An Event on India’s new initiatives, Budget 2018, Business opportunity in Indian States [Punjab, MP, AP & Telangana] and upcoming Consulate’s Cultural Initiatives” held on 7th March, 2018.

Consulate General of India Chicago, in collaboration with TiE Chicago organized a Seminar and Panel discussion on “India’s new initiatives, Budget 2018, Business opportunity in Indian States, Upcoming Business & Cultural Initiatives” on March 7, 2018 from 05:00 PM – 09:00 PM at Meadows Club. The speakers included Ms. Neeta Bhushan, Consul General, Mr. O.P.Meena, Consul[PCV], Mr. Raju Chinthala, Founder & President, Indiana India Business Council, Mr. Bala Palamadai, President, TiE Midwest, Mr. Wilson A., Head International HR, L&T Technology Services Limited and Mr. D.B. Bhati, Consul[HOC]. The panel comprised of Consul General, Prof. Sampath Ramesh, Adjunct Professor, Kellogg School of Management, Dr. Ajit Pant, President, US India Chamber of Commerce-Midwest, Ms. Malini Vaidhyanathan, Manager Midwest, Air India, and Mr. Srinivas Pulikam, US CEO, AxisCades.

At the beginning, Consul General Ms. Neeta Bhushan welcomed the guests and highlighted the contribution of State Governments of India playing significant role in India’s economic diplomacy and external engagements.

The program started with a presentation on States by Mr. O.P. Meena, Consul [PCV] who informed the audience about the creation of a separate States Division in 2014 in the Ministry of External Affairs to recognize the emerging trends of the State Governments of India. The Division was tasked with the mandate of coordination between State Governments of India and the Indian Missions/Posts abroad. He mentioned that the Primary role of the State Division of MEA is to facilitate the State Governments of India in the domain of trade, investment, tourism, culture, education, sub-regional cooperation and other external linkages.

In his presentation on the three States of India: Punjab, Madhya Pradesh & Andhra Pradesh, Mr. Meena spoke about the geographical locations, climatic conditions, economic growth, natural resources, infrastructure support, key sectors and industries, Industrial infrastructures and advantage of doing business and investments in these three States.

While giving power point presentation on Madhya Pradesh Mr. Meena highlighted the geographical location and availability of variety of soils and 11 agro climatic conditions that support cultivation of wide range of crops in the State. It is the 5th among Indian States in rankings based on ease of doing business and reforms implementation according to a study by the World Bank and KPMG. The State has excellent infrastructure with 19 industrial development parks, 129 industrial areas, 6 food parks, 8 integrated development centers, 3 dry parks, 1 stone park, 1 IT park, 1 SEZ and an apparel park at Indore. Under the smart city program of GOI, 7 cities (Bhopal, Gwalior, Indore, Ujjain, Jabalpur, Sagar, Satna) are being developed as smart cities.

While presenting on the State of Andhra Pradesh, Mr. Meena highlighted that the states has a long coastline of 974km which provides numerous opportunities for the State to develop number of ports, marine products, and tourist destinations. Most of the coal-based power plants are located in the coastal regions due to their connectivity to the ports. The State has attracted FDI equity worth US$ 14.331 billion during 2000-2017. In order to fulfill the aim of Andhra Pradesh a most developed State by 2029 in the country, the Government of Andhra Pradesh has launched 7 Missions, 5 Campaigns and 5 Grids in the State.

While presenting on Punjab, Mr. Meena mentioned that approximately 82% of the State’s land is under cultivation making it the ‘Bread basket of India’ and led to first Green revolution in the country. It is the 3rd most attractive destination for new investments in India. The state of Punjab offers right mix for business with robust infrastructure, abundant skilled talent, competitive costs, well established eco-system, and attractive package of fiscal incentives making it a gateway to new avenues.

