Inaugural Princeton India Business Conclave held in New Jersey

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Panelists and organizers at the inaugural Princeton India Business Conclave 2019, held at Princeton Library, in Princeton, NJ. A section of the audience at the inaugural Princeton India Business Conclave 2019, held at Princeton Library, in Princeton, NJ. Photos courtesy of the organizers

The Consulate General of India, New York, in partnership with Federation of Indian Associations (FIA) NY-NJ-CT, one of the oldest and the largest nonprofit Umbrella Organization of the Indian Diaspora, hosted the first-ever Princeton India Business Conclave 2019 at Princeton Library at Downtown Princeton.

The panelists at the meet were: Devi Prasad Misra (Consul – Trade), Gijo Joseph (Kotak Mahindra), Major (Retd) Krishna K. Chari (Entrepreneur and Co-Chair of ATEA), Nagaraja Kumar Deevi (CEO & Co-Founder, Advisory & Research Studies), and Dr. Punit Arora (Associate Professor at City Univ. of NY).

The packed event was well attended by guests across all age groups to reflect upon India’s economic environment and its aspirations towards a 5 trillion dollar economy, according to a press release.

The event was moderated by Devi Prasad Misra. Addressing the gathering, he highlighted the reduction in poverty rates from a quarter to 10% with the target for the next five years set at 4-6% being equivalent to 150 million being pulled out of poverty.

Prasad cited that this reduction means increased access to lot of resources plugged back into the economy. He mentioned the three themes to focus to achieve these ambitious targets – investment, participation in the global market and lower public debt.

Joseph reflected in brief on New India with emphasis on recent reforms. He pointed out different phases of reforms post-2014 introduced significant changes including steady policy framework, brought about by changes in demographics, increase in per capita GDP, basic necessity changes, young generation needs for better opportunities, transparency, accountability, efficiency.

Joseph cited the young generation’s increase in risk appetite as evident in a single party mandate in 2014 bringing in better efficient governance, the introduction of the unique identification system, reduced pilferage of subsidies. He mentioned 360 million bank accounts opened to benefit the poor directly, introduction of GST to subsume 17 indirect taxes into unified GST, new insolvency and bankruptcy code, RBI change in mandate from growth-focused to inflation targeted and recapitalization of banks.

Maj. (Retd) Chari spoke on the ‘Indian Startup Eco System’. He remembered his time under the leadership of Dr. APJ Kalam on prestigious MBT and LCA programs. He pointed out the impetus and promotion for the last 5 years under the new government and emergence of giants like Flipkart and Paytm in India. He mentioned about $10-15 billion contributed by the startup ecosystem and the development of logistics and mobility as an important aspect of the economy.

He cited 5000 crores raised for investment in Tamil Nadu and brought to notice that people are investing in late-stage startups. He said the other leading investment spaces are Fin-tech and E-Commerce including the huge potential of data-related services.

Misra briefed on the next phase of ‘India’s Growth & Development’. He recollected the three famous individuals, who significantly influenced the world in the last hundred years, from Princeton University. Professors  Albert Einstein, John Nash and Ben Bernanke.

Dr. Arora introspected on the Investments in India. He cited the alarming rate of population growth bringing in opportunities and challenges alike. He opined on investment in infrastructure opportunities and irrespective of the nature of development trajectory India should leap forth to cleaner and sustainable development models. He emphasized that investment from the private sector in digitization and transparency will be a great help.

The organizer and FIA President Alok Kumar presented a vote of thanks to all volunteers, supporters, and attendees.

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