Mumbai, 27th Sept: The first day of the three-day conference of the ‘World Hindu Economic Forum’ (WHEF) began on a high note with over 1000 delegates (254 from 37 countries and 456 delegates from Bharat) comprising business stalwarts and policy makers in attendance.
The discussions were around the need and roadmap for achieving an accelerated growth economy for Bharat to create a large number of employment.
Post the lighting of lamp by invited dignitaries, the inaugural session began with in-depth look at the wisdom and philosophy of Hindu economy. This was clearly elaborated by Swami Vigyananand, Initiator of World Hindu Economic Forum.
This was followed by an address by Mahant Yogi Adityanath, Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh. He spoke on Uttar Pradesh: Powering economy of Naya Bharat. He explained that in spite of many challenges, his Government has been able to make tremendous progress in the development of Uttar Pradesh in the past 2.5 years. For example, more than 24 crores of pilgrims visited Kumbh Mela without any incidents. This is one of the successes achieved in a short period. He also mentioned the opportunities available in Uttar Pradesh and invited the business community to invest. Effective Administration, Crime Control, infrastructure development, corruption free government and single window system is attracting a lot of investment in the state of uttar Pradesh.
Bringing into focus ‘Boosting economy of Bharat’ Ajay Piramal, Chairman, Piramal Group said, “What is critical and important is that wealth creators get the respect that they deserve.”
Banmali Agarwala, President, Infrastructure and Defence & Aerospace, TATA Sons Pvt Ltd. Discussed on the exciting topic of ‘Accelerating the transformation of Bharat’s Economy – from Steel to Artificial Intelligence’. He said “We cannot be apologetic about our challenges and expect someone else to find a solution”. He also said that the business community needs to acknowledge that they are more privileged than many others in our society and therefore they need to give back to society than take from it.
Dr. Vivek Lall, Vice President, Strategy & Business Development, Lockheed Martin, shared his thoughts on ‘How technology can support Stronger, Prosperous Society’. Earlier industrial revolutions made humans to adapt, learn new skills, and increase efficiency which resulted in increased income and quality of life. He said “The opportunities significantly outweigh current challenges and ultimately will support a stronger and prosperous society.”
This was followed by a vibrant Panel Discussion chaired by Shri Anil Puri, Chairman of Purico, Nottingham, UK. The session discussed on how Bharat can lead in the fourth industrial revolution. The panelists concluded that we are at the cusp of a new world (order), like every industrial revolution before us, it is up to the collective responsibility of the government and industry, to ensure that we stay abreast of technological developments.
Shri Shailendra Roy, Wholetime Director of Larsen & Toubro, Mumbai added to the discussion, highlighting the importance of going digital. He said “With the help of the building blocks of industry 4.0, that is advanced robotics, big data/ data analytics, cyber security, internet of things, mobile technologies etc., we can lead Bharat to a better tomorrow”. He also added – Industry specific skill training in technology, availability of funds and market is required.
Session 1 was followed by two parallel sessions: 1. Start-ups chaired by Rajeev Mantri and Transform rural economy chaired by Shri Rajesh Srivastava, Executive Chairman, Rabo Equity Advisors, Delhi. Shri Gabi Nahum, CEO, Jethro Group, Israel and Shri R S Rajan Co-Founder & Director, Privi Life Sciences Pvt Ltd, Mumbai highlighted on current challenges faced by farmers and how to overcome these challenges by means of innovation, education and use of technology.
Shri Ravikant Mishra, WHEF committee member said, “WHEF aims to strengthen the economy of Bharat. The first day was power-packed with constructive discourses to leverage expertise, finances and knowledge that would ultimately aid in creating surplus wealth.”
“Success of Bharat’s economy depends on success of family business” – G.M. Rao at World Hindu Economic Forum
Mumbai, 28th Sept: The second day of the three-day conference of the ‘World Hindu Economic Forum’ (WHEF) continued to see high spirits, with over 1000 delegates (254 from 37 countries and 456 delegates from Bharat) comprising business stalwarts and policy makers in attendance.
The discussions revolved around the need and roadmap for achieving an accelerated growth economy for Bharat to create stronger employment opportunities.
The day began with an interesting session on Banking and Finance: Financing the future with Shri Rajnish Kumar, Chairman, State Bank of India, Mumbai, Shri Ashishkumar Chauhan, MD & CEO, BSE, Mumbai, Shri BR Shetty, Founder & Chairman, BRS Ventures, Dubai and Ajit Ranade, President & Chief Economist, Aditya Birla Group, Mumbai. Focusing on economic growth, Shri Ajit Ranade said, “The world will look up to us only when we are prosperous. The goal is to be economically powerful.” BR Shetty said, “If you have good wealth and prosperity, you will have good education. Only then will the best work happen and good opportunities will come to you.”
