About the Event

Amitabh Kant, India's G20 Sherpa and Former CEO of the National Institution for Transforming India (Niti Aayog), visited Northeastern University for a fireside chat to discuss India's role in the global economy, specifically following the successful G20 New Delhi Summit chaired by Prime Minister Modi in September 2023. This conversation was moderated by Sharad Sharma, Co-Founder of the iSPIRT Foundation, and Ravi Ramamurti, Founding Director of the Center for Emerging Markets.

About Amitabh Kant

Amitabh Kant is presently India's G20 Sherpa. The G20 or the Group of Twenty is a forum where policymakers of industrialized and developing economies meet to discuss key issues in the global economy. The G20 countries account for 85% of global GDP, 75% of world trade and about two-thirds of the world's population.

Amitabh Kant is a governance reformer and a public policy change agent for India, having driven key reforms and initiatives during his tenure as the Chief Executive Officer of the National Institution for Transforming India (NITI Aayog) (2016-2022) and the Secretary of the Department for Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) (2014-2016), Government of India. He has been a key driver of flagship national initiatives such as Startup India, Make in India, Incredible India, and the Aspirational Districts Program. These initiatives have repositioned India and Kerala and have widely been recognized as transformational.

The National Institution for Transforming India (NITI Aayog) is India's apex policy-making institution, with the Prime Minister as its Chairman. As CEO of NITI Aayog, Kant has driven a vast range of national-level developmental and policy initiatives which catalyzed India's social and economic development and have brought about a paradigm shift in policy-making.

As Secretary, DIPP Kant has driven the Start-up India movement which has led to India emerging as the third-best ecosystem for startups globally, with over 70,000+ start ups and over 101+ Unicorns. His focus has been to facilitate Ease of Doing Business (EoDB) through predictability, consistency of policies and elimination of rules, regulations and procedures. This led to India jumping 79 positions in Ease of Doing Business Indicators. He also initiated competition and ranking amongst Indian states based on their EoDB indicators. The competition and ranking has led to a transformational impact on States.

A strong proponent of positioning India as a global hub for manufacturing and exports, he has been the key driver of Make in India and the Production Linked Incentive (PLI) schemes which have given an impetus to manufacturing, innovation and exports.

About Sharad Sharma

Sharad's mantra is to lead ecosystems and companies through orbit change. He has three decades of experience in the internet, enterprise software, digital finance and digital health sectors and is a prominent voice in India's technology ecosystem.

Sharad is a passionate evangelist of the software product ecosystem in India. He co-founded iSPIRT Foundation, a non-profit technology think tank devoted to making India a product nation. iSPIRT has conceptualized the “India Stack” and other digital public infrastructure innovations in India.

Sharad co-founded Teltier Technologies Inc., a wireless infrastructure startup now part of CISCO, and is an active technology angel investor with over two dozen investments. He was also instrumental in the success of India's first IP focused fund, India Innovation Fund.

Sharad is a member of National Startup Advisory Council and Securities and Exchange Board of India's financial and regulatory technology committee. He Chairs the IFSCA's expert committee on asset tokenization and is part of United Nation's AI Advisory Body. He chaired the Taskforce on Digital Public Infrastructure in ThinkTank20 (T20) group of G20 during India's presidency.

An alumnus of Delhi College of Engineering, he previously held R&D leadership positions at Yahoo, VERITAS, Symantec, Lucent, and AT&T.

About the Vivek and Vandana Sharma India Initiative

The Vivek and Vandana Sharma India Initiative supports programming to expand and deepen Northeastern University's engagement with economic and business issues in India. It supports CEM's India Lecture series, enables scholars, students, and practitioners from India to complete visiting terms at the CEM, encourages D'Amore-McKim and CEM faculty to conduct use-inspired research in India, and creates a community of business leaders in the U.S. and India with a special interest in American-Indian economic ties.

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