Viraj Mehta and Miniya Chatterji
Discussions on India at WEF will focus on how its leaders can accelerate growth while restoring confidence.
Since 1984, the World Economic Forum has annually convened in India at its only country-focused summit. This summit has contributed substantially over the years to the promotion of understanding and collaboration between the international and Indian business communities. The forum’s commitment to India continues. This year, Kris Gopalakrishnan, the president of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and vice chairman of Infosys, is one of the seven official co-chairs of the annual meeting in Davos.
The WEF has always acknowledged India’s great importance in the global landscape. At this year’s annual meeting, which kicks off tomorrow, there are 130 Indian participants, 30 of whom have roles in the official programme. Participants this year include business and cultural leaders as well as political figures such as the minister of finance, P. Chidambaram, the minister of commerce and industry, Anand Sharma, the minister of urban development, Kamal Nath, the minister of state for power, Jyotiraditya Scindia, and the deputy chairman of the planning commission, Montek Singh Ahluwalia.
The WEF has 109 Indian member companies, which represents the second largest number of member companies at the forum. Apart from working with the top leadership in the Central government, we are increasingly also working with chief ministers of Indian states at the regional level.
Further, in India, a country where a large chunk of the population is under 30, the forum has a strong emphasis on engaging the youth of the country. One example is our Young Global Leaders (YGL) community, which brings together the world’s most extraordinary leaders 40 years or younger, and who are dedicated to jointly shaping a better future. Similarly, the WEF’s Global Shapers community is a network of hubs developed and led by young people between the ages of 20 and 30 who are exceptional in their potential, achievement and drive.
Our goal at the forum is to bring together member companies, governments, young leaders and other constituents in a multi-stakeholder environment. For instance, the healthy living initiative is working with member companies to systematically tackle type two diabetes in children and parents through schools in the National Capital Region. Similarly, the forum’s partnering against corruption initiative (PACI) will soon launch a project focusing on how companies can achieve a higher degree of transparency across complex supply chains and assess the tools available and best practices. The repository of PACI best practices may focus on India as a pilot country.
YGLs in India come together to work on a range of issues, including fostering peace across India and Pakistan, working on government policy reform on a continued…