Exclusive Interview with Rakesh Gaur, CEO-SAE Towers and Brand Ambassador-Invest Minas

Vinod Shah Posted on: 2024-02-14 07:15:00 Viewer: 1,284 Comments: 0 Country: India City: New Delhi

Exclusive Interview with Rakesh Gaur, CEO-SAE Towers and Brand Ambassador-Invest Minas

Mr. Rakesh Gaur, an exemplary professional with a career of more than 38 years, has been associated with the development of power, railways and urban infrastructure across the world. He is currently working as CEO of SAE Towers & ED (Africa and CIs).

Mr. Gaur was recently chosen as a "Brand Ambassador" for India by The Institute for Integrated Development of Minas Gerais, also known as INVEST MINAS, the state's investment promotion agency, responsible for coordinating the attraction of investments for the state.

Mr. Gaur also served as Co-Chairman of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) - Central Asia Committee, CII-Railway Equipment Division and as a member of the BRICS committee for the Federation of Chambers of Commerce Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI). Currently a member of the board of directors of IBC (India Chamber of Commerce India-Brazil Chamber of Commerce).

In a recent conversation with Metro Rall Today, Mr. Gaur talks about how his authentic connections will add value to the mission and vision of “INVEST MINAS” which, in turn, will collaborate to promote clients and investors in India as a potential destination for new businesses in Minas Gerais.

Firstly, please accept our heartiest congratulations on your selection as INVEST MINAS Brand Ambassador in India. Can you please share your thoughts on being named INVEST MINAS Brand Ambassador and what it means for strengthening ties between India and Minas Gerais?

Thank you very much for your votes. It is a pride to represent SAE Towers and the RPG group in Brazil and Minas Gerais.

I am grateful to INVEST MINAS for the trust and for allowing us to promote economic partnerships. I would also like to congratulate my team members here in Brazil and Minas Gerais, as their support has been and will continue to be fundamental.

SAE Towers, as part of the RPG Group, one of India's largest industrial and service conglomerates, combined with an extensive Indian business network, gives us a competitive advantage in strengthening ties and collaborating to bring more business opportunities to our State.

During a time when India and Brazil are actively collaborating in various sectors, the partnership with INVEST MINAS has everything to offer, without a doubt, a fundamental role in facilitating this growth. I am hopeful that together we can achieve our common goals of multiplying business possibilities and promoting increasingly stronger relations between India and Minas Gerais.

The strategic partnership between India and Brazil brings numerous benefits for INVEST MINAS. Firstly, it allows for the exchange of expertise, knowledge, and technology between the two countries, leading to advancements in various sectors such as agriculture, renewable energy, aerospace, information technology, and pharmaceuticals.

Your extensive experience spans 38 years in the development of energy, rail, and urban infrastructure around the world. How do you plan to leverage this experience in your role as a Brand Ambassador?

With my extensive experience and close affiliation with the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), I am highly confident that we will forge a successful collaboration between Minas Gerais and  Indian companies. Our role as a Subject Matter Expert (SAE) in Minas Gerais positions us advantageously to facilitate communication with business delegations and investment forums, thereby promoting economic collaboration. Our primary objective is to actively champion the interests, priorities, and concerns of Minas Gerais on a global platform. By doing so, we are certain to attract strategic partnerships and alliances with other stakeholders who share similar objectives and values as those of Minas Gerais. Notably, sectors such as railways, telecommunications, and solar energy hold immense potential for Indian companies to expand their footprint and contribute to the development of Minas Gerais.

Given your successful track record leading SAE Towers in Latin America, how do you plan to further strengthen business operations in Minas Gerais, Brazil?

Thank you for acknowledging my role in the success and leadership of SAE Towers in Latin America. This recognition serves as a great motivation for me, as well as for our entire team, to continue bolstering our commercial operations in Minas Gerais and throughout Brazil.

My plan, in this partnership with INVEST MINAS, is to focus on some areas:

  • To promote trade and investment opportunities: This will facilitate and engage business matchmaking sessions and interact with trade delegations to foster even stronger relationships, generating potential business partnerships.
  • To provide information and service support.

