Three Indian-origin CEOs attended a dinner hosted by US President Donald Trump in Davos with top European executives to highlight investment opportunities in the country.
Three Indian-origin CEOs attended a dinner hosted by US President Donald Trump in Davos with top European executives to highlight investment opportunities in the country. Trump, in all, had invited 15 top European CEOs for dinner in Davos on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum. He invited them to discuss business and encourage them to invest in the United States as part of his effort to strengthen the American economy. Three Indian-origin CEOs — Vas Narasimhan from Novartis; Rajeev Suri from Nokia and Punit Renjen from Deloitte were part of the dinner. The American delegation was attended by the Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson; Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielson; National Security Advisor H R McMaster and Dire of the National Economic Council Gary Cohen. Narasimhan was named Novartis CEO in September 2017. Singaporean citizen Suri is now based in Finland. Rohtak-born Punit Renjen has been CEO of Deloitt since June 2015.
During the dinner, Trump spoke about the thriving US economy –- crediting his tax policies, deregulation and his role as a cheerleader for American business. “Sitting around this table are some of the greatest business leaders in the world, some of the greatest companies in the world. Probably, I can think of no other place or time where you’ll have executives of this stature,” Trump said as he asked the CEOs around the table to say a few words. “On behalf of 265,000 employees across the globe, 70,000 in the US, thank you again for having us,” Renjen said. Thereafter, Suri gave a brief description of Nokia. “We’re the leading networks — telecom networks company in the world, number two. We have 15,000 people in the US, and it’s one of our strongest R&D setups in the world, spread throughout the US,” he said.
“We have half of the acquisition of Alcatel-Lucent. We own Nokia Bell Labs, which is in New Jersey. We do a lot of stuff in the West Coast, in Chicago, and throughout the country, really. So just under half of our people do research and development, and the rest are doing services and 4G networks and 5G. So I’m very happy and pleased with your infrastructure focus,” Suri said. Narasimhan said Novartis is one of the largest healthcare companies in the world. “We focus on innovative medicines, generics, as well as eye care,” he said.
“Today, we have about 22,000 employees in the US across 21 sites. We invest about USD 14 billion every year into the United States, including USD 3.5 billion in research. It’s one of our key, obviously, markets, but also key places where we drive innovation,” he said. “We are really pleased with the tax reform, but also very pleased with the great progress being made at FDA. We believe you have a great leadership team there and they’re doing all the right things to accelerate innovation,” Narasimhan said.