have come online providing MSMEs with national and international market access.
• Happening Haryana
Mr. Amitabh Kumar, Program Director, AMCHAM, welcomed all the dignitaries that participated in the session. Mr. Anant Prakash Pandey, IFS, Director General & Secretary, Foreign Cooperation Department, Government of Haryana, Mr. Anurag Agarwal, Managing Director, Haryana State Industrial and Infrastructure Development Corporation (HSIIDC), Government of Haryana, Mr. Himanshu Rattan, Partner, KPMG, Mr. Mukul Varshney, Co-Chairman – Manufacturing Committee, AMCHAM and Director Corporate Affairs, Media, PR and Communications: India, Africa, Middle East, Southeast Asia, John Deere & Company, Mr. Vibhav Garg, Director – Government Affairs Strategy for India, India HUB & ASEAN, Head Government Business, India & India HUB, Boston Scientific, Mr. Michael J. Banach, Managing Director – UOP India Private Ltd., Honeywell UOP, Mr. Vivek Vasishtha, Executive Director and Country Leader, Government and Regulatory Affairs, India and South Asia, IBM, Mr. Sangeet Jain, General Manager & Director, LanzaTech India and Mr. Michael Rosenthal, North India Office Director, U.S. Embassy, participated in the session.
In his keynote address, Mr. Anant Prakash Pandey cited the huge investment opportunities in Haryana and that the Foreign Cooperation Department, Government of Haryana, was providing single window assistance to address all issues of investors on an urgent basis. Office of Mr. Anurag Agarwal shared a presentation to highlight upcoming projects and investment opportunities in the state of Haryana including automobiles, IT/ITES, biotech, electronics manufacturing and much more. Mr. Michael Rosenthal, North India Office Director, U.S. Embassy gave the closing remarks and Mr. Amitabh Kumar, Program Director, AMCHAM closed the session with a vote of thanks.
• Punjab: Invest in the Best
Mr. Rajat Agarwal, IAS, CEO, Invest Punjab, Government of Punjab, in his special address mentioned that the U.S.-India relationship as well as between Punjab and the U.S was becoming stronger by the year. He made a presentation on the business environment in Punjab and shared an update on the new initiatives taken by the government. He also highlighted the association between Punjab and U.S. in agriculture, engineering and MedTech as well as the education sector and the high impact reforms being planned for further development therein. Mr. Hussan Lal, IAS, Principal Secretary, Departments of Industries & Commerce, Investment Promotion and Information Technology, Government of Punjab, in his keynote address, highlighted that the business environment in Punjab has evolved rapidly recently due to defined timelines having been prescribed by the Chief Minister for implementation of policies, procedures and projects. An MoU aimed at furthering promotion of investment and ease of doing business in Punjab for member companies of AMCHAM was signed at the session. Industry representation included Mr. Mukul Varshney, Co-Chairman – Manufacturing Committee AMCHAM and Director Corporate Affairs, Media, PR and Communications: India, Africa, Middle East, Southeast Asia, John Deere & Company, Mr. Sanjay Bhutani, National Executive Board Member, AMCHAM and Managing Director – India & SAARC, Bausch & Lomb India, Mr. Mayank Chaturvedi, Country Manager for Public Sector Sales, Hewlett Packard Enterprise India, Mr. Ahmed ElSheikh, President and CEO, PepsiCo India and Ms. Lakshmi Iyer, Executive Director and Head of Education, Sannam S4. Closing remarks were made by Mr. Michael Rosenthal, North India Office Director, U.S. Embassy.
• Tamil Nadu: Land of Abundant Opportunities
The session began under the stewardship of Dr. Ravi Bhaktal, Vice Chairman – Tamil Nadu Chapter, AMCHAM and MD, MacDermid Performance Solutions who introduced Mr. Thangam Thennarasu, Minister for Industries, Government of Tamil Nadu, who began by speaking of the advantages of doing business in the state. He said that over 300 U.S. companies were doing business in Tamil Nadu with investments of over $11 billion. He added that the people to people ties were growing stronger and mentioned that Tamils such as Sundar Pitchai and Indira Nooyi. The Minister also spoke about the best infrastructure the state boasts of such as having 4 seaports and 4 international airports providing good connectivity to the world. The Minister added that the state has a good law and order situation to enable industry to prosper. Mr. N. Muruganandam, Principal Secretary for Industries spoke about how the U.S. was an important partner for Tamil Nadu in both the economic and cultural sectors. He said that the growth of the state in many sectors such as electric vehicles, electric two wheelers and EV components was doing very well and that the state has the largest number of EV companies. Mr. Muruganandam also spoke about the new industrial policy which makes industry in Tamil Nadu vibrant and robust. He mentioned that U.S. company First Solar has committed to make an investment of Rs 5,000 crores in Tamil Nadu. The electronics sector is very strong in the state with Apple phones manufactured there. He discussed single window clearances, industry parks and plans to establish a FinTech Park to support global capability centers.
