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GES, A Summit filled with Possibilities

13 Dec 2017

From the lens of a young woman aspiring to be to be the next change-maker, the Global Entrepreneurship Summit 2017 was all I dreamt of and more. This three day event was held in Hyderabad, India’s fastest growing start-up city, and brought together over 1500 attendees, including leading global entrepreneurs, investors, educators and government officials. The event showcased the best of what India had to offer by highlighting India’s entrepreneurial spirit, enabling start-up environment and talented workforce
through workshops, mentoring sessions and networking events chaired by captains of industry and change.

As a recent business grad who is often influenced by TV debates, this event completely changed my worldview and filled me with hope, positivity and idealism for my own future and for the future of my country. Interacting with global entrepreneurs who have disrupted the traditional market with their innovative ideas and transformed the lives of crores of people, has opened my eyes to the range of possibilities India possesses. The Summit primarily focused on 4 main sectors – Media & Entertainment, Healthcare & Life Sciences, Energy & Infrastructure and Financial Technology & Digital Economy all under the umbrella of the central theme of the event, ‘Women First, Prosperity for All’.

The curtain was raised on the 28th of November with enlightening speeches from PM Modi and Ms. Ivanka Trump (among others)  herein both of them spoke about the pivotal role women play in the development of countries. They also lauded a few female entrepreneurs who had made significant contributions to society. The Summit started with a plenary session ‘Be the Change: Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership’ featuring entrepreneurs that have emerged as outstanding mentors to women and concluded with a breakout session ‘When Women Win, We All Win: Promoting Inclusive Environments for Women Entrepreneurs’ moderated by Mr. Amitabh Kant. I was pleasantly surprised to see that for the first time in the Summit’s history, the number of women entrepreneurs outweighed the number of men. Almost every single workshop had at least one female speaker and a number of interactive sessions threw the spotlight on challenges and opportunities for women. I have always been really interested in artificial intelligence and the astounding ways in which it is set to transform the world as we know it, so the breakout session ‘Knowing the Future: How Artificial Intelligence will Shape Tomorrow’ gave me an invaluable insight into the AI innovations that are in the pipeline and also addressed many of my concerns on how jobs will be affected by this technological evolution. All sessions were very interactive and the enthusiastic audience was always coming up with pertinent questions. The attendees were all so knowledgeable and experienced that I had something new and fascinating to learn from every interaction I had.

The action-packed days at the Summit usually began with a number of masterclasses, networking sessions and the various rounds of the pitch competition and concluded with cultural programs and dinner at beautiful heritage sights such as Falaknuma Palace and Golconda fort thereby showcasing the vibrance of Indian architecture and cuisine to our foreign friends and dignitaries. Overall, I was delighted to see that during these three days, the attendees and organisers formed an inspiring and uplifting community of sorts wherein everyone was willing to help and support one another. Moreover, I believe that the deliberations on the role of women in scaling entrepreneurship further, will indeed be the driving force behind our ambition make India the new start up capital of the world. I wholeheartedly congratulate the organisers and the two governments for successfully collaborating and organising this remarkable event in South Asia for the first time.

– Harkirat Kaur
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any agency of the Government of India 

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