COVID-19 Disaster Management Task Force Meeting

In view of the current crisis, AMCHAM created a COVID-19 Disaster Management Task Force for members to collaborate and leverage on the collective strengths as partners in the mission to support the Government of India (central and state) through these challenging times. The first meeting was held virtually over Webex on April 29th. Ms. Ranjana Khanna, Director General CEO, AMCHAM gave opening remarks and urged members to work together for good. In his opening remarks, Mr. Ankur Malhotra, Chairman – COVID-19 Disaster Management Task Force, AMCHAM and Head, Corporate Affairs & CSR, Hewlett Packard Enterprise India, shared about HPE’s committee in creating COVID labs and vaccination centers. He encouraged member companies to rethink their CSR plans during this time.

Mr. Sudhendu J. Sinha, Advisor, NITI Aayog, Government of India, addressed participants and queries on cash donations, equipment needs and logistics related concerns. The main urgent requirements highlighted included 1) oxygen cylinders (10 liters and 45 liters) 2) oxygen concentrators 3) Remdesivir 4) Tocilizumab and 5) ventilators and bypass machines. Mr. Mudit Narain, Chief Technical Officer, Office of the Principal Scientific Adviser to the Government of India, addressed members on proposals focused on oxygen related needs. From Invest India, Ms. Anusha Bhagat and Mr. Dushyant Thakor, gave a state by state overview of urgent requirements. AMCHAM would hold the next meeting of the task force on May 3rd.

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 the ‘State of the Economy: An Industry Perspective’ 24th October 2019

American Chamber of Commerce in India
Apex Chamber of US Industry in India

Breakfast Meeting on the ‘State of the Economy: An Industry Perspective’ – 24th October 2019

AMCHAM’s Tamil Nadu Chapter organized a breakfast meeting on October 24th in Chennai with guest speaker Mr. A Viswanathan, President, Delphi TVS. The meeting commenced with a welcome by Mr. Rajan Aiyer, Chairman – Tamil Nadu Chapter, AMCHAM. Mr. Aiyer mentioned that there is something wrong with the economy and no one is coming up with the solutions to fix issues to set right matters. He mentioned that every sector of the economy feels the pinch and the ripple effect of government decisions and global affairs.

Mr. Viswanathan began his presentation by stating that today, when two or more people meet, the first thing discussed is no longer the weather but the economy. Everyone has an opinion of what’s happening and how it affects them. Mr. Viswanathan made a very insightful presentation starting with decoding the macro elements and said the growth engines for the economy included: investment, net exports, private consumption. He said that due to lack of confidence the consumer was holding back, leading to a rapid fall in rural consumption. The other factors influencing it included: erosion of demand generated by unaccounted income as the economy moves into an era of higher formalization; issues with accessing funding; uncertainty due to job losses and future business incomes; deceleration in growth of income levels; wealth effect; H1B visa tightening; falling interest rates and lower inflation trends.

The government has begun a journey of fiscal inclusion by formalizing the economy through: direct benefit transfer; tackling corruption; transaction reporting; tax intelligence strengthening; tax linkage and demonetization. Examining the other factors affecting the slowing of credit, Mr. Viswanathan opined that this is due to: the collapse of the non-banking finance sector; PSU banks not well geared to accelerate retail credit; introduction of accountability in banks; introduction of credit scoring system; and reduction in unorganized credit.

Explaining what is needed in the short term, Mr. Viswanathan said that, individuals should have more disposable income; rural incomes should rise; GST rates to be lowered selectively; government to increase infrastructure spending; re-introduce investment incentives; aggressively drive exports and provide confidence on policy stability. While long term course corrections should focus on privatization; position India for a China plus one strategy; promote tourism aggressively; encourage labour intensive exports; revamp education and organize overseas placement to countries such as middle Europe, Japan and SE Asia.

