Chief Guest Mr Uday Kotak Speaks on ‘The Role of India in the Emerging World Order’

L-R: Nilesh Shah, President, Bombay Chamber and Group President & MD, Kotak Mahindra AMC; Mr Uday Kotak, Managing Director & CEO, Kotak Mahindra Bank; Dr Sandeep Shastri, Vice Chancellor, Jagran Lakecity University, Bhopal and Mr Ritesh Tiwari, Sr. Vice President, Bombay Chamber & CFO, Hindustan Unilever ltd. & Unilever South Asia

01 December 2022, Mumbai: The Bombay Chamber of Commerce & Industry celebrated its 187 th Foundation Day at the Taj President on 30 th November 2022. The momentous occasion, which had Mr Uday Kotak, Managing Director & CEO, Kotak Mahindra Bank as the Chief Guest, and Dr Sandeep Shastri, Vice Chancellor, Jagran Lakecity University, Bhopal, as the Guest of Honour, saw luminaries from across industries attend an evening of thought-provoking talks and discussions, on India’s position on the economic and financial front and its political prospects in the run-up to the 2024 General Election.


Welcoming the audience, Mr Nilesh Shah, President, Bombay Chamber spoke about the illustrious past of the Chamber, which formally came into existence on 22nd September 1836. He applauded the stellar contribution and guidance from the past Presidents of the Chamber and reiterated the role of the Chamber in the development of Mumbai as a city and its continued emphasis on ‘Corporates for Change.’ Mr Shah also spoke about the Chamber’s ongoing programmes and its aim to double its membership through the ‘Each One Get One’ Membership Referral Drive.


In his Keynote address, Mr Kotak spoke about how Mumbai and India, as a nation, need to start thinking out of the box to be able to change destiny and reach a different paradigm from where it is currently. He highlighted the importance of the topic, the Role of India in the Emerging World Order, and how the nation can redesign itself in this new world order. The past two years have been tumultuous – with Covid 19 and the geopolitical changes brought on by the Russia-Ukraine war. While, India has come out stronger and better positioned as compared to the other countries – both in terms of how we tackled the Covid-19 pandemic and our positioning in the Russia-Ukraine conflict, there is a need to challenge the status quo and not be complacent.


Mr Kotak urged businesses to make themselves more competitive in the international market, without just being content with the large domestic market that buys goods and services. According to him, true Atmanirbharta will be when India makes ends meet without depending on foreign investment and welcomes foreign investment on its own terms. Mr Kotak hoped for a time when Bombay Chamber celebrates its 200 th Foundation Day in a truly Atmanirbhar India, with the country’s P&L account at least neutral and to make that the goal that the business, trade services and manufacturing sector focus on. He added that India, and the Bombay Chamber, should take a lead in growing India’s manufacturing, competitively. Mr Kotak also said that for the country to transform and emerge even stronger there is a need for more teachers and judges.


In his address, Dr Sandeep Shastri, political scientist who has been the Pro Vice Chancellor of Jagran Lakecity University for the past decade, looked at the future political prospects of the country in the light of the 2024 General Election. He identified 3-Bs – the Battle in the states, the Battle in the regions and the Battle of perceptions – to keenly watch for in the next 18 months, as they could change the entire narrative of the 2024 outcome. According to him, at the state level, in those states where there is weak state-level leadership, it is the centre that has had to push the state. An important aspect to look at is how much the centre pushes the states and maintains the momentum for the next 18 months.


Concerning the battle of regions, while the BJP was able to maintain their strike rate in North, West and Central India, and add North East India to the tally in 2019, the challenge in 2024 will be to maintain this high strike rate and add the south region, to ensure it is an all-India picture. He added that 2024 will also be critical states of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Maharashtra. Further, elections have today also become perception battles, where the ground realities may be vastly different from the perception that people bring with them when they go to the voting centre.


The evening also saw many questions being put forward by the audience and some highly insightful responses to the same. The event ended with a Vote of Thanks by Mr Ritesh Tiwari, Sr. Vice President, Bombay Chamber, who thanked the Speakers and the Audience for their invigorating talks and consistent support.


About Bombay Chamber of Commerce & Industry: Established in 1836, the Bombay Chamber is the oldest Chamber of Commerce in India. The Chamber’s membership constitutes several thousand corporate members (more than 60% being MSMEs) across different industries. The Chamber has a long tradition of Institution building and promoting trade and commerce in India.

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