Ms. Ranjana Khanna, Director General CEO, AMCHAM welcomed members and presented the Annual Report for 2022-23 and mentioned a few key initiatives and activities that were undertaken during the year. She highlighted prominent interactions with the U.S. government, Government of India, U.S. Mission engagements, state and regional level interactions with the government, the annual door knock delegation to Washington DC, white papers and reports published by AMCHAM with knowledge partners, various representations made to the Government of India, and various events that were conducted. She specially mentioned the initiative on Critical and Emerging Technology (iCET) working group created at AMCHAM which aimed to be a coordination bridge to catalyze existing efforts at technology cooperation. Thanks were conveyed to the members of the National Executive Board and Mr. Atul Dhawan, the outgoing Chairman of AMCHAM, was felicitated for his extensive involvement in the activities of AMCHAM in various capacities over the last 15 years. The composition of the National Executive Board 2023-24 was announced. Audited accounts and financials for 2022-23 were presented and adopted by members. Over a hundred members were present at the statutory AGM.
The 31st Annual General Meeting of AMCHAM India was held on May 4th in New Delhi themed ‘U.S.-India Partnership: Forging Ahead.’ The inaugural session began with a welcome from Ms. Ranjana Khanna, Director General CEO, AMCHAM who expressed gratitude to the Honorary President of AMCHAM, Ms. Patricia A. Lacina, Chargé d’Affaires, U.S. Embassy and highlighted the continuous support from U.S. Mission officials to navigate the unprecedented challenges during the past two years. She mentioned that even though the pandemic was difficult for the global economy, this tough period has also been a time to innovate and explore new avenues in the strategic U.S.-India partnership. She also highlighted U.S. industry’s contribution through manufacturing, exports and gainful employment in India. In her keynote address, the CDA emphasized that the U.S. and India were natural partners with a strong entrepreneurial spirit and deep commitment to innovation and desire to build a more peaceful and prosperous world. She articulated how the partnership was now multidimensional across the Indo Pacific, Quad and G20, which would further strengthen economic ties.
Mr. Salil Gupte, Immediate Past Chairman, AMCHAM and President, Boeing India, gave opening remarks on the high expectations between U.S.-India relations. He noted India’s global leadership in brokering international consensus on issues of security, health resilience, finance for developing nations, etc. Lt General (Dr.) Rajesh Pant, National Cyber Security Coordinator, Prime Minister’s Office, Government of India, in his special address, applauded the momentum of bilateral G2G meetings and how the strategic technology partnership would play key role in digitization, cyber security and cyber resilience. Through pre-recorded video messages, Senator John Cornyn (R-TX), Co-Chair Senate India Caucus and Senator Mark Warner (D-VA), Co-Chair Senate India Caucus shared about the work of the Senate India Caucus and suggested ways to deepen the U.S.-India partnership.
Mr. Piyush Goyal, Minister of Commerce & Industry, Government of India delivered the inaugural address. He stated that the U.S.-India partnership was at a defining moment of the decade and encouraged everyone to work together to deliver for the people. Additionally, Minister Goyal highlighted multiple synergies between both economies covering everything from defense cooperation to critical and emerging technology partnerships, innovation, clean energy and mutual interest to create secure supply chains to bolster economic growth. Mr. Naveen Aggarwal, Office Managing Partner – Delhi NCR, U.S. – India Corridor Leader, KPMG in India presented the report The India Edge: U.S. Industries Catalysing the Growth Trajectory created by AMCHAM and KPMG in India, which was released during the session by Minister Piyush Goyal. Mr. Pradeep Parameswaran, President, Asia Pacific, Uber presented the report Future of Urban Mobility created by AMCHAM and Uber. Mr. Som Satsangi, Vice Chair, AMCHAM and SVP and MD, India, Hewlett Packard Enterprise gave the vote of thanks.
Technology – Forging Technology Alliances for Global Transformation
Ms. Swati Samaddar, Director, AMCHAM, gave brief remarks on the transformation with technology initiatives in India and requested the speakers to deliberate on the need to create greater inclusion for the business ecosystem. Mr. Avinash Gupta, MD and CEO – India, Dunn & Bradstreet led the panel discussion with guest speakers Mr. T. Koshy, MD & Chief Executive Officer, Open Network for Digital Commerce (ONDC), Mr. Som Satsangi, Vice Chair, AMCHAM and SVP and MD, India, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Ms. Kaku Nakhate, National Executive Board Member, AMCHAM and President & India Country Head, Bank of America N.A. and Mr. Vivek Abraham, Regional Director, External Strategy – India & South Asia, Salesforce. Speakers discussed the factors that can accelerate technology adoption, how to apply lessons from UPI and GST to digital B2B transactions, the role of technology solutions in transitioning from siloed tech-focused models to an integrated business-led operating model, and ways American companies can create a more agile approach to cybersecurity and privacy in the face of increasing risks.