This was followed by a vibrant Panel Discussion on “Online to offline (O2O) business model – Opportunities and challenges” chaired by Shri B S Nagesh, Founder, Trust for Retailers and Retail Association of India, with Dr. Dhaval B Shah, Co-founder, Pharma Easy, Bangalore and Shri Vishal Mehta, MD, Infibeam Avenues Limited who brought to light the focus on the evolution of digital commerce in Bharat. With faster internet services and affordable smartphones, the e-commerce market is expected to grow to US $200 billion by 2026.
Shri Rahul Pandit, MD & CEO, Hamstede Living Pvt. Ltd, Shri Santosh Kutty, COO, Mahindra Holidays & Resorts and Sanjay Sethi, MD & CEO of Chalet Hotels Ltd. had an interesting session on Hospitality & Tourism industry. The session focused on improving the infrastructure, sanitation, safety and security to attract more tourists and showcase the better parts of Bharat instead of having dark tourism being the face of Bharat.
This was followed by an insightful session on Managing Family Business and Succession Planning with Shri Mukund Chitale CA, Managing Partner, Mukund M Chitale & Co, Mumbai, Shri G M Rao, Chairman, GMR Group, Hyderabad, Shri Shailesh Haribhakti, Group Chairman, Shailesh Haribhakti & Associates, Mumbai. “70% industry in Bharat is family businesses and success of that is based on how we avoid conflict and succession planning. Family businesses are the backbone of Bharat’s economy. Unfortunately most of the family businesses don’t survive generation to generation due to lack of effective succession planning.” said Shri GM Rao.
Shri Ronnie Screwvala, founder of Swades Foundation gave a spell bounding session on Realizing the Swadesh dream. Talking on the importance of not just finding a solution but also working on it, he said, “There’s no point in building toilets because having a solution for sanitation will only mean the user has a warehouse and a godown. They won’t use it if there is no water.”
Shri Shriraj Nair, WHEF committee member said, “With multiple facets of opportunities from across the world, the second day at WHEF saw insightful discussions on employment generation, investment and the power of entrepreneurship.”
“We need more than 100 satellites in operation” – Former ISRO Chairman at World Hindu Economic Forum
Mumbai, 29th Sept: The vibrant cohort of delegates at ‘World Hindu Economic Forum’ (WHEF) drew to a close amidst a host of enthusiastic and highly inspired delegates. The three days saw massive networking and exchange of ideas facilitated between influential individuals representing over 37 countries.
The sessions on the last day covered economically relevant aspects of India — infrastructure, science, technology and innovation.
Deliberating on driving entrepreneurship, accelerating industrial growth and providing large-scale employment, ‘Infrastructure and Real estate’, Shri Gautam Chatterjee, Chairperson, MahaRERA (Maharashtra Real Estate Regulatory Authority) said, “MahaRERA accounts for more than 50% of Bharat’s real estate project registrations and more than 60% of real estate agents’ registrations in the country. The best thing that happen is speedy grievance redressal between buyers and sellers as on an average we are able to solve 9 out of 10 disputes.”
Drawing attention on how technology has advanced over the recent few years and how it has been the driving force of Bharat’s economy, Dr. A S Kiran Kumar, Former Chairman, ISRO, Bengaluru, Shri Deepak Ghaisas, Chairman, Gencoval, Mumbai and Dr. Anand Deshpande, Founder Chairman & Managing Director, Persistent Systems, Mumbai delivered an interesting session. Dr. A S Kiran Kumar said, “The point that we are trying to see here is the use of space technology, whether it is for navigation or communication. We are now able to provide a large number of satellites for transponders, whether it is for connectivity or even for Gram Panchayats providing bandwidth signals. As of now we have 50+ satellites providing us communication, navigation, transponders and earth observation capability. But for a country like ours, this is not sufficient. We need more than 100 satellites in operation.”
Concluding the event, Shri Swami Vigyananand ji said, “I would like to extend my heartfelt gratitude all to all the delegates and various partners for helping us put together the 2019 conference. I am sure that this platform has provided plenty of business opportunities amongst our delegates, apart from imbibing valuable knowledge from our esteemed speakers. We are also thankful to our delegates who have pre-registered for the World Hindu Economic Forum 2020, scheduled to be held in The Hague, The Netherlands, July 6th – July 8th 2020 under the able leadership of Shri Sradhanand Sital, President of the organizing committee.”