Prime Minister Narendra Modi on a whirlwind tour of Silicon Valley met America’s top tech leaders including Microsoft’s Satya Nadella, Google’s Sundar Pichai, and Apple’s Tim Cook before heading for a digital economy dinner with 350 business leaders.
Modi, who is here to give a strong push to his drive for technological innovation in India, also met Adobe’s Shantanu Narayen, Qualcomm’s Paul Jacobs, Cisco’s John Chambers and The Indus entrepreneurs president Venkatesh Shukla.
“We have a unique tie with India. Our founder Steve Jobs went to India for inspiration,” Cook told the prime minister.
Modi also visited the Tesla Motors plant in Palo Alto, California to see the path-breaking inventions on renewable energy made by the makers of trend-setting electric cars.
He was given a tour by Tesla CEO Elon Musk. “Prime Minister Modi and I talked about electricity generation and how there are ways to skip ahead with it as with cellphones,” Musk, also the company’s principal engineer, inventor and investor, said later.
“Engines of the future. PM @narendramodi takes a tour of @TeslaMotors, leading builder of electric cars,” tweeted External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup.
With many an Indian at the forefront of innovation in the Silicon Valley, Modi will be looking at how to maximise opportunities at the digital economy dinner.
Several Indian-American tech leaders as also Cisco Chairman John Chambers, and Qualcomm Chairman Paul Jacobs among others are attending.
Modi began his tour of Silicon Valley with an interaction with the Indian-American community at the Imperial Ballroom of Hotel Fairmont here.
Singer Kailash Kher met Modi and a woman tied a rakhi to him during the interaction. Members of the Sikh and Gujarati community also met him later.
Earlier on arrival at the Norman Y. Minte San Jose International Airport, he was given a red carpet welcome with San Jose mayor Sam Liccardo and his wife receiving him.
An enthusiastic crowd of supporters was on hand to welcome him amid chants of “Modi Modi” as he alighted from the Air India One aircraft greeting them with a Namaste.
Amid tight security and barricading, fans reached out to the prime minister for handshakes and autographs.
Many wearing tricolour scarves and waving paper Indian flags held aloft signs saying “We Support Digital India.” There were also banners saying “USA loves India”.