Hyderabad: There have been several instances in the past three years when IT and Industries Minister K T Rama Rao came across as an astute politician, a young one at that, with excellent oratory skills, be it in his native Telugu or in English.
On Wednesday, day two of the Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES) at the HICC complex, Rama Rao handled the role of moderator at the plenary session titled “We Can Do It” focusing on innovations in workforce development and skills training with aplomb in the midst of four women considered powerful and influential.
The Minister, wearing a black ‘bandhgala’ suit, was at his best right from the introduction of the panelists to the way he navigated the discussion from one to another. The panelists included Ivanka Trump, advisor to the US President, Cherie Blair, founder, Cherie Blair Foundation for Women, Chanda Kochhar, MD and CEO, ICICI Bank and Karen Guintos, chief customer officer, Dell EMC.
In his introductory remarks, the tech-savvy Minister spoke of how he was privileged to be the IT Minister for India’s youngest State and the initiatives taken by the State government. “In the past three-and-half years, we have tried to do things which are truly unique, truly path-breaking when it comes to innovation, workforce and skilling,” he said, walking the stage in true performer style. Tracing the growth of the State on various fronts, particularly innovation, Rama Rao said Hyderabad was home to T-Hub, the largest technology incubator in the country. “By this time next year, we will have the world’s largest technology incubator and start-up engine in the world,” he said, adding that innovation had been a huge driver in the growth story of Telangana State.
Moving on to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s dream of a start-up India, he said this was the first time in the history of the country that someone had spoken about this initiative. “More than 50 per cent of the country’s population is less than 27 years of age, and two-thirds are less than 35,” the Minister said, and pointed out that India had the largest think force (as opposed to workforce) on the plant, and as the world ages, India was getting younger.
Rama Rao, speaking about the challenges faced by all countries, said employment and gender equality were major challenges, be it Telangana State or the US. “How do we harness the human capital and how do we ensure that people who are employed have requisite skills, and their skills are refreshed is the question” he said, just before introducing what he termed as a ‘cracker of a panel.’ On a lighter note, while introducing Ivanka, the Minister said IT generally meant information technology, but in the past few weeks, it had taken another connotation – Ivanka Trump, much to the delight of the delegates.
As the panelists settled down, Rama Rao slipped into the role of the moderator like a glove, and led them on to the interesting discussion. Post the panel discussion, the Minister had several other meetings and engagements which included announcement of the winners of the Uber Exchange contest for entrepreneurs. “It is a delighful development that five of the 10 winners are from Hyderabad,” he said, adding that efforts to make Hyderabad as the most liveable place was bearing fruit now. He also appealed to all mobility start-ups to come up with solutions to improve connectivity to every nook and corner of the city following the Metro Rail becoming operational.
At a meeting with Facebook team, Rama Rao said the State government would extend all help should the company decide to set up more units in Hyderabad. He also met with the Indian High Commissioner to Australia Harinder Siddhu and briefed him about the conducive atmosphere the State offered in the fields of education, mining and gaming.
All in all, it was a hectic but fruitful day for the suave Minister whose display of excellent communication skills and oratory won the hearts of the people, with his performance becoming the talk of the town.