Defense Committee Meeting

AMCHAM’s Defense Committee held a meeting on March 28th in New Delhi. Members discussed best practices and successes from Aero India 2019. The committee discussed the upcoming USG visits and the Government of India meetings. There was a brief discussion on the recent Ministry of Defence issued guidelines. Members were also updated about the key upcoming AMCHAM events.

Membership

By joining AMCHAM India, you become part of an active and dynamic American business association 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.

Breakfast Meeting on Making Sense of Opinion Polls with Dr. Rajeeva Laxman Karandikar, Director, Chennai Mathematical Institute

AMCHAM’s Tamil Nadu Chapter held a breakfast meeting on March 28th, 2019 in Chennai, on the topic of ‘Making Sense of Opinion Polls’ with guest speaker Dr. Rajeeva Laxman Karandikar, Director, Chennai Mathematical Institute. India is in the midst of the 2019 general election spread over 7 phases. To understand how opinion polls predict likely outcomes and to get a sense of the mood of the electorate, the Tamil Nadu Chapter Executive Committee invited Dr. Rajeeva Laxman Karandikar, Director of the Chennai Mathematical Institute, one of India’s best known psephologists, to give a presentation.

The meeting began with opening remarks by Mr. R. Ramkumar, Chairman – Tamil Nadu Chapter, AMCHAM and Mr. Rajan Aiyer, Vice Chairman – Tamil Nadu Chapter, AMCHAM was present at the meeting. Dr. Rajeeva Karandikar began his presentation by asking how a sample size of 20,000 voters could give an idea about the mood of the national electorate. He said that the number of registered voters in India has been increasing with every election and it is close to 900 million today with a large percentage being first time voters. Dr. Karandikar wondered aloud if opinion polls have predictive power.

To demonstrate that it the quality of the data and not the sample size that is important in opinion polls, Dr. Karandikar conducted a small experiment to prove that the sample size does not matter in an opinion poll. He added that the objective in opinion polls was to predict the number of seats a political group would win. Dr. Karandikar said that opinion polls, including exit polls, can give accurate results provided the randomness and unbiased nature of the data can be ensured. The size of the ‘sample’ or the number of people surveyed did not matter as long as the quality of the ‘sample’ and of the data could be ensured, he said. Dr Karandikar explained how mathematical and statistical theories like probability coupled with scientific analysis of past electoral behaviour and specific conditions. He however added that opinion poll results were valid ‘as of that date,’ explaining why and how the final election results end up deviating from the psephologist’s predictions for some constituencies or states, when the results are announced.
Predicting the election results is both an art and science, Dr. Karadikar said that random sample data will give the best results when applied over the pre-defined mathematical model, adding that dynamic factors and variables identified over a period of time also mattered. Ensuring the randomness of the ‘sample’, or the people chosen for ‘opinion polls’ and also that their responses were as genuine as they can come, the questions are ‘open-ended’, so as to derive their overall views over an impending election, issues and stake-holders.

With genuine data and domain knowledge over the history of voter-behaviour, in particular packets, mathematical models can help the psephologist arrive at his conclusions. However, the practical problem then arises in the conversion of ‘votes to seats.’ It is here greater domain-knowledge like grassroots-level cooperation between alliance partners, leadership relations at different levels and their personal/political acceptance-level between two elections and anti-incumbency, helps. Victory and defeat has been at times decided by ‘swing voters’, whose behaviour cannot be taken for granted. Post facto, one such error while was notice in the 2016 US presidential polls. The more the number of swing voters, newer parties and personalities, there is room for greater complexity, Dr. Karandikar said.

Some more highlights of the discussion included: pre-election opinion polls were less successful when compared to post – election surveys. On the other hand, pre-election poll results would have a feed-back effect and it has the ability to swing votes. At the same time, too many opinion poll results contradicting one another, their collective impact in influencing swing voters could become negligible on occasions. After the interactive session the meeting concluded with Mr R. Ramkumar thanking Dr. Karandikar for taking time off his schedule to share his thoughts with members on the election scene in India.

Membership

By joining AMCHAM India, you become part of an active and dynamic American business association 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.

Hyderabad Chapter Annual Day 2019

AMCHAM’s Hyderabad Chapter Annual Day 2019 was held on March 25th, 2019 at the Ballroom Westin Mindspace. The event began with the lighting of the lamp by Mr. Shashidhar Reddy, Chairman Hyderabad Chapter, AMCHAM and VP Engineering Qualcomm, Ms. Swati Lakra IPS, IG Law and Order & I/C Women Safety, Government of Telangana, Mr. Eric Alexander, Consular Chief, U.S. Consulate General Hyderabad and Mr. Rakesh Singhania, CFO, Wells Fargo. A classical dance performance by CDK Global set the tone for the commencement of the cultural program.

Mr. Shashi Reddy addressed the gathering and gave a brief of AMCHAM’s activities in Hyderabad. Ms. Swati Lakra IPS, chief guest of the day spoke on women’s safety in Telangana and the SHE teams who work behind the scenes to ensure safety of women and that anyone found abusing women are apprehended. She shared her vision to see a world where women would be safe. She was given the task of women’s safety by Chief Minister Chandrasekhar Rao and they have built up the SHE teams, which also provides free shuttle buses for women in the Hi-Tech city area.

Mr. Eric Alexander, Consular Chief, U.S. Consulate Hyderabad, spoke on AMCHAM being active in everything from bilateral trade promotion to sports and cultural events. He said that the sporting events were a great example of the strong community leadership and team spirit that AMCHAM demonstrates in Hyderabad. He also spoke on how U.S. and India have made huge strides in economic diplomacy. He thanked the members for their work in building bridges and strengthening ties between both countries.