While speaking on the recovery path, Mr. Viswanathan stated that social sector reforms in employment generation; health care delivery; quality of education and social security are of great importance and no economy can grow without attention to this sector. He said that the government has taken many measures in this connection, some of which include: pumping liquidity into the lending mechanism; bank weddings; rollback of FII surcharge; DA increase for government employees; release of government payments; implement major infrastructure projects and rate cuts. He added that the long term fundamentals remain intact and is an advantage that India has.

Dwelling on what companies should do, Mr. Viswanathan said that businesses should remind ourselves on the long term fundamentals and stay positive; manage cash well; cut back on working capital; cut back on discretionary spend; improve internal efficiencies; be lean and agile; continue to focus on growth strategies; negotiate for better rates; talent acquisition and development and that MNC units in India should promote India as the next manufacturing hub. More importantly, he added that companies should not: cut back on product development; allow talent drain; let short term setbacks derail long term thinking; freeze long term capex plans; lose connect with customer and market and not pull out of the country.

In conclusion, he said that this slowdown is different from the earlier ones and that it is a mix of cyclical, structural and episodical factors. The impact he said is widespread with many key industries contracting, some decelerating and few still doing better. He went on to say that the economy can get back to over 6% growth in the next two quarters, but that is not enough for India. A range of short term and long term measures are needed to put the economy into a higher trajectory as the long term fundamentals are intact. Giving the last punch Mr. Viswanathan said that as companies, “We need to think simultaneously about surviving in the short term and thriving in the long term.” The meeting ended with a Q&A session and Mr. Rajan Aiyer thanking Mr. Viswanathan for this very detailed presentation on the state of the economy.

 Breakfast Meeting – ‘State of the Economy’ Chennai 24th Sept 2019

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.

Anti-Corruption & FCPA Compliance Core Committee Meeting

On December 17th, the Anti-Corruption & FCPA Compliance Core Committee organized the last meeting for 2020. Ms. Komple Sharma, Manager, AMCHAM, welcomed participants. Mr. Gaurav Ajmani, Chairman –Anti-Corruption & FCPA Compliance Committee, AMCHAM and Associate General Counsel: Business Conduct & Ethics, Amazon Seller Services (P) Ltd. moderated the meeting. Participants introduced themselves and shared their experiences for the eventful year of 2020. The committee decided to have monthly meetings on every third Thursday in 2021. The committee also decided to create industry specific sub-groups and would deep dive into specific issues pertaining to an industry and subsequently small sessions could be planned around the same. Members believed that multitude of industries would give a better perspective. The committee also discussed the Anti-Corruption & FCPA Compliance Survey 2020 results. The meeting concluded with closing remarks from AMCHAM thanking members for their valuable inputs.

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.

The Science of Safety – Building & Public Safety in partnership with 3M

AMCHAM’s Karnataka Chapter, in partnership with 3M, hosted the third webinar of a 3 part series with subject matter experts from 3M on ‘The Science of Safety – Building & Public Safety’ on December 15th. The pandemic has brought to light the importance of safety and health in our organizations and public spaces. Safety at any workplace starts with work areas, identifying and preventing elements of risk. Understanding preventive safety measures like anticipating fire, spills, breakage, accidents, etc. are sustainable ways to ensure the safety of building premises and public spaces. Communicating safety measures effectively also ensures that safety messages are always top of mind. The science of safety seminar was a blend of preventive safety and safety communication. The session focused on navigation and safety applications, way finding and environmental graphics, social distancing at building premises and safety solutions at building premises. The speakers were Mr. Ashish Agarwal, Technical Manager Traffic Safety Division and Mr. Sumit Joshi, Technical Specialist, 3M Asia. The session was very well received with participants from various AMCHAM member companies like Swagelok, Saggezza, Optum, Netapp and more.

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.

Defense Committee Meeting

On December 10th, AMCHAM convened a Defense Committee meeting virtually. Members deliberated on the presence of and details of the industry engagements at upcoming Aero India 2021 as well as how to best leverage the engagements with officials at the Ministry of Defence and other central government ministries.

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.