India and United States are partners in the digital arena and share a relationship that is mutually beneficial and enriching as exemplified by the large number of Indian companies working in the US said Minister Prasad while addressing a Seminar organized by the US – India Strategic Partnership Forum and the Consulate General of India (CGI), San Francisco on the topic “Promoting Digital India and Economic Growth” on 28th August 2018, that saw participation from some of the largest US firms including Amazon, Apple, Master Card, Qualcomm, Globall, Walt Disney, Salesforce, IVP and PayPal.
The Minister informed the participants about the business and investment opportunities in India and invited them to develop deeper partnerships with India to take advantage of the unique growth opportunities in India.
He also briefed the participants about the emerging data security issues in India and emphasised that the government was cognisant of the need to strike a balance between data availability, data anonymity, data innovation, data security and data privacy.
The enthusiasm for participating in India’s inclusive digital growth story is apparent and reflects the strategic ties between two great democracies, the Minister added.
During his three day visit to San Franciscoand the Bay Area, Minister Prasad held meetings with a large number of CEOs and tech leaders from leading IT and Electronics firms based in the region.
The Minister was accompanied by an Indian delegation comprising of officials from the Ministry of Electronics and IT as well as representatives of NASSCOM and Indian Cellular Association (ICA).
The US firms deeply appreciated India’s inclusive digital growth and expressed a keen desire to be a part of this phenomenal story.
Presenting the success of India’s Digital India program- that was inspired by PM Modi’s vision to empower the ordinary Indian using the power of technology- Minister Prasad solicited greater investment and collaboration from US tech companies in India.
He said that the reforms and growth oriented policies of Modi government had created an environment conducive to business growth in India and made doing business in India attractive and easier than ever before.
Addressing a meeting of CEOs and business leaders from leading tech firms of Silicon Valley as well as entrepreneurs, academics and leading investors in the digital field, including Microsoft, E&Y, Patmar, KRPA, Wells Fargo, Nixon Peabody, Major, DLA Piper, DSG Global, RHG, Intertrust, University of San Francisco, Moss Adams, Bio Polymers, RN Solutions, Spritz, Nexleaf, Zenisis Technologies and Bain Capitals amongst others, that was jointly organized by NASSCOM and the California Business Round-Table (CBRT) on 27th August in San Francisco, Minister Prasad briefed the gathering about the tremendous growth potential and business opportunities that digital India offered.
He said that leveraging the talent rich Indian environment offered US firms sustainable growth potential and continued competitiveness. Earlier in the day, the Minister attended a breakfast meeting with the Indian Origin technocrats from large US tech firms, including those from Genpact, Intel, SAP, WNS Global Services, Mindtree and Quatrro Global and sought their views on possible ways to expand and energise the Indian start-up sector and cultivate innovative practices.
He invited them to leverage their experience for helping Indian tech start-ups succeed.
Starting his tour on the 26th of August, the Minister met some leading luminaries of tech field and entrepreneurs of Indian origin working in the Silicon Valley including Vinod Dham, Nitin Mehta, Tom Kailath, Kanwar Chadha, Krishna Yarlagadda, B,J. Arun, Vish Mishra, Guru Parulkar, K.G. Ganapathy, KhanderaoKand and Pratyus Patnaik, Raju Indukuri and HarshulAsnani among others.
He said that the country was extremely proud of their achievements and shared with them the transformative success story of Digital India.
He also sought their cooperation in mentoring start-ups, and promoting cybersecurity and new technologies in India. Later that day the Minister addressed a meeting organized by the Overseas Friends of BJP and addressed a large public reception organized by the Consulate General of India, San Francisco where he addressed a gathering of over 150 people of Indian origin about the far-reaching and metamorphic changes brought about in the last 48 months by the Modi Government that had firmly placed India on the path of economic growth, given the country a clean and responsive administration and raised the international profile of the country.
On 27th August, the Minister visited the Wipro Silicon ValleyInnovation Center. The Minister witnessed cutting edge applications and systems being developed by the centre including R&D by WIPRO in AI applications to make life simpler and improve outputs.
Minister said that the centre, run by an Indian company in the US, was an example of how Indian companies were bringing technical expertise and investments into the US, which was one of the top 5 investment destinations for FDI from India.
Quoting a survey by CII in November 2017, the Minister said that around 100 Indian companies had invested $17.9 billion in the United States. According to the report, they have also spent over $588 Million in Research and Development and dedicated over US $147 Million to Corporate Social Responsibility Programmes, he added.
