Consulates in the Southeast usually limit their activities to the region, but a Nov. 8 manufacturing forum on India’s influence in the U.S., perhaps appropriately, roped in a nationwide slate of speakers.
More than 80 local attendees came to hear about possible synergies between the “Make in India” campaign set up by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014 and the more recent “America First” mentality of U.S. President Donald Trump, who wants to see more manufacturing come back home.
The idea behind the event was to explore whether the two plans could be reconciled for the benefit of both nations, rather than being a zero-sum game.
Successful examples are readily apparent: Lockheed-Martin C130J cargo jets are being made in Marietta with parts forged in India, while India-based Jindal Films, building on its foundation back home, has set up a $170 million plant in LaGrange, Ga.
Speakers came from as far away as California, Michigan and Texas, but nearby states of Alabama and Tennessee were also represented. Georgia accounted for the most speakers, including a representative of Jindal.
Among the keynote speakers was Harsha Agadi, CEO of Atlanta-based insurance claims processor Crawford and Co. Mr. Agadi, an India native and longtime quick-service restaurant executive, discussed pathways for Indian firms into the U.S.
Niraj Tipre, CEO of Piramal Glass, said his company had acquired a failing U.S. firm in bankruptcy, then used that foothold to build a profitable operation, according to a recap provided by the Indian Consulate General in Atlanta.
The forum came a week before the Confederation of Indian Industry released the results of a survey which counted nearly $18 billion in investment from 100 Indian companies operating in the U.S. Georgia was among the top five beneficiary states, with more than 4,500 jobs created by Indian companies.
Sharing their views at the event were:
|Fred Laws||Mahindra North America||Michigan||Automobile|
|Amit Kalra||Polyplex USA||Alabama||Polymer|
|Keith Zimper||Piramal Critical Care Inc.||Pennsylvania||Pharma|
|Hitendra Kale||Consolidated Pressure Control Inc.||Texas||Manufacturing|
|Shekhar Gupta||Devgiri Exports LLC||Georgia||Furnishings|
|Marcelo Possos||Jindal Films Americas LLC||Georgia||Packaging|
|Prashant Deshmikh||Orbits Inc.||California||Garments|
|Santanu Bora||University of North Alabama||Alabama||
|Bharat Soni||Tennessee Tech||Tennessee||
|Atul Deshmukh||KNAV CPA||Georgia||Accounting|
|Kirtan Patel||KPPB Law||Georgia||Legal|
The event was sponsored by the law firm of KPPB Law and the accounting firm of KNAV CPA. both of which work closely with Indian companies.