California: Satnam Singh Sandhu, Indian Minorities Foundation (IMF) convenor, on Sunday said Prime Minister Narendra Modi has "transformed the way the world sees India", calling for the need to ensure that the "voice and opinion of Indian diaspora from Silicon Valley reach him".

Sandhu made these remarks at an event, India-US partnership, where tech leaders from Silicon Valley joined in large numbers to welcome Prime Minister Narendra Modi on his historic US State visit, which begins on June 21. At the event, the tech leaders not only highlighted the growing India-US relations but also noted how PM Modi's US visit will strengthen the ties further.

Indian-born Silicon Valley CEOs are also part of a four million-strong minority group that is among the wealthiest and most educated in the US.

At the event, Sandhu, also the chief patron of NID foundation, said, "It is our effort to pay back to our nation. Whatever we have received from our country. We have found such a leader, who has changed the global perception of India. With PM Modi's visit to the US, it is our effort that the voice and opinion of the Indian diaspora from Silicon Valley reaches till PM Modi."

Dr Dalvir Singh Pannu, CEO of Pannu Dental Group, California, called the event a "curtain raiser before Prime Minister Modi's historic event with Joe Biden" in Washington DC.

"It was amazing to see all the technology leaders, all the executives from big companies in Silicon Valley today discussing at the root level on how India and the US can collaborate together and almost one thing was summarized by everyone that the name of India as it has been popularised at the global scale in the last decade has never happened before," Dr Pannu said.

Shilpa Kolhatkar, Global Head AI Nations at NVIDIA, which seeks to strengthen partnerships with countries all over the world to prepare them for the next generation, which is largely into Artificial Intelligence, also spoke on the occasion.

Underlining the importance of AI in today's world, she said, "AI is mainstream now, especially with ChatGPT. Right from 8-year-old children to everybody is using it. I think India with a population of 1.3 billion people, and thousands of AI startups, is a ripe bed of innovation and with the young population in India, it is a ripe bed of upskilling and opportunity to upskill the next generation in terms of their readiness to create AI and also to create jobs and also the ability to use AI as a tool."

She added, "So our focus is trifold, engaging with government, industry and academia and triangulating between these three entities to propel the country forward and that's what we are doing in India as well. Now, with the contribution of the Government of India in terms of 2023-budget which has allocated a huge sum of 3 billion dollars towards AI strategy and AI investments."

Rob Bonta, Attorney General of California, said, "We have an incredible Indian American community right here in California. Certainly in business and technology, but in every place, progress has been made, Indian-Americans are there leading powerfully with great talent and expression."

Parag Agrawal is among the latest feathers in the cap of the Indian diaspora at the highest echelons in the silicon valley of the US. Microsoft's Satya Nadella, Alphabet's Sundar Pichai, and the top bosses of IBM, Adobe, Palo Alto Networks, VMWare and Vimeo are all of Indian descent.

The event was also addressed by Nitu Nanda, senior vice president of Bank of America, CEO and co-founder of Eventful, Sammy Sidhu, and chief, Global Services, at Iron System Bob Sandhu.