BT’s India@100 Summit: Mapping India’s Journey to Global Prominence

The second edition of BT’s India@100 Summit brought together diverse perspectives and ideas on India’s journey to assume global leadership.

The second edition of Business Today's BT’s India@100 Summit saw the coming together of luminaries from various fields in New Delhi for a day-long exchange of ideas and insights. This year’s summit, held on August 26, witnessed a galaxy of speakers comprising lawmakers and subject matter experts in attendance, debating India’s trajectory towards global leadership amidst ongoing geopolitical realignments.

In discussions about India’s economic future, industry leaders emphasised that boosting the country’s manufacturing prowess in critical sectors would be pivotal to achieving high-income status by 2047, coinciding with India’s 100th year of independence.

Nitin Gadkari, Minister for Road Transport & Highways, graced the event and utilised the platform to unveil the government’s ambitious plans for the electrification of national highways. Gadkari presented his vision for national electric highways and revealed that pilot runs were set to commence shortly on the Delhi-Jaipur stretch and along the Nagpur Ring Road. 

Brad Smith, Vice Chair and President of Microsoft, in a fireside chat, spoke about the impact of Artificial Intelligence (AI) on democracies and jobs worldwide. He stressed the importance of placing guardrails on AI technology to prevent its misuse, particularly in ways that could undermine democracy. On the sidelines of the summit, Smith engaged in a conversation with Sana, India Today Group’s AI-based news anchor—India’s first AI anchor.

Next, Borge Brende, President of the World Economic Forum (WEF), highlighted that India possesses the potential to achieve an impressive growth rate of 8 per cent but to realise this potential, the country must undertake new reforms every year. Brende said that India is poised to play a prominent role on the global stage, given its demographic advantages and potential contributions to the global order.

Jyotiraditya Scindia, Union Minister for Civil Aviation, described the rapid growth in the country’s civil aviation industry as “monumental.” He predicted that Delhi airport would soon rank among the top three globally. Baba Kalyani, Chairman & Managing Director of Bharat Forge, emphasised the importance of product manufacturing, especially in semiconductors and medicines. BVR Mohan Reddy, Founder and Chairman of Cyient Ltd., highlighted the progress India has made in IT but stressed that the significance of product manufacturing cannot be ignored. 

However, former Union Finance Minister P. Chidambaram had a different perspective. He expressed concerns about India’s high poverty rate and disagreed with the idea that becoming the world’s third-largest economy would necessarily benefit everyone. Chidambaram noted that achieving middle-income status with a per capita income of $10,000-12,000 would require sustained annual growth of 7.55-8 per cent, which might be challenging to reach by 2047 at the current rate of 5.7 per cent.

BT’s India@100 Summit also explored critical takeaways for India Inc. from India’s G20 presidency, highlighting how the country is showcasing its digital prowess, particularly its digital public infrastructure, to the world. The event also delved into India's efforts to nurture a global start-up ecosystem. During a panel discussion, eminent domain experts emphasised that India is not only on the path to a rapid transition to cleaner sources of energy but is also emerging as a global thought leader in this area.

The second edition of BT’s India@100 Summit brought together diverse perspectives and ideas on India’s journey to assume global leadership. The event served as a platform for meaningful discussions, insightful presentations, and the exchange of transformative ideas, further reinforcing India’s position on the world stage.

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