Indianapolis Mayor Greg Ballard and several local business leaders depart Friday on a weeklong trade mission to India, according to the Indy Chamber.
The trip is planned as an “economic and cultural trade mission to promote Indianapolis, strengthen relationships and explore economic opportunities in India,” the Chamber said. It is being funded privately through the Chamber.
The delegation will visit the cities of Hyderabad and New Delhi. Visits will focus on information technology, life sciences, and research organizations.
The trip was originally scheduled for February, but was postponed following fatal bombings in Hyderabad.
“As the world’s second-fastest growing economy, India presents significant opportunities for our city,” Ballard said in a prepared statement. “Every aspect of this trip has been planned to help us leverage our relationships with top business leaders and government officials in a continued effort to strengthen our ties with India and broaden business opportunities for Indianapolis-based companies.”
Develop Indy, the city's economic development agency and a unit of the chamber, has conducted at least 23 trade missions since Ballard made them a priority for the city in 2008. IBJ reported in February that no foreign company has set up operations in Indianapolis as a result of the trips. Economic development officials tout the value of establishing relationships with foreign officials and business leaders, and there are examples of Indianapolis-area firms reaping business from such trips.
Joining the mayor in India will be his wife, Winnie; Amber Ross, senior project director of the Indy Chamber; Jane Gehlhausen, director of international and cultural affairs for the city; and Raju Chinthala, president of the Indianapolis Hyderabad Sister City Committee.
Other delegates are Vinod Sadhu, chief information officer at ISTA Inc.; Chowdry Pinnamaneni, a physician at St. Vincent Hospital; and Gregory Hancock, director of the Gregory Hancock Dance Theater.
The delegates plan to return April 17.