Vibrant Gujarat Roadshow Hits Houston


IACCGH Board members present a memento to the Indian delegation

By Manu Shah

HOUSTON: The 2015 Vibrant Gujarat Summit saw CEOs from India and abroad pledging a whopping $500 billion in investments in India, 21,000 MOUs and 1,225 partnership agreements.

Delegations from India are on the road to make the lion roar yet again at its Summit in January 2017. A roadshow in Houston on September 12, stumped listeners with the sheer scale of opportunities that India presents.

The event, held at the offices of King & Spalding in downtown Houston, was put together by USIBC, FICCI and the IACCGH. Gaurav Verma Executive Vice President USIBC moderated the event. Michael Taylor, Partner at Kings and Spaldings and event hosts welcomed the gathering. Special remarks were made by Consul General Dr. Anupam Ray, Judge Ed Emmett and Dr. Robert Robbins, President Texas Medical Center.

Resident Commissioner Bharat Lal outlined the key drivers that helped Gujarat attract the highest FDI in the country such as its strong infrastructure and initiatives such as the Dholera Special Investment Region, GIFT City and transparent policies. This model, he emphasized, is to be replicated at the national level by inviting investment at the 2017 Vibrant Gujarat Summit.

Stating that India is undergoing “a transformation on a scale and a speed never seen before.” Deepak Bagla CEO Invest India dwelt on the transformation of an “aspirational population” of 1.25 billion people to “human capital” and the opportunities created in this process.

He pointed out that India has a middle class of over 550-600 million people which makes it an 8 trillion dollar economy by purchasing power parity which is the largest on the globe.

Make in India, he continued, is a business plan with 4 pillars to it. Sectors which allows private capital to participate in every sector of this opportunity, Processes which have been reengineered and simplified, Infrastructure is the largest infrastructure opportunity in the world today and Mindset which looks at the world as a partner.


From Left: Consul General Dr. Anupam Ray, IACCGH Executive Director Jagdip Ahluwalia, Harris County Judge Ed Emmett, Resident Commissioner, State of Gujarat Bharat Lal
Photos: Bijay Dixit

Deepak Bagla stated the Government’s plan to create 40 kms of roads per day, 250 new airports, refurbish existing ones, 98 smart cities, industrial corridors, ports and food parks offered a “wallet opportunity of 4 trillion dollars.”
He further added that an Indian will spend $180,000 in his lifetime and multiplied by 1.5 billion people “unleashes a purchasing power” that is staggering.

The Government, he stressed, is pulling out all the stops to spur foreign investment in India from scrapping 1300 archaic regulations with 2600 more to go, a Single Tax Framework, a Bankruptcy Tax Bill and agencies that will “handhold investors” from state specific inputs, approvals to market strategy.

Group Chief Executive of AECOM, Dhamo Dhamotharan offered a firsthand US industry perspective of doing business with India stating their experience as extremely positive.

The event, one of IACCGH’s Partner Outreach programs to educate the community of opportunities in the US and abroad, also facilitated b2b meetings with members interested in investing in Gujarat. Board members presented the delegation with a gold plated map of Gujarat created by local artist Anju Mittal.