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Indian American offers US firms support for N-plants

A leading Indian-American business firm, which has for years provided technical support services to several US government agencies and fortune 500 companies, is offering to help US firms set up nuclear power plants in India.

world Updated: May 04, 2010 10:48 IST

A leading Indian-American business firm, which has for years provided technical support services to several US government agencies and fortune 500 companies, is offering to help US firms set up nuclear power plants in India.

"We would certainly like to consider that possibility. The capacity and capability are there with ASR," Rao S. Anumolu, president and CEO of ASR International Corporation, said in an interview at his Long Island, New York, corporate office.

Nuclear power can be a predominant resource for India's needs for the coming decades, he said, and "if the US government gives us permission, we believe we can play a reasonable role in initial planning, augmentation and also making sure that the deal is working correctly from this end".

Incorporated in 1986, the proprietary concern provides "cost effective, consistent, high quality world class" technical support services in areas of quality assurance, supply chain, IT, engineering and logistics.

Customers include government agencies like the Defence and Homeland Security Departments, Naval Air Warfare Centre, Space agency NASA and Fortune 500 companies like AT&T, Aramaco, BP, Boeing, Raytheon, Rolls Royce and Lockheed Martin.

For the US government, ASR essentially works in the areas of project management and technical support meeting a "pent up demand for doing things in the most efficient way", said Anumolu, who is in office by 7.30 every morning to oversee his people manage projects around the globe.

Anumolu, who is set to receive this year's prestigious Ellis Island Medal on May 8 for making outstanding contributions to the community , however, considers a 2003 Congressional citation as "far superior" than any other honours and awards he has received.

The US Congress "represents the total American values and traditions and we could penetrate and do the right thing for them at the national level", he said recounting how working primarily in the area of homeland security in the wake of the Sep 11, 2001, terror attacks, "we have excelled in every area they have asked us to do".

ASR has developed a unique business model based on the concept of "servicing locally and manufacturing globally", Anumolu said. The Harvard Business School adjudged it as one that has the potential to grow into a billion-dollar activity in five-ten years.

"That's our biggest achievement," Anumolu said. "The people who service customers in 40 countries are local. We have trained them, created the necessary infrastructure and developed foolproof systems."

Within 48 hours of getting a contract, ASR can provide know-how and an implementation plan matching their requirements, he said. "In fact almost all the time we exceed the targets laid out by our customers."

Looking back at his long journey since he came to Chicago in 1969 for higher studies, Anumolu said "it was tough those days for Indians to get a job and we had to perform probably at 150 percent efficiency all the time".

"That hard work provoked our minds into innovative thinking and that need and zeal to excel and go up and up," he said giving almost 100 percent credit to his Indian upbringing for his success.

"But the game changer for me was definitely when I started this company," Anumolu said. "I did not know that I had so much potential in me to develop a company and sustain it for so long. I started alone. Today we employ hundreds of people and are a leading edge company" in the field.

By way of payback to India, "when hiring a qualified person, certainly we will like and encourage our people on merit basis", Anumolu said. But "we are an equal opportunity employer. Whoever is the best gets the job. There just happen to be more Indians now."

After a successful business career Anumolu is not keen on entering politics. "Our stake is neutral, but I am not totally politically inclined to support one side or the other," he said adding, "My heart is Democratic and my situation is Republican."

"With Democratic heart I would like to help a lot of people. With Republican way of thinking I would really like to grow as a big business and create adequate employment."

Asked about President Barack Obama's plans to end tax breaks for companies setting up shop in India, he said "one should not overreact to these wild threats".

Globalisation is there and the government is "just using these things to stifle or smother companies' efforts to shift lock, stock and barrel to India or China", he said. "I don't think it will come to pass."

First Published: May 04, 2010 10:42 IST