US embassy cable - 06CHENNAI757

SECRETARY SPELLINGS AND CODEL ENZI VISIT TO THE "FLAT WORLD" OF BANGALORE

Identifier: 06CHENNAI757
Wikileaks: View 06CHENNAI757 at Wikileaks.org
Origin: Consulate Chennai
Created: 2006-04-20 09:35:00
Classification: UNCLASSIFIED
Tags: OVIP OREP PREL SCUL ECON IN
Redacted: This cable was not redacted by Wikileaks.
VZCZCXRO8764
RR RUEHBI RUEHCI
DE RUEHCG #0757/01 1100935
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 200935Z APR 06
FM AMCONSUL CHENNAI
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 8027
INFO RUEHNE/AMEMBASSY NEW DELHI 1594
RUEHBI/AMCONSUL MUMBAI 4733
RUEHCI/AMCONSUL CALCUTTA 0480
UNCLAS SECTION 01 OF 03 CHENNAI 000757 
 
SIPDIS 
 
SIPDIS 
 
E.O. 12958: N/A 
TAGS: OVIP, OREP, PREL, SCUL, ECON, IN 
SUBJECT: SECRETARY SPELLINGS AND CODEL ENZI VISIT TO THE 
"FLAT WORLD" OF BANGALORE 
 
REF: A) CHENNAI 0724, B) NEW DELHI 2549 
 
1. (U) SUMMARY: During the first India stop on what they 
billed as their "The World Is Flat Tour," Secretary of 
Education Margaret Spellings and CODEL Enzi, consisting 
of Senator Michael Enzi (R-Wyoming), Senator Lamar 
Alexander (R-Tennessee), and Senator Johnny Isakson (R- 
Georgia), visited the city of Bangalore, India's high 
tech capital.  They met with business leaders for a 
focused discussion of business activity in India and its 
implications for education from both a U.S. and Indian 
perspective, visited General Electric's John F. Welch 
Technology Center for a view of cutting edge scientific 
research being conducted in India, and toured the 
expansive campus of Infosys, India's software leader.  An 
additional planned visit to a government school which 
uses computer technology to enhance its curriculum had to 
be cancelled due to violence in the city related to the 
death of a local film superstar (Ref A).  END SUMMARY 
 
--------------------------------- 
BUSINESS LEADERS PROVIDE INSIGHTS 
--------------------------------- 
 
2. (U) The day in Bangalore began and ended with separate 
meetings with the local American Chamber of Commerce for 
breakfast and the combined Indo-American and Bangalore 
Area Chambers of Commerce for dinner.  In each of the 
meetings, the delegation heard from a wide range of 
Bangalore business leaders who discussed business trends 
in their industries and also issues of education, 
especially the possibility of increased collaboration 
between India and the United States in the areas of 
science, mathematics and biotechnology among others. 
Both during the meetings with business leaders and at an 
evening press conference, Secretary Spellings and Senator 
Enzi expressed admiration for the high quality and 
quantity of graduates that India is producing, especially 
in engineering and related disciplines.  Secretary 
Spellings noted that education was a shared value between 
the two countries and expressed interest in learning more 
about how India has so successfully educated its large 
talent pool.  She said that the American Competitiveness 
Initiative which focuses on mathematics and science 
learning seeks to help U.S. students succeed in these 
disciplines. 
 
3. (U) It was noted during the discussions that while 
over 80,000 Indian students are currently enrolled in 
U.S. universities, only 780 American students are 
currently studying at Indian institutions of higher 
learning.  Both Secretary Spellings and Senator Enzi said 
that they expected greater numbers of Americans to study 
at Indian universities in the future. 
 
--------------------------------------------- ------- 
G.E. TECHNOLOGY CENTER SHOWCASES SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH 
--------------------------------------------- ------- 
 
4. (U) The delegation's visit to the General Electric 
John F. Welch Technology Center showcased the advanced 
scientific research capabilities of a leading U.S. 
technology company.  GE's Bangalore research center, 
which occupies more than 500,000 square feet on a 50 acre 
campus, is one of only four such GE facilities in the 
world.  The others are in Schenectady, New York, Munich, 
Germany and Shanghai, China.  The Center conducts a 
variety of research and development projects in the areas 
of mechanical engineering, polymer science, chemical 
engineering, metallurgy and process modeling and 
simulation.  All of the research conducted bears directly 
on current or future GE products.  The center does not 
engage in "pure research."  Secretary Spellings and CODEL 
Enzi received a briefing on the Center's activities and a 
tour of the laboratories and had an opportunity for some 
hands-on activities while using a computer simulation 
program that allows for three dimensional manipulation of 
objects on a computer screen. 
 
