AMCHAM, in partnership with Invest India, held ‘Make in India – Manufacturing for the World’ on February 14th in New Delhi. It was the signature event of AMCHAM’s Manufacturing Committee. Chief guest, Mr. Hardeep Singh Puri, Minister of State (Independent Charge) of Civil Aviation, Housing and Urban Affairs, Minister of State for Commerce & Industry, Government of India, gave the keynote address, in which he gave an overview of the widening and deepening cooperation between the U.S. and India across a vast number of areas such as counter-terrorism, homeland security, cybersecurity, science and technology, health, agriculture, etc. Minister Puri talked about growing urbanisation and construction activity citing that 100 smart cities were under development which included 5,151 projects, thus demonstrating the fast pace of development in smart cities. He mentioned that integration into the global value chains would require strategic decisions to be made and the scaling up of manufacturing to meet global demand. Overall, he expressed optimism on the growth of U.S – India economic relationship and a willingness to resolve issues impacting bilateral business.
The inaugural session began with welcome remarks by Ms. Ranjana Khanna, Director General CEO, AMCHAM, wherein she mentioned that exports would be a key driver for expansion in India’s manufacturing as the world realizes that an alternate manufacturing hub was needed even more so in the current scenario with disruptions to the global supply chain. Mr. Sanjay Koul, Vice Chairman, AMCHAM and Chairman – Manufacturing Committee, AMCHAM and CMD, Timken India, set the scene for the event and emphasized India’s target to be a $5 trillion economy in 5 years with a 25% share of manufacturing which would contribute $1 trillion to the GDP.
In his special remarks and with KPMG as the knowledge partner for the event, Mr. Akhil Bansal, Deputy CEO, KPMG in India, said the foundation for a $5 trillion economy included reviving consumption, creating jobs in labour intensive industries, moving towards tech certainty and improving competitiveness. In the vote of thanks, Mr. Arijit Sen, Co-Chairman – Manufacturing Committee, AMCHAM and Senior Director, Global Government Affairs & Public Policy, Flex Group, thanked the government for its commitment to the Make in India program. AMCHAM presented a memento to Minister Hardeep Singh Puri.
The participants proceeded to attend one of the parallel breakout sessions on I) smart infrastructure and electric vehicles, II) agriculture and food processing or III) electronic hardware and mobiles.
Breakout Session I: Smart Infrastructure and Electric Vehicles
In ‘Breakout Session I: Smart Infrastructure and Electric Vehicles’ Mr. Manuj Ohri, Partner, KPMG in India, set the scene emphasizing that infrastructure was the driving force behind business today and Mr. Sanjay Koul, Chairman – Manufacturing Committee, AMCHAM and Chairman & Managing Director, Timken India Limited was the conversation facilitator. Mr. Gaurav Daga, Vice President, Guidance Bureau, Government of Tamil Nadu and Ms. Shefali Rai, Policy Specialist, Tamil Nadu Guidance Bureau (TNGB) made a presentation on the Electric Vehicle Policy of the state as well as discussed at length their views on the initiatives offered, avenues available and challenges faced in the EV sector. From Invest India, Mr. Nehal Bajwa, Mr. Ayush Pagaria and Mr. Shivam Batham were present.
Industry speakers at the roundtable included Mr. Samit Ray, Co-Chairman – Infrastructure & Smart Cities Committee, AMCHAM and Regional Director – Government Affairs & Public Policy South East Asia, United Technologies Corporation, Mr. Naveen Tandon, Co-Chairman – ICT Committee, AMCHAM and Director – International External Affairs, AT&T, Ms. Swati Sinha, General Manager – North India, C.H. Robinson Worldwide Freight India, Ms. Deepa Das, Lead Legal Counsel, Legal & Regulatory Affairs, FedEx Express Middle East, Indian Subcontinent and Africa, Mr. Debashish Dutta, Head Smart Cities, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Mr. Biswajit Bhattacharya, Partner & Automotive Industry Leader – India S/Asia, GBS, IBM India, Mr. Harish Sharma, Commercial Applied Stream, Marketing & Product Management Leader – India & SAARC Markets, Ingersoll Rand, Mr. Jon Pickford, Director Smart Buildings/Cities and Integrated Developments, APAC, Johnson Controls, Ms. Geeta Poduval, Director – Corporate Affairs, Progress Rail India, Mr. Rakesh Mishra, Country Head & Director, Sate-Lite Technologies and Mr. Santhosh Muzumdar, Head Business Development Govt Affairs, Johnson Controls.