Accelerating the Transition to Clean Energy Future
Mr. Tirthankar Goyal, Director, AMCHAM set the stage for the session which began with a video address by Mr. Rick Duke, Deputy Special Envoy for Climate, Executive Office of the President of the U.S. This was followed by a special address by Mr. Abhay Bakre, Director General, Bureau of Energy Efficiency, Ministry of Power, Government of India. The panel discussion themed ‘Goal Net Zero Carbon by 2070’ featured speakers Mr. Ashish Sanan, Country Sales & Commercial Leader, OFS – India (MENATI), Baker Hughes Company, Mr. Sangeet Jain, Country Head & Director, LanzaTech Pvt. Ltd. and moderator Mr. Chirag Baijal, Co-Chairman – Energy Committee, AMCHAM and Managing Director, Commercial HVAC & Chairman of Board, Carrier India. The discussion articulated on achieving net zero carbon emissions goal in the long-term and how to meet 50% of energy requirements through renewable sources by 2030. Under the theme ‘Clean Energy & Transition to a Sustainable Future’ Dr. Vijay Kumar Saraswat, Member, NITI Aayog, Government of India, in his keynote address, shared his vision on clean energy and various opportunities through a detailed power point presentation. The panel discussion speakers included Mr. Atanu Mukherjee, Chairman – Eastern Region, AMCHAM and Chief Executive Office, Dastur Energy Inc. (DE), Dr. Steven F. Stanley, Chief Commercial Officer, LanzaTech Inc. and moderator Mr. Anil Bhatia, Chairman – Energy Committee, AMCHAM and Vice President & Managing Director, Emerson. They discussed the importance of collaboration and cooperation in addressing the urgent challenges of climate change and sustainable development. AMCHAM’s Energy Committee presented a capability deck showcasing members’ companies and recommendations titled ‘Building a Sustainable Energy Future: U.S.-India Cooperation – The Way Forward’ to Dr. Saraswat.
Future of Cities, Logistics & Mobility: Seamless Connectivity
Ms. Sumita Dawra, Special Secretary (Logistics), Department for Promotion of Industry & Internal Trade, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Government of India, in her special address, detailed out the PM Gatishatki National Master Plan and the National Logistics Policy and invited industry to engage with the government to take advantage of various government policies. She also highlighted the government’s focus upon logistics efficiency to improve India’s ranking in the global supply chain market. The panel discussion was moderated by Mr. Praveen Gosain, Chairman – Supply Chain & Logistics Committee, AMCHAM and Director – Supply Chain, Corning Technologies India which featured an address by Mr. Sudhendu Sinha, Adviser, NITI Aayog, Government of India and industry experts Mr. Tejaswi Narasimhan, Co-Chairman – Aviation Committee, AMCHAM and Director Sales – India & S.E. Asia, Boeing Commercial Airplanes, Mr. Ankur Malhotra, Co-Chairman – CSR Committee, AMCHAM and Director, Corporate Affairs & CSR, Hewlett Packard Enterprise India, Mr. Arvind Kakru, Director, Rockwell Automation India and Mr. Sanjay Chadha, Head of Public Policy and Government Relations, Uber India and South Asia. Setting the tone for discussions, Mr. Gosain highlighted the significance of seamless connectivity and how public and private sectors are engaged to bring about improvement in quality of life for citizens, both in movement of goods and movement of people. Mr. Sinha highlighted the significance of PM Gatishakti National Master Plan as a game changer for the infrastructure sector and how this platform was providing end to end support for various projects including involvement of state governments, the complementarity between the Gatishakti program and National Logistics Policy and also spoke about the EV policy. The panel discussion deliberated new and upcoming technological developments in smart cities, ecosystem for regional air connectivity and urban air mobility, smart vehicles and future platforms for multi-modality and shared mobility, and key technology applications to support mobility efficiency, volumes and safety.
