The 8th an­nual Global En­trepreneur­ship Sum­mit (GES), jointly hosted by the US and In­dia and at­tended by 1,500 en­trepreneurs, in­vestors and eco-sys­tem sup­port­ers from 159 coun­tries was held in Hy­der­abad from Novem­ber 28 to 30, 2017. The Sum­mit high­lighted the theme ‘Women First, Pros­per­ity for All’; fo­cus­ing on sup­port­ing women en­trepreneurs and fos­ter­ing eco­nomic growth glob­ally. Ad­vi­sor to the US Pres­i­dent, Ivanka Trump headed the US del­e­ga­tion.

Dur­ing his visit to the US in June, Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi had re­quested Ivanka (daugh­ter of Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump) to lead the US del­e­ga­tion for GES 2017, and so In­dia laid on the red car­pet for Ivanka. The agenda of the sum­mit was ex­haus­tive, as can be seen from the mul­ti­ple ses­sions cov­er­ing wide-rang­ing is­sues, which in­cluded: ‘Be the Change: Women’s En­tre­pre­neur­ial Lead­er­ship’; ‘We Can Do It! In­no­va­tions in Work­force Devel­op­ment and Skills Train­ing’; ‘Money Counts: At­tract­ing Pri­vate Eq­uity’; ‘Fu­ture of Cin- ema’; ‘She Means Busi­ness: Men­tor­ing and Net­work­ing’; ‘Easy En­trepreneur­ship: Pub­lic Sec­tor Per­spec­tive’; ‘In­no­va­tions that Bridge the Dig­i­tal Di­vide’; ‘Un­der the Mi­cro­scope: In­vest­ing in Health­care Star­tups’; ‘The Busi­ness of Win­ning at Sports En­trepreneur­ship’; ‘AgriTech Mat­ters: Feed Bil­lions by Har­vest­ing Tech­nol­ogy’; ‘Cap­i­tal Suc­cess: Crowd­fund­ing and Boot­strap­ping’; ‘Meet Ge­orge Jet­son, Mod­ern­iz­ing Mo­bil­ity In­fra­struc­ture’; ‘Easy En­trepreneur­ship: The En­trepreneurs’ Per­spec­tive’; ‘Wa­ter Ev­ery­where: Man­ag­ing a Scarce Re­source’; ‘Pay­ment Plat­forms: What’s the Next Game Changer?’; ‘Re­tool­ing Learn­ing and Schooling’; ‘Grass­roots Grows: Women in Emerg­ing Mar­kets’; ‘Byte into a Bet­ter Fu­ture: Fin­Tech Dis­rup­tors’; ‘From the Draw­ing Board to the Board­room: Cre­ative En­trepreneurs’; ‘Get­ting on the Grid; Build­ing Your Cus­tomer Ori­ented Brand’; ‘Easy En­trepreneur­ship: The In­vestor Per­spec­tive’; ‘Go For It: Tap­ping Al­ter­na­tive Fi­nanc­ing So­lu­tions’; ‘Bet­ter Health with­out Break­ing the Bank: How Low-Cost In­no­va­tions are Rev­o­lu­tion­iz­ing

Health­care’; ‘The Miss­ing Mid­dle: Mak­ing the Leap’; ‘Cap­i­tal Suc­cess: Seed Funds to Ven­ture Cap­i­tal’; ‘Beyond Re­turns: In­vest­ing in Emerg­ing Mar­kets’; ‘Har­vest­ing Change through En­trepreneur­ship: Tack­ling Global Agri­cul­tural Chal­lenges’; ‘The City that Never Sleeps: Cities of Tomorrow’; ‘Di­ver­si­fy­ing Sup­ply Chains: Link­ing Global Com­merce and Women-Owned Busi­nesses’; ‘In­no­va­tion Hubs: Skilling the CEOs of the Fu­ture – In­cu­ba­tors’; ‘From the Lab to the Mar­ket: Con­nect­ing Sci­ence to the En­trepreneur­ship World’; ‘An Au­di­ence of Bil­lions: How to Break into Big Emerg­ing Mar­kets’; ‘Know­ing the Fu­ture: How Ar­ti­fi­cial In­tel­li­gence will Shape Tomorrow’; ‘Own Your Mes­sage: Ef­fec­tively Us­ing Tra­di­tional and So­cial Me­dia’; ‘Reimag­in­ing the Fu­ture of Health’; ‘Pitch to the Rich: Key Mes­sages to De­liver to In­vestors’; ‘How to Fail Bet­ter’; ‘The Re­al­ity of the Fu­ture: How Tech­nolo­gies are Shap­ing Ex­pe­ri­ences’; ‘E-Com­merce as a Crit­i­cal Tool in Scal­ing En­trepreneur­ship’; ‘De­vel­op­ing the En­tre­pre­neur­ial Ecosys­tem’; ‘Suc­cess! Keep­ing and Nur­tur­ing Women in STEM’; ‘The Lan­guage of En­trepreneur­ship’; ‘The “En­ter­prise” of Space: Ad­vances In and Ap­pli­ca­tions of Space Tech­nol­ogy Are Driv­ing Eco­nomic Growth Around the World’; ‘The Miss­ing Mid­dle: In­creas­ing Your Pres­ence’; and, ‘When Women Win, We All Win: Pro­mot­ing In­clu­sive En­vi­ron­ments for Women En­trepreneurs’.