Deliberations focused on regional airports and connectivity, infrastructural requirements for smart cities, India as the world’s 3rd largest auto market in 2021, innovating and implementing the future of mobility from/in India and global best practices for adoption of new technologies. Other topics discussed included end to end policy for EVs, urban planning which includes last mile connectivity, infrastructure development around industrial units and IoT challenges around current requirements to get multiple approvals which slows the pace of adoption of such technologies.
Breakout Session II: Agriculture and Food Processing
Ms. Komple Sharma, Manager, AMCHAM India welcomed participants to ‘Breakout Session II: Agriculture and Food Processing.’ Mr. Rajeev Ranjan, Director, KPMG in India was the conversation facilitator for the session. Mr. Srinivas Kuchibotla, Partner, KPMG in India set the scene and talked about the key role FPOs plays in the agricultural supply chain, post harvesting requirements like digitization, E-Nam, etc. He also touched upon the increasing thrust on attracting investments in the food processing sector.
In his special remarks, Dr. J.P. Mishra, ADG, ICAR, Govt. of India enumerated the initiatives taken by the Indian government in doubling the farmers income. He spoke about the cyber agro physical system that will help in AI based advisory to farmers. He also shared how water has taken a central stage in Indian context and agriculture being one of main users of fresh waters, hence the aim is to create an eco-system where water usage goes down by 75%. Dr. Mishra also spoke on the land tenancy problem where resource pooling and FPOs were emerging as the most feasible solution. The government is also promoting digital agriculture through its chain of Krishi Vigyan Kendras. He also pitched for greater collaboration between the government and the private platers especially in the food processing sector. Mr. Sanjay Dave, Former Chairperson, Codex Alimenatrius Commission, stressed on the uniformity between global and Indian safety standards and advocated for its implementation from the farm fields itself. He discussed the advantages of adopting GAP (good agricultural practices), GMP, GPS, etc. especially in bringing more value to exports. He also asked for an upgradation in the current agri schemes and processes.
Industry speakers included: Mr. Pankaj Mahajan, Director-Indian Subcontinent, Corporate Affairs, Cargill India, Ms. Reena Bhattacharya, Communication Head, Cargill India, Mr. Rahul Kapoor, GM (Sales & Marketing), Carrier Airconditioning & Refrigeration Limited, Mr. Anaam Sharma, Senior Manager – Corporate Affairs, Coca-Cola India, Ms. Neeru Ahuja, Partner – Tax Business, Deloitte, Mr. Ankur Malhotra, Head, Government Relations, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Mr. Amit Mehta, Managing Director, McCormick India, Mr. Shashikanth Bhende, Country Agronomist and Product Manager, Mosaic, Mr. Vishal Dutta, Head of Research & Partnerships, Sannam S4, Mr. Subhash Pattnaik, Regional Head-Precision Agril, South Asia, Trimble, Mr. Anand Vijay Jha, Vice President and Head Corporate Affairs, Public Policy, Communications and Sustainability, Walmart India, Ms. Salonie Chawla, Consultant, APCO Worldwide India, Mr. Love Kumar, General Manager, Sales, Tecumseh Products India and Dr. Jasvir Singh, Regulatory, Scientific & Government Affairs Leader – South Asia, DuPont. Mr. Sarabpreet Singh Bedi, Executive Director from NAFED and Ms. Radha Mani, Agricultural Assistant from the U.S. Embassy in India were present. From Invest India, Vivek Sonny Abraham and Aayushi Bhatia attended.
The participants discussed five broad areas – AgriTech and its implications, the need for robust agricultural infrastructure, importance of global standards of quality, the growth of food processing industry and marketing and branding of agri produce in India. The key points discussed included the role of FPOs, convergence of all agriculture related schemes, need for greater interventions by the government in AgriTech, rationalization of certain custom duties on imported agri technology, digitization of agricultural land, standardization of agricultural infrastructure and the inherited demand – supply gap, absence of global standards of quality, obsolete schemes and the dire need to adopt sustainable practices. Industry felt that any scheme, incentive or policy drafted should take into consideration the entire value chain i.e. from the famers to the end consumers.
