San Jose (California): Tesla Motors’ iconic CEO Elon Musk on Saturday gave Prime Minister Narendra Modi a tour of the company’s trend-setting electric car plant in Palo Alto as he arrived here for a tech tour of Silicon Valley.
Modi, on a 36 hour whirlwind tour of Silicon Valley to give a strong push to his drive for technological innovation in India, visited the Tesla Motors plant to see the path-breaking inventions on renewable energy.
“Prime Minister Modi and I talked about electricity generation and how there are ways to skip ahead with it as with cellphones,” Musk, the company’s principal engineer, inventor and investor, said later.
“Engines of the future. PM @narendramodi takes a tour of @TeslaMotors, leading builder of electric cars,” tweeted External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup.
The first Indian leader to visit California in more than three decades, Modi is set to have a series of meetings with the tech titans of Silicon Valley.
They include Satya Nadella and Sundar Pichai, Indian-American chief executives of Microsoft and Google respectively, Apple CEO Tim Cook and Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg.
With many an Indian at the forefront of innovation in the Silicon Valley, Modi will be looking at how to maximise opportunities at a digital economy dinner Saturday evening.
Several Indian-American tech leaders as also Cisco Chairman John Chambers, and Qualcomm Chairman Paul Jacobs among others would be attending.
Modi began his tour of Silicon valley with an interaction with the Indian-American community at the Imperial Ballroom of Hotel Fairmont here.
Singer Kailash Kher met Modi and a woman tied a rakhi to him during the interaction. Members of the Sikh and Gujarati community also met him later.
Earlier on arrival at the Norman Y. Minte San Jose International Airport, he was given a red carpet welcome with San Jose mayor Sam Liccardo and his wife receiving him.
An enthusiastic crowd of supporters was on hand to welcome him amid chants of “Modi Modi” as he alighted from the Air India one aircraft greeting them with a Namaste.
Amid tight security and barricading, fans reached out to the Prime Minister for handshakes and autographs.
Many wearing tricolour scarves and waving paper Indian flags held aloft signs saying “We Support Digital India.” There were also banners saying “USA loves India”.