HOMEWARD BOUND

The sparkle in his eyes made him stand apart in the crowd as he waited with baited breath to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Rohan L Shah was curious, just like the other Phd students who filled up the room, wondering about the meeting’s agenda. The curtains were finally rising from a massive Make in India campaign that crowded the streets of Hannover in Germany. But despite the hullabaloo, Rohan was certain of his decision to settle in Germany, so the excitement was limited to meeting one of the most powerful man in the world. But when PM Narendra Modi looked at him & smiled, he realized how much he was missing the warmth of his own country.

The meeting was for merely 3 minutes, but those 3 minutes made Rohan reconsider a decision he took 7 years ago. “PM Modi coming and speaking to me was like an angel showing me the light to return home. I don’t think I would have ever considered coming back had he not met me or started this Make in India initiative. It was during this time that I realized that the only reason I could come to Germany to pursue higher education was because of the basic education I received in India. Its only when you are away from your country that you realize how deeply it is a part of you” says Rohan as he remembers his brief meeting with PM Modi during his Hannover visit in 2015. What set the prelude for Rohan’s move was also the scale at which the campaign was executed in Germany. The streets were laden with dreams that many Indians abroad wished had turned true much before they decided to leave their country. There was hope of a new India, the one with more opportunities and scope for growth. “It was such an excellently executed campaign that I found it hard to believe that our country could execute a vision like this so well. The streets were full of Make in India pamphlets and communication posters, so much so that even the Germans wondered what this was all about. In my 7 years in Germany I have never seen any country carrying out a campaign so well and on such a large scale” explains Rohan.

While this single meeting set Rohan homewards, it was the response he got from Invest India, the vehicle to guide investments into the country that reinstated his belief in the country. Invest India was prompt to take Rohan under its wing, helping him with every aspect of expanding his existing family business. Rohan wanted to work on getting cattle artificial insemination technology to his family business of Livestock improvement, Andhra Chemical Supplies, in India. Rohan started operating from Germany and his brother Romit from Telangana. But bringing this technology to India wasn’t as easy as it seems today. While he had to convince the inventor of the technology, he had the support of Invest India, to aide him through the processes with the Indian government. And soon under an Indo-European collaboration the import of technology began. “Initially we started importing the technology from Germany but realized that it is turning out to be expensive for the end users i.e the farmers. So we decided to manufacture the equipment here and after a few round of discussions with the inventor as well as the government we took that step too” says Romit.

The brothers hit many roadblocks while starting the manufacturing process in India but the struggles were eased with the support of Invest India team. The team not just helped them through the government processes but also helped them reach the right people to take this technology to different states.

Today Romit & Rohan create India’s first I-vet scope and an improved thawing monitor. They now export the same technology to Germany & Argentina at a 60% cheaper cost than before. Andhra Chemical Supplies’ business growth is gearing up to spike to a 75% in the next 3 years as compared to a 15% during the import. The technology is helping farmers do away with the age-old techniques of artificial insemination reducing the risk of infections and increasing the chances of conception by 70-80% as compared to an earlier rate of 15%. And Rohan has turned from an employee to an employer, giving jobs to 11 other people. With just one meeting, Rohan became an agent of change for the country and we are certain with time there would be many more Rohans to come who will change India's future for the better.

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