The State of U.S.-India Relations with former U.S. Ambassador to India Rich Verma

The State of U.S.-India Relations with former U.S. Ambassador to India Rich Verma

December 8, 2017 | Author: Indiaspora staff

Indiaspora held a conference call for its Indiaspora members on August 30, 2017, with former U.S. Ambassador to India Rich Verma on The State of U.S.-India Relations: Recent Past, Present and Future and fellow speakers:

  • Arun Kumar, Chairman & CEO, KPMG India and former Assistant Secretary of Commerce in the Obama Administration
  • Naren Gupta, Co-founder at Nexus Venture Partners
  • Raghu Mendu, Co-founder at Ventureast

Note: Recording begins after approximately 20 seconds.




Rich Verma is Vice Chairman at The Asia Group, and most recently served as U.S. Ambassador to India from December 2014 to January 2017. He has more than two decades of experience at the highest levels of government, business, and diplomacy across the Indo-Pacific region. Rich began his career in the U.S. Air Force as an Air Force judge advocate. He has worked as a senior counselor at Steptoe & Johnson, senior adviser to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid from 2002 to 2007, and as Assistant Secretary of State for Legislative Affairs the State Department from 2007 to 2011. He also served as a member of the Secretary of State’s Foreign Affairs Policy Board. He has extensive experience in national security and nonproliferation issues. For a checklist of accomplishments on U.S.-India relations during his tenure as Ambassador, please visit here. To read more about his legacy as ambassador, please read this Forbes article. To read more about his personal journey, please read his remarks “Shared Journeys Towards a Common Destiny” given at the Foreign Correspondent’ Club of South Asia in New Delhi. In 2007, he was named by the organization “India Abroad” as one of the 50 most influential Indian-Americans. For more info about Rich, please visit here.


Arun Kumar is Chairman and CEO of KPMG in India. He also has served as the Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Global Markets and Director General of the U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service in the Obama Administration, where he led the trade and investment promotion efforts for the U.S. Government and served as the International Trade Administration’s lead official advocating for better market access for U.S. exporters. Before that, Arun was a Partner and member of the Board of Directors at KPMG, LLP, leading the firm’s West Coast Management Consulting practice, serving major global clients and emerging Silicon Valley ventures. Previously, Arun was a Silicon Valley entrepreneur, founding CEO and CFO of three tech ventures. Arun has been a member of advisory councils at Stanford University, University of California, Santa Cruz, and has served on the Board of TiE Silicon Valley and U.S. India Business Council. Arun received his Master’s degree in Management from the Sloan School of Management, MIT and a Bachelor’s degree in Physics from the University of Kerala, India. To read more about Arun, please visit here.


Naren Gupta has over 20 years of early and early-growth stage investment experience in US and India. He co-founded Integrated Systems Inc (ISI), a leading embedded software company, where he served as the President/CEO for fifteen years since founding in 1980. He took ISI public and subsequently merged it with Wind River Systems. Naren continued to serve on the board of Wind River until its acquisition by Intel. He has served on many public boards and is currently on the board of Red Hat and several privately held companies. He also serves on the Board of Trustees of the California institute of Technology and the Advisory Board of Asia Society Northern California. Naren holds a B. Tech degree from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Delhi; an MS from the California Institute of Technology and a Ph.D. from Stanford University all in engineering. He received the Presidents’ Gold Medal for the top performance at IIT Delhi.  Naren has received distinguished alumni awards from Caltech and IIT and was elected a Fellow of the IEEE. He is an active advisor to entrepreneurs worldwide. To read more about Naren, please visit here.


Raghu Mendu is a Co-founder and General Partner of Ventureast. He was part of the team that was responsible for the pioneering privatization of a venture capital fund in India. He is a technology professional by training, and his investment focus covers the broad technology and services space including IT, mobile, education, hospitality, alternative energy and water. He operates as Ventureast’s partner based in the US.  Prior to co-founding Ventureast, Raghu had extensive corporate, entrepreneurial, and investment experience in the IT and banking industries in the US. He started a new subsidiary for Union Bank in Los Angeles called Union Bancsystems in the mid 1980s, and helped it grow to over $10Million in two years. Prior to this he was with Nixdorf Computer, first responsible for product development, and then for establishing the overall strategy and sales infrastructure for Nixdorf’s Financial Industries Group. As an entrepreneur, Raghu has built and sold three companies including one of the early technology product companies in India. He has also been involved in the acquisition of over eight companies as part of a US publicly listed rollup. Raghu holds an MBA from the University of Michigan and Bachelor’s degree from IIT Madras. To read more about Raghu, please visit here.