US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has unveiled that he faced a “tough” time as a businessman in Bengaluru and Chennai while trying to trade machine components for the aerospace sector in the country.
Pompeo stated this before a Washington audience in the presence of Google’s Indian-American CEO Sundar Pichai and several other esteemed corporate personalities from the U.S. and India at the India Ideas Summit.
Pompeo will travel from June 24 to 30 to Sri Lanka, India, Japan, and South Korea. Replying to a question, Pompeo said that before he ran for the Congress, as a businessman, he had been in Chennai and Bangalore for some time, trying to sell products to Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL), India’s dominant public sector aerospace and defense company.
“I didn’t tell the story – I did business in India when I – before I lost my mind and ran for Congress, I ran a small business that made machine parts for the aerospace industry. And I spent a fair amount of time in Bangalore and in Chennai working with HAL – with Hindustan Aeronautics Limited – to sell products we – a small joint venture,” the 55-year-old Secretary of State said at the program organized by the US–India Business Council.
“India was still opening up, it was still figuring its way through, but there was a real value proposition there, and we did well,” he said. “When I think about that, when I think about what businesses need when they go to invest in each other’s countries, they need stability, they need a set of rules that they can understand, they need to make sure that the efforts that we put forward together from the United States have sufficient bipartisanship, that they won’t be whipsawed, as we have elections here,” he said.
He further added that they are still open to talks and wish that their Indian friends would drop their trade barriers and have faith in the competitiveness of their private-sector companies and exporters.