India is no longer seen as a back office in terms of cyber security but as a partner, according to John Hickenlooper, the Governor of the American state of Colorado who is on a visit to India. Hickenlooper, the Democrat Governor of Colorado, is currently leading a trade delegation comprising members of his cabinet and entrepreneurs, meeting Union and state government officials as well as several major multinational firms to explore collaborations with firms based in his state.
The delegation is now in Mumbai after several diplomatic and business meetings in three other cities, beginning with New Delhi. Hickenlooper said cyber security is one of the focus areas of his maiden visit to India. “We have a National Cyber Security Center in Colorado Springs and we have spoken to 10 different companies here so far. We are scaling up cyber security,” he said. Hickenlooper said he had also partnered with Israel, which has expressed its willingness to enhance its co-operation with the Maharashtra government in the field of cyber security.
“In the past, India was seen as a back office. Now, it is seen as a partner rather than an employee or consultant. For example, 15 years ago, Indian companies were dependent on Chinese or American companies for solutions. Now, they are creating their own apps and solutions and America has noticed that,” he said. Hickenlooper added that he hopes to attract highly skilled and talented individuals to work in Colorado, instead of investing in businesses. “We are trying to attract talent to Colorado. If we get the talent, businesses will follow,” he said.
Hickenlooper, a retired geologist employed with an oil company in Colorado who forayed into business by setting up a brewery, said his government is working towards encouraging live music in the state capital of Denver, apart from building 1,000 miles of cycling tracks and ensuring that children have access to playgrounds and opportunity like subsidised musical education.
“We are trying to create a culture, a creative vibe. If we attract artistes and musicians, we will attract coders. That will be same for Indians,” he said. Hickenlooper, who has also served as the mayor of Denver, said a city like Mumbai should have a strong mayor.
“We have had four very good mayors in Denver, who have had a lot of power. Now, I haven’t studied the history (here) enough, and I know there is a different political system here. But I would want a strong mayor for Mumbai,” he said.