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India Conference at Harvard 2015

With the change of a ruling party after a decade, a sentimental shift has taken place in India in the last one year . The country of India has been splashed with renewed optimism, confidence and hunger for change. The India conference at Harvard was a nice wrap up of the challenges that India now faces to not only uplift its own 1.25 billion people or only the South Asian region but also to assume a more prominent and engaged role on the global center – stage.


technology panel


The theme for this year’s conference was ‘India’s Path to Global Leadership’ which explored India’s potential across a wide variety of areas from governance to business, from role of women to urbanisation, from technological innovation to investment climate, from skill development to healthcare and finally the brainstorming of a forward – looking roadmap.

Insights on India were provided by over a 100 panelists but the interactivclosing keynotee session conducted by the prominent R Gopalakrishnan, Non – Executive Director of Tata Sons – Tata Group stirred up the crowd into a frenzy. He said, “India is the Benjamin Button of the world – we are growing young. With a country of 4,000 communities consisting of 300,000 people in each community, India is a capitalistic society since 20 years, democratic since 65 and a civilisation since 5,000 years, and whichever one you speak of people will remind you of the other two.”

Amongst the diverse speeches of all panelists they had one common message for the youth: “India is at the center of global attention, for investment opportunities, political action and entrepreneurship. If you’re awaiting your moment to return to India there is no better time than now.”


10 Take away points from a few speakers:

“Cannot survive as a business in the long term if you don’t have a larger purpose” by Dr. Khorakiwala of Wockhardt Hospital.

“My life has been a series of accidents, combined with meeting great people.”-Gururaj Deshpande, President & Chairman, Sparta Group LLC

“Tech in India is not just about building copycats.” – Bhavish Aggarwal, CEO & Co – founder of Ola Cabs

“India is a bright spot for foreign investors. Highest ever forex reserves in history of independent India” by Sajjan Jindal, Chairman and MD of JSW Group

“Don’t raise your daughters to be afraid of the world, raise your sons to behave themselves. Makes the world a better place overall.” – Kiran Bedi, EX IPS officer, Indian politician, social activistFullSizeRender (1)_Fotor

“30 years ago women only talked of marriage, now they talk of careers!” – Rena Jhabwala, President of SEWA – Bharat

“Highest form of strategy is getting your way without having to fight for it.” – Ambassador Shiv Shankar Menon, Former National Security Advisor to the PM of India

“If the secular character of the country is disturbed, all bets are off.” – Prithvi Raj Chavan, Member of Indian National Congress

“Ideology is something that guides you and gives you direction but without barriers between people. – Ram Madhav, National General Secretary, BJP

“If you are struggling between whether to be an entrepreneur or take up a corporate job you already have your answer. Entrepreneurship takes passion if you were ready for it you would not be struggling in the first place.” – Shashank Rishyasringa, Co – founder at Capital Float