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The India Conference at Harvard, hosted by students at Harvard Business School and Harvard Kennedy School, and cosponsored by SAI, is one of the largest India conferences in the US.

This year’s conference will take place on March 7 and 8, 2015, and will bring together business leaders, entertainment professionals, government officials, philanthropists, and many other leaders to engage in a conversation about India’s path to global leadership.

SAI spoke with Chandni Sachdeva, Harvard Business School, MBA Class of 2015, one of the organizers of the event, about the conference and its goals.

SAI: The slogan for the conference is ‘India’s path to global leadership.’ Where did this idea come from?

Chandni Sachdeva: Last year the conference focused on India’s prospects and paradoxes, which reflected more on the past. This year’s theme, ‘India’s Path to Global leadership,’ is more forward-looking and is inspired from the way we have seen the country evolve on many fronts, whether it be political, industrial, technology or e-commerce/retail.

SAI: What obstacles does India face in reaching a position of global leadership?

CS: The obstacles vary by industry and this is something that we will debate and discuss across the different industrial panels. Some of the common themes could be infrastructure, education, cultural mindset, and societal divide.

SAI: Given that  65% of India’s population is 35 or under, moving forward, what are some issues that young people in India want to see addressed?

CS: I think India’s burgeoning “under 35” population is going to have less tolerance for injustice in society and corruption in government and organizations. It will also have higher demands in terms of job opportunities, healthcare, and access to consumer products.

SAI: You have an impressive lineup of speakers. What will students take away from this conference?

CS: The India Conference at Harvard attracts over 80 speakers including Kiran Bedi, Sajjan Jindal, Rahul Bose, and Shivshankar Menon, and over 600 attendees. It is a great opportunity to network with India-focused individuals in your industry of interest. There will be networking lunches and a cocktail reception.


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