From high-profile dignitaries to the man on the street, Hyderabad has held them all in awe. If the flawless launch of the ultra-modern Metro service wowed the residents, the conduct of the prestigious Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES 2017) evoked encomiums from participants across the globe. The two back-to-back events have enhanced the global image of the city and made it the cynosure of all eyes. The challenges were many yet the execution was flawless. The Telangana government has earned praise, and deservingly so, not just from international delegates at the summit, held in South Asia for the first time, but also from the Central government agencies and key officials of the United States, which co-organised the event. At the end of eventful, three-day-long deliberations that saw 1,500 participants from 150 countries, the verdict was unanimous: Hyderabad is truly a thriving international city. From meticulous preparations, logistics and arrangements to showcasing the historic city’s entrepreneurial skills, startup culture and innovation, the State government left no stone unturned to make the event a memorable one. The city wove a magical web and displayed extraordinary dynamism and energy that was appreciated by all. No wonder that CEO of NITI Aayog Amitabh Kant, in his closing remarks, described Hyderabad as the new Silicon Valley of the world. Given the series of policy initiatives that the government has been taking to create an ideal ecosystem for innovative technology startups, ‘Brand Hyderabad’ will gain further traction in the days ahead.
The events of such scale and magnitude provide an excellent opportunity for networking among innovators, investors, mentors and policymakers. Critics may raise questions about quantifiable outcomes and potential investments emerging from such a gathering. However, it would be naive to expect business deals to be struck at these meetings. The objective must be to provide a platform for entrepreneurs to share their experiences, forge new relationships and pitch ideas to investors. In the words of United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Administrator Mark Green, the GES 2017 has been the ‘best ever entrepreneurship summit’ in terms of arrangements, number of interactions, ecosystem and dynamism of the host State. The participation of US President Donald Trump’s daughter and adviser Ivanka Trump as the leader of her country’s 350-member strong delegation raised the level of enthusiasm and excitement. For Telangana, the country’s youngest State and ranked first in terms of ‘Ease of Doing Business’, the choice of Hyderabad as the venue is a testimony to its pro-active policies. The successful conduct of the GES will surely provide further fillip to the startup ecosystem and entrepreneurship culture being promoted in the city.