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6th edition of GBS Global Business Summit begins, PM Modi is Chief Guest

Deliberations on nature of globalisation, geopolitical equations, sustainable solutions, inclusive growth models, and disruptive and transformative forces in  business marked day one of The Global Business Summit 2020

The sixth edition of the prestigious Global Business Summit kicked off on March 6,2020 at the Taj Palace Hotel here. Presented by The Economic Times, day one saw Hon’ble Prime Minister Narendra Modi take the stage as the Chief Guest and was welcomed by Vineet Jain, MD, The Times of India Group. An audience of 700+ delegates including corporate A-listers from India and across the world was in attendance.

Other notable dignitaries included Cherie Blair, Founder, Cherie Blair Foundation for Women; Andy Puddicombe, Co-founder, Headspace; Neeraj Agarwal, Chairman APAC, BCG; and Steve Schwarzman, CEO of Blackstone Group, among others.

Addressing a phalanx of global disruptive business gurus, new-age Indian corporate leaders, policymakers, and civil society leaders, Prime Minister Modi said that sustainable development is a contemporary issue. He outlined the pathbreaking policies of his government that have changed the status quo and forged a new direction for the country. “The government is trying to bring each section of society out of inaction. For us, good governance, development and nation-building is a conviction to do the right thing and break the status quo,” he said. “Our policies are clear and the fundamentals are strong and India is moving ahead using the mantra of collaborating to create.”

The theme of this year’s summit is “Collaborate to Create – Sustainable Growth in a Fractured World”. Day one saw an A-list of business leaders speaking on diverse themes such as women’s rights, building future cities, creating sustainable businesses and sharing views on disruptions in business.

A high-powered CEO panel drew upon their rich experiences at the helm of global powerhouses as they scrutinized what a decade of disruption means us for. Neeraj Agarwal, APAC Chairman, BCG; Sunil Munjal, Chairman, Hero Enterprise; Ronnie Screwvala, Co-founder and Chairman, upGrad; Binod Chaudhary, Chairman CG Group; and Suneeta Reddy, MD, Apollo Hospitals, offered much food for thought with a unique perspective on this. Neeraj Agarwal said, “The world will be driven by technology, which means a lot of disruption but also tremendous opportunities. Disruption is not new. But what we need to look at the pace…it has changed dramatically.” Suneeta Reddy said, “Disruption is evolution if you are not prepared for it…if you are prepared for it, it becomes innovation.”

Earlier, Cherie Blair, founder of the Cherie Blair Foundation and a leading international human rights lawyer and campaigner for women equality, noted that “India has the lowest rates of female labour force participation in the world. A precious opportunity is being underlooked and underutilized.” She also underscored the importance of financial independence of women.

Chairman, CEO and Co-Founder of Blackstone Group, Steve Schwarzman said, “The government needs to address the issue of how to get more capital in the banking system…there is need for more entrants in the banking system.”

Among the highlights of Day Two to look forward to are special addresses by Hon’ble Minister of Commerce and Railways, Piyush Goyal; Hon’ble External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar, Hon’ble Minister of Civil Aviation Hardeep Singh Puri; Hon’ble Minister of Women and Child Development Smriti Zubin Irani; and Rajnath Singh, Minister of Defence, besides a host of business luminaries from India and abroad reimagining the future of business in an era of disruption and deglobalization.