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PM Modi to win West with star-studded business meetings

india Updated: Sep 13, 2015 18:02 IST
Shishir Gupta
PM Modi

A galaxy of super-rich chief executives, techies, entrepreneurs, investors with global giant companies like Google, Microsoft, Qualcomm and Adobe are lined up to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his two day trip to Silicon Valley on September 26-27. This firmament of business does not include some 35 chief executive officers of manufacturing companies and financial institutions who have a date with Modi during a ‘Make in India’ event in New York after he touches down late on September 23. The West Coast theme is ‘Innovative Entrepreneurship, Digital Economy and Renewable Energy’.

Diplomatic sources confirm that John T Chambers, executive chairman of $47-billion CISCO Technology, Satya Nadella, CEO of $93-billion Microsoft, Paul Jacobs of $27-billion Qualcomm, $66-billion Google’s top honchos Eric Schmidt and Sundar Pichai, ex-Google billionaire Ram Shriram, and Shantanu Narayen, CEO of $5-billion Adobe Systems, will meet Modi on the West Coast.

Modi will also meet Silicon Valley’s hi-tech billionaire entrepreneurs like Romesh Wadhwani of Symphony Technology Group, Venktesh Shukla of Monta Vista Capital and Naren Gupta of Integrated Systems.

The Prime Minister is also slated to visit Tesla Headquarters in Palo Alto in California and meet one of the co-founders of the next generation US automotive and energy storage companies. Modi may miss meeting Elon Musk, Tesla’s founder and CEO, as he is believed to be away from the US during that time. From these stratospheric technologies companies and entrepreneurs, the Prime Minister may interact with Dr Manu Prakash of Stanford, who is a ‘frugal science’ innovator whose 50-cent microscopes have been sold across Asia and Africa.

South Block sources said the India show kickstarts in Washington with India-US strategic commercial dialogue on September 20-21 with external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj, commerce and industry minister Nirmala Sitharaman, power and renewable energy ministry Piyush Goyal interacting with their US counterpart in order to cement the bilateral relationship.

After addressing the UN Sustainable Development Summit in New York on September 25, Modi has a hectic programme on the West Coast with an address to Indian diaspora at San Jose auditorium. Through innovative entrepreneurship, the PM wants to bring the experience of Silicon Valley start-ups to India without the downside.

“The PM is keen on interacting with the US techies on digital economy which is changing the face of business and trade, for instance, how Uber has changed the transportation landscape. Prime Minister Modi is interested in renewable energy as this could be India’s answer to Climate change. While Boeing Chairman wanted Modi to come to its headquarters in Seattle, CEO of Textron Inc, which manufactures Bell Helicopters, Cessna and Beechcraft, has also placed a request to meet the Prime Minister. The focus of the Prime Minister’s West Coast trip is on leapfrogging the Indian economy through latest technology,” said an Indian diplomat.

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