Mr. Raju Chinthala, Founder & President, Indiana India Business Council, presented the State of Telengana. In his presentation, Mr. Raju Chinthala mentioned that Telangana is the youngest State in the Union of India. The major industries include IT, Pharma & Biotech, Textile, Aviation, Food Processing , Automotive , Plastic & Chemicals. While highlighting advantage of Telagana, Mr. Chintala mentioned that the Pioneer State is natural gateway to both North and South India with 24,245 kms road length and 16 National Highways covering 2,593 Kms, excellent airport connecting international and domestic key cities and abundant natural resources and minerals. While highlighting the growth of the State, Mr. Chintala said that the State was ranked 1st in Ease of doing Business Reforms in 2015-16, the economic growth of the State has been increased from 6.43% to 9.24% since formation and the State achieved 1stRank in India in cashless transactions. The Major State Government Initiatives include Mission Bhagiratha (Tap water to one crore homes), Mission Kakatiya (46,631 water bodies with storage capacity of 265 TMC over four years) and Telanganaku Haritha Haram (forest area to go up to 33% from current 23%).

Consul General Ms. Neeta Bhushan delivered the keynote address wherein she highlighted major aspects of Indian economy, key initiatives undertaken by the Government during the recent Budget 2018-19, new economic initiatives taken by the Government, developments in the field of Science & Technology and India-US relationship especially in the fields of trade, economy, defense, science & technology. During her address, Consul General said that in the last three years India has achieved a growth rate of around 7 percent and it is estimated that India will continue to grow at around 7.5%. India is a 2.5 trillion dollar economy now, which makes it the 7th largest economy in the world. She mentioned the special efforts made by Government to uplift farmers and under privileged sections of the society through schemes like Ujjwala and Saubhagya. Consul General also underlined Hon’ble Prime Minister’s message for maximum governance and minimum government that has led to improvement in India’s ranking by 42 places in the last three years in the World Bank’s “Ease of Doing Business” with breaking into top 100 for the first time. She restated that iconic policy initiative since GST, would ease the business and would attract investors & FDI. Talking on India-US relationship, Consul General mentioned that India and USA are natural allies. The total trade has been enhanced to 124 billion dollar in 2017. A recent survey done by CII reveals that 100 Indian companies have invested 17 billion dollars in the US creating over 113,000 jobs. In the Midwest Infosys and Wipro have set up bases in Indiana and are generating thousands of jobs for US citizens..

Mr. Bala Palamdai, President, TiE Midwest, spoke on business environment for Entrepreneurs in India. He mentioned that Government of India’s new economic initiatives and tax reforms have made a huge change and the process had become much simpler leading to more digitization and the economy had become more attractive for business and investments. Mr. Wilson A., Head International HR, L&T Technology Services Limited, highlighted on business evolution from HR perspective in US for Indian companies. He spoke on changing landscape of Indian workforce in US, employment creation, re-skilling & talent pool development and employer branding.

Consul General Neeta Bhushan, Prof. Sampath Ramesh, Adjunct Professor, Kellogg School of Management, Dr. Ajit Pant, President, US India Chamber of Commerce-Midwest, Ms. Malini Vaidhyanathan, Manager Midwest, Air India, and Mr. Srinivas Pulikam, US CEO, AxisCades held a Panel Discussion. The Panelists discussed regarding India’s role in global economy, India-US trade relations, growing tourism industry in India and the digitization process in India. The Panel was moderated by Prof. Sampath Ramesh.

Mr. D.B. Bhati, Consul [HOC], gave PowerPoint presentation on Consulate’s cultural activities and briefed on Media upcoming events. Mr. Bhati said that theConsulate will celebrate “ 4th International Yoga Day “ on 16th June, 2018 at The Millennium Park , 201 E Randolph St, Chicago, IL 60601 and “ Kala-Utsav 2018” onSaturday July21ST 2018 at HARRIS THEATRE, 205 East Randolph Street, Chicago, Illinois.

The event was attended by over 250 Entrepreneurs, Heads of Business organizations and Community leaders from Chicagoland and US-Midwest.