It’s Monday at 6 a.m. and Arin Ghosh’s phone is already ringing. After all, while the day is just beginning in Los Angeles, for his business contacts in New Delhi, India, it’s 7:30 p.m. and they are eager for updates.
The early morning hours quickly pass between answering calls and e-mails. Around 12:30, Ghosh jumps into his black Ford sedan and hops on the 110 Freeway en route from his family’s home in Rancho Palos Verdes to USC’s University Park campus. He arrives at Taper Hall and manages to catch his breath just as Professor Ann Crigler begins her Mass Media and Politics course at 2 p.m.
Ghosh may be a junior majoring in political science in USC College, but he is also a special adviser of trade affairs to His Excellency G.V. Anjaneyulu, a member of the State of Andhra Pradesh’s legislative assembly in India. In this position, Ghosh is charged with helping to connect top individuals from American and Indian companies to further strengthen trade relations between the two countries.
“What I’m doing shows this can be done on a micro level,” said Ghosh, a USC Transfer Merit Scholar. “That even a USC student can get involved. Promoting trade is not just for multi-national corporations, it’s even something for the small players.”
Ghosh’s appointment to the civilian post grew out of his dedication for building Indo-U.S. relations. It was while serving as youth chair on the Board of Directors of the United Nations Association’s Pacific-Los Angeles Chapter in 2008 that Ghosh met and liaisoned with the Maryland Interagency Strategic Council under the Martin O’Malley administration. Their continued collaboration during the next two years led to the strengthening of trade and cultural ties between India and the United States. Together, he and the council have begun collaborating with Maryland nonprofit leaders to plan trade and cultural exchanges that they hope may become standard practice in the future.
In January, Ghosh was presented with the State of Maryland Governor’s Citation for his excellence in these on-going efforts.
Ghosh said his passion for expanding Indo-U.S. trade relations is a family affair. Born in India, he immigrated to the U.S. with his parents when he was just three months old. His father, Abhik, and mother, Rini, came seeking American companies to buy Indian machine parts and they started an import/export business.
“I think it’s because of both of them that I try to act as a bridge between the two countries,” Ghosh said. “They really set up a good model and goals that I aspire to.”
As a child, Ghosh would join his parents when they toured India to find suppliers, and now more than a decade later he is returning to these same businesses as well as striking out on his own to establish new relationships with other companies.
“When I was in India over the summer, I spent an extensive amount of time traveling through the countryside, going to these businesses and creating relationships even in places of political unrest where people said, ‘You can’t go there.’ But you have to take risks sometimes,” he said.
For Ghosh, who represented Hindu youth at a United Nations gathering in 2009 and is a youth leader of the Interfaith movement and the Vedanta International Cultural Center, encouraging Indo-U.S. trade relations is about more than business.
“I have been able to see from a young age that the financial strength brought by trade provides the fuel for humanitarian and social welfare programs,” he said. “There’s this negative light on trade going to the East, but one of my goals is determining how to make this a win-win scenario and dispel the myths being created against industry. I would like to prove that with increased profitability can come the development and betterment of societies — that both sides are partners in a common cause.”
With these objectives in mind, he believes the depth and breadth of a liberal arts education at USC College is the perfect fit for him.
“At USC I think there is sense of a true education,” said Ghosh, who was named to the Dean’s List in Fall 2010. “It’s not just about a particular track, it’s about delving into what you really want to do and finding the courses that fit that. You’re not going through an assembly line here, you’re creating your own path.”