The U.S.-India Business Council, in partnership with the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry, hosted its first U.S.-India Business West Coast Summit on April 26 to April 27 at the Rosewood Sand Hill in the Silicon Valley.
Themed "Building Bridges, Fostering Innovation," the conference poignantly addressed the dynamic potential that exists in present and future collaboration between the United States and India. Engaging discussions led by prominent business and policy leaders focused on the most pressing political and economic issues impacting U.S.-India relations, as well as technology and innovation, renewable energy and trade and investment.
Highlights from the keynote speakers are below:
Condoleezza Rice, former Secretary of State: "India is a wonderful example of what democratic institutions can achieve. The Indian democracy cannot be underestimated. One of my proudest moments was watching the U.S.-India civil nuclear agreement being signed."
Andy Bird, chairman of Walt Disney International: "India is all about cricket, film and television, so Disney had to be involved in at least two of those to be successful there. So our strategy in India has been driven by media. As part of strategy, we've acquired media companies there. We are just learning to walk in India, but pretty soon we'll be jogging and running and we're looking forward to a very bright and exciting future there."
Wim Elfrink, executive vice president and chief globalization officer at Cisco Systems: "Collaboration is the future. In 2020, India will be the youngest country in the world, with one in three workers in the world being Indian. Additionally, 100 million Indian are expected to urbanize in the next 10 years. Needless to say, this is a tremendous opportunity for US and India to collaborate."
Vinod Khosla, partner at Khosla Ventures: "The willingness to fail allows you the opportunity to succeed. But when you have the chance to succeed make sure it's something consequential. Innovators need to keep in mind that you can only lose one times your money, but you can make 100 times as much. Innovation happens in an evolutionary way, in small increments as opposed to something big happening all at once. Some areas are riper for innovation than others."
Paul Maritz, president and CEO of VMware Inc.: "Efficiency drive will not create employment so we need to be advocates of changing from the old system of education to the new system and from the old way of employment to the new way of employment. Keeping this in mind, both India and the United States need to really focus on education."