The Indian Consulate in Chicago, in collaboration with Illinois Chamber of Commerce and Grant Thornton Chicago held an executive seminar on “Make In India”, March 28, in Downtown Chicago. The event was attended by more than 200 entrepreneurs, heads of business organizations and Community leaders from Chicagoland and the Midwest.
Consul O.P. Meena explained the purpose of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s flagship initiative, Make In India, launched in September, 2014. It is a powerful, galvanising call to action to India’s citizens and business leaders, and an invitation to potential partners and investors around the world, the Indian Consulate said in a press release.
Vince Tomkinson, office managing partner at Grant Thornton outlined the goal of the seminar focusing on opportunities and challenges for doing business in India, noting that his organization has been for years assisting Indian companies’ invest in USA.
Consul General Neeta Bhushan delivered the keynote address in which she highlighted India’s current growth rate which she noted is among the highest in the world and has provided strong impetus to the global economic growth. The Indian government has taken 7,000 reform measures including repealing 1,400 rules to make it easier to do business in India, she said. Approximately 100 Indian companies like Mahindra & Mahindra, Wipro, Infosys, have created 113,000 jobs in the U.S., she said.
Mark Peterson, president and CEO, Intersect Illinois, spoke on the strategic partnership between India and Illinois. There are 1,800 foreign based companies in Illinois with $100 billion FDI, Peterson said. Highlighting Indian investment in Illinois he said there are 104 Indian owned firms in Illinois, that employ 6,275 people and contribute $1,087 million in global sales. These companies are mostly in the whole sale trade, manufacturing, professional, scientific, and technical services, and information. He also said there is immense potential to increase trade and investment.
Other speakers included Pallavi Verma, senior managing director – US Midwest, Accenture; Ridhika Batra, country head and director, Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI) in USA; Rajesh Tripathi, national leader India Business Group, Grant Thornton LLP; Ramesh Raman, technology and analytics lead, Adani Group; and John Kingsly, resident director Promotion Office, Marine Products Export Development Authority, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Government of India.
Laura Ortega from the Illinois Chamber of Commerce, made the closing remarks.