Tech Innovation: Reshaping Agriculture & Food Processing
Mr. Preet Pal Singh, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Food Processing Industries, Government of India gave the special address. He spoke about the importance of technology in the rapidly evolving food industry in India. Technology has the power to make the sector more resilient and sustainable while playing an enabling role in driving efficiencies across value chain. Mr. Singh enumerated the government’s initiatives in promoting a conducive environment for investments, entrepreneurship, and innovation. He mentioned the positive impact technology is playing in uplifting farmers lives and helping them making informed decisions. India suffers from massive post-harvest loses but technological interventions like IoT, AI and ML can help in reducing these losses. Mr. Singh also touched upon the role of technology in achieving long term sustainability goals. AMCHAM’s Agriculture & Food Processing Committee members released a capability deck on Sustainable Initiatives undertaken by their respective organizations to Mr. Preet Pal Singh during the session. The deck showcases member companies’ best practices in agriculture and food sectors. It aims to promote sustainability as a way forward and motivates companies to take a more sustainable approach towards development. The deck includes inputs from Agilent, Beam Suntory, Cargill India, Coca-Cola, Hershey, International Flavors & Fragrances (IFF), John Deere, Kellogg, Mondelez India & PepsiCo. An industry panel discussion followed that was moderated by Mr. Prashant Peres, Chairman – Agriculture & Food Processing Committee, AMCHAM and MD, Kellogg South Asia. Panelists included Mr. Simon George, Managing Director, Food Ingredients Business, South Asia and Country President, Cargill India, Mr. Viney Khunger, MD – Commercial Refrigeration, South Asia Pacific Region, Carrier Airconditioning & Refrigeration Limited, Ms. Bhawna Agarwal, Co-Chairperson – GCC Committee, AMCHAM and Country Head, India – Strategy & Growth, Enterprise Group, Hewlett Packard Enterprise India and Mr. George Kovoor, Senior Vice President – Beverages and Sustainability, PepsiCo. The panel discussed the use of technology like supercomputing/high performance computing (HPCs) in shaping up the food chain in India, tech interventions in food safety and technology, how cold chains and refrigeration business are minimizing wastages and steps in ensuring a sustainable food system. Mr. Ron Verdonk, Minister Counselor for Agricultural Affairs, U.S. Embassy also shared his views on the topic.
Co-Development & Co-Production: Accelerating Defense Exports for Global Markets
Ms. Udaya Arun, Director, AMCHAM, in her welcome remarks, shared the gist of the AMCHAM-KPMG whitepaper emphasizing defense exports as the priority of the Government of India. While U.S. stands at no. 4 in imports it is no. 1 in defense exports. Mr. Salil Gupte, Immediate Past Chairman, AMCHAM and President, Boeing India welcomed Dr. Chandrika Kaushik, Outstanding Scientist, Director General (PC&SI), Defense Research & Development Organization and shared updates on the emerging vast opportunities for co-development and co-production and how U.S. companies could avail of the opportunity to partner more with Indian companies. Dr. Kaushik, in her keynote address, spoke about the existing mechanisms under the government to government framework and discussed opportunities that are required to translate the framework to successful execution and partnerships. She also sought details on areas of bottlenecks and challenges where she could step in and channelize the requests to the correct government offices. She shared her views on emergency procurements, core competencies development and requested for a paper on maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) which they could also supplement to officials with an ask for resolutions in concerned areas. Mr. Gaurav Mehndiratta, Co-Chairman – Defense Committee, AMCHAM and Partner and Head – Aerospace & Defense, KPMG shared how the scope of successful partnerships between the U.S. and Indian partners has been ever increasing over the last decade with foreign military sales having grown to over $21 billion which has brought about tremendous revolution in the aerospace and defense sector. A&D exports from 2018-2021 to the U.S. were over $3 billion from India making up to 11% and in totality have crossed over 54% till date. Other members in the roundtable shared their views on the ever increasing scope of the partnership and how ahead of the bilateral 2+2 dialogue, American aerospace and defense companies were being invited to take advantage of this government’s initiatives to set up more production facilities in India
Critical & Emerging Technologies: Driving the U.S.-India Relationship
The concluding session was a fireside chat with Mr. Salil Gupte, Immediate Past Chairman, AMCHAM and President, Boeing India and Ambassador Arun Singh, Former Indian Ambassador to the U.S. The discussion delved into the strategic intent of iCET (initiative on Critical and Emerging Technology) and explored ways to strengthen the economic and technology partnership between India and the U.S. The conversation revolved around prioritizing areas under iCET’s pillars such as AI, skilling on future technologies, and quantum skilled manpower. Ambassador Singh touched upon the importance of defense technology and trade and discussed how it has a potential to transform under iCET. The session culminated with the Ambassador sharing his insights on how U.S. companies will be driving the innovation corridor under the initiative, especially in the fields of information technology and space technology. Overall, the conversation was productive and shed light on the significant potential of iCET to further strengthen the U.S.-India partnership.
AMCHAM’s 31st AGM was made possible through the generous support of the following partners: (diamond partners) Hewlett Packard Enterprise India Pvt. Ltd. and Uber India Systems Private Limited, (gold partners) XLHealth India, Optum and Salesforce India, (silver partners) Carrier Airconditioning and Refrigeration Limited, Emerson Electric Co. (India) Pvt. Ltd. and Timken India Limited, (bronze partners) Boeing India Private Limited, Dell Technologies, Kellogg India Private Limited, Lockheed Martin India Private Limited and Mylan Laboratories Ltd. (A Viatris Company), (special partners) Bausch & Lomb India Private Limited, Boston Scientific India Pvt. Ltd., Cargill India Pvt. Ltd., India Medtronic Pvt. Ltd. PepsiCo India Holdings Private Limited and Rossell Techsys Inc.