Ivanka Trump, daughter and adviser to President Donald Trump, at the inauguration of the Global Entrepreneurship Summit 2017 in Hyderabad, Nov. 28. (Shailendra Bhojak/PTI)
The three-day Global Entrepreneurship Summit 2017 – #GES2017 – held in November, in Hyderabad, was organized by the U.S. administration in partnership with Niti Aayog. For the first time, it took place in south Asia and was well-attended, featuring many different streams. From Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi inviting global entrepreneurs to invest in India, saying that the government has undertaken a host of taxation and other reforms to create an investor friendly environment, to Ivanka Trump saying, “reducing gender gap in the labor force by half can help boost Indian economy by over $150 billion in the next three years. She also reiterated her father’s words that “India has a true friend in the White House.” – The summit had a clear message – empowering women entrepreneurship. Indian Defense Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said, Nov. 28, she would discuss ways to promote women entrepreneurs and increase their participation in defense production and procurement during consultations with startups and industry chambers. Boeing launched an innovation competition which encourages startups to propose solutions to tackle complex challenges in the areas of autonomous and unmanned systems, and artificial intelligence. Siliconeer presents highlights from #GES2017.
Modi Invites Global Entrepreneurs to Invest in India
Speaking at the Global Entrepreneurship Summit, 2017, being attended by President Donald Trump’s daughter and adviser Ivanka Trump, Modi said his government has scrapped over 1,200 outdated laws, eased 87 rules for foreign investment in 21 sectors, and taken several processes online.
He said efforts by his government to improve business environment have resulted in a jump in India’s ranking in the World Bank’s ‘Ease of Doing Business Report,’ from 142 to 100, in three years.
Besides, global credit rating agency Moody’s has upgraded India’s sovereign bond rating.
“To my young entrepreneur friends from India, I would like to say, each of you has something valuable to contribute towards creating a New India by 2022. You are vehicles of change and instruments of India s transformation.
“To my entrepreneur friends from across the globe, I would like to say: ‘Come, Make in India, Invest in India – for India, and for the world.’ I invite each one of you to become a partner in India s growth story. And once again assure you of our whole-hearted support,” he said.
An investment-friendly environment needs to be stable from the macro-economic perspective, he said, adding that his government has succeeded in containing the fiscal and current account deficits as well as curbing inflation.
He said India’s foreign reserves have crossed $400 billion, and the country continues to attract large foreign capital flows.
Referring to the theme of the 3-day conference, ‘Women First, Prosperity for All,’ Modi said: “In Indian mythology, woman is an incarnation of Shakti – the Goddess of power. We believe women empowerment is vital to our development.”
Modi said Indian women have contributed significantly in various walks of life, and presently four of the oldest High Courts in India are headed by women judges.
“Our sportswomen have done the country proud. This very city of Hyderabad is home to Saina Nehwal, P.V. Sindhu, and Sania Mirza, who have brought laurels to India,” he said.
Referring to economic reforms, Modi said that taxation system has been overhauled with the launch of GST, while Insolvency and Bankruptcy Code has been introduced to ensure timely resolution of bad loans in the banking system.
“We have recently strengthened this further, preventing willful defaulters from bidding for stressed assets,” he said.
“Tough measures have been adopted to tackle the parallel economy, check tax evasion and control black money.”
The government, he said, understands that an environment of transparent policies and a rule of law providing a level playing field are necessary for entrepreneurship to flourish.
He said Aadhaar, the world’s largest biometric digital database, today covers over 1.15 billion people and digitally authenticates over 40 million transactions daily.
“We now digitally provide monetary benefits of various government schemes to the beneficiaries through Direct Benefit Transfer using Aadhaar,” he said.
Modi listed out various business friendly measures taken by his government and said loans worth Rs. 4.28 lakh crore have been sanctioned under the entrepreneurship scheme, MUDRA.
Besides, he said, under the ‘Atal Innovation Mission,’ Tinkering Labs are being opened in more than 900 schools to promote a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship among children.
After taking electricity to almost all villages, a new scheme, Saubhagya, will provide connections to all the un-electrified families by December 2018, he said, adding that a program has also been launched to provide high-speed broadband Internet to all rural areas by March 2019.
Besides, he said, the government is working on developing a national gas grid and a comprehensive national energy policy is also in the pipeline.
