Prem Parameswaran joins presidential advisory commission on Asian Americans

Prem Parameswaran with President Donald Trump in the Oval Office.

Prem Parameswaran, 50, global chief financial officer of Eros International PLC, and president of Eros International PLC’s North America operations, was sworn on Jan. 27, 2020 by Vice President Mike Pence, as a member of President Donald J. Trump’s Advisory Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI).

Parameswaran is the only Indian American among the 13 members to be appointed to the Commission that provides inputs to the White House and government agencies to help empower these AAPI communities and assist in alleviating their priority issues and areas of concern.

Trump also designated his Asian American Transportation Secretary Elaine L Chao, the wife of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R.-Ky.), to be Co-Chair of the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders.

In his remarks that followed his administering the oath of office to Parameswaran and the other members of the Commission, Pence lauded the AAPI community and their contributions to the U.S. and their achieving of the ‘American Dream.’

He noted, “The American economy is soaring and Asian Americans are driving capital investment and growth and job creation in cities and towns all across the land,” and declared it “an incredible record of success.”

“Asian Americans are prospering like never before and the American economy is booming,” Pence said, and added that the Asian American community that “is the fastest growing,” has a household income that “is now 40 percent higher than the national average and rising fast.”

The New York-born and raised, Parameswaran said, “As an Indian American from New York and the son of Indian immigrants who came to this country as students in pursuit of the American dream, I am honored by this appointment,” and pledged, “I will undertake this responsibility very seriously and look forward to working with co-Chair Elaine Chao, Secretary of Transportation, as well as my fellow-members of the President’s Advisory Commission to improve the health, education and economic status of AAPI communities in the United States.”

In an interview with India Abroad, Parameswaran said, “I am grateful to President Trump for selecting me to serve as a member of his Commission on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, which has given me an opportunity to interact with his senior officials such as Secretary Chao, Secretary Ross, who will both serve as co-chairs and also to associating with fellow members, including those who are elected U.S. lawmakers and governors.”

“As the only Indian American (in the commission), I will therefore have the responsibility to represent their interests,” he added.

Parameswaran also said he owes a deep debt of gratitude for his success to his parents, Ven Parameswaran, 89, and Priscilla Parameswaran, 82, both staunch Republicans from Westchester County, New York, who have headed several Asian American Republican organizations over the years and also served as both elected and delegates-at-large at Republican national conventions for the past few decades.

He said, “My dad and mom, who founded the Asian American Republican Committee in 1988, were the first-generation immigrants. They came with nothing in their pocket but achieved the American dream. They were among the small number of first-generation Indian Americans, who came to the U.S. in the early 1950’s, studied and worked hard and created a solid foundation for the successive generations, of which I am a by-product.”

He pointed out that “America elected two Indian American Republican Governors for two terms in Louisiana (Bobby Jindal) and South Carolina (Nikki Haley), and several Congressmen and one U.S. Senator, and approximately 50 legislators to various state assemblies, and I am told that about 200 Indian American candidates are running for election in 2020 in the state, county, and local elections.”  

Parameswaran said, “Indian Americans have also served and are serving as CEO’s of approximately 30 Fortune 100 corporations including Google, Microsoft, Pepsico, Mastercard, Citigroup, United Airlines, US Air, McKinsey Consulting,  Fedex, and most recently, Mr. Arvind Krishna has been named as the new CEO of IBM from April, and approximately 50 are serving as managing directors in Wall Street investment banks.”

“Indian Americans are also leaders in all leading educational institutions, and the deans of Harvard School of Business Administration, Harvard College of Arts and Science, M.I.T., University of Chicago, Cornell, are all of Indian origin, and more

Americans have PhD’s disproportionate to their population, and 40 percent of start-ups in technology in Silicon Valley are headed by Indian Americans.”

Consequently, Parameswaran said that “as a member of the Commission, these are the kinds of contributions of the Indian American community I would bring to the table and I would like to share in terms of the values of our community and how they succeed faster than other ethnic groups in achieving the American dream through their excellence in education and hard work that have made them the highest educated and the highest average income earners.”

And, being an avowed supporter of Trump and a GOP stalwart like his parents, said, “President Trump is the first president to treat India as America’s closest ally on a par with the U.K. and all of the U.S.’ closest NATO allies, and allow 100 percent of transfer of all sophisticated American technologies and military equipment. And, this has also resulted in the sharing of intelligence and close consultation on defense.”

Parameswaran predicted that “President Trump is scheduled to make an official visit to India in late February, and based on the Howdy Modi rally in Houston, I am sure President Trump’s visit to India will generate the same kind of enthusiasm, and will foster even closer relations and result in many commercial deals.”

“It is heartening to note that according to Gallup Poll done recently in India, 56 percent of the population, support President Trump,” he added. 

Parameswaran joined Eros in 2015 with over 23 years of experience in investment banking, advising clients in the global telecommunications, media and technology sector, including on mergers and acquisitions and public, private equity and debt financings.

Eros International PLC acquires, co-produces and distributes Indian films across all available formats such as cinema, television and digital new media. It was the first Indian media company to list on the New York Stock Exchange.

Also sworn in along with Parameswaran last month, were Paul S. Hsu of Florida, Congresswoman Amata C. Radewagen of American Samoa, Herman Martir of Texas, Governor Eddie Calvo of Guam, Doris Flores Brooks of Guam, Grace Y. Lee of Michigan, Michelle P. Steel of California, Chiling Tong of Maryland, Jennifer Carnahan of Minnesota, George Leing of Colorado, Jan-Ie Low of Nevada, and Keiko Orrall of Massachusetts.

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