Recently I was asked to come and attend the The Economist India Summit and create an illustration that would give a gist of the talks that were held. Standard Chartered and the Economist wanted to be able to gift a souvenir to the speakers at the conference. I’ve always been fond of sketching people and things they say, it’s a great way to practise drawing and observation. I have also been sketching the things spoken about at Typo Berlin as well as Think in Goa in the past but this was my first official reportage assignment.

It was really inspiring to listen to most of the talks and hear business leaders of the world speak their learnings and concerns. The Economist’s stellar journalists also asked some daring and interesting questions to the speakers. We all came out highly inspired from the conference.

We went through a fair bit of editing of text and fixed on a few key speakers with a quote each.

9-economist-summit

First version

Later,the team decided that they didn’t want to go with the faces as it might be offensive to some people to see themselves in a caricature! So we ended up with a no face solution:

final_economist-summit_Samia-Singh

All in all I had fun!
Here are some notes from the conference:
ARUN JAITLEY- Minister of Finance, Government of India.
– India must hold its own ground on the reform path, there is no end to the amount of work that has to be done. We must maintain momentum and not go backwards. There is no easy day – one day it’s Greece and the next day devaluation.
– For India to become a developed economy you need only one percent of the agricultural land.
JAY CHEN – CEO, Huawei India
– Nobody can ignore the potential and oppurtunity of India. The confidence is back in the telecom industry.
– Mr. Modi held a round table conference in Shanghai and many Chinese businesses are positively thinking of coming to India.
JUVENCIO MAEZTU- CEO, Ikea India
– More and more stores are a place of inspiration rather than just being points of sale.
– I’ve been sourcing from India for the past 28 years. 4 Lakh workers are involved with us in India already. 50% women employment is non negotiable at IKEA. Environmental responsibility, social responsibility and co worker rights are of the highest standard at IKEA and our labour is really happy.
– Telengana has a highly receptive govt. and highly competent and knowledgeable IAS officers.
– GST has to happen, there is a 95% consensus, we cannot lose time any longer.
ANANTH VENKAT: Managing Director, South Asia, Standard Chartered Bank
– Its no longer India vs China. Its India vs India and China vs China. We need to get our house in order.
– GST has to be resolved
– Improve the infrastructure: Roads, bridges, poer.
– Streamline the approval process
ARUN JAITLEY :
– Investment required in Infrastructure and Irrigation.

ADAM ROBERTS: Is there a gap between what you promised and you have acheived?

IAS karnataka to Juvencio: What are the top 3 things a state can do to get ahead?

IKEA: Stability (Sustainable over time)

Long Term Plan – Infrastructure is inevitable

Working together
Economy is about belief, behavior and attitude

Dont think of India when investing, think of the progressive states.

What is your advise for a foreign company investing in India?
Ananth Venkat, Standard Chartered: Manage expectation about time.
Juvencio Maeztu, IKEA: Come to India. You will find humbleness, willpower and resilience.

Jay Chen, Huawei: Improve the digital Infrastructure.

SESSION 2

RAHUL BAJAJ: Chairman, Bajaj Auto and head Bajaj Group

The sheen is wearing off. Mr Jaitley is a competent parliamentarian and an emminent lawyer but as a finance minister he can do much better.

RAVI KAILAS: Chairman and CEO Mytrah Energy

Infrastructure largely left to private hands. At first everyone thought ” Will it even work at all?”

Yes, its working and its moving forward. No other large economy in the world has done this.

We have leapfrogged telephony. Skipped pagers and the analog.

KIRAN MAZUMDAR SHAW: Chairperson and Managing Director, Biocon

– India has never been at a better stage for investing

– India needs to invest a lot more in its own healthcare

– Without the Indian pharmaceutical industry, the global health industry would be negatively impacted.

HEMANT KANORIA: Chairman and managing director, Srei Infrastructure Finance

We have 300 billion tonnes of coal reserve and yet our power plants are not running and power cost is high AND you are importing coal! Reduce the cost of power.

The new Suez canal, 8.5 Billion was raised in 8 days. Can’t we call for India’s black money to be put in development? Issue Black money Infra bonds? Does the country want the money or not?

PRASHANT RUIA: Director, Essar Group

To invest in India you have to look at India as a continent, through a regional prism.

The non regulated consumer oriented sectors are growing but the regulated sectors are stressed.
Go back to the drawing board and tweak. For a 1000MW power plant, if I generate power what do I do? I can’t store the power.

 

 

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