-------------------------------------- 
INFOSYS: THE OFFSHORE SOFTWARE PIONEER 
-------------------------------------- 
 
5. (U) Following their stop at GE, Secretary Spellings 
and CODEL Enzi made an extended visit to Infosys 
Technologies Ltd., one of India's largest and most 
successful consulting and IT service companies.  Infosys 
was one of the pioneers in strategic offshore outsourcing 
of software services.  The delegation was hosted by N.R. 
Narayana Murthy, Infosys Chairman of the Board and Chief 
 
CHENNAI 00000757  002 OF 003 
 
 
Mentor.  Also joining the group at Infosys were former 
U.S. Senator from South Dakota, Larry Pressler and former 
President of Cornell University Jeffrey Lehman, both of 
whom are Directors on the Infosys board.  Mr. Murthy led 
a discussion of the company's overall performance and 
future goals with an emphasis on its search for talent. 
He noted that Infosys will continue to aggressively seek 
talent from U.S. universities and that a group of 300 
fresh U.S. graduates will begin their training at the 
company's educational facilities in Karnataka this 
summer, following which they will return to the United 
States for their assignments at Infosys' U.S. offices. 
Also joining the delegation at lunch was Infosys CEO 
Nandam Nilekani, the person who, as Secretary Spellings 
noted, author Thomas Friedman credits with coining the 
phrase "the world is flat." 
 
6. (U) During the delegation's tour of the extensive 
Infosys campus, which Chairman Murthy personally 
conducted, the conversation naturally turned to the 
subject of outsourcing.  Murthy said he often addresses 
the subject with the following anecdote: Some time ago, 
Murthy began, each morning he would go to his kitchen and 
open his Godrej (Indian manufacturer) refrigerator, look 
inside at the food products, all from domestic suppliers, 
and later he would drive to work in his Indian-made 
Ambassador model car.  Now each morning he opens his 
General Electric refrigerator, looks inside at the Coca- 
Cola and other American products, and then drives to work 
in his Ford car.  There is much more to globalization, he 
concluded, than outsourcing.  The venue for Murthy's 
story was Infosys' "network control center," where 
several rows of employees sat hard at work at their Dell 
computers, all running Microsoft software. 
 
7. (U) Coincidentally, a day after the visit, Infosys 
announced its annual results which showed a 32 percent 
increase in top line revenue and a 21 percent increase in 
bottom line profitably compared with the previous year, 
sustaining its position as one of India's largest and 
most profitable software and consulting organizations. 
 
--------------------------------------------- --------- 
SEC. SPELLINGS MEETS WITH TEXAS INSTRUMENTS AND GOOGLE 
--------------------------------------------- --------- 
 
8. (U) Secretary Spellings arrived before the CODEL and 
had two additional meetings, at Texas Instruments and 
with representatives of Google, India.  At Texas 
instruments she met with Dr. Biswadip (Bobby) Mitra who 
is Managing Director.  Mr. Mitra led them on a tour of 
the facility and talked extensively about the company's 
recruitment initiatives at U.S. and Indian universities. 
He discussed in detail their university level training 
program which is conducted in conjunction with a local 
partner, Cranes Software International.  This training is 
designed to make newly recruited university graduates 
"job ready" and is in response to a common complaint from 
employers that university graduates are often not fully 
prepared to assume their job responsibilities despite 
their university education.  Secretary Spellings also met 
with Arvind Jain who heads Google's center in India for a 
general discussion of the company's operations in India. 
 
--------------------------------------- 
THE WORLD IS FLAT BUT NOT WITHOUT BUMPS 
--------------------------------------- 
 
9. (U) Beyond the meetings with business people and 
companies that represent the "new Bangalore," Secretary 
Spellings and CODEL Enzi also got a taste of the less 
glamorous side of south India that is equally a reality 
in Bangalore.  Travel time between site visits was very 
long because of the traffic congestion that is a fact of 
life in Bangalore, a city which has grown more rapidly 
than its infrastructure.  Then, the death of a well known 
local film star brought crowds of people out into the 
streets.  Their emotion at their idol's death turned 
violent and riots followed during which eight people 
killed and scores injured (Ref A).  A planned visit to a 
government elementary school which has enhanced its 
curriculum through the use of computer assisted learning 
had to be cancelled due to security concerns.  As 
Secretary Spelling pointed out in a press interaction, 
 
SIPDIS 
India is a land of contrasts and the delegation saw some 
of those contrasts first hand during their visit to 
Bangalore. 
 
--------------------------------------------- ---- 
SECRETARY SPELLINGS PROPOSES WASHINGTON FOLLOW-UP 
 
SIPDIS 
 
CHENNAI 00000757  003 OF 003 
 
 
--------------------------------------------- ---- 
 
10. (U) When she was told about the 300 U.S. graduates 
Infosys plans to bring to India for training beginning in 
June/July 2006, Secretary Spellings proposed to CEO 
Nilekani that the group first come to Washington for 
meetings.  Nilekani quickly agreed with the idea. 
Secretary Spellings said she would follow-up on the idea 
 
SIPDIS 
after returning to Washington. 
 
11 (U) Neither Secretary Spellings nor CODEL Enzi had an 
opportunity to clear this cable before their departure. 
 
HOPPER 

Latest source of this page is cablebrowser-2, released 2011-10-04