The Key Geopolitical Issues of India (Geopolitical Lectures Series)

Category: Alumni Events
9 March 2020
18.30 - 22.30
Campus Brussels

Bala Ganessane will take you on a trip to India. After a general introduction of the country, Bala will focus on understanding India’s Sphere-of-Influence, investigate the relationship between Europe and India and explore the business opportunities in India for Belgian/European companies.


The Indian subcontinent, mother of the first European immigrants, became an intersection of civilizations and religions along its long history. While keeping its identity of a big country, it consists of a million small communities that are self-governing and debating. India is probably the first real democracy in the world, as Nobel economist Amarthya Sen says in “Argumentative India”. As big as Europe, but three times more populated, India was always fighting to preserve independence, contrary to the common pacific image coming from Buddhism and cultivated for foreigners.

Today India is a major atomic power, with a very large army. Arriving in India was the main objective of Alexander the Great from the Mediterranean, the Mongols from China, Russia and Napoleonic France, until the British domination for two centuries. Its culturally fragmented territory, with many languages, traditions and religions, has always been impossible to be governed by a foreign power. The British approach was more mercantile and respectful, like the Roman empire’s attitude, of local authorities and cultures, and has been more accepted and even today this heritage contributes to Indian strength in globalization and world reputation.

In the first part of the lecture, after a general introduction on the geopolitics of the Indian subcontinent, the speaker will take the participants through its history, ethnic and religious diversity and the main internal conflicts. Bala will then introduce you to the complex relations with its neighboring countries and also with Western powers.

In the second part, the speaker will focus on understanding India’s Sphere-of-Influence: India and China’s evolving Indian Ocean roles, the importance of securing sea lanes and of acquiring facilities along the critical choke points, via its naval and maritime strategy.

In the third part, the speaker will investigate the relationship between Europe and India. Bala examines the cultural policy of Europe by laying specific emphasis on the ways in which it has been redefined since the early 2000s. We will explore shifts in terms of policy objectives assigned to culture, away from the traditional emphasis on civic education or support for the Arts. The lecture ends by exploring the business opportunities in India for Belgian/European companies; and how such opportunities should be approached.


6.30 PM: Welcome
7.00 PM: Start of the session
9.00 PM: Networking


Born in India, living in France since 1982, Engineer, Researcher and Entrepreneur, Bala Ganessane has 20 years of experience. While taking inspiration from his engineering experience, he approaches the missions of his clients holistically along three axes: a) Increase the degree of expertise, create value for the customer, improve performance and customer satisfaction; b) Management, Organization, Strategy, Engineering, Technology; c) Training plan, pedagogical follow-up, evaluation method and results analysis. He has an MA degree in Proliferation and Arms Control, an MPhil in Geopolitics and History. He did his PhD research at Sorbonne University in Paris with Prof. Alain Guilerm. His research focused on maritime security and geopolitics in the Indian Ocean. His company BMG focuses on projects related to sustainable solutions for existing and new environments corresponding to territories (e.g. cities).


This event is part of our Geopolitical Lectures Series. Discover the full programme of this series here.


This event is made possible thanks to our event sponsors and alumni partners.

Event sponsors

Alumni partners