Where should India invest next? This was the focus of the debate at last weekends India Conference at Harvard. The conference theme,India vs India Local Strength or Global Growth?,pitched for embracing Indias daunting complexity and seeming incoherence rather than the now old growth story.
Despite dire snow warnings,the conference,presented by students at the Harvard Kennedy School and Harvard Business School,saw its largest attendance yet of over 600,the organisers said in a press release. The India Conference,now in its tenth year,is the largest student-run India conference in the US,and has historically drawn students,professors,entrepreneurs,local professionals,and India enthusiasts from across the world. On the first day of the two-day meet,Harvards legendary Kennedy School hosted 22 ministers,ambassadors,foundation directors,global entrepreneurs,and several other voices from across the professional and ideological spectrum.
The four keynote speakers on March 9 were Ashok Alexander,formerly country director of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation,Arun K Singh,deputy chief of mission at the Indian embassy in Washington,Ajay Maken,minister for housing and urban poverty alleviation,and Sam Pitroda,adviser to the Prime Minister on public information infrastructure and innovations.
On March 10,28 speakers at the Harvard Business School propelled several important debates on a range of issues. There was a celebrated panel discussion on the way forward for Indian women in business. The day closed with UTV Motion Pictures CEO and Disney Studios MD Siddharth Roy Kapur,offering his optimistic outlook for evolving audience tastes in Indian entertainment.