With a strong demographic dividend, a growing entrepreneurial ecosystem and a large domestic market, the time is right for India’s economy to soar. At this critical juncture for India, the 2016 India Economic Summit (IES2016), held in partnership with the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), provided the platform to engage the global multi-stakeholder community of World Economic Forum.
The World Economic Forum is an independent international organization committed to improving the state of the world by engaging business, political, academic and other leaders of society to shape global, regional and industry agendas.
Key facts about World Economic Forum
- The World Economic Forum has been conceptualized and implemented by Publicis Live, specialists in delivering end-to-end event management, a part of MSLGROUP. Since 1995, they have supported the World Economic Forum in designing and delivering its Annual Meeting in Davos and its regional summits around the world.
- MSLGROUP in India and the World Economic Forum began their partnership in 2011 with the Mumbai meeting – a first in the history of the summit.
This year’s summit in New Delhi, India on October 6-7, brought together high-level leaders from business, government and academia to explore how to collectively shape policies for inclusive growth and harness the Fourth Industrial Revolution – a technological revolution that is changing the scale, scope and complexity of the opportunities and challenges that we face.
I was happy to represent MSLGROUP India along with my colleagues Sushmit Sarkar and Sahil Raina. From assistance in pitching to arranging interviews for their spokespeople and participants, managing broadcast teams to guiding student volunteers we supported our clients and the WEF team.
The event addressed key issues of national and regional importance under three thematic pillars – mastering the Fourth Industrial Revolution, driving sustainable and equitable growth and improving the ease of doing business.
The two-day programme featured innovative formats that aimed to generate insights, spark meaningful dialogue and debate. This included plenary, interactive, televised, Transformation Hub sessions and Issue Briefings.
- Plenary sessions featured senior government officials and business leaders, covering broader issues under the summit’s theme and provided the conceptual framework for further discussion; interactive sessions pursued topics related to the pillars of the programme in greater depth and were structured around a panel, bringing together expert views and contrasting perspectives; televised sessions raised awareness around important trends and debates by broadcasting the discussion to a global audience, aired by the broadcast partner hosting the debate;
- Transformation Hub sessions featured key trends and transformations by industry, region or issue through Transformation Maps; and
- Issue Briefings offered insight into relevant topics and the latest developments from leading experts in a particular field.
The inaugural session was attended by Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, among other dignitaries.
Some of the key public figures representing India at the Summit included Nirmala Sitharaman, Minister of State for Commerce and Industry of India, Nitin Jairam Gadkari, Minister of Road Transport, Highways and Shipping of India, Suresh Prabhakar Prabhu, Minister of Railways of India, Jayant Sinha, Minister of State for Civil Aviation of India and Smriti Zubin Irani, Minister of Textiles of India.
There were several sessions on digital entrepreneurship and how India can catalyze on this phenomenon and innovation around the theme ‘Fostering an Inclusive India through Digital Transformation’. Rajan Anandan, Managing Director, South-East Asia and India, Google, along with Kavin Bharti Mittal, Founder and CEO, Hike Messenger, India and Simon Galpin, Managing Director, Bahrain Economic Development Board, Bahrain, discussed boosting access to finance, how to creating and enabling digital business environment, and enhancing digital skills and education.
The session on India’s Fourth Industrial Revolution discussed how the confluence of emerging technologies and rapid digitization pose new possibilities for India to leapfrog into it.
While ‘Shaping the Future of Food‘, explored the new strategies, policies and partnerships that are transforming the future of food and agriculture in India.
This year’s summit was co-chaired by Anil Agarwal, Executive Chairman, Vedanta Resources, United Kingdom, Johan C. Aurik, Global Managing Partner and Chairman of the Board, A.T. Kearney, USA, Gita Gopinath, Professor of Economics, Harvard University, USA; Young Global Leader, Amitabh Kant, Chief Executive Officer, NITI Aayog, India, John Rice, Vice-Chairman, GE, Hong Kong SAR and Vijay Shekhar Sharma, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Paytm, India.
An interesting addition this year was the Virtual Reality experience, participants could stop by and experience three short documentary films, made using the latest innovations in VR. A first for the India Economic Summit, they showcased the power of technology and storytelling through a series of carefully curated VR films.
I watched, or rather experienced a movie titled ‘Clouds Over Sidra’, which was narrated by a 12-year-old girl, Sidra, who guides you through her temporary home: The Zaatari Refugee Camp in Jordan. Zaatari is home to 130,000 Syrians fleeing violence and war, and children make up half the camp’s population. In this lyrical VR film, Sidra leads you through her daily life: eating, sleeping, learning and playing in the vast desert city of tents.
Summarizing the IES2016 in numbers
- 600+ participants from over 30 countries
- 440+ business leaders, among them 140+ top executives
- 34 public figures and ambassadors
- 100+ women leaders
- 30+ media leaders
- 60+ Young Global Leaders, Global Shapers and Social Entrepreneurs
The summit was a spectacular platform to experience a large-scale event and also get an opportunity to attend insightful sessions by business leaders and public figures.
Apurva has been a part of MSLGROUP India team since December 2013, prior to which she was a corporate affairs consultant with Mondelēz International.