On financial inclusion, he said almost 300 million bank accounts, with deposits of over Rs 685 billion, have been opened through the Jan Dhan Yojna. “This brings previously un-banked sections of society into the formal financial system. Of these, 53 percent accounts are women.”
Modi further said: “We are steadily working towards a less cash economy and have launched a Unified Payment Interface App called BHIM. In less than a year, this platform is facilitating almost 280,000 transactions daily.”
Modi said India has been an incubator for innovations and entrepreneurship over the ages.
The government’s Start-up India program is a comprehensive action plan to foster entrepreneurship and promote innovation, he said, adding that the scheme aims to minimize the regulatory burden and provide support to startups.
–Rajesh Rai and G. Diwakar
Modi, Ivanka Attend Gala at Falaknuma Palace
Famous for its huge Nizam-era table, which can seat 101 guests at a time, the palace-turned-plush hotel Falaknuma Palace is one of the key landmarks of Hyderabad.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Ivanka Trump attended a gala dinner at the Falaknuma Palace.
The dinner, hosted by the Union government, was part of the ongoing Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES) 2017. Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrashekhar Rao was among those present for the dinner.
A separate dinner was arranged for around 1,500 GES delegates on the lawns of the palace.
Prime Minister Modi, on his day-long visit to the city, inaugurated the first phase of the Hyderabad Metro Rail at Miyapur station, and the GES at the Hyderabad International Convention Center.
A senior police official said a five-tier security has been provided to Ivanka Trump, who arrived in the city in the early hours and addressed the eighth edition of GES.
Reducing Gender Gap can Help India Boost GDP: Ivanka
Speaking at the 8th annual Global Entrepreneurship Summit, Ivanka Trump said the conference is symbolic of growing partnership between India and the U.S.
“Just consider if India closes the labor force gender gap by half, your economy could grow by over $150 billion dollars in the next three years,” she said.
With Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the dais, she congratulated Indians on celebrating 70 years of Independence.
“You are celebrating it as the world’s largest democracy, and one of the fastest growing economies on the earth,” the advisor to President Trump added.
She also showered lavish praise on Modi who is “doing to build India as a thriving economy—a beacon of democracy—and a symbol of hope to the world. What you are achieving is truly extraordinary.”
“What you are achieving is truly extraordinary… from your childhood selling tea to election as India’s Prime Minister,” Ivanka said.
“Through your own enterprise, entrepreneurship and hard work, the people of India have lifted more than 130 million citizens out of poverty—a remarkable improvement, and one I know will continue to grow under the leadership of the Prime Minister,” she added.
In a speech that was punctuated by loud cheers from the audience, she lauded Modi for his firm belief that “the progress of humanity is incomplete without the empowerment of women.”
India, Ivanka noted, has opened new universities, its doctors and scientists are discovering medical cures and life-saving technologies, its engineers and architects have built modern wonders that grace skies, and Indian spacecraft have traveled to the Moon and the Mars.
“The people of India inspire us all,” she said.
According to Ivanka, India hosting the Global Entrepreneurship Summit is “a symbol of the strengthened friendship between our two peoples, and the growing economic and security partnership between our two nations. As President Trump said earlier this year India has a true friend in the White House.”
The Summit, she said further, is a celebration of what is happening in India and the U.S. as also all over the world: entrepreneurs are revolutionizing our economies and improving our societies. “You are rewriting the rules,” she emphasized.
Boeing Launches ‘HorizonX India Innovation Challenge’ for Startups
U.S.-based aerospace giant Boeing launched the ‘Boeing HorizonX India Innovation Challenge 1.0’ in collaboration with T-Hub, an incubator for startups promoted by the Telangana government.
The challenge is aimed at attracting the best Indian startups to propose disruptive solutions to tackle complex challenges in the areas of autonomous and unmanned systems, advanced manufacturing, industrial IOT and automation, analytics, AI and machine learning (ML), Boeing said in a statement.
Entrepreneurs will be invited to present ideas on select themes that include drones and data application, factory productivity, supply chain, aircraft maintenance and services, passenger experience, defense, commercial and industrial uses, it said.
“The Boeing HorizonX India Innovation Challenge 1.0 is our attempt to channelize India’s incredible talent and entrepreneurial energy for the future of innovation in aerospace and related areas,” said Pratyush Kumar, president, Boeing India.
