ET Global Business Summit 2018 – The Biggest Business Event Of The Year

For people who say that business is their passion, the Global Business Summit holds a special place in their heart. What other way than to chalk out your future business plans on the basis of the contents discussed on this huge platform. For business consulting enthusiasts like me, just a 15- minute speech from the Global Managing Partner of the world’s best consultant company is more than enough to make my day. One can imagine the excitement it holds when I say that there is something for everyone to learn from business leaders of various industries and look at the world from their perspective. From an MBA aspirant’s point of view, it can be helpful in group discussions or in answering questions like why MBA. One can find answers just by listening to these leaders. I am going to discuss a small part of this two-day event. I have tried to cover the main idea of day 1 of the GBS 2018.

The Global Business Summit, the flagship initiative of the Times Group, is a platform which brings together visionaries, thought leaders, policy makers, academicians and corporate heads to discuss the macroeconomic challenges faced today and provide solutions for a sustainable and inclusive growth.

The theme for GBS 2018, the fourth edition of GBS, is ‘New Economy, New Rules’. It’s about a new economic order and how to change ourselves with the disruptive changes we have seen in the last few years. It’s about how to change the paradigm, how to build and combine your knowledge with growth opportunities. This remarkable event was organised under the leadership of Vineet Jain, MD, BCCL (Bennett, Coleman & Company Limited) and Rana Kapoor (MD & CEO, YES Bank).

As the opening speech was given, the message conveyed to the world became clear- ‘India means Business’. The main idea associated with the new economy and its new rules is that India can be a $5 trillion economy by 2025! As per the last fiscal year, we were at $2.25 trillion. But is this achievable? Well, the answer could be a yes. It took India 60 years to reach the mark of $1 trillion but, only 7 years to reach $2 trillion.

I would like to focus on the thoughts of the first two speakers’ from day 1 (23rd Feb 2018). They are- Dominic Barton (Global Managing Partner, Mckinsey & Company), William B Thomas (Chairman, KPMG International).

Dominic Barton- India: Capturing the next wave of growth

Looking at India today, it seems that it is undergoing a phenomenal change in disruption which is affecting all the industries. This is leading to new jobs, new businesses and being an optimistic person, Mr Barton believes we need to innovate in order to achieve this with inclusion as an important factor for growth. Moreover, the world thinks that India, as a country can achieve this and show how it is done as well. He believes that India can become a $10 trillion economy by 2030.

There are certain forces that will drive this. First, there is a massive power shift towards Asia, with India being in the centre of it. He justifies his belief by an example- if we place the world economy on a paper and start with a point say, year-0, where the economic powershift was on India, then on Iceland (Europe region) after about 2000 years, in 1975. And then in 50 years, by 2025 it is coming back again on India. That is how fast India’s growth has been, as perceived by the world.

Further, there are 2.4 billion new middle-class consumers coming from India (Source: Mckinsey & Co.) This is like a book with 100 chapters and we are in the 1st chapter which comprises of technology. Every company needs to think of itself as a tech company since the major disruptions are due to technological breakthroughs happening at a fast pace. He talks about frugal innovations happening in India especially in the healthcare sector where India will provide solutions to healthcare problems and those solutions will be exported to other countries. Frugal innovations in the automobile sector is going to give a competitive advantage to India.

Mr Barton shares an excellent quote- “We have created a Star Wars civilization, with stone age emotions, medieval institutions and God-like technology.” That’s why we need innovation & inclusiveness and everyone needs to be comfortable in challenging their own basic understanding and orthodoxies in the next 15 years.

William B Thomas- Adapting to the new globalization

Globalization has enabled huge opportunities and India has been a beneficiary of it. Right from ‘Make in India’ initiative to ‘India being open to business’, Narendra Modi has been clear in setting this message clear to the world. Mr William suggests that India can be closer to perfect by making globalisation more inclusive. The economic growth needs to be shared equally among all classes.

There are challenges India faces in the following areas- tax (complexity, inefficiency), infrastructure (outdated and poor, limitation of transportation) and digital economy. The solution to all these is minimum government and maximum governance. Mr Thomas cites examples of the Goods and Services Tax, as the largest reform implemented as a country and the Insolvency and Bankruptcy (Amendment) Bill, 2017 taken by India a sign that it is moving in the right direction.

India has a young population, a growing middle class, huge pool of tech talent. Moreover, Indian CEOs are ambitious. They are embracing disruptions, are more open to new alliances and making huge investments in technology. The Start-up India has ambitions to bring Indian start-ups on a global scale. It’s not long when we say there will be a birth of a new tech giant in India since there are so many competitive start-ups and tech talent in India.

Listening to them and imagining if one was present at an event like this, is very exciting. GBS brings together those who matter and those who want to be counted. I urge all the aspirants to check out the views of the other eminent speakers like- Dara Khosrowshahi (CEO, Uber), Bob Van Dijk (Group CEO, Naspers), Anil Agarwal (Chairman, Vedanta Resources), Lakshmi Mittal (Chairman & CEO, ArcelorMittal), Reed Hastings (Founder & CEO, Netflix) and the keynote speaker- Narendra Modi (PM, India) at .

Parth Shekhar

The author is an entrepreneur by nature and an aspirant by heart. He worked in IT domain for 2 years. After pursuing 'Certification in Entrepreneurship Management' from XLRI Jamshedpur, he is currently involved in family business and also was a part of the iART program 2018 at insideIIM.