On November 8, 2017, we co-hosted an India-Israel Summit together with  PwC Israel and Amit, Pollak, Matalon (an Israeli law firm with a leading Indian practice) in the beautiful conference center overlooking the marina at the Ritz-Carlton in Herzliya. The event drew representatives from companies, investors, and entrepreneurs from both countries, wanting to learn more about the growing relationship between the two countries.

We were honored to have representatives from both the Indian and Israeli governments open the program with words of greeting.  Dr. Anju Kumar, Deputy Chief of Mission at the Embassy of India spoke about the growing relationship between Israel and India and where she believes their future economic partnership headed. Anat Bernstein-Reich, Chairperson of the Israel-India Chamber of Commerce, focused on the increased number of missions by both countries and their compatibility across a range of industry sectors, specifically defense, cyber, agritech, and digital health.  Tammy Ziv, Head of Israel-India Economic Affairs, Economic Division, at the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs rounded out the discussion by discussing what she believes to be a prosperous future for the two countries.

Anuj Prasad, Partner at  Indian law firm Shardul Amarchand Mangaldas & Co., provided a thorough insider’s view on the issues and challenges that arise when doing business in India.  He highlighted the growing ease of doing business in India, increased foreign investments in Indian companies, associated policy considerations, and helpful tips and strategies when entering the Indian market.

Benjamin Grossman, Partner & Head of India Practice at APM, provided response remarks from the Israeli perspective and moderated our industry-wide panel entitled, “Industry Snapshot – Opportunities and Challenges for doing Business in India”.  The panel focused on a wide variety of issues affecting India-Israel business relations, including intellectual property, popular business sectors, and each panelist’s perspective on India-Israel business collaborations.  Our remarkable panelists included Ben Gilad, Head of Co-Innovation Network Europe & Israel at Tata Consultancy Services;  Doron Davidson, Founder & VP BD and Customer Success at SecBI; Lauri Hanover, CFO of Netafim; Allen Kamer, Managing Partner at OurCrowd Qure; and Shalom Revivo, Director Sales & Marketing, India at Israel Aerospace Industries.

Ron Mazurik, Senior Tax Manager at PwC Israel, gave an overview on the Indian tax and business environment and the most efficient and tax-beneficial ways of structuring an entity within the country.

The highlight of the event was certainly the captivating keynote presentation – “India-Israel Ties – Ancient Cultures, Ageless Wisdom, Timeless Values” – given by Dipak C. Jain Director of the Sasin Graduate Institute of Business Administration, former Dean of INSEAD; former Dean of the Kellogg School of Management; Independent Director of Reliance Industries; Member of the Boards of Deere & Company and Northern Trust Corporation; Global Advisor of Chine Europe International Business School of  China; Honorary President of Woosong University, South Korea’s.

Straying from the economic and political realm of the previous speakers, Mr. Jain discussed India in a social and cultural context, identifying key comparisons and ties between India and Israel, including: an emphasis on education, great accumulation of capital, a focus on sustainability, and a strong vigilance against terror. Mr. Jain concluded his captivating presentation with one final thought: “Symmetry of values and concordance of outlook in this era drives home the imperative of our mutually beneficial relationship.”

The event concluded with a short presentation by Amnon Ofen, Director of Naan Dan Jain Irrigation, who spoke about the incredibly successful story of Naan Dan Jain Irrigation in India, a product of NaanDan, an Israeli pioneer company in irrigation that was established in 1937 on Kibbutz Nan, and Jain Irrigation system, a global leading corporation in the agricultural sector established in 1963. Amnon stressed his belief that the successful joint activity was a combination of  India’s  inexpensive resources, raw materials,  and a highly trained and skilled labor force coupled with Israel’s knowledge and technology.

We hope to plan another India-Israel program that will be held in India in 2018.  Stay tuned for details!