His statement on difficulties to carry out tough reforms in India as the country has too much of democracy stokes controversy
Bengaluru, NFAPost: Post the opening of TiE Global Summit, much concurrent session held. In a session titled ‘Transformation of India with a focus on entrepreneur ecosystem’ in conversation with CNBC TV18’s Nisha Poddar, NITI Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant said that India has grown as a technology country.
At the same time, Amitabh Kant stoked controversy after saying at an online event that it is difficult to carry out tough reforms in India as we are too much of a democracy.
India has world’s second-largest start-up ecosystem, he said. While the world reeled under the Covid pandemic, India witnessed 38 billion U.S. dollars inflow of FDI.
He spoke about various fronts on which the Government is working to leverage technology for the benefit of India’s 1.3 billion populations. The solutions will not only benefit 1.3 billion but the next 4-5 billion people who will move over from poverty to middle class, he said.
He said that Niti Aayog has taken up various measures to attract FDI and has pushed limits in innovation. India is becoming an innovation-driven economy by removing regulatory barriers. He propounded various measures such as Aadhaar, DBT, UPI, Aayushman Bharat, etc. He said that India can build a number of tech products as it has skilled manpower and unique problems. The Post Covid-19 era will be a world of technology, he said. India can be a tech garage for the world, he added. India has worked on a range of products solving problems, he said.
Speaking on data culture, data economy and A.I. competence, Amitabh Kant said that it is an evolving and fast-changing digital landscape. Though data privacy has been in the limelight, India needs data protection and data empowerment too, he said.
Using data history is very critical to us. A framework to share data easily and reliably with control is needed. We can use data for machine learning, artificial learning, data empowerment and responsible artificial intelligence. Personal Data Protection Bill is under scrutiny by the Parliament, he informed.
India is data-rich but it has to be data-intelligent, find solutions to problems, Amitabh Kant said. Artificial Intelligence can help add up to $957 billion to the Indian economy by 2035. The opportunity for AI in India is massive, he said. The focus should be on finding A.I. solutions and adopt them at scale. We should use A.I. for social good, he opined. Development and deployment of A.I. are mode critical, he added.
Answering a question on women entrepreneurship, Amitabh Kant said that the next big disruption in India will be led by women entrepreneurs. To transform India, we need to give a huge fillip to women entrepreneurship, he said. Speaking on the Startup ecosystem on India, Amitabh Kant called upon Indian companies and Indian family businesses to invest in the ecosystem. India should learn to support startups, he said.
Wealth Creator DNA session hosted by Sridhar Pinnapureddy, President, TiE Hyderabad with entrepreneurs Ritesh Agarwal (CEO, OYO), Sumant Sinha (Chairman and Managing Director of ReNew Power) and Yashish Dahiya (Group CEO, PolicyBazaar) threw up interesting stories of their journey and growth on becoming an entrepreneur.
The premise of the session in a Q&A format was on what makes these entrepreneurs special and where they born to create wealth? The session revealed the thought process behind their success and what it takes to become what they are.
Sharing his thoughts, Sumant Sinha said that question oneself and introspection play a vital role. He said that he saw himself as a builder/creator who wants to create something that has a lasting value. Ritesh Agarwal too opined that ability to reflect is critical. The most important thing was that he aspired to create value out of nothing. Yashish Dahiya said that self-awareness is a very important trait for entrepreneurship.
Sumant Singh disclosing his experiences said that he comes from a family were doing the job in the private sector a very daring thing to do. He opined that comfortable life, job, etc. are straight-jackets. It becomes difficult to start something. I first thought of becoming an entrepreneur sometime in my mid-30s, he said.
Answering a question on who their favorite wealth creators (with whom they are fascinated) were Sumant Sinha said that he admired Elon Musk and said that he was ahead of humanity and was a visionary and a problem solver.
Ritesh Agarwal said that Bill Gates and Azim Premji were his role models as they not only created wealth but also gave back to society. Yashish Dahiya said that he is fascinated by Sanjeev Bikhchandani, his first investor for his guts. It takes a lot of guts to invest into an idea, he said.
Dr Krishna Ella, Chairman & MD, Bharat Biotech was in conversation with Kiran Mazumdar Shaw Chairperson, Biocon, on delivering the vaccine: the big opportunity. Speaking to Kiran, Dr. Krishna Ella said India is one of the best Vaccine Industries in the world.
One in every three children is vaccinated by Indian Vaccine Industry. In the past, R & D was not so much as it is in the Vaccine industry. Thanks to Pandemic, the industry got good recognition. India has the experience of polio immunization. But the number there is small just 125 million. Now in case of the Corona, it is 7bn adults, which is a huge challenge.
Replying about their plans, he said intranasal COVID-19 vaccine to enter phase 1 trials next month. We are setting up two more facilities for vaccine manufacturing including Covaxin, a vaccine for the coronavirus, that is when we will know our installed capacity well.
It is going to be a single-dose vaccine. The clinical trial process is also going to be faster,” he said to Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, Chairperson of Bengaluru-based Biocon Limited with whom he was in conversation.
“We have tied up with Washington University School of Medicine in St.Louis for a novel “chimp-adenovirus” (Chimpanzee adenovirus), single-dose intranasal vaccine for Covid-19,” said Dr Krishna Ella.
On the pricing he said Indian vaccines will be much cheaper when compared to other countries. So many manufacturers are working on at a faster pace with limited data and safety, efficacy, no information on long term efficacy, how does he address these concerns?
“We as manufacturers safety is our priority. Safety is the most important in the pandemic. Among different platforms based on which vaccines are manufactured, we are working on inactivated vaccines,” said Dr Krishna Ella.
Speaking on the deployment Krishna Ella shared with Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, Chairperson Biocon Ltd, that we need to vaccinate 1.3 billion people and they need to be vaccinated twice. So we need 2.6 bn syringes and needles. And we are worried about the pollution these devices generate.
The double doses of vaccine with a gap of one month in between may add more complexity to the distribution, he observed. Besides that, he says, it is the largest ever vaccination program in the history of entire mankind.
Another huge challenge will be the availability of medical devices such as auto disposable syringes, needles required for the delivery of the vaccine. While demand is more, the supply is not in commensuration with the demand as companies have been working with far fewer resources.
The Art of Living
In another session, Sridhar Reddy, Chairman, Ctrls&Cloud4c was in conversation with Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar. Attendees from all over the world from Korea, Singapore, the USA and others asked questions on a wide range of subjects relevant entrepreneurship.
Replying to those questions, Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar said, the pandemic is going to end very soon says Gurudev Sri Ravi Shankar while interacting at the TiE Global Summit on the of its inauguration.
Replying to a question from a business owner from Singapore on how business owners have to manage the tough times the whole world is going through currently, he said it is a passing phase and it will end very soon. This too will pass. Take for example how some countries who lost everything in the past two world wars and were reduced to rubbles and woke up from ashes, rebuilt everything. This is also something similar to that. Take this as an opportunity
To construct a tall building you go so deep and down only to put up a massive structure. There is enough humanity, human values to support each other. Hold on the ground. This pandemic is going to end very soon, Gurudev Sri Sri Ravishankar said
Speaking about entrepreneurship he said, the name entrepreneur indicates that you are here to bring something new to the world. And if you fail to do so, you are no good he said
Talking on failures in the entrepreneurial journey he said, take failures as challenges. To do that you need a lot of inner strength. If you are stressed out, you can’t handle small problems or challenges. Train your mind to accept challenges, failures. Stand up for criticism. And always be ready to accept criticism. Don’t shun it, Gurudev Sri Sri Ravishankar said.