Gujarat communities invest in the business of summits
The state’s influential Patels organised their maiden Global Patidar Business Summit from January 4-6 in Gandhinagar. The event drew over 100,000 visitors and 10,000 delegates from 32 countriesindia Updated: Feb 25, 2018 22:55 IST
The famed Gujarati enterprise married to a sense of community has thrown up two mega business summits in two months, and it’s just a start, according to organisers.
The state is no stranger to business summits, but these two caught the eye owing to their political significance. One was by Patidars, the other by Rajputs. The state did not sponsor either of the events, but chief minister Vijay Rupani inaugurated both.
The state’s influential Patels organised their maiden Global Patidar Business Summit from January 4-6 in Gandhinagar. The event drew over 100,000 visitors and 10,000 delegates from 32 countries, according to the organisers.
The Rajputs held the third edition of Rajput Business Expo 2018 in Ahmedabad from February 16-18. The organisers said more than 200,000 visitors participated.
Organisers of both events said the events will result in economic growth for all. Jayendra Jadeja, an organiser of the Rajput expo, said, “In the end, business cannot be restricted to a community.”
There is, however, one voice not buying into this credo.
Patidar quota leader Hardik Patel insists such events will end up as tools to achieve political gains. “When Patidar youth are out in the streets, seeking jobs, the community leaders organise an event and get it inaugurated by the CM. This only serves as a political tool,” he said. “Have they come up with how many new Patidars have been able to start new businesses and how many got jobs? Just like the Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit, these are nothing but hollow shows.”
Incidentally, these summits have taken their cue from the biennial Vibrant summit, started by Narendra Modi in 2003.
According to TG Jhalawadia, CEO of socio-cultural organisation Sardardham, which organised the Patidar summit, their primary aim was to facilitate networking and provide a platform for world-class exposure to the community’s members. “If the Vibrant summit aims to bring in more business, the Patidar summit serves as a link between community traders to help them grow their business,” said Jhalawadia.
Like Jadeja, he, too, said business could not be limited to community. “If Brahmins or any other community want to organise an event tomorrow, Patel businessmen will happily be sponsors. Besides, caste does not get preference over talent for any businessman,” said Jhalawadia.
For Rajputs, their summit also gave them an opportunity to support women’s empowerment. “Given that Rajput women do not prefer to go out much, we are trying to bring them to the forefront through this community platform,” said Parth Parmar of the Rajput Business Forum, an organiser of the expo. The event had a special pavilion to promote women entrepreneurs.