Consul General Judith Ravin, U.S. Consulate Chennai spoke of the strength of U.S.-India ties in Tamil Nadu and U.S. business engaged in defence, auto, IT, energy and healthcare, among other sectors. She said that U.S. industry brings to the table good corporate governance, high paying jobs and the best manufacturing practices. She mentioned that she was impressed about the repeal of the retrospective taxation policy and the regulatory transparency along with the CSR efforts of American companies in the state. Ms. Pooja Kulkarni, IAS, Managing Director & CEO, Guidance Tamil Nadu, made a presentation on Trade and Investment Opportunities in Tamil Nadu. During her presentation she highlighted the strengths of Tamil Nadu on various parameters. Tamil Nadu is one of the major destinations of U.S. FDI in India with over 300 U.S. companies with 375 projects worth of $11 billion investments. She announced the new industrial policy and the establishment of special parks in various parts of Tamil Nadu and also gave an overview of the work done by Guidance Bureau.
The industry panel discussion was moderated by Dr. Ravi Bhaktal with the following speakers: Mr. Vivekanand Vanmeeganathan, National Executive Board Member, AMCHAM and Director, Caterpillar India Private Limited, Mr. Elan Chelian, Vice President & Managing Director, Sanmina India, Mr. R. Murali, Director & Plant Manager, BorgWarner Morse Systems India Private Limited, Mr. Narasimha Nayak, Director Finance, Miramed Ajuba Solutions Pvt. Ltd. and knowledge partner Mr. Ashwin Ravindranath, Partner – Global Compliance & Reporting (GCR), EY. Speakers shared about their companies, the business environment conducive for manufacturing growth, CSR initiatives, sector wise investments, the state government’s support through the pandemic, possibility of incentives for healthcare companies and skill development.
• Magnificent Madhya Pradesh
The session commenced with opening remarks by Ms. Valerie Swope, Program Coordinator, AMCHAM India. Mr. Shailendra Jagtap, Vice Chairman – Western Region, AMCHAM, Managing Director & Country Manager, John Deere India Pvt. Ltd. set the stage through his welcome remarks. He shared an overview on the role of AMCHAM in channelling the voice of U.S. industries on crucial policies and stated that Madhya Pradesh is a logistically well connected and centrally located state which makes it a strategic investment destination in India. Knowledge partner, Ms. Shuchi Trivedi, Partner Strategy and Transactions, Economic Advisory, EY India, highlighted the conducive business environment that Madhya Pradesh offers for investors, the increased FDI witnessed during the pandemic due to shift in manufacturing from China to India and the state governments focus on infrastructure growth and policies. She shared a few suggestions and focus areas to improve the ease of doing business in Madhya Pradesh. Mr. Sanjay Kumar Shukla, Principal Secretary, Department of Industrial Policy and Investment Promotion and Department of Medical Education, Government of Madhya Pradesh, through his special address spoke of the ongoing efforts to identify and reduce bottlenecks to improve the industrial ecosystem and highlighted the abundant availability of land, water and power supply in the state. Mr. John Kingsly, IAS, Managing Director, Madhya Pradesh Industrial Development Corporation, Government of Madhya Pradesh made a presentation showcasing Madhya Pradesh as India’s emerging economic tiger and a mineral rich and industry ready state. He shed light on the state’s positive performance, investments received in the covid period and the key features of the industrial Promotion Policy and business support portals. Mr. David J. Ranz, Consul General, U.S. Consulate General Mumbai, in his special address highlighted the U.S. Consulate’s initiatives in the western region, especially in Madhya Pradesh. He highlighted the initiatives and offerings of the Consulate and US agencies such as DFC, EducationUSA and USAID. He shared three thoughts for the future of the U.S.-India commercial relationship namely having reliable, consistent and transparent norms, government and industry collaboration to help India achieve its goal of climate change mitigation.