On 27th August, the Minister also visited the famous Stanford University campus and held a meeting with leading faculty members across disciplines, including Vice President, Public Affairs, Dean of School of Engineering, Executive Director of Global Digital Policy Incubator, Prof.Hongbin Li of Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research, Prof. Silvio Savarese, Associate professor of Computer Sciences and Brendon Walsh, Director International Affairs.
The faculty expressed a deep interest was impressed by the innovative experiences that Indian offered from its inclusive digital model. The Minister participated in an in-depth discussion with the faculty on various relevant issues including on use of technology for human development and the application of AI and the challenge it poses.
Minister also held meetings with CEOs of large US firms including Oracle, GE Digital and Flex. He reiterated that India’s adherence to open source software for public use while meeting the Oracle CEO.
In his meeting with CEO of GE Digital, William Ruh, the Minister discussed new dimension in unfolding digital space including industrial internet and how AI applications are transforming entire manufacturing process and briefed the CEO and his team on the opportunities created by the massive digitization of processes in India.
In his meeting with the representatives of Flex, the Minister assured the company of supporting their plans for increasing their India presence.
The Minister addressed a well-attended Town hall event organized by US-India Business Council at the Hewlett-Packard Foundation in Palo Alto on 27th August. The discussion was moderated by a sitting judge of the California Supreme Court.
The audience showed keen interest and appreciated Minster’s exposition of Indian’s saga of digital inclusion and the use of technology to empower the common citizens.
The Minister also visited the IBM Innovation Centre on 28th August and was shown the progress made by IBM in fields of AI and how it was being used for healthcare and other sectors.
He noted his appreciation for the large number of Indians employed by IBM, both in India and globally and expressed satisfaction at the deep interest shown by IBM in continuing to work with Indian entities for India specific solutions using technology and their interest in becoming a participant in the story of digital inclusion in India.
On 28th August, the Minister attended a Workshop with CEOs and representatives of various US Companies engaged in the field of Medical Electronics that was organised by ICA in collaboration with the Bay Area Council (BAC).
He said that development of medical electronics sector was a priority for the government and added that several incentives were available from both the central as well as the state governments to investors in the sector.
The participants appreciated the reforms under PM Modi and the opportunities it has unfolded, including through the forthcoming Ayushmann Bharat, world’s largest health care program. They assured the Minister that they looked forward to expanding their interests in India.
Later the Minister addressed a roundtable with various prominent US based companies engaged in electronics, Investment Funds, as well as firms from Design eco-system and Start-Up Community that was organised by the Bay Area Council (BAC) Coordination with ICA and CGI, San Francisco. The Minister addressed the gathering, that included representatives from Kaiser Permanente, PG&E Corp., Infosys Limited, Proterra, Waymo, SVB Financial Group, Palantir Technologies, HP, Inc., Veeva, Wilson Sonsini, Latham & Watkins, GE, GKT Partners, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, RBC Capital Markets, McKinsey & Company, and Franklin Templeton Investments amongst others, and highlighted the success of mobile phone manufacturing in India that had seen the number of mobile phone and accessories manufacturing units grow from 2 in 2014 to 127 by August 2018 due to the encouragement and incentives provided by the Government to manufacturers of electronics goods in India.
He also invited them to look at establishing electronics manufacturing units in India, particularly in tier II and tier III towns to take advantage of competitive costs and attractive incentive schemes being offered by the centre and the state governments.
The Ministervisited Google’s headquarters in Mountain View, California and met SundarPichai, CEO of Google, on 29th August. Minister toured the Google Campus and met senior members of the leadership team at Google to discuss the role technology can play in empowering Indian users and addressing challenges unique to India.
The Minister was briefed about Google’s plans for India in the areas of connectivity, Indic languages, AI/ML and capacity building of startups and SMBs. Minister said that digital payments have played a pivotal role in the growth of Digital India adding that the Digital India program is very close to PM Modi’s heart and companies like Google could play and important role in digitally empowering Indians. CEO Google SundarPichai said that it was a privilege to be a part of India’s exciting digital transformation.
Union Minister of Electronics & IT and Law & Justice, Sh. Ravi Shankar Prasad said that India was an improved and profitable destination for investments and offered a range of exiting opportunities to US firms, particularly those from the Technology and electronics sector due to government policies that had improved investment climate, its fast growing market and the large pool of talented human resources that India offered. He said this during interactions with leading entrepreneurs in US.>