NEW YORK – The MIT India Conference was held on April 10 at the MIT Sloan School of Management in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where more than 300 industry professionals, students and academics gathered to discuss India’s role in advancing artificial intelligence and digital economy as well as transportation, venture capital, education and more.
The MBA student organizers at MIT Sloan said that this was the first time they saw a majority of female speakers since the conference’s inception in 2011, according to a press release.
These included Roshni Nadar Malhotra, CEO and Executive Director of HCL Corporation whom Forbes Magazine named one of the 2017 world’s 100 most powerful women; Guneet Monga, who was voted as one of the top 12 women achievers in the Global Entertainment industry by The Hollywood Reporter and among the top 50 Indians changing India by India Today and Rekha Menon, Chairperson and Senior Managing Director at Accenture in India whom Fortune India named as one of their Top 20 Women in Business in 2017.
Ananth Narayanan, the CEO of Myntra & Jabong, who was also named one of India’s Hottest 40 under 40 Business Leaders by The Economic Times, was there to discuss his goal to make Myntra, India’s largest online platforms for fashion and lifestyle products, the first profitable ecommerce company in the country.
Anant Agarwal, CEO of Edx, which offers free online courses from the world’s top universities, noted that more urgency needs to be felt in getting India up to speed with a rapidly changing economy.
“If half of today’s jobs are going to change, we have a major re-skilling and up-skilling challenge facing us,” he said during his speech, to which Anantha Chandrakasan, the dean of the MIT School of Engineering, added “today, machine learning is the new literacy.”
The conference also looked at the impact of MIT’s programs and initiatives in India.
“As a part of the broader MIT India initiative, this conference aims to celebrate the existing partnerships between MIT and India, as well as discuss future collaborations between the two that could help accelerate innovation into the future,” said S.P. Kothari, professor of Accounting and Finance at MIT Sloan and director of the MIT-India Program.
Since 2011, the MIT India Conference has established itself as an important forum for leaders in industry, academia and policy to discuss current issues and future innovations in for India, both at home and abroad.