India story is driven by its people and its businesses: Manoj Ladwa, Chairman of India Inc

The two-day summit in Bengaluru by India Global Forum will showcase strides made by the startup ecosystem and deliberate on the way forward. In a conversation with YourStory, Professor Manoj Ladwa, Chairman of India Inc, spoke about the forums' plans.
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A two-day annual summit by India Global Forum with the theme “The New India Inc” aims to bring together policymakers, union cabinet ministers, and founders of unicorns and startups to discuss the goals to be set, as well as the road ahead for the ecosystem.

The summit will be held in Bengaluru on March 7 and 8, during which key leaders will engage and deliberate upon the global narrative for India Inc where startups have emerged as the key constituency. 

YourStory, India’s leading digital media platform, is the ecosystem partner for this event.

In a conversation with YourStory, Professor Manoj Ladwa, Chairman and Chief Executive of the India Inc. Group, spoke about the aims of the event and what one can expect from the India Global Forum. Manoj is a visiting professor in Media and Communications at Birmingham City University.

Manoj founded India Inc, a London-headquartered media and strategic communications organisation. He is also is a practising corporate lawyer, running his own firm with offices in Westminster and Mumbai. In 2017, he authored a landmark study on UK-India Relations Beyond Brexit.

Manoj is a non-executive director of India Infrastructure Finance Company (UK) and chairs its Risk Committee, and serves on the advisory board of the Commonwealth Enterprise and Investment Council and the Nehru Centre. In 2003, he established the London office of the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce. He has served on committees of the UK and Indian governments.

He is also the founder of the UK India Women in Leadership Forum, the UK India Defence & Security Forum, and the IGB Climate Finance Boardroom amongst other ongoing initiatives.

Edited excerpts of the interaction:

YourStory (YS): What is the thesis behind India Global Forum?

Prof. Manoj Ladwa (ML): There are two major globalisation stories. There's the China story and the India story. The China story is predominantly driven by its State.

Whereas the India story is driven by its people and its businesses and I felt that that story needs to be told through the eyes and ears of the business people, professionals, and techies. The idea is to give a voice to people of Indian origin around the world as they engage and so that's the genesis of this platform to tell a story about India.

There was a need for a platform that talked about business policy, politics, strategic covers, outside of India. We focussed on the UK-India Corridor. The UK is India's largest cumulative investor. India is now the second-largest investor, both in terms of pounds and pennies, but also in terms of new projects as well. It is a partnership between two equals.

We saw interest around other countries, so it evolved into more of a global gathering. And, so we rebranded about two years ago to India Global Forum. We're lucky enough that Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated India Global Forum.

We have had interesting people from Tony Blair and Michael Bloomberg to innovators and disruptors that come and speak on our platform.

YS: While it may seem obvious, why Bengaluru?

ML: We gave a lot of thought to this. A lot of our stakeholders asked us to do it in Mumbai or Delhi, and we really wanted to project the new India Inc.

Bangalore is, I think, in many ways, the birthplace of Digital India. Bengaluru has a massive role to play in all tech disruptions around the world. It is a cosmopolitan city, an international city.

YS: How does it to have a hybrid event after two hard years of the pandemic? What do you think will be interesting and different?

ML: It is has been a hard and terrible two years on a global scale. We've actually had to convince a lot of people that this isn't a virtual event. This is a physical event. We will have Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman at the event in person, and 30 unicorns in person.

In each session, we're trying to bring out, in effect three things from our speakers.

Where have they come from? What are they currently doing? And where are they going? Whether it's ministers, or whether it's young startups.

It is to get a pulse so that people are looking to invest people that are looking for people looking to go global, they're really going to have a great understanding of not only the business but the people behind the business.

Our tagline is, "Where India meets the world and the world meets India." We really encourage a conversation whether it's a new startup or a unicorn or an established company. We're looking at where and how can we be an enabler for their access into markets that they wouldn't have otherwise.

Edited by Saheli Sen Gupta

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