“India’s Supply Chain: Markets and Opportunities Conference” (ISCMOC) held in Savannah
Organizers and speakers at the UIBS’s “India Supply Chain” conference include Dr. John McIntyre, Director, GaTech, CIBER (2nd from left); Savannah Mayor Edna Branch Jackson (4th from left); India’s Consul General in Atlanta Ajit Kumar (center); John M. McCaslin (4th from the right), Counselor for Commercial Affairs at the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi; and conference Program Chair Ani Agnihotri (right).
USA India Business Summit (UIBS), Georgia Ports Authority, and Georgia Tech – CIBER completed a hat trick of sorts by successfully organizing the 3rd annual India’s Supply Chain: Markets and Opportunities Conference (ISCMOC) in the port city of Savannah on April 15-16, 2014. UIBS has a distinguished history of being the largest business conference in the Southeast USA that promotes business relations between USA and India. In this year’s ISCMOC there were keynotes by Consul General Ajit Kumar; Minister Counselor for Commercial Affairs at the U.S. Embassy in New Delhi, John McCaslin; and four panel sessions including Perspectives on US and India’s Supply Chain & Logistics Industry Services.
In his welcome message, Chris Carr, Commissioner, Georgia Department of Economic Development, said that Georgia is proud to be home of the Indian Consulate General. India is an important investor nation in Georgia with more than 42 Indian companies doing business here. The Port of Savannah is the fastest growing and fourth largest container port in the US, and India is a fast growing market for Port Authorities. Some of the major imports from India include textiles, apparel, rugs, and auto parts, and US exports from Savannah are lumber, wood pulp, logs, paper, and clay. These products complement major South-east businesses, including the carpet and textile industry in north Georgia as well as the timber and mining industries. According to Ani Agnihotri, Co-Chair of the event, every shipping service connecting the US East Coast and India calls on the Port of Savannah and we are making efforts to increase trade lines.
India, with expected growth of 5.5%, stands out as one of the most promising markets in sectors such as agriculture, engineering goods, fast moving consumer goods, pharmaceuticals, and textiles, among others. This booming rise of India in the past decade has given a new lease on life to its logistics markets and is likely to gain momentum. Fast-paced growth in the Indian industrial sector coupled with its continuous ascent in agricultural production and distribution have required a rapid extension of India’s supply chains across a continental-sized mosaic-like country to ease distribution and sourcing of production.
Indian distribution entails numerous layers of intermediaries and retailers across a widespread and complex country characterized by cultural and linguistic diversity. This complexity and particular moment in India’s economic history both combine to continue creating unique opportunities for logistics service providers, established in other national and regional markets, to consolidate a lasting foothold in the Indian marketplace.
With a population of 1.2 billion and a dynamic market of over 400 million middle-class consumers, a large number of people are eager for U.S. products and services, Minister McCaslin told a group of interested delegates. Not surprisingly for a large country with explosive growth, India presents a lot of challenges, too, for those looking to do business there: among those are disconnected rural markets, government red tape, a fragmented trucking industry, a complex tax system, heavily congested roads, and overloaded ports. But with these challenges come great opportunities for hardy companies that are willing to invest the time and effort to plan for mid- to long-term.
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