Saturday 8 July 2017

Day 33 of Mentor on Road, USA

“If the poor cannot come to education, education must reach them, at the plough, in the bakery factory, elsewhere.
- Swami Vivekananda

Today, on the 33rd day of Mentor on Road, USA, we would complete the first leg of the road drive in San Diego which is the 15th city of our tour.

We are highly thankful and obliged to our supporters – USCS (U.S. Commercial Services) Mumbai / Delhi, USCS offices in USA, Etihad Airways, Vibrant Ceramics, Start-up India, USIIC (U.S.-India Importers’ Council) and all the hosts who had hosted us. Without them, this journey wouldn’t have been possible.

Vibrant Ceramics was initiated and held by pursuing the idea of the honorable Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi to see India proliferate in the corporate and commercial realms across the world by providing the optimal combination of skilled human resources and state-of-the-art technology. Vibrant Ceramics 2017, the second edition shall be an ideal portal to meet, interact and discuss business possibilities for industrialists, dealers, customers, experts and all those who matter in the ceramic tiles and sanitary ware industry.

U.S.- India Importers' Council is a not-for-profit initiative started by a group of Indian SME (Small & Medium Enterprises) importers, responsible for imports of over $1 billion from the USA.

The USIIC aims to be the leading organisation assisting government bodies, industry associations, corporates, agents, Indian importers, and American exporters in the United States and India, in the mutually beneficial exchange of products, services and technologies, and in forging meaningful trade partnerships through dissemination of practical and relevant information and through the creation of networking platforms.

The US-India Importers' Council acts as an intermediary organization to facilitate partnership and trade between Indian and American businesses, thus acting as a catalyst in promoting economic growth between the United States and India.

To improve the overall bilateral relationship, both the governments established the Strategic and Commercial Dialogue (S&CD) as the signature, annual forum for policy discussions between the United States Government and the Government of India. The United States and Indian Governments are using this vehicle to advance shared priorities of generating economic growth, creating jobs, and strengthening the middle class.

We started driving on 4th June from Boston and passed through states of Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Washington DC, Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California. Driven 6305 kilometers / 3856 miles till now and will drive 15,450 kilometers / 9602 miles in total.

Mentor on Road met and addressed 600+ companies in 15 US cities. We have learnt several good lessons of connecting American companies to India which would further increase the trade ties between both the countries, the U.S. and India. We look forward to the second leg of Mentor on Road, USA with enthusiasm and excitement.

Mentor on Road enjoyed the tour of Irvine. 

 is an affluent city in Orange CountyCalifornia, United States. It is a planned city; the Irvine Company started developing the area in the 1960s. As per the U.S. Census Bureau, the population estimates of July 1 2016 in Irvine is 256,927.

A number of corporations, particularly in the technology and semiconductor sectors, have their national or international headquarters in Irvine. Irvine is also home to several higher education institutions including the 
University of California, Irvine (UCI), Concordia UniversityIrvine Valley College, the Orange County Center of the University of Southern California (USC), and campuses of California State University Fullerton (CSUF), University of La Verne, and Pepperdine University

Irvine has been rated one of the top cities for start-up businesses and its strong, fast-growing economy helped place Orange County as one of the top ten fastest growing job markets

The following companies are headquartered in Irvine:

  • Allergan, Inc.
  • BAX Global
  • Taco Bell (a division of Yum! Brands, Inc.)
  • ATEN Technology, Inc. (a division of ATEN International, Inc.)
  • Blizzard Entertainment
  • Boot Barn
  • Broadcom Corporation
  • Edwards Lifesciences
  • Epicor Software Corporation
  • Superformance, LLC
As of 2016, the top employers in the city were:
No. of Employees
 % of Employment
University of California, Irvine
Edwards Lifesciences
Medical device
Irvine Unified School District
Blizzard Entertainment
Video games
Broadcom Corporation
Parker Hannifin
Nationstar Mortgage
Mortgage Lending
Glidewell Laboratories
Dental device
24 Hour Fitness
Health & Fitness
Thales Avionics
We then headed to an event with some dynamic companies of San Diego at the World Trade Centre, San Diego, 
where we had a good interaction. All the companies present in the event seem to have good potential for business opportunities in India.

