Feature : Overseas Indian Facilitation Centre

OIFC – Vigorously Engaging the Indian Diaspora

To expand the investment and entrepreneurial ties of the Global Indians with their home-country, Overseas Indian Facilitation Centre (OIFC), a not-for-profit public private initiative between the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs (MOIA) and Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), was rolled out on May 28, 2007.

Acting as a focal point for expanding the engagement of the Indian diaspora with India and promoting trade and investment into the country, OIFC has a three fold mandate:

· Create and run a dynamic platform for knowledge exchange
· Promote investments into the country, and
· Facilitate business to business partnerships 

The overall objective of OIFC is to offer a well-engaged platform for the Indian Diaspora to connect with key stakeholders in India and drive them as successful cohorts in India’s development.

OIFC provides a whole host of services to the Indian Diaspora Community
Knowledge networking
1. Diaspora Knowledge Network

The Indian Diaspora knowledge network draws upon the eclectic knowledge base of the Global Indians and unleashes technology and innovations across sectors and geographies in India. As a part of this initiative, OIFC, under the aegis of MOIA, has launched a Global Indian Network of Knowledge that envisions to engage the diaspora as 'Knowledge' partners, the institutions in India as 'Stakeholders' and the Government as the 'Facilitator'. The online web portal, as it evolves, will be a framework of moderated communities catering to issues of national importance. For more information, please visit www.globalink.in.

Investment facilitation
2.1 Advisory and handholding
OIFC offers a wide range of consultative, advisory and handholding services to the Indian Diaspora for business and investment facilitation. Supported by its knowledge partners, the Centre operates in core verticals of education, financial services, healthcare, infrastructure, wealth management, information technology and sustainable development.

2.2 Customized
OIFC provides customized services, with focus on the following:
· Assisting states to project investment opportunities.
· Identifying and promoting sector and state specific investment projects for potential investors
· Creating and promoting direct investment commodities and instruments for the Indian diaspora.
· Organizing sector specific investor meets and interactive sessions across the globe.

2.3 B2b partnerships
· Organizing virtual Market places and one-to-one business meetings at international conferences.
· Providing for an online business-networking forum connecting potential investors and entrepreneurs to a cross-section of innovative businesses, products and services. 

OIFC Membership
In an effort to ensure close linkages and reach out to the right target segment of the Diaspora, OIFC offers membership under the following categories:

Organizational Membership
· Knowledge Partners
· Strategic Partners, and
· Associations of Overseas Indians

Member Government
· Indian States, and
· Government Undertakings

Says Ms Shefali Chaturvedi, CEO of the OIFC, “OIFC services are provided to the Indian diaspora in its six focused verticals, as well as in providing an effective forum for knowledge exchange. The Centre facilitates the overseas Indians’ engagement with India with their investment, not just financially, but also tapping their expertise, skills and knowledge.”

The time to invest in India is now. In the past 15 years, India’s GDP has increased from USD 250 billion to over USD 1 trillion. Per capita income will soon cross USD 1,000. In purchasing power parity terms, India’s GDP is worth USD 3,787.3 billion, making the country’s economy the fourth largest in the world. The service sector dominates the GDP comprising of healthy growth in trade, transport, hotels, communications, construction and healthcare. In the period 2009-2010, India is expected to witness 7 per cent growth in GDP driven by 8.8 per cent growth in the service sector.

The Governing Council of the OIFC is chaired by the Secretary, MOIA, Mr K Mohandas, and co-chaired by the Chief Mentor of the CII Mr Tarun Das. Day-to-day functioning is overseen by Joint Secretary MOIA Mr G Gurucharan and OIFC’s CEO Ms Chaturvedi who is also a director with the CII. Among prominent PIOs in the Council is the Chairman of the Global Organization of Persons of Indian Origin (GOPIO), Dr Thomas Abraham.

August 2009

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