GES 2017 was a rare opportunity to meet the Prime Minister, leading investors, entrepreneurs and government officials in the span of 48 hours. Very few events bring together as many leaders under one roof! The objective – to encourage entrepreneurship and women entrepreneurs in particular was not new. However, the way GES did this was unique says entrepreneur Shveta Raina.
First, the event was truly global and the Indian government had made an immense effort to play host. There were attendees from close to 150 countries. We  were given the royal treatment and made to feel special. There was a red carpet reception at Falaknuma Palace and a well planned evening at Golconda fort. Right from a welcome lounge at the airport, to all transportation and food, incredible arrangements were made for the comfort of the delegates. Attendance from the highest officials including Amitabh Kant, CEO Niti Ayog, Aruna Sundarajan, Sushma Swaraj was incredible to see. The government clearly has building an entrepreneurial ecosystem as a key priority.

In the opening remarks by the Telangana Chief Minister, he mentioned that all request for approvals in his State need to be responded to within 15 days. If there is no revert, in Telangana the approval is deemed as given. This was novel.

Second, the support exuded by the panelists, and the motivating words from PM Modi and Ivanka Trump helped boost morale of those present. Being an entrepreneur can be a lonely journey, and the ecosystem can play a large part in motivating people to stick it out. The panel topics were focused on supporting entrepreneurs to access capital, find mentors, and work better with government.

As the CEO of a work-readiness company, my biggest challenge is putting young India to work- Shveta Raina

Third, the focus on the ease of doing business was refreshing. In the opening remarks by the Telangana Chief Minister, he mentioned that all request for approvals in his State need to be responded to within 15 days. If there is no revert, in Telangana the approval is deemed as given. This was novel.  There was a feeling in the air that much change is happening, and that it will continue. The improvement in our World Bank ease of doing business ranking to 100 was shared by PM Modi, along with his hope to make it 50 in the near future.

Ivanka Trump mentioned that we are doing a disservice to our youth if we don’t give them adequate skill training and help them figure out the right competencies – Shveta Raina

As the CEO of a work-readiness company, my biggest challenge is putting young India to work! The plenary session Wednesday morning was very relevant to my area of work since it focused on innovation in work-force development and skill training. Ivanka Trump mentioned that we are doing a disservice to our youth if we don’t give them adequate skill training and help them figure out the right competencies. There is so much emphasis on the college degree, but if it doesn’t achieve the purpose of preparing people for the jobs of the future, and the jobs they want to do, then to some degree the exercise is redundant. Chanda Kochhar shared the importance of giving confidence in addition to skills to our young women. These comments were relevant and in line with what is needed to put India to work.
Most importantly, the connections made at GES were tremendous. Entrepreneurs are always looking for customers, media, partners and supporters, and there was no shortage of any of these at the event. It was a fruitful few days of immense learning and opportunity.
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