Breakout Session III: Electronic Hardware and Mobiles
In ‘Breakout Session III: Electronic Hardware and Mobiles’ Mr. Dipayan Ghosh, Executive Director, KPMG in India, set the scene through discussing on export oriented growth for component manufacturing and the successes Vietnam in this regard. He touched on patents and the need for standards to be in line with the global system. Mr. Arijit Sen, Co-Chairman – Manufacturing Committee, AMCHAM and Senior Director, Global Government Affairs & Public Policy, Flex Group was the conversation facilitator. Mr. S.K. Marwaha, Senior Director/Scientist ‘G,’ Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology, discussed some of the ease of doing business challenges and policy updates on the horizon. From Invest India Mr. Shawn Bhalla and Mr. Ehtesham Khurshid talked about a study they conducted where they have found out that the disabilities in the electronic manufacturing sector was roughly about 8-10%. They encouraged American firms to share their investment plans in India for a manufacturing hub delivering to markets globally.
Industry speakers for the session included: Mr. Ambrish Bakaya, Co-Chairman – Infrastructure & Smart Cities Committee, AMCHAM and Director Corporate Affairs, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Mr. Tabrez Ahmad, Group Director, Government Affairs & Public Policy, Dell, Mr. Sumeet Hemkar, Partner | Tax, Deloitte, Mr. Kapil Madhok, Country Manager – Air Services, India, Bangladesh & Sri Lanka, Expeditors International (India), Mr. Harjinder Singh, Country Manager – Customs Compliance & Services India, Bangladesh, Expeditors International (India), Ms. Anita Wadhwa Bhardwaj, Managing Director, Sales, FedEx Express Middle East Indian Subcontinent and Africa and Ms. Anubhuti Bhrany, Head Government Relations, India, HP India.
Some of the points of discussion included the possibility to extend the incentives under SEZs to provide a thrust to the sector, incentives for R&D facilities in India, potential for an industry led task force, strategy for export led growth of electronics, developments in the Phased Manufacturing Program, policy requirements for the growth of component ecosystem for electronics, skill development for high tech operations, time delays at customs for shipments and opportunities in fab labs.
The Road Ahead
Post the sector specific breakout sessions, all participants gathered back together for a plenary session on ‘The Road Ahead’ with opening remarks by Mr. Nitin Atroley, Chairman – Economic Affairs Committee, AMCHAM and Office Managing Partner – North, KPMG in India. He emphasized the pertinent flagship programs of the government, Make in India and the Assemble in India, with the objective of increasing share in global trade to 3.5% and a target GDP of $5 trillion. He talked about the need for improving competitiveness of Indian manufacturing, taking advantage of the geo-political situation and bold policy initiatives to catapult manufacturing.
The Breakout Session Takeaways were summarized by Mr. Sanjay Koul, Chairman – Manufacturing Committee, AMCHAM and Chairman & Managing Director, Timken India Limited for Smart Infrastructure and Electric Vehicles, Mr. Arijit Sen, Co-Chairman – Manufacturing Committee, AMCHAM and Senior Director, Global Government Affairs & Pubic Policy, Flex Group for Electronic Hardware and Mobiles and Mr. Srinivas Kuchibotla, Partner, KPMG in India for Agriculture and Food Processing. KPMG have prepared a whitepaper on the deliberations and recommendations.
Mr. Deepak Bagla, Managing Director & CEO, Invest India, in his special address said 8 U.S. companies have been operating in India for over 100 years, the foundation of the oldest business relationship. Invest India is looking at 662 active business opportunities for U.S. investments into India with the number of sectors of interest has increased from 11 to 27 sectors. He said Jal Jeevan Mission offered a $51 billion opportunity for U.S. companies and highlighted innovation and start-ups as pillars supporting the U.S.-India relationship.
In his special address, Mr. Sudhanshu Pandey, Additional Secretary, Department of Commerce, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, mentioned that although the trade deal between both countries was still a work in progress, confidence was growing step by step. He said the Commerce & Industry Ministry was meeting regularly to address issues related to India’s competitiveness in manufactured products and services. He emphasized that India was working on globalization index to support manufacturing, services, etc. towards meeting global acceptability through harmonization of standards. While discussing the global shortage of healthcare workers he said Ayushman Bharat offered a big investment opportunity across the healthcare sector in India. The session concluded with Ms. Ranjana Khanna, Director General CEO, AMCHAM presenting a momento to Mr. Pandey and thanking Flex for supporting the event.
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