By Gerald L. Gordon, Ph.D.
Fairfax County, Virginia, located right outside Washington, DC, is one of the United States’ leading hubs for technology firms – and for good reason. Whether it is the county’s pro-business climate, highly skilled work force, or enviable quality of life in the Washington region, companies from nearly 50 nations, including India, have found a home within the county.
As the first US county to establish a presence in India, Fairfax County has a history of working with Indian companies interested in investing in the U.S. market. The Bangalore office of the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority (FCEDA) works with a variety of companies in India and around the world to establish or expand their business in the United States. Today, there are more than 400 foreign-owned companies located within the county, including 30 Indian companies, and hundreds of IT and technology companies – all established by Indian nationals.
Finding unparalleled value within Fairfax County, established Indian companies continue to invest. Granules India, a pharmaceutical company headquartered in Hyderabad, India, with an established presence in Fairfax County since 2014, announced last year itwould invest $35 million and double its workforce within the county, choosing Fairfax County over New Jersey. Fairfax County’s highly-educated, tech-savvy workforce, appealing geographic location on the US eastern seaboard and state-of-the-art infrastructure persuaded the company to expand here.
Factors such as these have led other India-based companies such as ZH Healthcare, a health technology firm focused on electronic medical records, Tata Communications, an India-based global telecommunications firm, to establish a presence here. In return, such companies provide the county, and region, with unique thought leadership and business expertise. Furthermore, because of Indian companies such as these, not only is Fairfax County known for its strengths in government and defense technology, but its national recognition in the fields of commercial IT, financial, software, health, communications and technology management service providers, as well.
Fairfax County has more companies on Inc. 5000’s list of fastest growing companies than the metropolitan areas of San Francisco, Seattle, Austin, Denver or Portland. It is home to nine companies on the Fortune 500 list – accounting for more than half of companies at that level in the entire D.C.-area.
There are considerable opportunities in Fairfax County for small businesses and major corporations to re-locate here, expand and/or launch. FCEDA representatives in Bangalore work on the ground in India to represent the county and its available business opportunities. They attend many events and work with dozens of companies that want to expand into the U.S. market. Events like the US-India Emerging Technologies Forum, which took place in Kochi on February 15, make it easy for firms to consider expansion opportunities in emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning and Blockchain as well as opportunities in established industries.
Whether in the healthcare, IT, or software development field, or in an emerging industry, Indian companies have increased Fairfax County’s economic strength. India’s greatest advantages – its innovative, highly-skilled workforce and agile companies — have become one of Fairfax County’s greatest assets. As the number of international firms in the county grows, the FCEDA will continue its ongoing collaboration with India to ensure opportunities for Indian businesses to expand into the U.S. market.
I welcome Indian businesses and entrepreneurs to access new markets and find the talent in Fairfax County that will help the company grow and thrive here and throughout the U.S. Please visit www.fairfaxcountyeda.org to begin building a future of possibilities.
(Gerald L.Gordon, Ph.D., is the President and CEO of the Fairfax County Economic Development Authority.)