US Tamil diaspora keen on investing in Tamil Nadu: Lena Kannapan
American Tamil Entrepreneurs Association co-founder Lena Kannapan highlights how American Tamil diaspora can contribute to the growth of Tamil Nadu
Yaadhum Oorae Global Conclave initiative, the brainchild of Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami which was launched in 2019, has paid dividends as investments have started trickling in from start-ups chosen by American Tamil Entrepreneurs Association (ATEA) which is acting as the US Desk for Tamil Nadu government’s Industries and Guidance agency by facilitating the interactions and collaboration with US businesses, start-ups and industries.
In an online interview with C Shivakumar, the American Tamil Entrepreneurs Association co-founder Lena Kannapan highlights how American Tamil diaspora can contribute to the growth of TN in the backdrop of 2nd edition of the three-day “Global Yaadhum Oorae Conclave” which will be inaugurated by the CM in Chennai on October 29.
Is there a reverse brain drain happening with more desi tamil entrepreneurs planning to set shop in Tamil Nadu?
Rather we see this more as an opportunity for Tamil entrepreneurs to leverage the talent and resources in Tamil Nadu along with the single window system offered by the GoTN under its Startup business policy. It’s a welcome opportunity for tier-1 and tier-2 cities as the US entrepreneurs are more inclined to set up operations or research/innovation centres in their hometown back in India.
What is the reason behind the success of Yaadhum Oorae?
The concept of bringing all Tamil associations, Tamil schools, Tamil media, Tamil community service and Tamil business organizations under one umbrella was never attempted before. Tamil NRIs from 39 countries are excited to participate in this initiative.
How is ATEA contributing in helping the state boost its growth?
ATEA is acting as the US Desk for Tamil Nadu Govt’s Industries and Guidance agency by facilitating interactions and collaboration with US businesses, start-ups and industries from various sectors. It enables GoTN to sign MoUs with US companies to invest in Tamil Nadu over the coming years.
How keen are the Tamil diaspora in the US wanting to invest in TN?
‘Tamil diaspora is keen in investing in Tamil Nadu. They are willing to commit multiple years of investment in the State supported by their investors as long as they get continued support from the government or local authorities and make the environment easier.
Will the US election have any impact on investments?
We are looking forward for a better economy outcome and better business conditions post US election as distributed workforce and remote working continue post pandemic. Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft, recently said what the acceleration of digital transformation happened in the past two months is equivalent to two years as originally anticipated by fortune CEOs.
Similarly, Healthcare IT segment is moving at five times faster in terms of innovation, telehealth, care delivery and patient experience. Adoption of Robotic Process Automation by manufacturing industries and accelerated innovation in big data/IoT/cyber security will drive new cloud based platforms to emerge. All these are good signs for an impact on technology based investments in the State.
How do Tamils in the US perceive the investment scenario here?
Tamil diaspora in the US recognizes the fact that TN is the leading State in India with top GDP growth and within top two States in various areas of industries. Also, Chennai is now known as the SaaS capital of India. Globally, there are 15,000 SaaS start-ups today contributing to $650 billion worth of market size. Several folks of Tamil diaspora today hold senior CxO level positions in many fortune 500, fortune 1,000 corporates and start-ups. Considering the best talent and resources in TN, US Tamil diaspora sees this as an opportunity to invest in manufacturing, agrotech, food, healthcare, fintech, SaaS applications and new AI like technology areas.