The prize distribution was divided into three sets. The first set of prize distribution for all the sponsoring companies, winners and runners was given by Ms. Swati Lakra IPS. This was followed by a medley of songs by Rajasekhar from Cognizant. The second set of prize distribution was done by Mr. Eric Alexander of the U.S. Consulate. This was followed by a Metro Group Dance by employees of CDK Global. The final set of prize distribution was done by Mr. Rakesh Singhania of Wells Fargo and was followed by a presentation of gift vouchers to cultural performances by Mr. Abhishek Tomar of S&P Global. The gift vouchers were sponsored by Westin. Mr. Prakash Bodla, Vice Chairman – Hyderabad Chapter, AMCHAM and Head of UTC HRDC, gave the vote of thanks and thanked all the sponsors for the year. The event culminated with dinner and networking.

 

Membership

By joining AMCHAM India, you become part of an active and dynamic American business association 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.

Meeting with Mr. Debashis Sen, IAS, Additional Chief Secretary, IT&E Department and CMD of WBHIDCO

Mr. Debashis Sen, IAS, Additional Chief Secretary, IT&E Department and CMD of WBHIDCO, chaired a meeting to discuss the 3rd Phase Allotment of Bengal Silicon Valley on March 20th, 2019. Ms. Amada Kidwai – Regional Director – Eastern Region, AMCHAM was invited to the meeting. Mr. Sen gave a detailed view of the government’s position, the bidding process and explained the different pricing policy. He spoke about the different size plots and said that the government was committed to encourage young entrepreneurs. He said that the 3rd phase of bidding would commence from June 3rd, 2019. Some of the giveaways and objectives include:

• Bengal Silicon IT Hub – set up on 200 acres of land
• Location – New Town, Kolkata near Eco Park in AA-II close to airport
• Proposed in the style of ‘Silicon Valley’ of USA
• Target Group – technology based enterprises working in the domains of IT/ITeS/ITeS enabled telecom services
• To create and nurture talent
• To promote a culture of innovation and research on emerging technology
• To invite large investments
• Economic growth of the state – higher industrial growth
• Tech-led employment generation and state GDP boost
• Branding the state of West Bengal and city of Kolkata a tech-savvy and friendly city

Membership

By joining AMCHAM India, you become part of an active and dynamic American business association 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.

Supply Chain & Logistics Committee Meeting

A meeting of AMCHAM’s Supply Chain & Logistics (SCL) Committee was held on 20th March 2019 in Mumbai. The meeting commenced with opening remarks by Ms. Surabhi Wahal, Regional Director – Western Region, AMCHAM India. Through their welcome addresses Mr. Kumar Kandaswami, Chairman – Supply Chain & Logistics Committee, AMCHAM and Partner, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu India LLP and Mr. Milind Tailor, Co-Chairman – Supply Chain & Logistics Committee, AMCHAM and Head of Indirect Procurement & Electronic Security Asia Pacific, Diebold Nixdorf Private Limited, reviewed the achievements of the SCL Committee over the past year and invited members to share their ideas to create a value added plan for 2019-2020. As part of the agenda members defined the overarching theme for the year, discussed proposed events and initiatives and ratified the SCL Committee office bearers 2019-2020.

Membership

By joining AMCHAM India, you become part of an active and dynamic American business association 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.

Celebrating International Women’s Week #BalanceforBetter Gender Equality for a Better World

On March 15th, 2019, AMCHAM’s Eastern Region, in association with Hyatt Regency, Kolkata, organized an event for members and guests to celebrate international Women’s Day, which was celebrated on March 8th worldwide. The theme was #BalanceforBetter with panel discussion topic ‘Breaking Stereotypes in the Work Place.’

The event was graced by eminent personalities from various walks of life who shared their experience, highlighting various roles played in balancing the work place. Ms. Amada Kidwai, Regional Director – Eastern Region, AMCHAM, gave the introductions and vote of thanks. Ms. Brigit Holms, General Manager, Hyatt Regency and Executive Committee Member – Eastern Region, AMCHAM, gave the welcome address. The baton was passed on to moderator Ms. Oindrilla Dutt, CEO, Open Doors. She began by talking about the how far society has come in balancing gender, highlighting that balance is not a women’s issue, it’s a business issue. The race is on for the gender-balanced boardroom, a gender-balanced government, gender-balanced media coverage, a gender-balance of employees, more gender-balance in wealth, gender-balanced sports coverage and much more.

The panellists included Ms. Brigit Holm, General Manager, Hyatt Regency Kolkata, chief guest Ms. Usha Uthup, singer/performer and recipient of the Padma Shree Award in 2011, Mr. Bhaskar Banerjee, Chairman, Calcutta Stock Exchange, Ms. Sheena Hall, Vice Consul, U.S. Consulate Kolkata, Ms. Sonali Bhattacharya, Sr. Director Enterprise IT Automation, Cognizant and Mr. Suborno Bose, Founder and Chief Mentor of Indimart Group and MD IIHM. The panellists spoke about their own experience covering their areas of expertise. The interactive session was both lively and thought provoking, wherein the panellists and audience had a very interesting dialogue. The session concluded with Ms. Usha Uthup and Ms. Francis Lepcha enthralling the audience with their singing performance.

Membership

By joining AMCHAM India, you become part of an active and dynamic American business association 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.