GIACC boosts India-US relations through delegation visit
Ash Thakker with Mrs. Rajyalaxmi Rao, IACC President, and Consul General Nagesh Singh.
From July 5 through 7, 2015 a delegation of business visitors from the Indo-American Chamber of Commerce (IACC) in Mumbai visited Atlanta, receiving a good overview of business opportunities in Atlanta and Georgia through meetings arranged by the Georgia Indo-American Chamber of Commerce (GIACC). GIACC will follow up on business opportunities that emerged during the meetings and looks forward to hosting similar events in the future.
This visit came about following the positive response to President Obama’s trip to India for Republic Day 2015. It was the first time an American was chief guest at the parade, and he was the first sitting president to visit India twice. It was even dubbed a “bromance” by Indian media. “There was 24/7 coverage of the Obama visit,” said Sonjui Kumar, Chairperson of GIACC who coordinated the visit. Ms. Kumar noted that the “Indians loved the personal connection and warmth that the two leaders showed.”
Ms. Kumar, a founding member of the Atlanta-based law firm, Kumar, Prabhu, Patel & Banerjee, was in New Delhi at the time of the President’s visit and then in Mumbai to deliver a presentation on laws affecting mergers and acquisitions in the U.S. Rajyalakshmi Rao, regional president of the IACC’s Western Region, then approached her about including Atlanta in a visit by a trade delegation that was planned for the American South. GIACC and IACC had entered into an MOU in 2009.
The IACC Delegation (including Mrs. Rajyalaxmi Rao, IACC President, in sari, and Rahkhi Panda, IACC Executive Director, in yellow shirt) with members of the GIACC Board and Metro Chamber of Commerce project managers and industry specialists at a breakfast on July 7, 2015.
A dozen executives arrived, including Ms. Rao (representing the Rewas Port, undergoing major expansion), Yalamanchili S Prasad (dir., IT firm Digi Global Networks Pvt, expanding capabilities for the digitization initiative), Global Tech Solutions (IT consulting services for banking, finance, insurance, securities, education, and health care sectors), Sunder G. Advani (Advani Hotels and Resorts which is under a franchise agreement for Ramada), Pradodh Thakker (Aon Global Insurance Brokers), Seasons Impex (clothing), and Dhillon Exports Private (textiles).
Govind Hariharan, Jay Kalke, R. Srinivasan (Deputy Counsel General), Nagesh Singh (Counsel General of India in Atlanta), Raj Forar, Sonjui Kumar, Ash Thakker, Siva Nathan, Ric Hubler. GIACC Board Members hosted a lunch for the delegation on July 7, 2015 at the Consulate.
Meetings were organized with Mayor Kasim Reed; the new consul general for India in Atlanta, Nagesh Singh; officials from the Georgia Department of Economic Development; the ATDC Incubator and Enterprise Institute at Georgia Institute of Technology; and the Metro Atlanta Chamber.
Topics of interest are Atlanta’s Smart Cities Initiative (IT for city services), public-private partnerships through Invest Atlanta (pertinent for Make In India), security monitoring processes at Georgia ports and in the city of Atlanta (after the 2008 Mumbai attacks), robotics at GA Tech, and health information technology companies at the Enterprise Institute (a sector in which Atlanta strives to be globally competitive).
Ms. Kumar was pleased that Atlanta’s Brian Coffey and Arvind Malhotra of Tech Mahindra could be there, and hopes that more Indian companies in Atlanta will participate in GIACC’s initiatives.
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