Navtej Sarna praises Indian-Americans, visits Mahindra USA unit

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New Delhi | Published: March 27, 2017 3:32:31 AM

India-US relations are set to get stronger and there's been a remarkable shift in the bilateral ties, India's envoy to the US Navtej Sarna said as he hailed the contributions of Indian-Americans "in this journey".

Sarna, who visited Houston first the time since he took over as the ambassador recently. (Reuters)

India-US relations are set to get stronger and there’s been a remarkable shift in the bilateral ties, India’s envoy to the US Navtej Sarna said as he hailed the contributions of Indian-Americans “in this journey”. “I have been fortunate to witness the remarkable shift in the US-India bilateral relationship. There is a clear signal that our ties are only going to get stronger,” Sarna said at the India House Gala yesterday.

“I always think of this potential in two different directions, one is if you look back to it at: send back to India skills, experiences, technology, best practices that you have learnt or taught in your experiences here,” he said.

The Indian government recognises the contribution of the Indian-American community in supporting the bilateral ties, he said.

“If you continue to integrate and play a greater role in the country of your adoption (US), it can only help the India-US engagement. We have seen immense contribution of this community in any field. There is no reason to doubt ourselves, this is a hugely strong pillar of the India US relationship that will take us forward for everybody’s good,” Sarna said.

Sarna, who visited Houston first the time since he took over as the ambassador recently, was the chief guest at the gala and felicitated the American “hero” Ian Grillot, who took a bullet for an Indian in Kansas, by handing him USD 100,000.

“He is a young man who has shown exceptional courage, strength of very fundamental human values. No amount of honour that India or the Indian Americans bestow on him will be re-compensed enough for that moment of exceptional fortitude and character” he said.

It is a privilege to be representing India in the US at this point in time, he said adding, “we are all representatives of India as I am.”

Earlier in the day, Sarna visited Mahindra USA plant’s assembly and distribution centre along with Consul-General in Houston Anupam Ray and Indo-American Chamber of Great Houston delegation.

A banner over the entrance said in bold letters: “This is Mahindra territory.” Inside, the hangar-like building reverberates with grinding metal sounds as the machines and workers putting the vehicle parts together.

Mahindra is among a number of Indian companies that are expanding their operations in the US. Mani Iyer, chief executive at Mahindra USA, informed that the firm expected to double its revenue to USD 1 billion in the next three years.

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Iyer said it had been a great learning to do business in the US. “We are not here to outsource jobs. We are here to be local, to cooperate with universities and community colleges, and to promote development.”

“If you can drive in India, you can drive anywhere, but if you can sell in the US, you can sell anywhere in the world,” said Iyer.

Mahindra first came to Houston in 1991.

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