India’s Post-COVID-19 Future to be Debated at Upcoming Horasis Meeting
Amid easing lockdowns, a delegation of over 300 government ministers, state officials, CEOs and entrepreneurs will convene online to debate India’s post-COVID-19 future.
In its first virtual manifestation in its 12-year history, the Horasis India Meeting will gather political and private sector leaders from around India and the globe on 22 June to debate and develop solutions for the current crisis and plans to shape the economy post-COVID-19. Horasis is chaired by Dr. Frank-Jürgen Richter and the meeting is co-hosted by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), which is led by Director General Chandrajit Banerjee.
Chairman Richter said in a statement, “As India and the rest of the world battle the COVID-19 pandemic and its economic fallout, it is up to the engines of globalization to work together with international partners to collaborate on best practices to collectively combat this crisis. The Indian government is a good example of a nation working collaboratively to offer up their commercial, technological and scientific might in the international battle against the virus and its many ramifications.”
The summit comes amid much economic uncertainty in India and the rest of the world. As Indians mourn the over 5,000 lives lost thus far to the novel coronavirus, the population is also reeling from the economic fallout of the pandemic. Last week, global ratings agencies Fitch and S&P forecasted a sharp, 5% contraction in India’s economy for Fiscal Year 2021, and the unemployment rate remains at 23.43%.
While news of relaxed lockdown measures in some States have brought shimmers of hope to some industries (petro sales have risen and hotel stocks jumped slightly after news of lifting lockdowns), India’s startup sector is still bracing for the worst.
In May, it was announced that 70% of Indian startups said they have cash on hand for less than three months. The same survey by The National Association of Software and Service Companies reported that 9 in 10 startups registered declines in revenue and over one third halted their operations temporarily or permanently due to COVID-19. And startup investment in Q1 2020 dropped 22% compared to the same period last year, according to analyst Venture Intelligence.
As part of a broader conversation about the reopening of India’s economy, delegates at the Horasis Global Meeting will also be discussing its effects on the startup community. The Tech Panda Editor Navanwita Sachdev will join Viraj Phanse, Fellow, Berkeley Angel Network, USA and Venky Vembu, Associate Editor, The Hindu BusinessLine, India, among other panelists, to discuss the Indian startup ecosystem post-COVID-19.
Additionally, a panel discussion will be held about strengthening the venture capital space post-COVID-19 which will feature delegates including Binh Tran, General Partner, 500 Startups, Vietnam; Sunil Nihal Duggal, Chief Executive Officer, Twenty 4 Ventures Group, India; Bhaskar Majumdar, Managing Partner, Unicorn India Fund, United Kingdom; Sashi Reddi, Managing Partner, SRI Capital, USA; and Ganesh Rengaswamy, Co-founder, Quona, India.
The meeting will also tackle critical issues involving healthcare, travel and tourism, India’s place in a globalized world, and other geopolitical and economic challenges society is facing amid the pandemic. The Horasis India Meeting has become one of the foremost gatherings of Indian business leaders and their global counterparts, and is part of a series of regional Horasis meetings focusing on countries in Asia, Europe and Africa. Last year’s India Meeting was hosted in Segovia, Spain.
Political leaders joining the online meeting include:
- Piyush Goyal, Minister of Railways and Minister of Commerce and Industry, India
- V.K. Singh, Minister of State for Road Transport and Highways, India
- Ajmal Ahmady, Minister of Industry and Commerce, Afghanistan
- Ibrahima Guimba-Saidou, Minister and Special Advisor to the President of Niger
- Diene Keita, Minister for International Cooperation and African Integration, Guinea.
Private sector leaders joining the online meeting include:
- Binod K. Chaudhary, President, Chaudhary Group, Nepal
- Ashish Chauhan, Chief Executive Officer, Bombay Stock Exchange, India
- Kris Gopalakrishnan, Co-founder, Infosys and Chairman, Axilor Ventures, India
- Hank McKinnell, Chairman, Moody’s, USA
- R Mukundan, Managing Director, Tata Chemicals, India
- Preetha Reddy, Vice Chairperson, Apollo Hospitals, India
- Deborah Wince-Smith, President, United States Council on Competitiveness, USA.
As India begins to experiment with opening some parts of its economy, it will be important to have a frank, open dialogue amongst society’s leaders to ensure a safe and prosperous post-COVID-19 future for the country.