Indian leader’s upcoming US visit: U-M experts can discuss

June 21, 2017
Mandira Banerjee

Indian leader's upcoming US visit: U-M experts can discussUniversity of Michigan experts are available to comment on the June 25-26 visit of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who will meet with President Trump for the first time and with several U.S. company CEOs.

Puneet Manchanda, professor of marketing at the Ross School of Business, researches business in emerging markets, business in India, strategy and marketing.

“PM Modi’s visit to the US is best seen as a reset of economic relations between the two countries,” he said. “Given the new regime in the White House, India needs to make sure that U.S. investment in India, especially as related to defense and energy, is not going to change dramatically.

“It also seems that President Trump prefers to build individual relationships with foreign leaders and thus it would help PM Modi to put the building blocks of such a relationship in place during this visit.”

Contact: 734-936-2445,

Arun Agrawal, professor of natural resources and environment, is an expert on the political economics of development, environmental governance, resource use and management, climate adaptation and institutional analysis.

“India’s ambitious moves in the renewable energy sector mark its emergence as a major global player in solar and wind,” he said. “Those who care about climate change and sustainability will be excited about Prime Minister Modi’s visit to the U.S. India’s future plans to advance on electric cars and pursue greater sustainability will require digital innovations and partnerships.”

Contact: 734-647-5948,

M.S. Krishnan, professor of technology and operations and associate dean of global initiatives at the Ross School of Business, is an expert on various information technology and software issues and has conducted research on businesses in India.

“Both Prime Minister Modi and President Trump are aligned in their thinking that is pro-business and are both committed to the growth of their respective economies,” he said. “I expect them to discuss policies and initiatives that will further enrich the partnership across the two largest economies. One the Indian side, certainly visa non-immigration visa issues and potential for more US companies to participate in PM Modi’s “Make in India” initiative. I am sure from US perspective there will be discussions on opening more opportunities in India for US companies.”

Contact: 734-763-6749,

Nicolas Morales, a doctoral student in economics, has studied the economic impact of the recruitment of foreign computer scientists granted H-1B visas to work in the U.S. during the IT boom of the 1990s. Morales and U-M economist John Bound found that the program had a significant impact on workers, consumers and tech companies in their study “Who gains the most from high-skilled foreign workers?”

“Indian computer scientists take up the lion share of H-1B visas and have been hired by the U.S. IT sector for the past 20 years in part to compensate for labor shortages in the local economy,” he said. “In addition to that, Indian IT companies operating in the U.S. also use the H-1B program to bring high-skilled workers from India to help expand their operations in the U.S.

“Given the strong linkages between the IT sectors in both countries through trade and multinational activity and the dependence of both countries on H-1B workers it makes sense that a relevant topic for discussion is the future shape of the H-1B program.”


Leela Fernandes, professor of political science, studies the relationship between politics and culture, and has done extensive field research on labor politics, democratization and the politics of economic reform in India.

Contact: 734-780-7514,