“We are looking to promote businesses and explore synergies between India and USA”

Santosh Kenkre is the President of the Indo American Chamber of Commerce (IACC) Goa, which was established in October 2020. This chapter was launched with the aim to synergise business activities between Goa and USA in a bid to boost Goa’s economy. Business Goa catches up with Santosh Kenkre to learn about his plans as President of this vibrant organisation

What are the goals, aims and objectives of the Indo American Chamber of Commerce (IACC)?
The Indo American Chamber of Commerce (IACC) was established in India in the year 1968. IACC strives to lobby
with the two governments on significant bilateral issues affecting Indo-US commerce. The Goa chapter of IACC was inaugurated by Chief Minister Dr Pramod Sawant in October 2020. The major objectives of the IACC is to promote bilateral business, investments, technology transfers, outsourcing, joint ventures, collaborations and marketing tie-ups between India and USA . The IACC also arranges meetings of its members with visiting executives of USA companies and USA government officials.

What are the programmes that have been conducted by the IACC Goa, since its inception?
In the last one year, IACC Goa had organised a major meeting of industry captains relating to ease of doing business (EODB) by engaging top consultants from Mumbai after which, we presented a 40-page document to the Government of Goa to work upon.

Who are the core members of your team and what strengths do they bring to the table?
At IACC Goa, we have a team of young but experienced businessmen and professionals who are raring to do something good for Goa. We have already formed 20 committees and appointed chairpersons for each of them, covering various sectors of the Goan economy. I am sure that these leaders will do significant work in the areas that they have been assigned to. Our Vice Chairman Elliot Menezes (Menezes Fishnet Industry Pvt Ltd.) and second Vice Chairman is Shekhar Sardesai (Kineco Group), both established businessmen, who have made a mark for themselves in their respective fields. Pravin Kakode, who is the Chairman of the EODB (Ease of Doing Business) committee, is in the process of getting inputs about EODB from over 300 businessmen. Thereafter the report will be compiled and will be and presented to the Government, which we hope will be implemented by our policy makers.

What are the focus areas during your tenure?
We have recently formed a panel of mentors comprising of experienced businessmen and professionals, new as well as established, to guide and advice business people, on a pro-bono basis. This is a unique experiment which can make Goan businesses more competitive and also encourage new and upcoming businesses. Shortly, we will be commencing a short course on ‘How to become an exporter’ by engaging top faculty people from across India. We propose to publicise and thereby give visibility to Goan products and services, not only in India but also in USA.
We shall not replicate the efforts of top three trade bodies in Goa, in relation to routine matters of industry to be taken up with the government. These trade bodies namely GCCI, GSIA and CII, are doing wonderful work, so in fact, we propose to supplement their efforts in whatever way possible.

How do you propose to go about building bridges with American companies in Goa?
American companies who have presence in Goa are well established so they may not need our support, but in case they seek our assistance, we will be more than happy to share our inputs and collaborate with them.

How do you think Goan businesses can work along with American companies with the support of IACC, Goa chapter?
We propose to facilitate new industries in Goa and at IACC Goa, we hope to make a significant difference to the economy of Goa by collaboration with American companies present in the State

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