What you missed at the Global Business Summit 2023

We take stock of what went down and who said what at the gathering.

The Economic Times Global Business Summit 2023, one of Asia’s biggest conferences for global business leaders, wrapped up on Saturday last week. We take stock of what went down and what was said at the gathering.

Over 1500 people attended the two-day event across 20-plus countries, including around 150-plus on-stage speakers.

In its 7th edition, Global Business Summit (GBS) once again proved to be a powerful catalyst to align global business and thought leaders, develop solutions to problems, introduce new strategies, and fuel cross-country collaboration.

Here’s a quick recap of what you missed at the summit.

Heavyweights on the mainstage

The conference’s centre stage played host to some of the great names in the world of business and academia, along with key leaders from the Indian government.

The discussion themes revolved around navigating the global economy through uncertain times, accelerating energy transition and sustainability, technological advancements and disruptions, diversity and inclusion, tapping new business opportunities, geopolitical concerns, and many more.

“There’s now an unmistakable air of excitement and optimism about India,” said Vineet Jain, MD, The Times Group welcoming the Prime Minister at the Global Business Summit 2023. “India has emerged as a beacon of growth in the present time of uncertainties. As we enter Amritkaal, India under the leadership of our PM stands out as the world looks at us for direction. Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas, and Sabka Prayas are the driving principle of the current government,” he added.

Everyone paid attention to this excitement and optimism as the coherent, focused event unfolded.

The biggest cheer on the mainstage was the chief guest address by Prime Minister Narendra Modi as he shared his thoughts about reimagining and reinventing every single element of governance since 2014.

Narendra Modi,
PM of India

“We reimagined how the government can improve welfare delivery to empower the poor. Our government has so far transferred 28 lakh crore rupees via DBT under different schemes. We stopped the practice of viewing infrastructure in silos and reimagined infrastructure building as a grand strategy. About 3.5 lakh kilometres of rural roads and 80 thousand kilometres of national highways have been built in the last 9 years. Today, India is at number 5 in terms of Metro route length and soon India will be number 3,” the Prime Minister said.

Who said what at GBS 2023:

“When all of you join India’s journey towards the road of development, you will be guaranteed of development. This is the strength of our country today,” Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi.

Netflix Co-CEO, Ted Sarandos stated that re-igniting growth was high on his priority and listed three essential metrics for the growth of streaming platforms: viewer engagement, revenue, and profitability.

“We want to become the viewer’s go-to choice for the genre they love. People engagement, revenue, and profit are the real metrics in a successful business model.”

Amitabh Kant, G20 Sherpa, Government of India shared that India’s G-20 presidency comes at a time when there is a confluence of crises across the globe. “Every challenge is an opportunity and India’s presidency will be decisive and action-oriented,” he said.

Bob Moritz, Global Chairman, PwC spoke about the uncertainties and challenges that are coming to us at a faster pace. “India’s economy is positioned to take center stage if India can navigate these challenges, it can survive the headwinds that the world is currently facing,” he said.

Nouriel Roubini, CEO, Roubini Macro Associates, LLC, Professor Emeritus (2021-present), Stern School of Business, New York University believes that India is a strong economy and that it can become one of the prominent economies and countries. “India is set to become a geo-economic and geo-political Asian power in the world. The growth of technological innovation is an opportunity but if not managed right, it can become a threat,” he said.

Jean-Pascal Tricoire, Chairman & CEO, Schneider Electric voiced his concern about the global challenge of climate change. “The collective duty is to provide energy to every one on the planet. Energy is the passport to a decent life. Every company can now invest in green, and it will be profitable in most countries globally,” he said.

Ben Driggs, President & CEO, Global High Growth Regions, Honeywell said,” India has a wealth of opportunities, and is a great market for us. It is important to improve policies and productivity continuously.”

“I have a responsibility to inspire the industry for a better sustainable path” said Jacek Olczak, CEO of Philip Morris International.

H.E. Abdulla Bin Touq Al Marri, Cabinet Member & UAE Minister of Economy said, “We want to become a global trade hub. India is one of the most vibrant economies and we want to help India reach the $5 trillion economy.”

“The demand for talent in the tech space both in India and abroad, is at an all-time high and that is an area that we are focused on,” said Rajeev Chandrasekhar, Minister of State for Skill Development & Entrepreneurship and Electronics & Information Technology, Government of India.

CP Gurnani, MD and CEO, Tech Mahindra said, “The reality is most of us now do know that ChatGPT is a signal of AI being on an exponential growth path.”

Her Royal Highness Sheikha Jawaher Bint Khalifa Al Khalifa spoke on women empowerment. “The strength of any society is the strong woman in it,” she said.

“The challenges faced by women in Indian society are self-explanatory. I believe in never stopping to learn and challenging myself,” said Sudha Reddy, Director, MEIL, Founder & Chairperson of Sudha Sreenivasa Reddy.

Hans-Paul Bürkner, Global Chair Emeritus, BCG stressed the need to re-evaluate supply chains continuously, efficiency, quality, and much more. “Companies will need to re-evaluate risks and opportunities,” he said.

Velina Tchakarova, Director of the Austrian Institute for European and Security Policy, and Founder of FACE for A Conscious Experience, Vienna, Austria, shed light on the current geopolitics of Russia, China, and Ukraine. “Russia and China are aligning themselves against the USA. From an economic point, it’s a match made in heaven. Their relationship will play an important role in global geopolitics in the coming year.”

CEO Panel

Carl Pei, CEO & Co-founder of London-based Nothing shared his views on how the company is emerging as a challenger brand in the mobile (consumer electronics space) and why the business model for all hardware manufacturing companies is complicated. “Each and every unit in the business function needs to have integrated resources and capabilities to avoid any scope of error,” he said.

Nitin Gadkari, Minister of Road, Transport & Highways, the Government of India and Ashwini Vaishnaw, the Union Cabinet Minister for Railways, Communications, Electronics & IT in their respective sessions shared strong data points of their respective departments’ achievements and plans to transform India’s digital and transport infrastructure.

“India is already a nation of prosperity and abundance, and it will only grow exponentially in the upcoming years. The idea of unitedness and oneness is a recurring theme throughout,” said Samir Jain, Managing Director and VC, Times Group.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of ET Edge Insights, its management, or its members

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