Wharton India will be hosting the Wharton India Economic Forum (WIEF) as a two-part forum this year, with conferences in both the United States and India, making it the first conference of its kind with a global reach, said Abhinav Prateek, who is the conference co-chair. Wharton’s India Economic Forum is an annual conference focused on India’s development. Launched over two decades ago by students at Wharton, the top ranked business school in the United States, the conference showcases India’s economic potential to the United States by bringing together influencers across industry lines.

This year as the conference’s tagline suggests we will dabble with ideas to diversify governance and human capital, identify trends that will disrupt industry through innovation, and discuss how to deliver impact to society. From policy to media, academia to industry, we will bring together India’s top leaders under one roof to discuss the most exciting opportunities and pressing issues.

This year’s slate of speakers continues to grow and promises to be one of our best ever. This year, the Philadelphia leg (tickets can be bought here) of the conference has confirmed the attendance of Umang Dua (Co-Founder of Handy), Ron Somers(Founder and CEO of India First Group,LLC), Pankaj Munjal (Chairman and MD, Hero Cycles), Shankar Narayanan (MD and Co-head, Carlyle Asia Growth Partners), Ankur Jain (Founder and Director, B9 Beverages/Bira), Sharad Sharma (Co-founder, iSPIRT Foundation), Pankaj Jain (Partner, 500 Startups), Sroota Vootukuru (VP, Business Development, Sling TV), among several others, who will share their unique perspectives on India’s evolving economic landscape.

The conference will take place in the Jon M. Huntsman Hall in Philadelhphia on the 12th of November. The topics for the panel discussions range from opportunities for multinationals to opportunities for investing in India. Additionally, WIEF wants to cover what it means to have an India moving towards digitisation.

Meanwhile the Mumbai leg, which will be hosted on the 5th of January, 2018 has already confirmed the attendance of Billionaire Ajay Piramal, Chairman of Piramal Group and Shriram Group, Mr. Kishore Biyani and his daughters Ashni and Avni Biyani. Since inception, WIEF has had a history of attracting top speakers including policy makers such as President Abdul Kalam, industrialists such as Mukesh Ambani, investors such as George Soros, and media personalities such as Karan Johar.

“The Mumbai conference will also play host to Wharton’s annual startup challenge targeting the next generation of business leaders”, said Kushal Amin, organizer of the competition. Wharton india Startup Challenge (WISC) promotes entrepreneurship in India by providing a global platform for startups working on innovative ideas targeted towards the Indian market. “After WIEF, we recorded a spike in website traffic and closed our fund-raising round within 30 days” said Ritesh Singh, CEO of Eckovation (WISC 2016-17 Finalist).

WISC applications are now closed. We received more than 500 applications this year. This year 50 semifinalists will be shortlisted and the top 10 finalists get to pitch at the main event and the top 20 get to exhibit their startups at the main event.

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