The Indo American Chamber of Commerce of Greater
Houston hosted a Business Luncheon on March 15th
2005. The keynote speaker for the event was Dr. G.
Jay Gouge, President, University of Houston who
spoke on �Economic Development�.
The Luncheon began with a welcome note by Dr.
Randhir P Sinha, President, IACCGH who explained
that the Chamber was opening up new opportunities to
its members to work with other area Chambers and
work in an enhanced network. Cynthia Tauss, Gulf
Coast Regional Representative, Office of the
Governor, Economic Development and Tourism Division,
introduced Dr Gouge.
Dr. Gouge spoke about the role of education in
economic development highlighting the most important
requisites in this direction and the contribution of
the University of Houston to the same:
A) Production of people- the average salary of an
undergraduate student passing from the University is
$36,000 per year and about 86% of the graduate
students stay in the region.
Following is generally required of students ready to
take up responsibilities in the corporate world:
- Cognitive skills- ability to judge independently
- Reasoning skills.
- Social skills- oral and written communication
- Team skills- team player and a team leader.
- Personal skills- flexibility and creativity.
- Subject related skills- thorough knowledge of
The University with its impeccable infrastructure
and ethnically diverse educational community
provides ample opportunities and exposure for its
students, both, to set foot in the corporate world
or be independent entrepreneurs.
B) The University provides a sound platform for
research in various fields. About $90 million is
spent for research related projects at various
Dr. Gouge spoke about how the predominantly agrarian
society of the 1850�s came of age with the land
grant act created in 1862. With this every state had
at least one university thereby creating
opportunities for students to get into engineering
and mechanical arts. Highlighting the economists�
view on the return of investment on higher
education, the speaker presented a figure of $2.8
for every dollar spent and $12 for every dollar in
the long run.
Citing the example of how investments in the
University of Pittsburgh changed the face of the
state when it was faced with one of its worst
economic crisis, the speaker concluded by drawing
attention to the need for investing in education in
the city of Houston while in its hey days.
The list of special invitees included:
IACCGH Advisors Mr. Skand Ranjan Tayal, Consul
General of India in Houston, Vijay Goradia( Chairman
Vinmar) and George Hrdlicka.. Mr. Jodie Jiles,
Chairman, Greater Houston Partnership was a special
invitee and his brief address emphasized that
Houston is about Energy, Medicine and Space. He
praised the Chamber for its constant effort to reach
out to the business community and stated that the
Partnership would work with the chamber in every
area of development, be it clean air,
transportation, education or commerce. He praised Dr
Gouge for proving in action his commitment to what
he said he would do. He explained how Dr Gouge had
covered every area of education-he was involved with
the NASA education program at Clear Lake and in
setting up an Energy Center. In medicine he had
signed an affiliation with Methodist and Univ. of
Houston Medical Center.
The Sponsor of the luncheon Penny L. White of the
United Space Alliance spoke about the missions of
her organization and assured the Chamber of her
continued support .She also met the students of the
U of H and assured them she would explore Internship
opportunities for them.. Jagdip Ahluwalia of IACCGH
emphasized that India is not just a source to buy
from but one of the largest emerging middle class
markets to sell goods to.
The Luncheon provided an excellent platform for
exchange of views and ideas about the emerging
markets in Houston in the field of health, oil,
space and education. And was co-hosted the Houston
Hispanic Chamber of Commerce & the Houston Minority
Business Council and was supported by the Asian
Chamber, Emerging Markets Group at Houston
Technology Center, Government Procurement
Connections 2005, HMBDC, HSBDC and SATOP.
The IACCGH is encouraging members to visit
www.houstongpc.com to register for the Free March
29th & 30th Government Procurement Connections
The Chamber is also working with HMBDC�s Milton
Thibodeaux and Alexander Sandoval to help IACCGH
members apply for Minority certification with the
City, State, Metro and Port. Help is also being
provided thru HMBDC and SBA to help members find
finance to grow their business. If you are a small
business and need help with your business plan,
request for funding or certification call the
Chamber at 713 624 7131 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
( submitted by U of H students :Aditya Kumar Agarwal
& Yutheeka Gadhyan.)
Dr Sinha with Jodie Jiles