This was quite and interesting lecture by three panelists.All doing business in India or trying.All three had a different prospective.All of them had a connection to Rhode Island and URI.
John S Struck managing director Wand Partners had started a seed company in India. Their Company name US Seed exploits its connection with America.They have grown from a start up company of million dollars to a vertical integrated seed company .They have hired Indian Technologists and are very pleased in their performance and business in particular.Projected profit for this year is 4 million dollars quite impressive any where. John has travelled all over the world after finishing his studies at URI in 1974.Has been to India many times and is very impressed by its potential.He feels that his company is making contribution and making money at the same time.
Tobias Luehrig also a URI Graduate works for German Truck manufacturer.He explained how in India A twenty ton truck will cost 30 to forty thousand dollars while in Europe similar capacity truck will cost 130 thousand dollars.Naturally it would have a after market body on a truck chassis.Many times in India trucks carry large volume of materials as very little compressed packing is available and drive at 40 miles and hour .With excessive manpower available minor maintenance can be done on a routine basis.His presentation was interesting and showed how even at the cot of 30 thousand dollars in India margins of profit can be in the range of 20 percent or up.
These trucks had GPS tracking devices.
Final guest speaker was Shivam Subramanium Chairman,CEO of FM GLOBAL a Rhode island company.A unique company which is an Insurance ,engineering company in the business of loss mitigation for large industrial companies.From the discussion i became aware that they did not have clients in toxic or potentially hazardous manufacturing industries like nuclear,oil and petrochemical.Their engineers are specially trained for safety and it takes an engineer three years to train for the job in the company. His company has gone with their fortune 1000 clients as their businesses have expanded overseas.Now as international companies are starting plants in India they are developing facilities in India.He does not have any Indian clients yet.But sees a great potential.
A question was raised about employment of women in their enterprises.Shivam felt that lack engineering schooled women is a challenge he faces in all the countries .
Other panelists had also shared that women participation in their businesses was minimal.This disturbed my Daughter Sabrina who is a Junior at URI.I do not see many women go into sciences nad engineering as i would like.I wonder was Larry Sommer's in his remarks about women and science(in this case engineering) was that much of the mark ?