Minister Ashwini Vaishwaw highlights India’s progress at Stanford meet

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It was a showcase of India’s emerging economy status at Stanford University where Indian minister Ashwini Vaishnaw recently discussed such diverse topics as the bullet train, the country’s digital development, its entrepreneurial economy and patents.

Vaishnaw was at Stanford University on May 9 for a closed-door event attended by faculty members, entrepreneurs, and students.

Venture capitalist Nandini Tandon, who attended with her sister Priya Tandon, told indica that the minister spoke about what India has achieved in railways and digital development, and that foreign governments now want India’s technology and digital finance ecosystem to be replicated.

“It was a very positive development,” said Tandon, who has invested in the healthcare sector in India.

Vaishnaw also talked about the entrepreneurial economy, Tandon said. “He is very supportive of startups, and whatever he is doing will support the economy. He shed light on how building and connecting bullet trains will accelerate entrepreneurship.”

Tandon said, “As venture capitalists, we support entrepreneurs, and Silicon Valley stands for entrepreneurship. It is very difficult to leapfrog the economy, but one of the fastest ways of doing this is to have many entrepreneurs.”

Vaishnaw shared his views on India’s growing startup industry and its unicorns. Tandon said these startups are creating jobs, and that jobs creation is important for any economy “because we have many youths there [India].”

Tandon said that even the US should look India as a role model for its digital economy development.

Vaishnaw said that while many years ago, 98% of mobile phones were manufactured outside India, today 98% are manufactured within the country. He also talked about how the Japanese have lauded the government’s “Make In India” program.

Tandon said, as an investor, she can see that a lot is happening in digital technology, and patents will become an important aspect of this growth. “The government is providing strong support for ensuring patents, as it helps to do something creative,” she said.

She added, “Transparency and access have increased with digitalization, and these things are important in healthcare.”

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