This week, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited the U.S. to meet with President Biden, as well as other political and business leaders. During his visit, Modi spent over an hour with the CEOs of top tech companies, including Apple, Alphabet, and Microsoft, to discuss opportunities and challenges in investing in India.
Apple CEO Sees “Huge Opportunity” in India
After the meeting, Apple CEO Tim Cook spoke with CNBC and expressed his belief that India represents a “huge opportunity” for the company. Cook pointed to the two retail stores that Apple recently opened in India as evidence of the company’s commitment to the region.
Google to Work with Indian Institute of Science on Speech Data
In addition to the tech executives, Modi also met with OpenAI CEO Sam Altman in Washington. Two people with knowledge of the matter said Altman and Modi discussed opportunities to collaborate on AI. The White House also announced that Google will be working with the Indian Institute of Science on open sourcing of speech data for artificial intelligence models.
Large Semiconductor Companies Announce Investments in India
During his visit, Modi also met with representatives from large semiconductor companies, including Micron and Applied Materials. Micron announced plans to open a facility in Modi’s home state of Gujarat, while Lam Research revealed plans to train 60,000 Indian engineers.
Challenges for American Businesses in India
Access to highly skilled labor and outdated labor laws are challenges for American businesses when it comes to staffing up in India. Kenneth Juster, former U.S. Ambassador to India, noted that U.S. companies in India have had difficulties over time with regulatory uncertainty as well as challenges in relocating or terminating employees. Despite these challenges, Juster remains optimistic, adding that India has pledged to ease the process for foreign companies to do business there.
Overall, Modi’s visit to the U.S. provided an opportunity for him to meet with top tech executives and discuss investment opportunities in India. While challenges remain, there is optimism that India will continue to be an important market for American businesses in the years to come.