As a prelude to the CEO summit, being attended by President Dr. A P J Abdul Kalam, on Friday, nearly 80 captains of the industry met in Kochi on Thursday to discuss ways to transform India into an economically secure and spiritually strong leader among the nations.
The CEO summit is organised as part of the 50th birth anniversary celebrations of the spiritual leader Mata Amritanandamayi.
The summit brings together successful Indian entrepreneurs and business leaders under one roof to chart the way towards a quantum rise in the standard of living of the masses, the organisers said.
Among the business leaders who are participating in the pre-summit discussions on Thursday are Kanwal Rekhi, president and CEO, Ensim Inc; Sreedhar Iyengar, president, The Indus Entrepreneurs, Silicon Valley; Shibulal, director, Infosys; S Somasekhar, corporate vice president, Microsoft; B V Jagadeesh, president and CEO, Netscaler Inc; Gururaj 'Desh' Deshpande, chairman and founder, Sycamore Networks; C K Prahlad, management guru and professor of business administration at the university of Michigan.
The entrepreneurs today met to absorb and discuss President Kalam's vision of 2020 and Amma's vision of world peace and harmony. The conclusions of today's meeting would be submitted to Mata Amritanandamayi, the organisers said.
To put India on the road to development, it was essential to create technically trained manpower; and at least 500 million trained workers and 200 million college graduates were needed, C K Prahlad said.
India's achievement in the software industry should be replicated in other industries, he said.
Emphasising the need for achieving 'poorna swaraj' in the economic field, he said, "We have no national agenda in this regard. What matters is getting the commitment of men, women and children. He said if the country is able to clean up corruption, she can go a long way."
Sounding optimistic, Desh Deshpande said the country had the potential to reach greater heights despite all the hurdles.
Most of the speakers opined that education of the masses, especially women, was important, as it would ensure a drop in population and higher living standards. India needs to grow at least by 10 to 15 percent a year, they said.
The private sector had a significant role to play in transforming the nation, they said. The problem of brain drain was also touched upon in the pre-summit.
Parulkar of the National Science Foundation said it was essential not only to create technology, but the result of the same should disseminate to the masses. There was a need for IIT type of educational institutions in the country, he added.
The medical and engineering colleges coming up in the private sector should also set the IIT standards, which the government should ensure, he said.