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Photo caption: (L to R) Shri Banmali Agarwala, President, infrastructure and defense and Aerospace, Tata Sons Pvt. Ltd., Swami Vigyananand, Initiator of WHEF, Mahant Yogi Adityanath, Chief Minister, Govt. of Uttar Pradesh, Shri Ajay Piramal, Chairman, Piramal Group, Shri Suresh Pansari, Chairperson WHEF 2019, Organizing Committee, Dr. Vivek Lall, VP-  Strategy and BD, Lockheed Martin, USA.  

Mumbai, 27th Sept: The first day of the three-day conference of the ‘World Hindu Economic Forum’ (WHEF) began on a high note with over 1000 delegates (254 from 37 countries and 456 delegates from Bharat) comprising business stalwarts and policy makers in attendance.
The discussions were around the need and roadmap for achieving an accelerated growth economy for Bharat to create a large number of employment.
Post the lighting of lamp by invited dignitaries, the inaugural session began with in-depth look at the wisdom and philosophy of Hindu economy. This was clearly elaborated by Swami Vigyananand, Initiator of World Hindu Economic Forum.

This was followed by an address by Mahant Yogi Adityanath, Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh. He spoke on Uttar Pradesh: Powering economy of Naya Bharat.  He explained that in spite of many challenges, his Government has been able to make tremendous progress in the development of Uttar Pradesh in the past 2.5 years. For example, more than 24 crores of pilgrims visited Kumbh Mela without any incidents. This is one of the successes achieved in a short period. He also mentioned the opportunities available in Uttar Pradesh and invited the business community to invest. Effective Administration, Crime Control, infrastructure development, corruption free government and single window system is attracting a lot of investment in the state of uttar Pradesh.

Bringing into focus ‘Boosting economy of Bharat’ Ajay Piramal, Chairman, Piramal Group said, “What is critical and important is that wealth creators get the respect that they deserve.”

Banmali Agarwala, President, Infrastructure and Defence & Aerospace, TATA Sons Pvt Ltd. Discussed on the exciting topic of ‘Accelerating the transformation of Bharat's Economy – from Steel to Artificial Intelligence’. He said “We cannot be apologetic about our challenges and expect someone else to find a solution”. He also said that the business community needs to acknowledge that they are more privileged than many others in our society and therefore they need to give back to society than take from it.

Dr. Vivek Lall, Vice President, Strategy & Business Development, Lockheed Martin, shared his thoughts on ‘How technology can support Stronger, Prosperous Society’. Earlier industrial revolutions made humans to adapt, learn new skills, and increase efficiency which resulted in increased income and quality of life. He said “The opportunities significantly outweigh current challenges and ultimately will support a stronger and prosperous society.”

This was followed by a vibrant Panel Discussion chaired by Shri Anil Puri, Chairman of Purico, Nottingham, UK. The session discussed on how Bharat can lead in the fourth industrial revolution. The panelists concluded that we are at the cusp of a new world (order), like every industrial revolution before us, it is up to the collective responsibility of the government and industry, to ensure that we stay abreast of technological developments.

Shri Shailendra Roy, Wholetime Director of Larsen & Toubro, Mumbai added to the discussion, highlighting the importance of going digital. He said “With the help of the building blocks of industry 4.0, that is advanced robotics, big data/ data analytics, cyber security, internet of things, mobile technologies etc., we can lead Bharat to a better tomorrow”. He also added - Industry specific skill training in technology, availability of funds and market is required.

Session 1 was followed by two parallel sessions: 1. Start-ups chaired by Rajeev Mantri and Transform rural economy chaired by Shri Rajesh Srivastava, Executive Chairman, Rabo Equity Advisors, Delhi. Shri Gabi Nahum, CEO, Jethro Group, Israel and Shri R S Rajan Co-Founder & Director, Privi Life Sciences Pvt Ltd, Mumbai highlighted on current challenges faced by farmers and how to overcome these challenges by means of innovation, education and use of technology.

Shri Ravikant Mishra, WHEF committee member said, “WHEF aims to strengthen the economy of Bharat. The first day was power-packed with constructive discourses to leverage expertise, finances and knowledge that would ultimately aid in creating surplus wealth.

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