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Webinar : Indo-French Leadership Talk (South)

IFCCI organised an exclusive webinar featuring prominent Indian & French business leaders with the objective to understand the impact of COVID.



The Indo-French Chamber of Commerce and Industry (IFCCI) organised an exclusive webinar: Indo-French Leadership talk [South] featuring prominent Indian and French business leaders with the objective to bring together Indian and French organisations and to understand their views on the impact of COVID19 on Indian economy, challenges for businesses in India, new opportunities, and the economic rebound.

Ms. Payal S Kanwar, Director General, IFCCI, welcomed the esteemed panel and participants while Ms. Elisa Khetty, Vice President, IFCCI in her special address highlighted the strong presence of French companies in the south and of the various engagements between France and India on the economic front.

Mr. Priyank Prakash, Manager – Events and Membership introduced our moderator for the panel discussion, Mr. Vaibhav Mittal, Business Head – Mahindra World City & ORIGINS.

A few highlights from the panel discussion:

Mr. Alain SPOHR, Managing Director India & South Asia, Alstom:

“Thanks to the efforts and dedication of our people, we have been able to maintain our full operation of our engineering centers comprising of 2500 engineers and with a high level of efficiency”, says Mr. Spohr. He confirmed Alstom being firm supporters of initiatives like Make In India which will help towards the competitiveness and efficiency of the system while making the country self-sufficient. He has also witnessed an increase in open dialogues with the government addressing the difficulties and challenges faced by industries which he says as a positive evolution during these difficult times.

Mr. Puneet DHAWAN, Senior VP Operations, India & South Asia, Accor Group:

Mr. Dhawan is cautiously optimistic about a small recovery soon. He shared his insights into the changes happening within hospitality industry as well as Accor Group. “The pandemic has directed us to rethink on how hotels are built: with respect to design and operations. Innovative usage of public spaces to suit efficiency and lesser rigidity in design to allow multiple usage of spaces and furniture.”

Mr. Philippe GABULON, Deputy CEO & Network COO, Societe Generale Global Solutions Centre:

“We are an Indian corporate and financial institution catering to global customers for the access into Indian market. Though the pandemic has shut down and slowdown in many sectors, since mid-May the situation is normalizing to an extent with respect to BFSI sector and witnessing economic rebound. We also saw an increase in loans, backed by the government to support people in crisis.” Another notable point is the vibrant Fintech ecosystem in India that is fuelled by the huge internal market. The rapid development of Fintech ecosystem was possible due to the internet access of more than 500 million people in India which reflects in the direct contribution towards the local economy. Through their innovation lab in India they were able to develop products that used in various countries across the globe.

Mr. Subramanian GANESHAN, APAC Engineering Head and Centre Head, Amadeus Labs:

“Amadeus being one of the largest technology provider for the travel industry, the most affected and the first industry to completely shut down with the global impact of the COVID crisis. The impact was overnight and could witness businesses that seemed promising and successful shutting their shops. Currently with an uptrend as certain countries are opening their domestic travels and international travels for some, we see a positive trend in recovery like providing new seating logistics inside an aircraft to maintain social distancing and transforming airports into a touch-less experience using technology and biometrics to address the new norms of travelling with respect to COVID19.”

Mr. Narasimhan Narayanan, Senior VP South Asia and Head Finance & M&A AMERA Region, ESSILOR INDIA PVT LTD:

“Essilor, a prominent player in the eye-care and optic industry despite the challenges of COVID19 like the restricted shopping hours which had a direct impact on our sales, we saw a robust growth in exports in July and August. Currently, with the work-from-home model has actually increased our usage of screens and gadgets which eventually impacts the eye-health. It is the right time to level up the eye-care solutions in India and we are exploring innovative solutions to protect the visual health of people. We are moving away from transaction based relationship towards value based solutions. We have developed 9000+ entrepreneurs in India and trained them in refraction. We have equipped them with eye-care kits and low-cost products & lens to address the necessity of smaller towns and cities who don’t have access to proper eye care.”

The insightful discussion was followed by a Q&A session and a vote of thanks by Mr. Priyank Prakash.

This exclusive interaction was attended by 100+ participants. It was well received and highly appreciated by the Indo-French and Indian business sectors.

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