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Indian-American CEO briefs Obama on saving jobs

By Lalit K Jha in Washington
July 03, 2009 12:46 IST
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An Indian-American was among the few chiefs of some of the most innovative companies of the US to brief President Barack Obama on how firms can cut emissions and energy costs while saving jobs and maximising profits.

The CEOs were invited to the White House by Obama to discuss job creation and ways to develop long-term solutions to strengthen our economy. They talked about what innovative and technological steps they have taken to increase productivity in their industry during the recession.

"It is an honour to be among the select few invited here today to speak to President Obama about the opportunity for organisations to grow and profit while optimising natural resources consumption and minimising environmental impact," said Amit Chatterjee, CEO and founder of Hara Software, as he headed into the meeting.

Prior to founding Hara, Chatterjee led SAP's fast-growing governance, risk and compliance unit. He developed his strategic and leadership experience while at Murkiness & Co, working with clients such as SAP, Cisco and Oracle.

Briefing reporters at the White House Rose Gardens after the meeting, Obama said he talked to the CEOs about the growth and progress of a sector that represents a big piece of America's economic future.

"As our economy adapts to the challenges of a new century, new ways of producing and saving and distributing energy offer a unique opportunity to create millions of jobs for the American people," Obama said.

"These are folks whose companies are helping to lead the transformation towards a clean energy future.

"Even as we face tough economic times, even as we continue to lose jobs, the CEOs here told me that they are looking to hire new people, in some cases to double or even triple in size over the next few years. They are making money and they are helping their customers save money on the energy front," the US President said.

These companies are vivid examples of the kind of future the US can create, but it is now up to the Senate to continue the work that was begun in the House to forge this more prosperous future, he said.

Hara builds software that allows companies to track their use of natural resources and their carbon emissions. It is currently being used by companies such as Coca-Cola and the city of Palo Alto to help save millions of dollars in expenses related to waste and energy use.

"We believe that by establishing business processes and leveraging best practices focused on environmental and energy management, organisations can cut energy costs and emissions rather than cutting jobs," Chatterjee said.

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Lalit K Jha in Washington
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