Remarks to Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) India Innovation Growth Program 10th Anniversary Dinner
Thank you for your kind introduction. It is an honor to be here.
The Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry is a powerful force for commerce and economic growth across this region, and I am privileged to be your guest this evening.
I am also delighted to help mark the 10th Anniversary of the tremendously successful India Innovation Growth Program.
We’re very proud to be a part of a program to harness innovation and promote growth.
It’s a natural endeavor for a global technology company like Lockheed Martin, and an important way that we are able to contribute to the economic success of a nation where we’ve done business for many decades.
We know that in modern India, innovation and growth drive everyday life. Because these are the factors that lead to a better tomorrow for the next generation.
Improving quality-of-life for future generations is ingrained in the culture of this great nation, and aligns perfectly with Lockheed Martin’s culture as well.
Allow me to share an example: one of Lockheed Martin’s own, Sanjiv Nundy of Lockheed Martin Canada.
When Sanjiv isn’t working his day job as one of our senior engineers, he’s spending his time in India where he contributes his own talent and resources to help underprivileged young girls prepare for a brighter future.
Over the past three years, Sanjiv and his wife, Shobhna – with a team of volunteers – have established a school that provides free education, lodging and medical care to girls ages five to 16.
On land Sanjiv inherited from his parents, they’ve built dormitory space, classrooms, a dining hall, a science lab and a computer center.
In an area of the country where more than 80 percent of girls drop out of school before the age of 15, they are providing holistic education that is changing lives for the better.
Sanjiv and Shobhna embody many Indian virtues – they are humble, generous and demonstrate their strong commitment to building a better future for the next generation.
We are proud to have Sanjiv on the Lockheed Martin team, and share his commitment to equipping future leaders and innovators with the skills they need to succeed.
And that brings me to why we’re here tonight.
For the past 10 years, we have been unleashing the power of innovation and growth to build a better India for the future through the India Innovation Growth Program.
As we began the program, we set out to harness the intellectual energy, skill and optimism that is found in every corner of this great nation.
Since then, we’ve identified and supported some of India’s best, brightest and most promising entrepreneurs.
And we have helped them introduce their unique talents and visions to the global marketplace.
On this anniversary, we have much to be proud of.
More than 400 innovators have participated in the IIGP.
They have gone on to create nearly $900 million in revenue from their inventions, and more than 500 signed business engagement agreements are now in place.
One of the program’s proudest moments came last autumn in Silicon Valley in California – one of the world’s epicenters of innovation and technology.
The IIGP sponsored Indian entrepreneurs who were invited to present their innovations during a visit by Prime Minister Modi.
Of the 40 innovators who participated, 17 were either current or past participants in the program.
And they represented a broad range of industries including energy, biotechnology, healthcare, agriculture and finance.
Four of those IIGP entrepreneurs were selected to share their innovations in Africa when they travel there tomorrow as part of the Prime Minister’s delegation.
That’s outstanding progress, and it demonstrates that the program is adding real value here in India and in the global community.
And Lockheed Martin is very proud to be a part of it.
Lockheed Martin has a long association with India.
It dates to the 1940s.
Back then, we supplied our Constellation aircraft to India’s national airline and to the Indian Air Force.
We set up a full-time local presence in the country about 25 years ago.
And in 2011, we reached a major milestone with the formation of the first private U.S. defense industry partnership with Tata Advanced Systems Limited.
The reach of that partnership is already global.
Today, every S-92 helicopter that we deliver to customers around the world has a cabin that has been manufactured and assembled in Hyderabad.
And each C-130J that rolls off our assembly line in the United States has an entire tail section made in India.
The C-130J is the workhorse of the Indian Air Force, which operates five aircraft today and has an additional six on order.
Indian C-130Js are often on the front lines of humanitarian missions in this region.
For example, IAF C-130Js provided critical supplies and support following last year’s devastating earthquake in Nepal.
We’re proud of our successful collaboration with the Government of India and industry partners on these and many other programs.
And we know there’s more to come.
Lockheed Martin stands ready to strengthen our partnership with India and support the prosperity and security of all its people.
Let me close with a few thoughts on India’s exciting future.
We are here tonight to celebrate a single program in its 10th year – one that has helped to harness the innovation and ingenuity that is the lifeblood of this nation.
I truly believe that the India Innovation Growth Program will continue to lead the new technological revolution in India – one where this nation will help shape the global economy of the 21st Century.
And with industry and government working together, there’s no challenge we can’t overcome.
Lockheed Martin is proud of its role in IIGP, and we can’t wait to see the next major breakthrough in innovation that our young entrepreneurs will bring to the global marketplace.
Many thanks again for inviting me as your guest.
I look forward to visiting with you after dinner.
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