[vc_row][vc_column width="1/1"][vc_column_text]New York: The Prime Minister of India Shri Narendra Modi, today chaired a roundtable meeting with top American CEOs from the financial sector.
The CEOs present included Jamie Dimon, Chairman, CEO and President, JP Morgan; Steve Schwarzman, Chairman, CEO and Co-founder, Blackstone; Charles Kaye, Co-CEO, Warburg Pincus; Henry Kravis, Co-Chairman and Co-CEO, KKR; Bill Ford, CEO, General Atlantic; Peter Hancock, President and CEO, AIG insurance; Chase Coleman, Co-Founder and Managing Partner, Tiger Global; and Vicki Fuller, Chief Investment Officer, NY State Common Retirement Fund.
The CEOs expressed appreciation for the steps taken by the Prime Minister to improve ease of doing business, and his various initiatives including his push for infrastructure development and Digital India. Many CEOs expressed keen interest in the Indian start-up sector, and showed willingness to invest in entrepreneurial ventures and innovative start-ups. The CEOs mentioned taxation issues and residual bureaucratic bottlenecks as some of the concerns that still existed with regard to investment in India.
Making a strong pitch for increased investment in various sectors in India, the Prime Minister outlined his vision for “Start-Up India, Stand-Up India.” He said that along with the public sector and private sector, he was laying emphasis to individual start-ups and entrepreneurs – whom he referred to as the “personal sector.” He said start-ups and innovation had been at the heart of the IT revolution.
The Prime Minister expressed satisfaction that all the CEOs at the roundtable had not only spoken about India’s possibilities, but also voiced their confidence in them. He noted that they had articulated their concerns clearly.
The Prime Minister highlighted the economic successes over the last fifteen months. He said FDI in India had increased substantially over this period, a trend contrary to what was seen across most of the world, and this showed increased investor confidence in India.
Roundtable on media, technology and communications- growth story for India
The Prime Minister chaired a roundtable meeting with top American CEOs from the media and entertainment sector.
The CEOs present included Rupert Murdoch, Executive Chairman, News Corp and 21stCentury Fox; James Murdoch, CEO, 21st Century Fox; Robert Thompson, CEO, News Corp; Uday Shankar, CEO, Star India; David Zaslav, President and CEO, Discovery Communications; Michael Lynton, CEO, Sony Entertainment; Michael Roth, CEO, Interpublic Group of Companies; Shane Smith, CEO, Vice Media; Martin Sorrell, CEO, WPP; Jeff Bewkes, CEO, Time Warner; Nancy Dubuc, CEO, A&E Networks, Anthony Pratt, Chairman, Visy Industries; William Duhamel, Route One Investment Company; and Jeff Ubben, CEO, ValueAct Capital.
The CEOs appreciated the Prime Minister for energetic and dynamic leadership, and expressed optimism about the future of India. Specifically, the CEOs were enthusiastic about the digital transformation that is taking place in India through the Digital India initiative. They said that the current strong trajectory of the Indian economy makes it at a unique moment to accelerate growth in this sector.
The CEOs called for speeding up of television digitization, and strengthening of the cellular (mobile) infrastructure.
The Prime Minister and CEOs observed that the changes in technology and media in recent times have led to an enormous democratization of knowledge. The Prime Minister said that the world is now in a technology- driven era, where growth of digital infrastructure is as important as growth of physical infrastructure. He suggested to the CEOs that India represents both the biggest opportunity and the biggest challenge for them, and urged them to keep regional languages in mind, as they firm up investment plans for India. He spoke of his Government’s vision to connect 600,000 villages through broadband connectivity. He asked the CEOs to visualize the citizen of the 21st century, and think about what values he will represent and what challenges he will face. He also spoke of the role that digital technology can play in human resource development. The Prime Minister emphasized that he saw a key role for digital technology in further strengthening democracy, and in India’s development narrative.
The Prime Minister met the Prime Minister of Bangladesh, Ms. Sheikh Hasina. Both leaders reviewed the progress of the bilateral relationship since their last meeting. They expressed happiness at the progress of implementation of the Land Boundary Agreement. Discussions also focused on connectivity and infrastructure, sustainable development goals, and reform of the UN Security Council and other institutions of global governance.
The Prime Minister met the Prime Minister of Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Dr. Ralph Gonsalves. He thanked Dr. Gonsalves for the support extended by Saint Vincent and the Grenadines towards UNSC reform.
The Prime Minister met the President of Guyana, Mr. David Granger. The President was appreciative of Indian support for capacity building in the IT sector in Guyana.
Meeting with Mr. Michael Bloomberg
During his meeting with Mr. Michael Bloomberg, the Prime Minister appreciated his support in the Smart City initiative.
Interaction with CEOs
The Prime Minister interacted with 42 American CEOs from the manufacturing and infrastructure sectors. The CEOs were appreciative of the Prime Minister’s development vision of economic development, and the progress made over the last 15 months.
The Prime Minister highlighted his commitment for predictable, transparent and accountable governance. The CEOs expressed support for the Make in India, Skill India and Smart Cities initiatives.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]
Sanjay Trivedi is honorary editor of Asia Times. He is senior Indian Journalist having vast experience of 25 years. He worked in Janmabhoomi, Vyapar, Divya Bhaskar etc. newspapers and TV9 Channel as well as www.news4education.com. He also served as Media Officer in Gujarat Technological University.