Economic Perspectives at Davos 2024: India’s Political Landscape, AI Leadership, and Economic Growth

The World Economic Forum in Davos has witnessed insightful perspectives from key figures in the global business community. Three prominent voices, Sunil Mittal, Chairman of Bharti Enterprises, IBM CEO Arvind Krishna, and RBI Governor Shaktikanta Das, shared their views on India’s political landscape, the country’s role in AI deployment, and the economic outlook.

Sunil Mittal’s Optimism on Continuity and Investment in India

Sunil Mittal, Chairperson of Bharti Enterprises, expressed optimism about the potential for a third term for the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led NDA government in India. Speaking at Davos, Mittal highlighted the discussions revolving around the upcoming Indian elections, emphasizing the likely continuity in infrastructure development, ease of doing business, and investments under the current government.

Mittal asserted that India no longer needs to be ‘sold’ to investors, as the country is now attracting global attention for its investment potential and business opportunities. He pointed to the foundation laid in the past decade, anticipating substantial growth in the next ten years. Mittal emphasized the importance of continuity in governance for the business and investor community, citing the positive trends observed in the past decade.

According to Mittal, the sheer scale and ambition of India in recent years have caught the attention of the international community. He expressed hope for continued momentum, accelerating infrastructure growth, and overall economic development. Mittal concluded that India’s attractiveness has reached a point where it doesn’t need active promotion, as global players are drawn to the country and eager to engage in business discussions.

IBM CEO Arvind Krishna’s Vision for India’s Leadership in AI Deployment


IBM Chairman and CEO Arvind Krishna shifted the focus to India’s potential in the field of artificial intelligence (AI). Speaking at a Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) event during the Davos forum, Krishna predicted that AI would be as significant as, if not more than, the steam engine revolution. He positioned India at the forefront of AI deployment, citing the vast data sets available in the country and applauding government initiatives, including the establishment of AI centres of excellence.

Krishna emphasized that the workforce driving AI deployment globally would largely come from India. He praised the government’s efforts in AI and acknowledged the role of skilling and digital infrastructure in facilitating this technological shift. Nearly 80 percent of IBM’s India R&D workforce is currently engaged in building AI capabilities, reflecting the country’s significant contribution to AI development on a global scale.

The IBM CEO highlighted the belief that AI would be a force for good globally, with India positioned as a massive beneficiary due to its talent pool and growing digital infrastructure. Krishna’s vision centered on the crucial role of skilling initiatives and the readiness of the Indian workforce to lead in the AI-driven future.

RBI governor Shaktikanta Das’ Positive Economic Outlook for India

Shaktikanta Das' Positive Economic Outlook

Shaktikanta Das, the Governor of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI), provided insights into the economic outlook at Davos. Das projected a 7 percent growth for the Indian economy in the next financial year (2024-25), citing structural reforms undertaken by the government as a catalyst for medium and long-term growth prospects.

Speaking at a CII session on ‘High growth, low risk: The India story,’ Das positioned India as a beacon of growth and stability amid a challenging global macroeconomic environment. He expressed confidence in the government’s initiatives and highlighted the positive momentum in the economy, supported by robust growth figures.

Das also addressed inflation concerns, stating that inflation was expected to ease further from the current levels. Despite a recent uptick in retail inflation, he reassured that the central bank remained focused on managing inflation while supporting growth. Das acknowledged the improved momentum in investment demand and expressed optimism about continued business and consumer optimism driving economic activity.

Synthesizing Perspectives for India’s Future

Collectively, the insights from Mittal, Krishna, and Das paint a comprehensive picture of India’s current standing and future potential. Mittal’s optimism about political continuity and investment attractiveness aligns with Krishna’s vision of India leading in AI deployment. Das rounds up the narrative with a positive economic outlook, emphasizing growth and stability.

As India continues to position itself on the global stage, the convergence of political stability, technological leadership, and economic resilience forms a compelling narrative. The international community, as evidenced by discussions at Davos, recognizes India’s trajectory and potential contributions to shaping the global landscape in the years to come.

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