In the panel discussion moderated by Mr. Shailendra Jagtap that followed, Mr. Debashish Dutta, Head Smart Cities, India – Point Next Services, Hewlett-Packard Enterprise India shared his positive experience of working on smart cities projects and the well connected infrastructure to setup their command control centre. Mr. Rakesh Swami, Vice President, Government Relations, Honeywell India touched upon Honeywell’s sustainable, healthy and secure energy efficient systems. He proposed initiatives for industries to partner with the Government of Madhya Pradesh on sustainable infrastructure such as durable plastic roads. Mr. R.B. Santosh Kumar, Head, Government Engagement South Asia, Mastercard stated the keen interest of Mastercard to provide products and services and partner with the Government of Madhya Pradesh. He spoke of their smart city program called ‘City Possible’ which they partnered on with Harvard Business School, their transit system open loop contactless card program, Mastercard Famers Network, Mastercard Priceless Cities to boost international tourism in the state, bio metric authentication facilities for pension, ration, etc. Mr. Umang Chaturvedi, Head of Policy & International Affairs – India, Mylan Laboratories Ltd. (A Viatris Company) spoke of the hepatitis drug being produced at their plant in Indore. He requested the support of the state government in extending the validity of the manufacturing license and GLP certificate. Mr. Sampathkumar Chittibabu, Whole Time Director & Vice President, Corporate Affairs India, Par Formulations Pvt. Ltd. conveyed his appreciation of the support received by the Government of Madhya Pradesh and MPIDC. He requested for the possibility of making state incentive schemes applicable to the SEZ zones. Mr. Rajvardhan Singh Dattigaon, Minister of Industry Policy and Investment Promotion Government of Madhya Pradesh, gave the keynote address highlighting the U.S.-India partnership and that it has turned a new corner during the pandemic. He stated that due to its central location Madhya Pradesh is instrumental in the development of trade for the country. The state witnessed radical transformation in economic growth owing to good governance, improved infrastructure, smart cities, connectivity, water and electricity supply which are important factors in making Madhya Pradesh a preferred investment destination. He highlighted the focus of the Madhya Pradesh Government on a wholistic development of the state. The session concluded with closing remarks by Mr. Shailendra Jagtap.
• Innovation Now Growth Forever – Ease of Doing Business in Karnataka
Karnataka ranks 3rd on the Innovation Index with an innovation score of 35.65, highest per capita income, largest economy, INR 5.4 lakh crore of electronics and computer software exports in 2018–19, highest FDI flows and the highest number of manufacturing MSMEs. The industries face certain sector specific challenges across manufacturing, electronics, food processing, pharma & bio tech, IT/ITES. The session was focussed on hearing from the state government on the commitment and support extended to companies in Karnataka and perspective from industry leaders on the commitment to the state and support needed to grow the business.
The keynote address was given by Mr. Basavaraj Somappa Bommai, Chief Minister, Government of Karnataka followed by a special address by Dr. E.V. Ramana Reddy, Additional Chief Secretary, Department of Commerce and Industries, Information Technology, Biotechnology and Science & Technology, Government of Karnataka. Ms. Judith Ravin, Consul General, U.S. Consulate General Chennai, addressed the audience on the U.S.-India partnership. Industry was represented by Mr. Sanjay Koul Vice Chair, AMCHAM, Chairman – Manufacturing Committee, AMCHAM and Chairman & Managing Director, Timken India Limited, Ms. Ritu Sharma, Director, Boeing International Enterprise Services, India, Mr. Parag (Par) Wadhawan Managing Director, India Operations, Goodrich Aerospace Services Private Limited, Collins Aerospace Systems, A Raytheon Technologies Company, Mr. Ankur Malhotra Head, Government Relations, Hewlett Packard Enterprise India, Mr. Samuel Pratap, President, Honeywell Technology Solutions and Mr. Amit Sharma, Chief Operations Officer, IBM’s Cloud Application Innovation Unit.
AGM was only possible with the generous support of the following partners:
• Platinum partners: Hewlett Packard Enterprise India; Lockheed Martin and Optum, XLHealth India
• Gold Partners: Boeing; Emerson and Flex
• Silver Partners: Amazon; John Deere; RSA Security and Salesforce
• Bronze Partners: Boston Scientific India; Google India; Johnson & Johnson; MSD Pharmaceuticals; Raytheon Technologies; Rossell Techsys; S&P Global; Timken India and Trimble Information Technologies India
• Knowledge Partner: Yes Bank
• Special Partners: 3M India; BAE Systems; Cargill India; FLIR Systems India; Honeywell and Stryker India
• Supporting Partners: Bausch & Lomb India; Becton Dickinson India; Edwards Lifesciences; PAR Formulations; PepsiCo India and Providence
By joining AMCHAM India, you become part of an active and dynamic Apex Chamber of U.S. Industry in India with a membership base of more than 400 American companies in India. AMCHAM is an important voice for policy advocacy, a critical source for business intelligence, a vibrant platform for networking and expanding your business.