The last day of Goafest 2014 was all about India. The speakers spoke about the India of their dreams and made presentations hinged on this broad theme. The sessions of the day were informative, and a pleasure to attend and cover. But I wonder what it would take to get people to stop tossing the word "eco-system" around... On and off stage. In and out of context.
"We want people to start thinking about India. We want the world to start thinking about the 'idea of India'. Today, India is on the rise. India is in 'ascend' mode! With a new government in place, today India has a lot of confidence, which was lost somewhere along the way... but now, we are confident and ready."
Vanitha Narayanan, regional general manager, IBM India/South Asia
"We're looking at an India that is inclusive, developed and sustainable. The concept of 'smarter cities' - and ultimately a 'smarter globe' - is applicable to India today now more than ever. In India, data is the new natural resource! Earlier it was steam and electricity; now it is data. Data is the new natural resource that we have in abundance. We are seeing how mobile, and the whole mobile revolution, has changed the country's productivity. There's nothing that can stop us from having 'smarter' cities all over India, in the days to come."
Ajay Chaturvedi, founder and chairman of HarVa, and author of the book 'Turiya Tales - How Swastik got a bad name!'
"Freedom of faith has never been a problem in India. It is all about the roti on the plate."
"Today, 80 per cent of the world is treated as a 'consumer's market'. Only 20 per cent is treated as a 'producer's market'."
"Some of the questions we need to ask: 'Should we really be selling sachets? Is that the right thing to do? Are we selling toothpastes to people who don't have food to eat? Are we selling toothpastes for dental hygiene or a better sex life? There are ads that tell consumers that if you use XYZ toothpaste you will get a girlfriend/boyfriend! Are we selling condoms on the back of the promise of 'safe sex' or 'more sex'?"
"The India of my dreams is one in which we harness and unleash the value of rural India. Farms are the future. But convincing farmers is not easy."
Pujya Swami Paramatmananda Saraswathi, founder, Arsha Vidya Mandir
"Growth of the country should be looked upon in a holistic way. We need to ask: 'Growth for whom? And why do we need more buying power?' Simply generating wealth and generating 'plenty' does not make people happy."