World Trade Center San Diego, an affiliate of San Diego Regional Economic Development Corporation, (WTCSD) is Southern California’s leading international trade association with direct access to the largest international trade network in the world. The organization offers the San Diego region services that allow businesses to gain key global contacts, research and tools to enhance international competitiveness. WTCSD provides comprehensive international business services and global lead-generation to facilitate and expand business internationally for regional clients. 

With services such as global data mining, intercultural communication training, market-entry strategies, export readiness evaluations, trade missions and export documentation and more. WTCSD helps businesses start or expand upon their international operations.

Following are the benefits that World Trade Center, San Diego provides to its members:
  • Foreign market analysis reports
  • Access/referrals to government & business leaders
  • Trade counseling
  • Trade mission business trips
The World Trade Center San Diego has the following facility offerings and core areas of service. They provide businesses with the links to pursue international opportunities through their global network and thrive to bring value to San Diego's international trade community:
The facilities World Trade Center, San Diego provides are:
  • Seminar / Meeting Rooms

   The trade services World Trade Center, San Diego provides are:
  • Group Trade Mission
  • Trade Information / Market Research
  • Trade Counseling
  • Referrals
  • Education & Knowledge Creation
  • Business Management & Professional Services

Mentor on Road then headed to an event with the Indian diaspora in San Diego. It was one of the most wonderful events of our journey which lasted for two and a half hours where multiple relevant questions were raised. Also, 7-8 people came forward to adopt their villages in India. We discussed about numerous effective ways to make villages self-sufficient and to create employment opportunities in villages. Thanks to Madhvan Dada for putting up a remarkable event. 

Mentor on Road then headed for a delicious South-Indian dinner with Mrs. Mala which was prepared at a very short notice at her beautiful home. We felt highly indebted for the hospitality offered by her. We truly enjoyed the most satisfying dinner. The religious departure ceremony felt like a blessing from God.  

Tomorrow Mentor on Road would be leaving for New York from where we would be heading to our home country, India. We will be coming back soon to continue the journey of leg 2 which we hope remains as successful as  the leg 1 road drive.

Jai Ho! (Let victory be yours)

Friday 7 July 2017

Day 32 of Mentor on Road, USA

“Education is not the amount of information that is put into your brain and runs riot there, undigested, all your life.
- Swami Vivekananda

Day 32 of Mentor on Road, USA started with an event with the American companies hosted by USCS (US Commercial Service), SBDC (Small Business Development Centre), Greater Phoenix Economic Council and Metro Phoenix Export Alliance in Phoenix.

The session was fairly interactive. A lot of the companies who were present in the event are already doing business in India and the remaining companies were interested to visit India to explore business opportunities. We believe they have a good potential in India. We would soon be working with them and connecting them to India.

The Greater Phoenix Economic Council (GPEC) provides businesses with complimentary site-selection assistance through customized research and analytics to make their entrance into the Greater Phoenix market as easy as possible.

The Greater Phoenix Economic Council’s mission is to attract and grow quality businesses and advocate for Greater Phoenix’s competitiveness. A public-private partnership representing Maricopa County, 23 communities throughout the region, and more than 170 private investors, GPEC has been serving the region since 1989.

A nationally ranked economic development organization, GPEC provides the following services:  
  • Confidential and expert support to companies as they plan their expansion and relocation strategies 
  • Offers data and analytics to companies, streamlined real estate searches, and connectivity to decision makers 
  • GPEC’s expert business development professionals provide confidential, expert support to the companies

MPEXA (Metro Phoenix Export Alliance in Phoenix) offers a single point of contact as well as a single repository of export related resources and information that is easily accessible, current and responsive. MPEXA is the “go to” outlet for all Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) looking for export related assistance and guidance.

MPEXA and the Metro Phoenix Export Plan are part of the Velocity Program and represent the culmination of over a year of collaboration between the Global Cities Initiative (a joint effort of Brookings and JPMorgan Chase) and metro Phoenix export stakeholders that are committed to building a stronger export-driven regional economy. 

