Speakers Say India, U.S. Markets Booming in Different Ways

Dipak Sinha

The Indian economy, growing about 7 percent per year, faces a major hurdle going forward, according to the former chairman of India’s Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board. “In India, we have limited infrastructure, and we need to build up the infrastructure rapidly,” Labanyendu Mansingh said at the May 15 India Enterprise Forum at the Naveen Jindal School of Management.

Infrastructure is not the issue facing U.S. energy producers, according to Dipak Sinha, president of Petro Consultants in Edmond, Oklahoma. “Credit is the most important part of any business,” he told the forum, and it also is “the biggest limiting factor in expanding business.”

The speakers also offered different takes on alternative energies in their respective nations. Mr. Sinha said biofuel shows huge potential but “I’m not going to be around” when wind and solar power prove profitable. Conversely, Mr. Mansingh said he could not foresee biofuel having much impact, but that wind and solar energy show great promise in India.

Mr. Sinha said U.S. is on the path to having the cheapest energy in the world because of oversupply in natural gas, improvements in shale technology and the overall resurgence in the U.S. economy.

In India, Mr. Mansingh said, energy demand is huge. “Gas price is totally irrelevant,” he said. “In India it will sell at any level.”

Organized by Dr. Sumit Majumdar, a JSOM information systems and operations management professor, the daylong forum focused broadly on economic opportunities and challenges in India. Because the U.S. is the largest recipient of India’s exports, the event included a North Texas perspective on trade and issues of transportation.

Ambassador Lakshmi Puri, a U.N. assistant secretary general and longtime member of the Indian Foreign Service, spoke on gender equality, women’s empowerment and business growth.

Her husband, Ambassador Hardeep Puri, India’s permanent representative to the United Nations, closed the conference with a speech on India’s collaborative approach to world affairs. In the speech, he argued that “by any objective criteria…India is eminently suited for permanent membership of an expanded U.N. Security Council.”