Wharton's Student-run, India-centric Business Conference Brings Together Leaders, Professionals, Academics And Students From Around The World

Written By Digital Desk | Mumbai | Published:

The Wharton India Economic Forum (WIEF) is Wharton's student-run, India-centric business conference bringing together leaders, professionals, academics and students from around the world to discuss India's evolution into a prominent global economic power. The conference commenced with a keynote address given by the Managing Director and CEO of Invest India, Deepak Bagla where he spoke about his company Invest India.  

This was followed by a one-on-one discussion which included Vikram Limaye (MD & CEO, National Stock Exchange (NSE)) who was interviewed by Niranjan Narayanaswamy (Editor, Republic TV). They spoke about how leadership has become an important aspect in the industry and about the growth of National Stock Exchange. 

“I think leadership is critical in all the aspects of life. You find paucity of good leadership talent in every aspect whether it’s government, whether it’s corporates, not for profits and pretty much every walk of life. I think what we need is more role models. It is very important for people to really look up to what is it they should aspire for and leadership, therefore, is all about values.”  - Vikram Limaye (MD & CEO, National Stock Exchange (NSE)) 

The discussion was followed by a panel discussion about energy outlook in India. The panel comprised of Kuldeep Jain (MD, Cleanmax Solar), Zia Nariman (Investment Officer, IFC, World Bank) and Rahool Panandiker (Partner& MD, Boston Consulting Group) and the panel was moderated by Saikat Chaudhuri (Professor, Wharton).  Whereas, the second panel was about the future of mobility. This panel comprised of Anumita Roychowdhury (Executive Director, Center for science and environment), Ann Lavin (Senior Director, Public Policy, Asia Pacific, Uber) and Jayesh Ranjan (Principal Secretary, Government of Telangana) this panel was also moderated by Saikat Chaudhuri (Professor, Wharton).  

“Mobility is actually not about vehicles. It is about you and I traveling in the city. It's the urban commuting. Imagine a road trip and what it means in terms of a business model? It is a market where you have to provide for the travel services. But the opportunity for us is that even when we are talking about explosive increase in the number of cars and two wheelers, even then the majority in our cities in India today are still using public transport.”  - Anumita Roychowdhury (Executive Director, Center for science and environment) 

The third panel was about investing private equity in India. The panel comprised of Shweta Jalan (MD, Advent International), Amit Dixit (Senior MD, Blackstone India), Vishal Mahadevia (MD, Warburg Pincus India) and Manas Tandon (MD, Head of India, Partners Group) and this panel was moderated by Vinay Nair (Chairman, 55IP, Professor At Wharton).    

There were other panel discussions about the impact of investing, India’s evolving healthcare landscape and also about entrepreneurship and innovation in Bollywood. Some of the widely-known panelists were Smita Aggarwal (Director – Investments, Omidyar Network), Chetna Sinha (Founder, Mann Deshi Foundation), Dr. Srinath Reddy (President, Public Health Foundation of India), Milan Luthria (Film Director) and even Richa Chadha (Film Actress).  There was also a discussion about Steel consumption which included Naveen Jindal (Chairman, Jindal Steel & Power) and Harbir Singh (Co – Director, Mack Institute for Innovation).  

The purpose of this 23rd conference was to promote constructive dialogue on circumstances shaping the current business landscape in India and to discuss how different sectors of the industry can be harnessed jointly to create a positive change. WIEF aims to provide a platform for collaboration of academics and students from diverse backgrounds like Finance, Consulting, Policy, Economics, Entrepreneurship and Media & Entertainment industries. 

Watch the video to know more about Wharton India Economic Forum 2019 and to see detailed discussion about different topics.