On February 15, 2014, The Harvard India Conference opened at the Harvard Business School with a Q&A session between Tarun Khanna, the Director of the South Asia Institute and Jorge Paulo Lemann Professor at Harvard Business School and Pratap Bhanu Mehta, the President & Chief Executive of the Centre for Policy Research, a leading political think tank in India.
Khanna discussed the idea of entrepreneurship in India, which he said made him optimistic about enterprise in India, despite the fact that a large chunk of the population is left out of entrepreneurship because of a lack of resources and being economically disenfranchised.
Mehta explained that he viewed the biggest question in India today as corruption, saying that it would take a while to fix the system. He said that political parties are now focusing on transparency and decentralization, which are good for multinationals doing business in India. Mehta also discussed the changing business climates and governance structures between states in India.
The panel then discussed healthcare in India, and Khanna discussed how lessons from the history of healthcare in the USA can be applied to the healthcare situation in India.
Khanna and Mehta also took questions from the audience about the anti-corruption movement, how India can nurture leaders, and the impact of elections of foreign businesses.
The annual India Conference at Harvard was held at Harvard Business School and Harvard Kennedy School on 15th and 16th of February, 2014. The conference, now in its 12th year, has become the largest student run India focus conference in the US. This year’s conference was the largest in history with over 100 speakers and 650 attendees.