Ivanka’s key­note ad­dress was cen­tred on: clos­ing gen­der en­trepreneur­ship gap could make global GDP grow by up to 2 per cent; prais­ing Prime Min­is­ter Modi for build­ing In­dia as a thriv­ing econ­omy – “What you are achiev­ing is truly ex­traor­di­nary... from your child­hood sell­ing tea to elec­tion as In­dia’s Prime Min­is­ter”; through own en­ter­prise, en­trepreneur­ship and hard work, the peo­ple of In­dia have lifted more than 130 mil­lion cit­i­zens out of poverty – a re­mark­able im­prove­ment that will con­tinue to grow un­der the lead­er­ship of Prime Min­is­ter Modi; In­dia is one of the fastest grow­ing economies in the world and has a true friend in the White House; de­spite soar­ing rate of fe­male en­trepreneurs, women still face steep ob­sta­cles to start­ing, own­ing, and grow­ing their busi­nesses - fu­elling growth of women-led busi­nesses is good for econ­omy; if In­dia closes la­bor-force gen­der gap by half, In­dian econ­omy could grow by over $150 bil­lion in next three years; lauded women in ma­jor­ity of 1,500 en­trepreneurs at­tend­ing GES 2017; need to en­sure women en­trepreneurs have ac­cess to cap­i­tal, net­works, men­tors and eq­ui­table laws; high­lighted what the US is do­ing to re­verse the trend of lead­er­ship in en­trepreneur­ship. Addressing the sum­mit, Prime Min­is­ter Modi fo­cused on: GES 2017 brings to­gether lead­ing in­vestors, en­trepreneurs, aca­demi­cians, think-tanks, other stake­hold­ers to pro­pel the global en­trepreneur­ship ecosys­tem, con­nect­ing not only Sil­i­con Val­ley with Hy­der­abad but also show-cases US-In­dia close ties un­der­lin­ing shared com­mit­ment for en­cour­ag­ing en­trepreneur­ship and in­no­va­tion; top­ics cho­sen for the sum­mit are rel­e­vant to the well-be­ing and pros­per­ity of mankind; in In­dian mythol­ogy, wo­man is an in­car­na­tion of Shakti

– the God­dess of power – we be­lieve women em­pow­er­ment is vi­tal to devel­op­ment; In­dian his­tory has ref­er­ences to women of re­mark­able tal­ent and de­ter­mi­na­tion and In­dian women con­tinue to lead in dif­fer­ent walks of life in­clud­ing space pro­grams, ju­di­ciary, sports, ru­ral and ur­ban lo­cal bod­ies (one-third reser­va­tions), agri­cul­ture and al­lied sec­tors (more than 60 per cent) and milk co­op­er­a­tives; high­lighted how In­dia has been an in­cu­ba­tor for in­no­va­tions and en­trepreneur­ship over the ages, present day ad­vances and pro­grams like Start-Up In­dia, en­tre­pre­neur friends from In­dia are ve­hi­cles of change and in­stru­ments of In­dia’s trans­for­ma­tion; in­vited for­eign en­tre­pre­neur friends – Come, Make in In­dia, In­vest in In­dia – for In­dia, and for the world.

Be­ing Ad­vi­sor to Pres­i­dent Trump, Ivanka lead­ing the US del­e­ga­tion had spe­cial mean­ing be­cause Modi’s call for for­eign en­trepreneurs to ‘Make in In­dia’ and for the world clashes with Trump’s ‘Make Amer­ica Great Again’ call. Ivanka should be able to han­dle the con­tra­dic­tion adroitly, en­sur­ing the col­lab­o­ra­tion op­ti­mizes growth of both coun­tries to­gether.

