‘Obvious synergies’: Choose N.J. opening economic development office in India

Gov. Phil Murphy announced Monday night in New Delhi that Choose New Jersey is opening an economic development office to increase business opportunities between India and the Garden State.

Murphy made the announcement at the end of the first day of his seven-day trip to India before more than 100 business leaders and public advocates.

The office, which will be called the New Jersey-India Center, will be run by T & A Consulting, a firm that New Jersey officials said is known globally for its ability to build relationships with Indian business and political leaders. It will be located in the New Delhi suburb of Gurugram, India.

Choose New Jersey CEO Jose Lozano said the ties between the countries that he has seen during the nearly year-long planning of this trip made the opening of an office an easy call.

“Given the strong synergies between New Jersey and India, and given the investment that India is making in New Jersey, and given the investment that New Jersey folks are doing in India, it’s only right to have a partner on the other side of the pond that will monitor and assist with the continuous flow of talents and businesses across the ocean,” he told ROI-NJ.

Having T & A Consulting as a partner also made sense.

“T & A is a team that Choose New Jersey has been working with on the business development side in India for the last 10 months,” he said. “They know the country as well as anyone and have worked with many top-level national and municipal groups.

“They’ll be working exclusively for New Jersey on the ground, facilitating our interactions and enabling us to follow up with the many contacts we will make on this trip. They’ll be our official representation out there and they’ll support the (Economic Development Authority).”

The office will be similar to the office Choose New Jersey created in Berlin, after Murphy led an economic delegation to Germany last year.

Lozano said that office has been of great help — and that he expects similar results in New Delhi.

“Here’s what’s going to happen after this trip — and we’ve seen it in Germany, we seen it in Israel, we’ve seen it in Ireland and everywhere we go — a pipeline will open up with a nice, steady flow.

“What we want to do is have someone on the ground who will manage all of that, do a lot of the initial legwork and hand it off to us. It’s been an option throughout the planning, but I wanted to make sure I felt what I thought I would feel — that’s there’s a lot of good opportunities here. After all the planning, I know that’s the case.”

New Jersey officials may not be the only ones who feel that way.

The governors of four other states — Delaware, Indiana, Arkansas and Colorado — have economic trips scheduled to India before the end of the year.

Lozano said one of his goals on the trip to is show India how New Jersey is a perfect connection.

“Culturally, we’re aligned,” he said. “We have a large and influential South Asian population. And their strengths in life sciences and tech match our strengths of life sciences and tech.

“I want to make sure New Jersey and India can benefit from our obvious synergies. And I want to show the Indian government how important this relationship is to us.”

Lozano has been pitching New Jersey’s benefits to international companies since starting at Choose New Jersey in May of last year.

“We’ve put a huge premium on our international relationships and for good reason,” he said. “All of the assets that we have is exactly what I think the international community is looking for. And, as New York continues to price itself out of the market when it comes to newer companies, we want New Jersey to be right up front and capture all of those folks.

“In the one year that I’ve been here, we have probably doubled our opportunities and leads internationally. Which has just proven the point that there is something there and we need to go after it. And go after it fairly aggressively.”

Read more from ROI-NJ: