Land of a billion opportunities
For the first time in its 27 year history, the World Economic Forum’s India Summit moved from the capital, Delhi to Mumbai. In partnership with Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), the World Economic Forum (WEF) held its annual India Economic Summit, under the working theme of ‘Linking Leadership with Livelihood’, hosting over 800 participants from 40 countries.
In partnership with the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), the World Economic Forum’s Annual Summit was held under the working theme of ‘Linking Leadership with Livelihood’. It hosted over 800 participants from 40 countries.
The Summit focused on issues of inclusive growth, the development of rural economies and internal issues of inflation and corruption and there was also a level of interest in how India deals with these issues.
The first day of the Summit declared that a ‘New India’ has emerged after 20 years of reforms, where fulfilling the huge aspirations among the young is the country’s next challenge. The opening plenary session struck an optimistic note when Mukesh D. Ambani, Chairman and Managing Director, Reliance Industries, India, said: “The reality is that we have brought 150 million people out of poverty, and the reality is that India is a land of a billion opportunities and not a billion problems.”
The Summit focused at finding a sustainable balance between growth and natural resources for the growing population that is consuming more each day. A panel of industry and government leaders pointed out that India’s rapid economic growth over the last decade has come with a hidden environmental cost, but the country has an opportunity to take the lead in creating the infrastructure of sustainable growth.
A panel on the role of states in India’s development highlighted the collaboration of states and the central government for keeping the country on a stable and sustainable growth path. The chief ministers of three Indian states were present in the panel and welcomed a proposal from a participant that a think tank or non-partisan policy unit be established to help states develop policies and avoid repeating research, analysis and preparatory work.
Along with encouraging the New Manufacturing Policy of India, the WEF India Summit also announced the creation of the Global Shapers Community in India. The Global Shapers Community is a worldwide network of Hubs led by select 20- to 30-year-olds who are exceptional in their potential, achievements and drive to make a positive contribution to their communities. They represent all walks of life and share a spirit of entrepreneurship in the public interest. They are chosen and mentored by Young Global Leaders, and stand out as individuals who have already delivered major projects, founded companies or organizations, or contributed to serving society.
The active participation of the Global Shapers in the Summit is part of the World Economic Forum’s goal to provide this unique group with access to the Forum’s Members and constituents, including top leaders from politics, business, civil society, media, science, arts and culture, faith and academia, with the objective of providing maximum possibilities for interaction and crossmentoring.
The Summit also encouraged entrepreneurship by awarding the seventh annual “Social Entrepreneur of the Year” award. The Schwab Foundation for Social Entrepreneurship, a sister organization of the World Economic Forum, in partnership with the Jubilant Bhartia Foundation declared Neelam Chhiber, Managing Director, Indus Tree Crafts Foundation (ICF), as the winner of the 2011 India Social Entrepreneur of the Year award