“The Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES) provides a perfect backdrop for us to unleash a wave of innovation, both within and outside of Boeing,” Kumar said.
Jay Krishnan, CEO T-Hub, said in the statement, “In today’s age, innovation is fostered by collaboration rather than competition, resulting in co-creating possibilities for the future and a win-win partnership between startups and industry.
“T-Hub is playing an important role in bringing together the best companies and startups to work with each other, resulting in the most innovative and practical solutions.”
The 22-week-long challenge kicked off Nov. 28 and will be open to startups across the country.
The winners of the contest will have an opportunity to engage with Boeing on future partnerships.
The city-based T-Hub is a public-private partnership between the Telangana government, three of India’s premier academic institutes (IIIT-H, ISB and NALSAR) and key private sector leaders.
The tech incubator is one of the largest startup ecosystem builders in India, with over 2,000 startups in its database clustered into various stages of growth across sectors of specialization, the statement added.
Nirmala Wants to Involve Startups in Defense Production
“We have finalized December 4 as the date when I will be working with chambers of commerce and the startups; a huge list has been made to ensure that I interact with them to see women’s participation and how they help defense ministry’s production and procurement process,” she said.
The minister was participating in a panel discussion on opening opportunities for women entrepreneurs at the Global Entrepreneur Summit 2017 (GES). The session was moderated by chairman emeritus Cisco John Chambers and panelists include Ivanka Trump, daughter of, and advisor to President Donald Trump.
Sitharaman said that Indian startups have made and are making big contribution to the defense industry both in India and abroad.
“We want to make sure that we leverage that opportunity …and ensure that these startups are given equal playing opportunities when tenders are given out by the government asking for people to supply (goods and services),” she added.
The minister said that startups face problems as under the existing rules companies cannot take part in the tendering process unless they had been in relevant business for a specified number of years or have achieved certain amount of turnover.
The government, she said, was taking steps to remove such kind of rules which restricted the entry of startups in the tendering process.
“I feel that startups do have a very big opportunity … (they can) enter the defense industry, help India to procure and also probably export,” she said.
Speaking at the discussion, Trump said that the U.S. government has been taking several steps to promote women entrepreneurship.
She said governments can help these budding entrepreneurs by creating friendly environment and enhancing access to credit.
Trump also asked people to provide mentorship as it was very critical for a startup.
Indo-U.S. Ties Set to Scale New Heights: Swaraj
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said, Nov. 28, the relationship between India and the U.S. under the current leadership will scale new heights and contribute to global peace and prosperity, while proposing a vote of thanks at the inaugural session of the Global Entrepreneur Summit 2017, which among others was attended by Ivanka Trump.
“I have no doubt that under leadership of Prime Minister Modi and President Trump, India and U.S. relations will scale new heights and contribute to global peace and prosperity,” she said.
The minister also underlined the need for according priority to women entrepreneurship, saying it should be a priority for India as well as the rest of the world.
She further said that while India is a land of entrepreneurs, the U.S. is a nation that is identified with spirit of enterprise.
“The relationship between the two countries have developed into a partnership of global significance. Woman entrepreneurs are epitome of courage and leadership.
Empowerment of women is priority for India and should be a priority for entire world,” Swaraj said.
She added that the government has embarked upon ambitious program of empowerment of women and skill development.
Further, the minister said Ivanka Trump represents the energy and spirit of entrepreneurship that characterized youth of today.
“We appreciate efforts of the U.S. government to promote entrepreneurship globally. We deeply value strong desire of President Trump to further strengthen partnership with India which we fully share,” Swaraj said.
Telangana Attracted $17.5 Billion Investment in 3 Years: CM
Telangana attracted $17.5 billion worth of investment during the last three years on the back of its new industrial policy, Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao said, Nov. 28.
The investment created over 4 lakh jobs in the state, which came into existence on June 2, 2014, he said.
“In the last three years, we have given approvals to 5,469 industries with a total investment of $17.5 billion and created over 4,00,000 jobs.
“All this achievement was possible without the investors running from pillar to post for various approvals,” Rao said during his inaugural address at the Global Entrepreneurship Summit-2017.
Rao asserted that Telangana is the most favored destination for investors and ranked No. 1 in the ease of doing business ranking in the country.