I would like to assure my partners in Minas that Indian companies interested in exploring new markets, expanding their operations, or making investments will be provided with comprehensive access to essential information and support services. I will personally extend my support through the development of detailed market research reports, offering guidance on local regulations, as well as assisting in the identification of local partners or suppliers. Rest assured that I am committed to ensuring a seamless and professional experience for Indian companies seeking growth opportunities in this region.

- To identify key sectors of mutual interest: It is essential to identify key sectors where collaboration and joint ventures between companies in India and Minas Gerais can be mutually beneficial.

- To stay up to date on market trends and sector developments: 

As part of my role, I will take on the responsibility of effectively and continuously monitoring and analyzing market information. This activity will be crucial in ensuring that we are well-prepared and positioned to capitalize on emerging opportunities, while also being able to effectively mitigate potential challenges. By closely observing market trends, consumer preferences, and industry developments, I will be able to provide timely insights and recommendations to our team, enabling us to make informed decisions and take advantage of market opportunities. Additionally, through rigorous analysis of market data, competitor landscape, and customer feedback, I will identify potential challenges and develop proactive strategies to address them, thereby minimizing potential risks and fostering a strong competitive advantage for our organization. Overall, my objective is to employ a systematic and thorough approach to market monitoring and analysis, ultimately driving our company's growth and success in an ever-evolving business environment.

The implementation of these strategies, I am sure, will further strengthen our commercial operations in Minas Gerais, at the same time they should generate mutual benefit and official partnerships between India and the rich regions of Minas Gerais.

The news highlights your adaptability to the Brazilian work environment and respect for local culture and laws. Can you share some insights into this cultural adaptation process and its importance in promoting international partnerships?

For sure. Cultural adaptation plays a fundamental role in promoting partnerships.

As an Indian, I have had the privilege of being brought up in a culturally diverse environment. India is a country known for its rich heritage and vibrant mix of traditions, religions, and languages. Growing up amidst this diversity has instilled in me a deep appreciation for multiculturalism. Moreover, my career has taken me on extensive travels to various countries around the world, further enhancing my adaptability to different cultures.

Through my professional journeys, I have had the opportunity to immerse myself in various cuisines and experience the beauty of people's customs and traditions firsthand. These experiences have allowed me to broaden my horizons and become more open-minded towards different ways of life. By understanding and respecting diverse cultures, I have been able to establish meaningful connections with individuals from various backgrounds, facilitating effective cross-cultural collaborations.

I feel like “a bit of Mineiro” since I arrived. I try to be open-minded, non-judgmental and receptive to all ways and alternatives of thinking, behaving, and interacting. This has been very important to generate trust and mutual understanding.

Communication strategies need to be effective, clear, concise and culturally sensitive to facilitate dialogue, collaboration, and building true relationships and partnerships.

Furthermore, my daily life requires flexibility and adaptability, to navigate new cultural contexts, situations, and social dynamics.

Cultural adaptation will not only strengthen ties between India and Brazil but will also promote a sense of global citizenship, emphasizing shared identity and responsibility towards the global community.

By embracing cultural diversity, promoting inclusion and contributing to building a more connected world, India and Brazil can create a lasting international partnership with many impacts.

With SAE Towers' 70-year legacy as a leading supplier in America, how do you envision a collaboration with INVEST MINAS opening up opportunities for Indian companies in sectors such as railways, telecommunications and solar energy in Brazil?

SAE Towers, a subsidiary of KEC International, is one of the largest in the Americas for solutions in steel lattice structures and electrical energy transmission hardware. It has a track record of successfully executing transmission and substation EPC projects. These results leave us in a vital position to take on rail, telecommunications and solar projects anywhere in the world.

In Brazil, and specifically in Minas Gerais, the opportunities for Indian companies in the railways, telecommunications and solar energy sectors are enormous.

In railways: Collaboration with Brazil may involve joint ventures and technology transfer in the area of infrastructure projects aimed at modernizing the Brazilian railway network, increasing efficiency and expanding connectivity. Indian companies like KEC can offer their expertise in railway construction, electrification and operation, contributing to the development of rail corridors, freight corridors and urban transit systems in Brazil.

In telecommunications: Indian companies are ready to offer solutions in areas such as 5G technology, fiber optic networks, satellite communication, mobile services and digital solutions for smart cities and rural connectivity.

