The Dawn of an Indian Century

October, 2004

The Ninth Annual Wharton India Economic Forum

The Ninth Annual Wharton India Economic Forum will be held on November 19 2004, at the Bellevue Park Hyatt in Philadelphia. 2004 conference will feature India's richest businesswoman- Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, British parliamentarian Lord Meghnad Desai, and the chief of one of the world's largest Technology companies, Wipro - Vivek Paul. Furthermore, there will be six panel discussions on diverse topics such as Healthcare, Outsourcing, Media and Entertainment, Development, Finance and Corporate Success Stories.

Preetha Reddy, chief of India's largest hospital chain, will address the growing trend of "health tourism." This growing industry which is potentially valued at $5 billion dollars, is based on the cost advantage India has. A heart surgery in the US costs $30,000 while the same would incur $6,000 in India. Last year alone 150,000 tourists visited India seeking economically viable healthcare options.

The Outsourcing panel will debate the controversial issues that have arisen around the massive exodus of high technology jobs to India. McKinsey analysts predict that the BPO has to grow only 27 percent till 2008 to deliver $17 billion in revenues and employment to a million people in India. Given its importance in the current US presidential election, the panel will bring together the views of various experts like Sanjeev Aggarwal, the CEO of Daksh -IBM and Peter Samuel of the Everest Group amongst others.

The Media Entertainment panel will focus on the recent rise of an organized media industry in India comprising of cable, news, online portals, and satellite television. Speakers will discuss the changing media landscape in India and its implication for marketing to India' booming middle-class. The speakers include Ajit Balakrishnan, CEO of / India Abroad, Satish Korde, President of WPP-Ford, Rajdeep Sardesai of NDTV; and Kunal Dasgupta, CEO of Sony Entertainment Television.

The Macroeconomics and Development panel will offer insights on macroeconomic development in India. It and brings together "India's Turn-around Queen" or chairperson of NABARD- Ranjana Kumar who helped revive several nationalized banks, the deputy Editor of The Economist - Clive Crook; the Editor of The Hindu Business Line - K. Venugopal and Stephen Cohen, a Fellow at the Brookings Institute. The panel will concentrate on current macroeconomic issues and offer insights on future developmental trends.

The Finance panel will feature Hemendra Kothari, Chairman of DSP Merrill Lynch, Renu Karnad, Executive Director of HDFC and Ravi Chidambaram, President of TC Capital. They will discuss current trends in various sectors of the Indian financial system and will highlight the high prospects for growth and earning potential in diverse business areas. India is the fifth largest economy in the world and has the third largest GDP in the entire continent of Asia. At present, there are more than 458,782 institutions canalizing credit into the various areas of the Indian economy. The panel will also envision the future state of the Indian economy and the powerful role India will play in the world economy.

Conference attendees will have plenty of time to engage in one-on-one conversations with the speakers and benefit from their experience in Indian business. Reservation may be made by visiting Registration at More information on the conference is available

The views of this column are the author's own, and do not necessarily represent the views of NRI Online.

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