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India automaker makes move to The Motor City

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(DIYA TV) — In the age of companies outsourcing jobs to India, one South Asian company has found a home in one of America’s most downtrodden cities—Indian automaker Mahindra has outsourced its key automotive engineering roles to Detroit, despite the fact the company does not sell vehicles in the United States.

When Mahindra & Mahindra sought to expand its global vehicle development capabilities, company executives had enough foresight to recognize there wasn’t sufficient enough talent in India. They toyed with the ideas of creating technical centers in Germany, Italy, England, California and others before finally deciding on Detroit. The same intellectual wit which saw them look outside of India was the same which brought the company to The Motor City—widely considered the epicenter of the world’s automotive industry since its inception.

The Mahindra North American Technical Center is located in Troy, Michigan, and employs a staff of about 80 employees, mostly engineers, with further plans to grow. The company also has an electric scooter manufacturing plant in Ann Arbor, Michigan, which launched in November of last year. Collectively, the two centers have made an investment of $30 million in Michigan’s economy.

Even greater, Mahindra is in the running for a $5 billion contract to supply the U.S. Postal Service with 180,000 vehicles a year for five years. Though just one of 15 companies bidding for the contract, but they have a step ahead of the competition, thanks in part due to the construction of their vehicles.

“We are pursuing the contract because we have righthand-drive, rugged vehicles,” said Richard Ansell, vice president of marketing at the Mahindra North American Technical Center.

Ultimately, the Mumbai-based automaker hopes to become an industry titan, said CEO of the North American center, Richard Haas—past goals to begin the mass-production of SUVs and pickup trucks for the U.S. market by 2010 were not met, in part due to issues with the company it selected as a distributor.

Haas, a Detroit native, worked for Ford at multiple outposts around the world before heading west to Palo Alto and a position with electric carmaker Tesla. He left Tesla in 2011 to work for Mahindra and ran an engineering facility in Chennai. He recognized and was attracted to Mahindra’s desire for global expansion, but also saw the challenge which came with it facing the company: India’s strong manufacturing base might not be enough to promote a car culture or vehicle development singlehandedly.

“We needed to do something,” said the engineer. “We could bring in lot of experts from around the world but that would be a difficult task and could be a hard sell.” Those efforts continue, but plan B was to locate a tech center in another country.

The importance of placing the company’s technical center in Detroit was viewed as one paramount to the further development and growth of Mahindra in the U.S., said Ansell. The biggest reason to move the company to America is because this is where they want their products sold, he added.

“Most companies locate R&D in India. We’re doing the opposite by putting it in the U.S.”

Mahindra is currently best known for its production of tractors—starting in the 1960s, the Indian company is now the largest tractor manufacturer in the world. Its North American headquarters, Mahindra USA, are located in Houston. Aside from the manufacturing of vehicles, Mahindra is focusing on strengthening its technology presence in both India and the U.S. as well. Tech Mahindra has five development centers in the U.S., including Silicon Valley. There is even a small aerospace presence in the U.S.

“This is the most interesting thing I’ve ever done in my entire career,” Haas said of working for the multifaceted company.

 

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Indian Ambassador, Shringla speaks to U.S. Congress about Kashmir

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AMB. Shringla speaks to congress about Kashmir | Diya TV News

WASHINGTON (Diya TV)  — Indian Ambassador to the U.S. Harsh Shringla met with members of Congress at a private roundtable briefing, hosted by Southern California Congressman Brad Sherman. Sherman, who has been a supporter of India, took to Twitter recently to share his concerns about Kashmir and said serious questions about Kashmir were asked at the briefing.

President Trump is being urged to fix the H1-B visa process and do away with country-specific limits, with the latest effort for reform being spearheaded by 60 U.S. business school deans and CEO’s.

In an earthquake, seconds matter. So on the anniversary of the deadly 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake that rocked Northern California, state officials announced the launch of America’s first statewide earthquake early warning system.

Tabla Maestro Zakir Hussain will be coming to Boston next month to perform at the Berklee India Exchange, where he will also be conferred with an honorary doctorate by the esteemed music school. A Zakir Hussain Scholarship at Berklee is also being established.

And we have incredible video of three kids from India rescuing their dog from a snake that’s equal parts courageous and nuts.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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Federal Court rules Trump must turn over tax returns | Diya TV News

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Trump Tax Returns

NEW YORK (Diya TV) — A federal judge ruled President Trump must turn over eight years of his personal and corporate tax returns to Manhattan prosecutors, striking down the President’s argument that a sitting president cannot be criminally investigated. The ruling was quickly appealed and this case could end up in the Supreme Court to answer the constitutional question of whether presidents can be charged with a crime.

Meanwhile, the President celebrated a victory by FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, as a federal appellate court upheld most of the FCC’s repeal of net neutrality. It also ruled the FCC cannot preempt state net neutrality laws, meaning the rules of the road in states like California remain in place.

The U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee announced their Asia-Pacific and Non-Proliferation Subcommittee will be holding a hearing asking State Department officials and human rights activists to chime in on Human Rights in Kashmir, the Tamils of Sri Lanka, Muslims in Assam and the human rights situation in Pakistan, which includes the Sindh Province.

Lockheed Martin announced they will build F-16 wings exclusively in India, helping in integrating Indian industry into the $165 billion fighter aircraft market.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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Tech CEO Pradyumna Samal convicted of large scale H1B fraud

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Pradyumna Samal

SEATTLE (Diya TV) — Tech CEO Pradyumna Samal was convicted of large scale H1B fraud. The CEO of two companies that supplied workers to companies like Microsoft and Amazon plead guilty to using fake documents to get H1-B visas. The Indian national Samal was sentenced to seven years in prison for what federal authorities say “was the largest and most sophisticated H-1B visa fraud scheme we have prosecuted in Western Washington.” 

Inder Singh, a Los Angeles-based Indian American community leader, has died. He was 86 years old. Singh was involved in the inception of a number of Indian American non-profit organizations in the effort to build a stronger relationship between the U.S. and India. Indian Ambassador to the U.S. Harsh Shringla said on Twitter that Singh’s contributions have been “significant and his leadership will be greatly missed.”

Indiaspora launched ChaloGive.org, their first online giving campaign that runs October 2nd to the 8th. The goal is to increase levels of giving by the Indian diaspora, inspired in part by the success of Giving Tuesday in the U.S. and Daan Utsav in India.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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