Video: Ambassador Venkatesan Ashok on India-US Relations & Business Opportunities in India

What is behind the symbolism of India-US relationship? President Obama became the first American President to visit India twice. What are the business opportunities for American business in India beyond IT and technology? What are the business opportunities for California and the states on the west coast?

We sat down to speak with Ambassador Venkatesan Ashok, Consul General of India in San Francisco to talk about these topics. Elon Musk or Mark Zuckerberg? Whom would Ambassador Ashok like to meet since we live in the hub of innovation and technology and the Ambassador is an engineer-turned-diplomat. Tune in to find out what he has to say.

India is an emerging economy and there are opportunities to do business in infrastructure, energy, pharmaceuticals and agriculture Ambassador Ashok points out in the interview.

India plans to spend $1 trillion in improving its infrastructure.  “American companies have lot of opportunities in the infrastructure development,” points out Ambassador Ashok. California has a a special role to play in renewable energy and solar energy in particular he says. India has 4 times the population of US and uses 1/20th of energy when compared to the US the Ambassador shared.

There are business opportunities for California, especially in agriculture. California almonds rank 5th in the list of American exports to India.

And what about Bollywood? We had to ask that question given how Bollywood has become such a strong cultural glue for the Indian-American community in the US, especially in California.

This interview aired on TV in the San Francisco bay area.



President Obama’s Visit to India by Kal Penn

President Obama just wrapped up a 3-day visit to India. While the President’s visit to India may not have received extensive coverage in the US,  the Indian media scrutinized every move and gesture of the President. This is President Obama’s  second visit to India.

At a symbolic level President Obama’s meeting had a couple of firsts. This is also the first time  an American President has visited India twice. He is the the first American President to attend India’s Republic Day in New Delhi, India.

Traveling with President’s entourage were a handful of high-powered executive like Indira Nooyi of Pepsi, Ajay Bhanga of Mastercard, Vivek Ranadive of Tibco along with Nisha Biswal Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia, U.S. Department of State, Ami Bera, California Congressman  and actor Kal Penn.

Kal Penn breaks down the importance of President Obama’s visit in this short little video that is worth watching. It comes complete with an Indian flavor – the ubiquitous autorickshaw, rick or scootie.  Take a dekho.