MPEXA aims to
  • Reach and leverage businesses that support export promotion
  • Engage economic development leaders, export service providers and other partners
  • Provide export training and education to businesses of all sizes
  • Create export awareness throughout the region to enhance the competitive economic position
Mentor on Road is now headed to the 15th city, San Diego, which is the last stop of the first leg of the 32 city road drive in USA. It was a five and a half hour long road drive. The journey was smooth and pleasant.

We started driving on 4th June from Boston and passed through states of Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Delaware, Maryland, Washington DC, Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California. Driven 6305 kilometers / 3856 miles till now and will drive 15,450 kilometers / 9602 miles in total. We have now entered the 21
st state of the road drive – California. 

San Diego is a major city in CaliforniaUnited States. It is in San Diego County, on the coast of the Pacific Ocean in Southern California, approximately 120 miles (190 km) south of Los Angeles and immediately adjacent to the border with Mexico
As per the U.S. Census Bureau, the population estimates of July 1, 2016 in San Diego is 1,406,630.

San Diego has been called "the birthplace of California". It is known for its mild year-round climate, natural deep-water 
harbor, extensive beaches, long association with the United States Navy, and recent emergence as a healthcare and biotechnology development center. 

The city is the 
seat of San Diego County and is the economic centre of the region as well as the San Diego–Tijuanametropolitan area. The presence of the University of California, San Diego (UCSD), with the affiliated UCSD Medical Centre, has helped make the area a centre of research in biotechnology.

The largest sectors of San Diego's economy are 
defence / militarytourisminternational trade, and research / manufacturing, respectively.

The economy of San Diego is influenced by its deep water 
port, which includes the only major submarine and shipbuilding yards on the West Coast. Several major national defense contractors were started and are headquartered in San Diego, including General AtomicsCubic, and NASSCO.

San Diego hosts the largest naval fleet in the world: it is home to multiple ships, multiple 120 tenant commands, and multiple sailors, soldiers, Department of Defense civilian employees and contractors. About 5 percent of all civilian jobs in the county are military-related, and 15,000 businesses in San Diego County rely on Department of Defense contracts.

Military bases in San Diego include US Navy facilities, Marine Corps bases, and 
Coast Guard stations. The city is home to the majority of the U.S. Pacific Fleet's surface combatants, all of the Navy's West Coast amphibious ships and a variety of Coast Guard and Military Sealift Command vessels.

San Diego's commercial port and its location on the 
United States–Mexico border make international trade an important factor in the city's economy. The city is authorized by the United States government to operate as a Foreign Trade Zone

Tourism is a major industry owing to the city's climate, 
beaches, and tourist attractions such as Balboa ParkBelmont amusement park, San Diego ZooSan Diego Zoo Safari Park, and SeaWorld San Diego. San Diego's Spanish and Mexican heritage is reflected in many historic sites across the city, such as Mission San Diego de Alcala and Old Town San Diego State Historic Park. Also, the local craft brewing industry attracts an increasing number of visitors for "beer tours" and the annual San Diego Beer Week in November; San Diego has been called "America's Craft Beer Capital."

Local sight-seeing cruises are offered in San Diego Bay and Mission Bay, as well as whale-watching cruises to observe the migration of gray whales, peaking in mid-January. Sport fishing is another popular tourist attraction; San Diego is home to Southern California's biggest sport fishing fleet.

San Diego hosts several major producers of wireless cellular technology. Qualcomm was founded and is headquartered in San Diego, and is one of the largest private-sector employers in San Diego. Other wireless industry manufacturers headquartered here include:

  • Nokia, LG Electronics 
  • Kyocera International. 
  • Cricket Communications  
  • Novatel Wireless 
The largest software company in San Diego is security software company Websense Inc. San Diego also has the U.S. headquarters for the Slovakian security company ESET. San Diego has been designated as an iHub Innovation Center for collaboration potentially between wireless and life sciences. The University of California, San Diego and other research institutions have helped to fuel the growth of biotechnology.

Major biotechnology companies like Illumina and Neurocrine Biosciences are headquartered in San Diego, while many other biotech and pharmaceutical companies have offices or research facilities in San Diego. San Diego is also home to more than 140 contract research organizations (CROs) that provide contract services for pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies.

Mentor on Road is looking forward to a constructive day tomorrow.

Jai Ho! (Let victory be yours)