President Obama in India: Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) Roundtable

Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) Roundtable, New Delhi

Must read

New Delhi – US President Barack Obama along with the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi addressed a CEO roundtable at the Taj Palace Hotel but the White House journalists were escorted in only to observe the end of the event, which was held in an expansive hotel ballroom. More than 40 CEOs and officials were seated around four tables set up in a square.

President Obama and Prime Minister Modi sat at one table with their interpreters, while the rest of the group filled out three other tables.

Modi was speaking in Hindi as the journalists arrived. A translation was provided only for the conclusion of Modi’s remarks. He told the group in Hindi: “I’m always available to listen to you.” He praised the CEO forum and said he would monitor the big projects himself.

Obama spoke for a few minutes, saying these summits have been useful in identifying problems and generating practical solutions. He said there was special excitement about this meeting because Modi had brought energy and vigor to this effort.

“I appreciate all of your input,” Obama said. “We pay a lot of attention to what you have to say.”

He touted burgeoning US and Indian exports and said the two countries are moving in the right direction.

“There’s huge potential,” he said. “We want to see more trade. We want to see more investment,” he said.

Obama said US companies want consistency and clarity in the regulatory and tax environment in India.

He discussed briefly intellectual property issues, saying that lack of effective IP protection makes US companies hesitant to invest in India and stunts software development in India.

Obama said the summit had revealed continued great interest in immigration reform. He said he knows his executive actions are not enough to make changes needed to attract more high-skilled workers, he said. That will take action by Congress.

Also on the agenda was totalization — who pays Social Security and how is it collected, Obama said. And the group discussed the possibility of establishing a bilateral investment treaty, which Obama noted will be challenging.

“The goal on both sides is to slash red tape,” Obama said. “I actually think some regulation is good and important and necessary,” he said, adding that he doesn’t want bad regulations that impede growth.

Both countries can do more and do better to facilitate trade, he said.

Obama said he will take the recommendations from the summit, and “we will set some deadlines for action. We’ll hold ourselves accountable,” he said. “We look forward to doing business with India,” Obama said.

The White House provided the line-up of CEOs and officials:

The United States – Chief Executive Officers (CEOs)

Sanjay Bhatnagar, President and CEO, Waterhealth International
Ahmad Chatila, President and CEO, SunEdisonDave Cote, CEO, Honeywell
Mary Andringa, President and CEO, Vermeer Corporation
Ajay Banga, President and CEO, MasterCard
Robert A. Iger, Chairman and CEO, the Walt Disney Company
Frank Islam, Chairman and CEO, FI Investment Group
Indra Nooyi, Chairman and CEO, PepsiCo
Deven Parekh, Managing Director, Insight Venture Capital
Vivek Ranadive, Owner, Sacramento Kings
Daniel Roderick, President and CEO, Westinghouse
Arne Sorenson, President and CEO, Marriott International, Inc.

India – Government Officials
Arun Jaitley, Minister of Finance
Nirmala Sitharaman, Minister of State for Commerce and Industry

India – CEOs
Cyrus Mistry, Chairman, Tata Group
Gautam Adani, Chairman, Adani Group
Mukesh Ambani, Chairman and Managing Director, Reliance Industries
Hari S. Bhartiya, Co-Chairman and Managing Director, Jubilant, Ltd.
Arundhati Bhattacharya, Chairperson, State Bank of India
Shrimati Chanda Kochar, Managing Director and CEO, ICICI Bank
Professor Anurag Kumar, Director, Indian Institute of Science
Anand Mahindra, Chairman, Mahindra Group
Sudhir Mehta, Chairman Emeritus, Torrent Pharmaceuticals, Ltd.
Sunil Bharati Mittal, Chairman and Group CEO, Bharati Enterprises
Deepak S. Parekh, Chairman, HDFC Bank
B. Prasada Rao, Chairman and Managing Director, Bharat Heavy Electricals, Ltd.
Shrimati Preetha Reddy, Managing Director, Apollo Hospitals
Shashi Ruia, Chairman, Essar Group
Dinesh K. Sarraf, Chairman and Managing Director, Oil and Natural Gas Corporation, Ltd.
Shrimati Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, Chief Managing Director, Biocon
Dr. Vishal Sikka, CEO and Managing Director, Infosys Limited 

More articles

Latest article