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Sam Pitroda keynotes U.S.-India business summit

By Suzanne Sen
October 2013
Sam Pitroda keynotes U.S.-India business summit

Consul General Ajit Kumar;
Hon. Sam Pitroda, Advisor to Prime Minister of India, Public Information Infrastructure & Innovations (PIII) and Chairman of the National Innovation Council;
Dr. John R. McIntyre, Director, Georgia Tech CIBER, Professor, College of Management, GaTech. Co-Chair – UIBS;
Ani Agnihotri, Managing Director of USIBRC and Co-Chair – UIBS. (Photo: ByteGraph)


The 4th annual USA India Business Summit, in conjunction with the 19th Georgia Tech Global Business Forum, was held on September 11-12, 2013 at the Historic Academy of Medicine, Atlanta. Delegates from hundreds of organizations and companies met to hear expert speakers including three ambassadors, public policy makers, academic leaders, industry stalwarts, and entrepreneurs.

An early call was made by Hans Gant of the Metro Atlanta Chamber for finding specific ways to strengthen relations, create jobs in India and the US, and bring down barriers to cooperation. Growing specific industry clusters, especially biosciences, supply chain, manufacturing, and technology, was recommended.



Consul General Ajit Kumar reviewed statistics and highlighted Kerry's visit to India and the memoranda of understanding on higher education. The MOU with Karnataka was also a topic as Dr. Jagadish Mittur, head of the Biotech Facilitation Cell, KBITS, Dept of IT, BT, and S&T, Government of Karnataka, formerly with Monsanto, spoke on developing India's “Silicon Valley.” Mr. Rahul Kumar, Managing Director of Amul Dairy, gave the interesting story of operations in India and now in the US (see more below).



Hon. Sam Pitroda (right) at the UIBS conference. (Photo: Suzanne Sen)

An inspiring keynote speaker was Hon. Sam Pitroda, Advisor to the Prime Minister of India on Public Information Infrastructure & Innovation (PII) and Chairman of the National Innovation Council, who noted that democracy thrives on debate and went on to challenge our path. “Today the world is at a crossroads,” he declared, since all the economies of the past really don't make sense. We've been trying to fix past methods, but really need a change because of the disparity between rich and poor. “The consumption-based model is not sustainable in India.” Billions are spent on the quality of a product, but we need to focus on quality of human beings. In India we cannot always focus on technology, but also on lifestyle. Skill development and innovation are needed, along with keeping the focus on the goal (our moral responsibility) of lifting people from poverty. “It is not about creating millionaires.” He is “bullish on India” because of the young talent there and delighted to be working with the US in solving the problems of the US, India, and the world.



UIBS organizer Ani Agnihotri (left) and representative of partnering organizations at the inauguration ceremony. Consul General of India Ajit Kumar (4th from left) and Georgia Secretary of State Brian Kemp (5th from left) unveiled the program book. (Photo: ByteGraph)

Taxes, exporting, government re- sources for businesses, immigration law, and film & new media were some of the many topics discussed. And for Atlanta, metro companies are encouraged to take a survey at atlanta.net/MEP/ to help develop an export plan for growing business in the area.



UIBS 2013 Award winners with Chief Guest Honorable Ajit Kumar, Consul General of India, Atlanta and organizers. (Photo: ByteGraph)

Website Bonus Feature

Rahul Kumar and Amul Dairy:
Cows in Indian villages are revered not only for religious reasons, they also make India the world's largest dairy producer.  And now Amul is coming to the USA—not with margarine, says Mr. Kumar, but with good butter (or ghee), paneer, yogurt, and ice cream.



Georgia exports. (Photo: Suzanne Sen)


Georgia exports to India (below). (Photo: Suzanne Sen)


Ex-Im Bank activity in India (bottom). (Photo: Suzanne Sen)


The reigning Mrs. Pakistan International 2013 and one of her dance troupe (bottom right). (Photo: Suzanne Sen)

The evening's entertainment was a dance program by Ms. Sanam Azeem and her students. Ms. Azeem is a professionally trained dance teacher, choreographer, and performer whose Atlanta-based troupe Sanam Studios performs in corporate and private events. Ms. Azeem is the reigning Mrs. Pakistan International 2013 and the first South Asian to make it in the top five positions at the Mrs. International pageant. In 2013 Mrs. International pageant, she was judged in the 2nd Runner-Up position, out of 70 winners from around the world. The dance styles performed at UIBS—a mix of Indian folk, Bollywood, gypsy, and Middle Eastern dances—were enticing enough to make Consul and Mrs. Kumar and others accept the invitation to dance in the aisles.

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