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Davos 2018: India's Role in the World

Bain's Sri Rajan discusses Indian Prime Minister Modi's speech at the World Economic Forum's annual meeting.


Davos 2018: India's Role in the World

Sri Rajan, chairman of Bain India, discusses Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's speech at the World Economic Forum's annual meeting in Davos, and the importance of the country taking a leading role on global issues such as climate change.

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Read the transcript below:

SRI RAJAN: I've been to Davos a few times before, and in the previous times, the conversation was really around the transformation that was happening around the world before the [Fourth] Industrial Revolution and the change that was imminent. I think what's clear this time around is that people are experiencing that change—the increased levels of automation, the fact that many large sections of populations around the world are really not a part of the growth that companies are experiencing.

So how do you deal with this environment? Essentially, the theme of Davos is: how do you deal with the environment of a fractured world? It's leading to a lot of great conversations—not necessarily a lot of conclusions, but certainly a lot of great conversations about what's next for the economic leaders and the political leaders of the world.

A highlight this year was Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi coming to the World Economic Forum and addressing the delegation in the plenary session. He was the head of a large union delegation of both business and political leaders. The theme of his address really was a variety of things, but [was] essentially India's role in the world and how India needed to engage more with the world, and how the world needed to engage more with India—on a variety of issues. He wasn't just making the case for investments in India, but also making the case that there are issues—global issues like climate change—which are actually very important for India to address and solve.

We played some role in the visit of the Indian delegation. We put together a briefing pack that went out to all the CEOs that we met and interacted with. And we got a lot of recognition for that. And so, it was very fulfilling to see the impact of the work that we did for the Indian delegation.

Another great highlight for me from this week was the Bain Breakfast. Eric Almquist talked about the Elements of Value, and he talked about the power of the Elements of Value framework that he's put together for B2B and B2C companies. We had two great guest speakers—one from LEGO and the other from Publicis—who talked about the value of creating a whole brand identity, understanding what it stands for and defending it at all costs. Some very powerful concepts that I want to take back to my clients in India.

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