Over the past seven years that I have been taking part in the Forum’s annual meeting in India, this is one year that I am really looking forward to the planned programme. The gathering, in its new avatar, is looking more balanced and in many ways indicative of the current business, political, economic and social reality. The tumultuous political climate and despondent economy have dampened sentiments and slowed India’s growth story. Almost all sectors of the economy and in almost all parts of the country there is a visible slowdown. New investments are down; credit risks have ballooned; unemployment has increased; inflation remains unabated. We have deliberated, debated and argued incessantly on what has to be done. The time now is to move towards execution and in real sense, transformation.
I have always believed that the Forum is perhaps the only platform where panellists talk about issues and not their organizations. This neutral ground not only helps in introducing complex subjects but also brings them to rational and many times innovative endpoints. There have been times when I have seen politicians and bureaucrats squirm when questioned on their actions or inactions. I am hoping for this level of interaction to perhaps shake policy-makers from their slumber.
Apart from the many sessions that I am looking forward to, one of the most interesting ones should be “Inclusive Governance: Enabling Capability, Disabling Resistance” on the first day, addressing the very issues of how to be execution-focused. I will have the privilege of moderating a stimulating session on “Uniting States of India”, in which chief ministers of several states will share the platform to talk about infrastructure and, in essence, build a free market economy in the country. It would be interesting to note the models that states are adopting to attract investments in their constituencies.
In India, one is always an eternal optimist. We have always believed that the idea of India is our strongest glue. With a foundation built on positivity, unity and diligence, I am a firm believer in a transformed India.
Author: Vineet Agarwal is Joint Managing Director of Transport Corporation of India, and a member of the Global Agenda Council on Logistics & Supply Chain Systems.
Image: Traffic is seen during the evening as the Howrah Bridge is lit up in the background in the eastern Indian city of Kolkata REUTERS/Jayanta Shaw