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'I give him A+ for his speech'

Last updated on: September 27, 2015 12:01 IST

Modi’s statement that ‘California is where the sun sets last and new ideas see the first light of the day,’ drew huge applause

'It is a good thing for India that it has a leader like Modi who is so keen to see India develop as a major world figure'.

'It was really interesting how Modi touched upon Silicon Valley’s innovation and the power of technology to bridge the gap.'

Silicon Valley welcomed the speech of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's and the CEOs at the Digital India dinner at the Fairmont Hotel in San Jose, California, where over 350 who's who of the technology industry were present.

Among the speakers were Shantanu Narayan , CEO Adobe, John Chambers, chairman Cisco, Satya Nadella, CEO, Microsoft, Paul Jacobs, chairman, Qualcomm and Sundar  Pichai, CEO Google. The CEOs took turns to speak and talked about their active participation and promised to do more to support Digital India initiatives.

Vishal Sikka, CEO and MD of Infosys, said Silicon Valley and India has a unique connection and we demonstrate the power of education and common values – “and innovation and entrepreneurship can help us succeed”.

"What you saw today was the willingness on the prime minister’s part to open that door," Sikka said on Modi's speech. However, he told that challenges are there, and “I think easing the infrastructure and opportunity to work are the big ones.”

Venture director at Clearstone Ventures, Vish Mishra welcomed Modi's speech, "It was an excellent event with who’s who of the tech world in the room."

He said that when Modi took the podium, he immediately captured the attention of the gathering and spoke very well, at times injecting humour,
while outlining a long list of his initiatives. He praised America and specially California. Modi’s statement that ‘California is where the sun sets last and new ideas see the first light of the day,’ drew huge applause.

While praising the use of social media by the masses, Modi said social media is best when it breaks social barriers also.

All the CEOs who spoke promised to do more for Digital India, but it was the Qualcomm chief who committed $150 mn in Indian start-ups.

"All in all, the CEO's and Modi appealed to everyone in the room, but Modi takes the crown with his charisma," said Mishra.

"In my own view, if the Modi government can deliver on even less than half of the promise and initiatives, he stands a chance to remain in
power for the next term," said Mishra and added that it is a good thing for India that it has a leader like Modi who is so keen to see India develop as a major world figure.

Arogyaswami Paulraj, inventor of MIMO, the key enabler of broadband wireless was also at the Digital India dinner. Sharing his view on Modi's speech he told that modern information and communication technologies --  from the Internet  to mobile broadband to cloud infrastructure offer enormous potential for transforming education, e-governance, healthcare and commerce in India.

"These technologies are particularly potent enablers for inclusiveness and rural reach. It will take more than ICT to lift India’s poor, but these are without doubt powerful levers and Prime Minister Modi clearly grasps this and has beckoned the Silicon Valley to join in this worthy  journey," Paulraj said.

"Modi out-signed  technology CEOs on stage," Vivek Wadhwa told on his view on Modi's speech hosted at Digital India dinner by TiE Silicon Valley and GITPRO.

Wadhwa, an American technology entrepreneur and academic said Modi's speech was more interesting than that of the other five.

"I give him A+ today for his speech," Wadhwa told

Pointing to Jacobs speech to have IP law comparable to the laws of the developed nations, Wadhwa said, "That doesn't make sense for India." Modi understands the strengths and weakness of the social media and smart phones. He has a vision on how to uplift the Indian population using technology.

"It (Modi's speech) was a clear affirmation to bring the two nation together," Ravi Gururaj, serial entrepreneur, angel investor, mentor NASSCOM
Product & Executive Council told and added, "It was a message across the Indian diaspora and technology companies that opportunities are there."

Gururaj who has been pushing hard for entrepreneurship across India said he has brought 40 companies to Start-Up India Konnet event.

Ruchi Sanghvi, board member at Paytm's  and former vice president, operations at Dropbox and  first woman engineer at Facebook said his
speech was inspiring, it was really interesting how touched upon Silicon Valley’s innovation and the power of technology to bridge the gap.

Sanghvi said she and her husband Aditya Agarwal, a board member at Flipkart strongly believe in entrepreneurship and ‘really glad
that Modi is actually providing support and highlighting start-ups.

Agarwal said his speech was relevant in terms of what we aspire to built. "I think he was spot on his line …technology could be the bridge
between hope and opportunity. That is why we built technology, to connect with people," Agarwal said.

"He connected well with the Silicon Valley," Lata Krishnan, chief financial officer of Shah Capital Partners and the chair of American India Foundation told

"His speech was incredible," said Ajay Shah. He has clarity of vision, he was able to communicate and has the ability to get so many people excited about this.

“You couldn’t even imagine or dream that one day the CEOs of Microsoft and Google would be Indian, and there they were in front of you in
flesh and blood," said Navneet Chugh, pointing to the intellectual property IP point raised during Qualcumm executive chairman's speech. Chugh said, "IP rights are important because they reward hard work."

"Indian law should be comparable to the law of the developed nations," Chugh told and added, "Such ideas should be protected."

Khandrao Kand, founder GITRPO and co-host of the Digital India dinner welcomed Modi's speech said it really touched both the poor and
the rich.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Vivek Wadhwa.

Ritu Jha