AMCHAM’s Western Region Signature Event was held in Mumbai on December 6th under the overarching theme ‘U.S.-India Economic Partnership: Enhanced Cooperation – Committed Together for Greater Good.’ The evening commenced with welcome remarks by Ms. Ranjana Khanna, Director General CEO, AMCHAM. Mr. Sarthak Ranade, Chairman – Western Region, AMCHAM and Managing Director – Janssen India, Johnson & Johnson Pvt. Ltd., through his opening remarks, welcomed the distinguished speakers and members for joining the event. He reinforced AMCHAM’s endeavour to support the Government of Maharashtra to reach its goal of becoming a $1 trillion economy by making the state the economic powerhouse of India. He then went on to introduce Ambassador Elizabeth Jones, Honorary President, AMCHAM and Charge D’Affaires, U.S. Embassy.
In her address Charge D’Affaires Ambassador Jones spoke of the strong, growing economic relationship between the U.S. and India, the unparalleled opportunity for bilateral relations in the current geopolitical scenario and scope for increased investments. She highlighted the need to build equitable societies that promote resilience and competitiveness as well as boost inclusion and participation of women in the workplace. Ms. Kaku Nakhate, National Executive Board Member, AMCHAM and President & Country Head, (India), Bank of America, N.A. set the scene for the Hon’ble Deputy Chief Minister’s address by acknowledging the state government’s efforts to foster a rich business culture and the forward-looking policies that encourage investments from MNCs in critical sectors that contribute overall to the state and nation. She highlighted Maharashtra’s friendly regulations, safe working environment, infrastructure, roads, transport, connectivity, electricity and a vibrant talent pool that will be a driving force enabling the state’s goal of achieving a $1 trillion economy by 2027.
Mr. Sanjay Koul, Vice Chair, AMCHAM and President – India and South East Asia & Managing Director- India, Timken India Limited introduced the keynote speaker Mr. Devendra Fadnavis, Deputy Chief Minister, Government of Maharashtra. Mr. Devendra Fadnavis gave a riveting keynote address on Maharashtra’s economy achieving $1 trillion and how U.S. Industry can support it. The Deputy Chief Minister stated that Maharashtra is the growth engine of India with infrastructure, industries, information and technology as it’s pillars. He stated that the upcoming infrastructure, metro lines, trans harbour links and airport will positively impact the ease of living and attract investments in the state. He spoke of the Government of Maharashtra’s focus on the agriculture sector and the ongoing projects that infuse agriculture with technology and projects in alternate, clean energy. He briefly touched upon the Hon’ble Prime Minister’s vision of GatiShakti. An engaging Q&A segment followed. The Q&A was moderated by Mr. Shailendra Jagtap, Vice Chairman – Western Region, AMCHAM and Managing Director & Country Manager, John Deere India Pvt. Ltd.
Through a special address, Mr. Deepak Bagla, Managing Director and CEO, Invest India shared an economist’s perspective on India’s role in the global economy. Mr. Bagla highlighted the ease of doing business across a large number of Indian states. He mentioned that AI, geospatial systems and drones, semiconductors, genomics, green energy have been of major interest at bilateral corridors especially between the U.S. and India. He touched on G20 and Invest India’s working group with start-ups and engagement group for investment promotion with a focus on digitalization, supply chain and transitioning into a green economy. The segment featured a fireside chat with Ms. Kaku Nakhate in which she posed questions to Mr. Bagla on PLI schemes, acceleration of India signing FTAs and its impact on India’s export growth and green hydrogen as a game changer for India.
The last session was an insightful panel discussion on ‘The New CEO Imperatives: D&I, Wellness & Mental Health, ESG.’ The session was moderated by Mr. Shailendra Jagtap with featured speakers Mr. Ramkrishna Sinha, Co-Founder, Pride Circle and Ms. Usha Srikanth, Senior Partner, Client Services Leader, IBM Consulting. Ms. Srikanth spoke of the need to embrace gender diversity at the workplace, resistance and unconscious bias. She shared her advice on how society, offices and families can encourage women to thrive at the workplace. Mr. Sinha spoke on sensitization of LGBTQ inclusion at the workplace. With real life experiences, he spoke of Pride Circle’s efforts in providing LGBTQ individuals financial autonomy, skill building, systemic values, sensitizing sessions at companies to celebrate talent in all form. He urged people to learn about LGBTQ inclusion and stated that the onus of inclusivity should be on each individual in the larger society. The panel participated in Q&A with the audience.
The program concluded with closing remarks and vote of thanks by Mr. Sarthak Ranade who thanked the distinguished speakers, sponsors, participants and AMCHAM. This was followed by networking dinner and cocktails. The event was sponsored by John Deere India Pvt. Ltd., APCO Worldwide India Pvt. Ltd., CSI Leasing and Johnson & Johnson Pvt. Ltd.