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Andhra Pradesh seeks NRI investments in key sectors

Hon. Minister for Education & Industry,
Ganta Srinivas Rao of Andhra Pradesh,
spends a day in Atlanta during his efficacious visit to the US.

By Viren Mayani

Heartfulness (Meditation) Institute; a global organization with over 5000 Heartspots in approximately 130 countries, and new headquarters in Hyderabad, Telangana, sponsored the Hon. Minister’s visit to Atlanta with a small but vibrant group of guests at the Affairs Restaurant in Cummings, GA. Already famous as the game changer of Indian Politics, the longest seeded Chief Minister of AP, Hon. Chandrababu Naidu; has formed an incredible team of worker bees, bringing about a wholesome change in their individual portfolio’s and one among them is Minister: Ganta Rao. During his potent visit, Minister Rao met with the Hon. John Kasich, Governor of Ohio, as well as signed a first ever MoU of its kind, with President Cheryl Shedar of the Wright State University, which will give fee concessions to students from AP, in the undergraduate, post graduate & PhD courses, effective as early as January 1st 2018. No small fete this; it’s the first time ever that international students will avail of the in-State tuition fee rates, which will bring tremendous savings to students from AP to the magnitude of: undergraduates will pay $5,400 instead of $8,864 and Post Graduate students will pay $8,052 instead of $11,889. Scouting for compelling industry partners who are willing to invest in AP and enable infrastructural changes, he has initiated a few concrete conversations and let the doors open for the potentials to visit AP later this year, wherein the State hosts a very large Global conference of its kind.

Arriving late with his team, due to flight delays on Friday October 27th, Minister Rao lost no time is meeting a few individuals as well as attended the scheduled brunch meeting at Affairs on Saturday morning at 10am. The sporty gathering included Indian-American technocrats, young & veteran start-up leaders as well as non-profit champions and select media. Hon. Consul General Nagesh Singh, of the southeastern US Indian Consulate, was invited to bring his remarks. Hon. CG openly lamented the fact that most elected leaders visit either the Northeast or Western corridor of the United States due to the previously established successes. He elaborated how the southeast has emerged as a new leader of industry & trade with rich State assets and how it’s nationally rated academia (Ga Institute of Technology & Emory to name a couple) is sprouting intellect, which is top in scientific research, industry innovation and such. Nagesh Singh, eloquently spoke about the Georgia economy being strong, diverse and robust. Additionally, the broad network of student enrichment and therefore the diversified skilled workforce created by: Georgia State University and University of Georgia along with private schools like Mercer University, over and above Universities in Birmingham, Alabama, University of Mississippi and the schools in Tennessee and Carolinas also supply exceedingly sufficient skilled work force development. With this type of a hub, Atlanta is an expanding home of several fortune 500 companies, responsible for thriving community of Indian diaspora. He emphasized the urgent need for the elected Indian officials to make Atlanta, a mandatory stop during their US travels, should they be interested in partnering with a young, energetic, and successfully vibrant business community.

Minister Ganta Srinivas Rao, who spoke very briefly from his seat, was happy to see a strong representation of business as well as the education community members at the gathering and thanked CG Singh for specifically getting his point across. He also thanked the organizer, Mr. Sanjay Sehgal, CEO of MSys Technologies and Trustee of Heartfulness Education Trust, for bringing such a passionate group of individuals together. Minister Rao was honored by CEO Madhava Reddy of HTC Global Services from Detroit, along with Sanjay Sehgal, with a traditional and customary shawl, before the Minister left for a short meeting and to later proceed with his afternoon flight out. Dr. Krishna Linga, CEO of Inphot Inc from New Jersey, draped CG Singh with a shawl to the warm appreciation of the guests.

Upon Minister Ganta’s departure, Dr. Venkat Edara, Advisor to Hon. Chandrababu Naidu, Chief Minister of AP, gave a presentation on how Mr. Naidu, wants to make the State of AP, a model state in the next few years. While highlighting the innovative approach of the AP Government in attracting various businesses as well as education initiatives; he said: "we recently partnered with Heartfulness Institute, a non-profit education and wellness organization, which is offering heart based meditation practices and values based education curriculum. This is a much needed balance of creating stronger minds for a better future. They are training our teachers who will then be able to deal with the children in a more creative and empathetic manner." This, he said, will lay the foundation for a better future. The AP Government has numerous initiatives and incentives to attract the talents and contribution of the NRIs from the USA and especially from Atlanta. Dr. Edara, having been associated with the Atlanta Indian and Telugu community, has a special attachment to this community. He emphasized that "As we [NRI’s] become successful, we are eager to serve our mother land. And if you want to contribute to the growth and expansion of AP there is no better time than now". He went on to add "These incentives of land grants, for example, may not last forever. Hence if you are interested, reach out to us and take advantage of this unique opportunity”.

The delegation from AP appreciated the work being done by Heartfulness Institute, which has existed since 1945 and is based on Raja Yoga Meditation and Sahaj Marg System of Meditation, and expressed interest in its setting up a holistic Mind-Body University to produce next generation leaders, who are empathetic and effective, compassionate and confident, successful and responsible. In closing, Mr. Victor Kannan, Director of Heartfulness Institute, thanked Mr. Nagesh Singh and all the other business and education leaders who participated in the deliberation. He also spoke about the vital need to cultivate heart based decision making to balance success with happiness. Many business leaders expressed their eagerness to contribute. Echoing everyone's sentiments, Dr. Poondi Narasimhan suggested to incorporate meditation in our lives and businesses to feel whole, whilst Dr. Govind Hariharan of Kennesaw State University said "Count me in. Let me know how I can contribute". Heartfulness Institute has promised to host another gathering of business, education and healthcare leaders shortly.