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Incredible India takes a bite of the Big Apple

Incredible India @60, a four-day celebration saluting 60 years of freedom of the world’s largest democracy, kicks off in New York, reports Arun Kumar.

india Updated: Sep 24, 2007 01:22 IST
Arun Kumar
Arun Kumar
Hindustan Times

Incredible India @60, a four-day celebration saluting the 60th anniversary of Independence of the world’s largest democracy, was kicked off in New York on Sunday.

With numerous hoardings, ads on buses and a giant display on the Nasdaq semi-circle facade in Times Square, India seems to be the flavour of the season at the world’s financial capital.

“This is an endeavor to create awareness and build a brand of vibrant India,” said Sunil Bharti Mittal, chairman of the Bharti Group and president of the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), which, along with the Government of India, is organising the event.

CEOs of the world’s leading corporate houses are expected to participate in the programme. “This is another example of public-private partnership helping in building a nation,” said Mittal.

“The scale of the campaign is huge and the message simple — experience India,” said Nandan Nilekani, co-chairman of the board of Infosys Technologies and chairman of the Incredible India@60 organising body. “India has come of age and today is the fastest growing free market economy. It has a 9.4 per cent GDP growth, $475 million worth investments in infrastructure, over 500 million young people driving the economy and the fastest growing telecom market in the world,” he added.

Members of the government, captains of industry as well as cultural icons — representing the best that India has to offer — will descend on the Big Apple in the next few days. “The event is expected to cost around $10 million. Half will be borne by the government of India and the balance by corporate houses,” Nilekani said. He clarified that the event is not intended to attract foreign investment but to generate awareness about the changing face of India.

First Published: Sep 24, 2007 00:52 IST