India should aspire to be world’s No 1 economy: Kanwal Rekhi


India should aspire to be the world’s No 1 economy and a global influencer, said Silicon Valley-based tech entrepreneur Kanwal Rekhi earlier this week.

Speaking to NFAPost/Indica News, tech veteran and investor Kanwal Rekhi said India is on track to become the world’s third largest economy by 2027. “Indian government and entrepreneurs can make it happen by surpassing Japan and Germany. But we should aspire to be the number one economy in the world at the earliest,” Rekhi said.

Rekhi was in Bengaluru this week and was felicitated by TiE Bangalore with the Spirit-of-TiE Lifetime Achievement Award for his stellar contributions to TiE over the last 30 years – as one of its founding fathers, former president of the Silicon Valley chapter and former chairman of the global board.

He is also a three-time CEO and the first Indian American founder and CEO to launch an initial public offering (IPO) on NASDAQ.

Taking inspiration from freedom movement, Rekhi also highlighted how this century could be India’s as a democracy with universal adult franchise.

“India has a democratic set up and freedom of speech which will further fuel the country’s journey with innovative thinking of Indian entrepreneurs,” said Rekhi.

He expressed displeasure on the current investment climate in the country, though. “India should also come up with proactive steps to encourage VCs and investors to come to the country. The current regulatory mechanism is creating a harassment-like environment to investors. Policy makers will have to ponder on it and make it more inclusive,” Rekhi said.

TiE Bangalore president Madan Padaki said he applauded Rekhi for his significant strides as an entrepreneur. “I congratulate Kanwal Rekhi for his pivotal role in sculpting the city into this phenomenal entrepreneurship ecosystem that it is today. We look forward to his guidance as we accelerate our journey at TiE Bangalore of building a more vibrant ecosystem,” Padaki said.

As part of the event, there was a fireside chat between Rekhi and Prof Sadagopan, founding director of the Indian Institute of Information Technoloyg, Bangalore and charter member, TiE Bangalore. Rekhi later shared his insights in a group mentoring session for 20 select Bengaluru-based start-up founders.

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