Two Richardson officials will participate in a 10-day, five-city trip to India with a goal of facilitating economic development partnerships and relationships with local Indian officials.

Chris Shacklett, the interim director of economic development, and Greg Sowell, communications and community engagement director, will travel to India July 11, according to a news release. The trip is part of a partnership between the city and Startup Runway, a business that helps companies expand to the United States.

“Our goal is to strengthen economic ties and [lay] the groundwork for new business opportunities between Richardson and one of the fastest-growing economies in the world,” Shacklett said in the news release.

The overview

The trip will include stops in five Indian cities: Hyderabad, Bhubaneshwar, Visakhapatnam, Amaravati and Mumbai, per the news release.

City Manager Don Magner said officials will tour various facilities, including the largest incubator—which resembles the Richardson Innovation Quarter, IQ—and largest manufacturing center for medical devices. Representatives will also meet with companies from the five target sectors for Richardson’s economy, which include:
  • Advanced and additive manufacturing
  • Professional and financial services
  • Health, medical and life sciences
  • Technology and software
  • Research and development
“We will get to meet and better understand their business models and their expansion goals,” Magner said. “Through that, we anticipate that this trip will result in businesses locating here in Richardson IQ.”

Why it matters

Magner said many of the companies city officials will learn about have developed and thrived in an ecosystem similar to the Richardson IQ.

“They'll feel the same kind of support from a university, and they'll definitely feel the same kind of support from Richardson as the local public entity,” Magner said.

What’s next?

Magner said he hopes the trip results in business and government connections that go both ways.

“It's great to have that kind of personal handoff and that introduction that can allow us to go over and sell Richardson and differentiate Richardson from all the other opportunities that they may be considering,” Magner said. “We're very hopeful [about] what may lie ahead in the coming year as a result of this visit.”