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Some $10 billion worth of export deals were sealed during President Barack Obama's visit but, for Indian industry, there was a bigger takeaway: Those greenbacks were not - as one Indian head honcho put it - handouts, but from a hand outstretched. India Inc's CEOs spell out the gains.

Print Edition: Nov 28, 2010

Anand Mahindra
Vice Chairman and Managing Director
Mahindra & Mahindra

'A chance to brand ourselves as equals'

Indian companies should make an effort to create jobs in the US. We will have to live with the antioutsourcing rhetoric. I see nothing wrong in Indian companies creating jobs in the US. The attitude prevailing in the US today on globalisation is a matter of great concern. This is a country that I grew up to know as one that was a champion for opening up of markets. It is up to the US businesses to drive home the message that protectionism is a bad thing.

Our own company has created 6,000 jobs in the US of which 3,500 are local hires. And it has not been a difficult task. Let us not lose this chance to brand ourselves as equals. I see this as a good business opportunity and India should grab it. We have reached a position whereby we can put in place a healthy agenda for negotiation and we also have to be clear that we have to give something (to gain something). After all, here is a President of a market that is not growing; who has come to India with a large business delegation; whose body language conveys the message that "I do need jobs being created, I do need investments."

Mahindra & Mahindra has a tieup for its electric car Reva with the US-based Curtis Instruments, a New York-based company that supplies technology for electric vehicles ranging from forklifts to cars. M&M's business with Curtis will translate into supporting 350 jobs at its manufacturing facilities in Puerto Rico, plus engineering and management jobs in Mount Kisco, New York and on the West Coast of the United States. There are also hundreds of Curtis factory workers in China and Europe, so the benefits don't just go to its US workers.

M&M will collaborate with the US and take advantage of beneficial technologies, such as electric cars, and will benefit from the US expertise in developing templates and business models, including new transportation models.

As told to Anusha Subramanian and Brian Carvalho

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