Trump rec­og­nizes global sup­ply chains as the most ef­fi­cient way of do­ing busi­ness, aid­ing pros­per­ity in all coun­tries through which they flow, but his pro­tec­tion­ist ap­proach to­wards trade and ser­vices should not break bi­lat­eral mo­men­tum of grow­ing Indo-US ties. Al­ready US ma­jors like Boe­ing, Lock­heed Martin and oth­ers are look­ing at ma­jor tie ups with In­dia. But the re­quire­ment is for holis­tic col­lab­o­ra­tive en­trepreneur­ship and in­no­va­tion for whole­some growth to ben­e­fit mankind in all walks of life.

An overtly ag­gres­sive China also man­dates col­lab­o­ra­tion for ad­vances in­no­va­tions in space, cy­ber, ar­ti­fi­cial in­tel­li­gence, quan­tum com­mu­ni­ca­tions and the like. Though these are dual use tech­nolo­gies, China has op­ti­mized their use through for­eign col­lab­o­ra­tion over the ears de­spite sanc­tions. In terms of theme of GES 2017, In­dia needs to fo­cus on jobs and clos­ing the ‘in­creas­ing gen­der gap’; hav­ing fallen by 21 spots to 108th po­si­tion in World Eco­nomic Fo­rum’s 2017 Gen­der Par­ity In­dex (from 87th po­si­tion in 2016). Bangladesh holds the 47th po­si­tion in 2017. Next, Chi­nese re­gional hege­mony be­ing of grow­ing con­cern, es­pe­cially with in­suf­fi­cient con­di­tion for a free and rules-based se­cu­rity ar­chi­tec­ture in the Indo-Pa­cific, re­quires deeper Indo-US strate­gic con­ver­gence, com­mon val­ues, and deep­en­ing friend­ship, which must ad­vance beyond rhetoric. In this con­text, the In­doUS De­fence Tech­nol­ogy and Trade Ini­tia­tive (DTTI) must move rapidly in­te­grat­ing the pri­vate sec­tor com­pre­hen­sively. Par­tic­i­pa­tion of in­dus­try part­ners from both coun­tries in the DTTI di­a­logue needs to be se­ri­ously looked at. This would help iden­tify ca­pa­bil­i­ties re­quired with time­lines cor­re­spond­ing with In­dia’s strate­gic part­ner­ship ac­qui­si­tions. The joint Indo-US pledge taken re­cently at Manila “to en­hance co­op­er­a­tion as Ma­jor De­fense Part­ners, re­solv­ing that two of the world’s great democ­ra­cies should also have the world’s great­est mil­i­taries’’ must be cat­a­pulted to re­al­ity through the DTTI. In terms of ‘ease of busi­ness’, In­dia may have gained a few spots, but much more is re­quired to done in­clud­ing cut­ting out the red tape.

Fi­nally, is the big­gest con­cern about ter­ror­ism em­a­na­tion from Pak­istan, ex­em­pli­fied by the re­cent ab­ject sur­ren­der by the Pak­istani mil­i­tary and the administration to the Is­lamists, set­ting free Hafiz Saeed – per­pe­tra­tor of the 26/11 Mum­bai ter­ror at­tack and pro­pel­ling him onto the po­lit­i­cal high ground in Pak­istan. US may have placed a prize of $10 mil­lion for in­for­ma­tion link­ing Hafiz Saeed with the Mum­bai ter­ror at­tacks, but aren’t the tes­ti­mo­ni­als of David Headley (Pak­istani na­tional in US cus­tody) proof enough? Sure US has in­creased pres­ence in Afghanistan, but some­how the im­pres­sion stays that a con­stituency in Cap­i­tal Hill con­tin­ues to favour mol­ly­cod­dling Pak­istan at the cost of In­dia. This is a sore point that the Trump administration needs to ad­dress.

Trump rec­og­nizes global sup­ply chains as the most ef­fi­cient way of do­ing busi­ness, aid­ing pros­per­ity in all coun­tries through which they flow, but his pro­tec­tion­ist ap­proach to­wards trade and ser­vices should not break bi­lat­eral mo­men­tum of grow­ing Indo-US ties

Prime Min­is­ter Naren­dra Modi and the Ad­vi­sor to the Pres­i­dent of United States, Ivanka Trump at the Global En­trepreneur­ship Sum­mit-2017 in Hy­der­abad

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