PM wins over media & digital fraternity in the US
Our most sincere apologies if the article appears a bit disjointed. While we were trying to write about our Prime Minister’s connect with media barons, he had already met digital giants and was already in an interaction with Mark Zuckerberg, CEO, Facebook. And as we file this article he is at Googleplex.
A few glimpses of these interactions:
The Media Round Table:
The CEOs present at the media round table represented 40% of the world’s media and entertainment industry. These included Rupert Murdoch, executive chairman News Corp and 21stCentury Fox; James Murdoch, CEO, 21st Century Fox; Robert Thompson, CEO, News Corp; Uday Shankar, CEO, Star India; David Zaslav, president and CEO, Discovery Communications and Michael Lynton, CEO, Sony Entertainment. Michael Roth, CEO, Interpublic Group of Companies; Shane Smith, CEO, Vice Media; Martin Sorrell, CEO, WPP; Jeff Bewkes, CEO, Time Warner; Nancy Dubuc, CEO, A&E Networks; Anthony Pratt, chairman, Visy Industries; William Duhamel, Route One Investment Company and Jeff Ubben, CEO, ValueAct Capital too were present at the round table.
Post the round table, Rupert Murdoch tweeted, “Great hour with Indian PM Modi. Best leader with best policies since independence, but massive task to achieve in most complex nation.”
The discussion focused on investment opportunities in media sector in India, more so in the domain of regional languages. The media barons meanwhile stressed on the importance of early expansion of 4G network and TV digitization. The CEOs present were enthusiastic about 'Digital India' initiative.
Briefing the reporters after the session, External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup said, “All of them said India is the biggest market for them in terms of the phenomenal growth of the entertainment channels, in terms of the youth in India wanting more such content. They asked for speedier digitisation of the Indian systems.”
The Digital Gathering:
The Prime Minister was joined by a number of digital bigwigs on stage – among them Sundar Pichai of Google Inc., Satya Nadella of Microsoft Corp., Shantanu Narayen of Adobe Systems Inc., John Chambers of Cisco Systems Inc. and Paul Jacobs of Qualcomm Inc.
A few quotes from Mr Modi’s speech to give a flavour of the gathering:
• Google today has made teachers less awe-inspiring and grandparents more idle. Twitter has turned everyone into a reporter.
• The status that now matters is not whether you are awake or asleep, but whether you are online or offline.
• The most fundamental debate for our youth is the choice between Android, iOS or Windows.
• These are the new neighbourhoods of our new world. If Facebook were a country, it would be the third most populous one and the most connected
Prime Minister Mr Modi answered questions from the audience at a Townhall at the Facebook headquarters. Mark Zuckerberg was keenly appreciative of Mr Modi’s social media presence as well as his Digital India initiative.
While there were a number of questions asked by Zuckerberg as well as others, here is the one on social media which bowled over many:
Q. You were one of the early adopters of social media. Did you expect the impact on policy, foreign policy etc.?
A. Social media was like a ‘guide’ and an easy textbook to know about things for me. It helped mould my thought process. Build a world consciousness and it helped the world accept me for what I am. Social media has helped people recognise and accept me for what I am. When I took office I realised that there was a large gap between people and Government. By the time one gets to realise this, elections come up! But social media allows for accountability instantly. I ask all world leaders not to avoid social media and to connect to it.
If governments are alert and conscious about real time accountability. It will be good for democracy. Social media helps here and has allowed for connecting people among different countries rather than just the capitals. For example, I used Chinese social media to wish the PM there. It went viral. I wished the Israel PM in Hebrew and he replied in Hindi! The fact that the world is a community is explained by social media.
India – US Startup Konnect:
To connect Indian innovators to the global marketplace, NASSCOM in partnership with TiE Silicon Valley, and IIM Ahmedabad’s CIIE India, today hosted the first India- U.S. Startup Konnect in the Silicon Valley. The Prime Minister interacted with the entrepreneurs and shared his vision on ‘Start up India, Stand up India’. The Start-up Konnect featured the multiple dimensions of Indian innovation capabilities represented by 36 start-ups from India and 5 start-ups from U.S. across a variety of sectors such as agriculture, healthcare, energy, financial inclusion, and clean tech.
At the event, a number of MOU’s were signed to strengthen the India U.S. partnership to boost technology, innovation and startups.
India- U.S. Startup Konnect witnessed stalwarts of the Indian and US entrepreneurial ecosystem like Reid Hoffman - LinkedIn, Kanwal Rekhi - Inventus Capital, Naren Gupta -Nexus Ventures, Vijay Shekhar Sharma - Paytm, Naveen Tewari - InMobi, Rohit Bansal - Snapdeal who discussed the future course of collaboration between the two nations. More than 500 people visited the exhibition and 300+ selected leaders participated in the discussions.
While Mr Modi’s American voyage continues, all eyes are now on the outcome of these meetings – one can already hear the footfalls of global media and digital giants as they land on Indian shores.