The Indo-American Chamber of Commerce (IACC) has opened an office in Atlanta, its fourth in the United States, and will provide a wide range of activities promoting business relationships between India and the Southeast.

Ram G. Sidhaye, who originally moved to the U.S. from India in 1968 as a student, will head the IACC’s local office, which will organize seminars and arrange for speaker presentations.  It also will organize trade missions and coordinate visits of trade delegations to the Southeast as well as to India.

The IACC was first organized in 1968 and is the largest bilateral chamber in India.  “India was largely focused on import substitution,” said Harry Cahill, the U.S. consul general in Bombay from 1983 to 1987, who now is retired and lives outside of Washington D.C. from where he oversees the U.S. activities of the IACC.

“When India began to liberalize its regulations in 1991, the chamber decided to open its offices in the U.S.,” Mr. Cahill said.  “There has been a simultaneous growth in our U.S. activities with the loosening of regulations in India.  Now foreigners can even have majority ownership.  The red tape is being removed.”

India’s gross domestic product is currently growing at about 6% annually, and it is considered by the U.S. Department of Commerce as one of the world’s “big emerging markets” where trade is especially inviting.

Mr. Sidhaye has degrees in physics and mathematics as well as the Finance Management Program degree of General Electric where he began his career in 1973.

 In 1985, he assumed the position of Vice President — Software Engineering for Tata Unisys Ltd., a joint venture between Tata, an Indian conglomerate, and Unisys.  In this position he had management responsibility for more than 600 software professionals in eight countries.

Three years later, he helped establish as an independent consultant a joint venture between Mahindra & Mahindra, an Indian company, and British Telecom to develop software in India.

In 1989, he started Sofware AIM to market software development and maintenance services to U.S. companies, and most recently the Indo American Strategic Alliance to assist American companies to establish joint ventures with Indian companies.

IACC also has offices in Washington, D.C., Buffalo and Indianapolis. Cost of membership is $100, including a subscription to the Indo-US Business newsletter.  For more information, Mr. Sidhaye may be reached at (404) 395-6838; fax (404) 395-0256.