In solar: Indian companies can provide photovoltaic solar panels, solar inverters, energy storage solutions and experience in project planning, design, installation, and operation of solar power plants in Brazil.

We will work on strategies to facilitate partnerships and investments. For INVEST MINAS and “our State” we will act and already foresee collaboration in these sectors, which require a multifaceted approach, involving cooperation between governments, industrial partnerships, technology exchange programs, bilateral agreements and investment facilitation initiatives.

To access  Minas Gerais market, I want to work hard to facilitate access for Indian companies, providing market intelligence, trade promotion services and networking opportunities in Minas Gerais.

Minas Gerais is known for its mineral wealth and leadership in strategic sectors. How do you see your role contributing to promoting Minas Gerais as a potential destination for new businesses?

As a brand ambassador, promoting Minas Gerais as a potential destination for new businesses, my role involves several important strategies and initiatives.

We will highlight the exclusive selling points of Minas Gerais, such as its wealth and natural resources, qualified labor, strategic location and strong transport infrastructure.

It is necessary to highlight the vibrant culture of Minas and its people, its tourist attractions and its quality of life to attract potential investors who may also be interested in experiencing “our lifestyle”. This includes sharing stories and testimonials from international companies that have been successful in Minas Gerais, demonstrating a history of profitability and growth. It also includes incorporating data and statistics to reinforce the potential return on investments, economic growth and market opportunities.

In your opinion, what are the main factors that make  Minas Gerais an attractive destination for business and how do you intend to communicate and promote these advantages to potential customers and investors?

Minas Gerais' countless mineral reserves, fertile agricultural lands, extensive water resources and untapped renewable energy potential are, in themselves, a solid foundation for various types of industries.

Minas Gerais is strategically located in the heart of Brazil. It enjoys easy access to the main markets, with well-established transport networks and commercial routes. This advantageous position is already an invitation for companies that want to efficiently reach national and international markets, maximizing their growth and profitability potential.

Added to all this - it is important to repeat - Minas Gerais has a highly qualified workforce in various areas, such as engineering, technology, agriculture and business management.

“Minas” is “many Minas” . In addition to the wealth of resources and a qualified workforce, Minas also provides a favorable environment for business. The government, through the actions of its executive Romeu Zema, implements transparent actions and favorable policies for investors. We have a government that offers attractive incentives and benefits, as well as support services to facilitate business growth.

Minas Gerais of today invests in the development of infrastructure projects and improves transport, energy infrastructure, telecommunications and urban development networks. Minas, at the moment, is a state with an environment that promotes economic growth and improves its operations.

To communicate and promote all the advantages of investing in Minas Gerais, our strategy involves digital marketing and promotion campaigns, social networks, sector publications and participation in fairs. Our goal, as partners, is to reach potential customers and investors from all over the world.

I want to get even closer and seek the cooperation of business associations, chambers of commerce and industry groups, which become an integral part of our strategy. Participating in events, networking sessions and business matchmaking activities with potential clients and investors.

How do you see new business opportunities in the Railway and EPC sector in India? What are your biggest goals for 2024?

The rail and EPC sectors offer significant opportunities for growth and development, driven by several factors, including government initiatives, infrastructure projects and technological advances. We can list some business opportunities in these sectors for 2024.

For the railway sector:

  • Infrastructure development: The government continues to invest heavily in the development of railway infrastructure, including expanding rail networks, modernizing signaling systems and improving equipment.
  • Private participation: The government encourages private participation in railway projects through public-private partnerships (PPP), joint ventures and investment opportunities in areas such as railway electrification and development of freight corridors.
  • Technological innovation: The railway sector coexists with technological innovation. It already adopts digital signage systems, the Internet of Things (IoT) and green technologies for sustainable operations.

For the EPC sector:

Urban development: With fast urbanization and smart city initiatives, there is a growing demand for EPC services in the development of urban infrastructure, including railway projects, water supply systems, sewage treatment plants and solid waste management facilities.

We can conclude that the two sectors - railways and EPC - in India offer promising business opportunities for innovation, investment and growth.

I want to speak directly to the Mineiros: As a partner, I am confident that my experience and dedication to infrastructure projects will contribute to the success of these sectors in “our state”.


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