City shines at Davos

Entrepreneurs describe their experiences representing Hyderabad at the WEF.

Dipika Prasad
A liberating experience

Dipika Prasad, Hyderabad-based civic entrepreneur was part of the Global Shapers Community at WEF. She also spoke on ‘Citizen action to build liveable cities’ as part of the ‘Big Ideas’ session at Davos in Switzerland.

Sharing her experience, Dipika says, “It was amazing! I had the opportunity to directly walk up to global leaders, shake hands with them and have an inspiring conversation with Malala Yousafzai, the Nobel Prize winner.”

“It helped me think big and be far-sighted,” she adds.

Dipika also feels that the leadership summit was a liberating experience. Elaborating, she explains, “I learned the quintessential characteristics of a leader. If you want to be a leader, you need to work with people. Witnessing the attitude of several eminent personalities, I have realised how significant it is to be humble and rooted no matter how big we are. Also, the goals and objectives of young groups between 20 and 30 are similar across all countries — they are trying to make a difference.”

Dipika, who relished the Indian and Japanese delicacies at the event, says that she had some of the best conversations with leaders from the Telugu states. “I spoke to Chandrababu Naidu garu, KTR garu and Jayesh Ranjan sir. I discussed urban development and how to make neighbourhoods more liveable. KTR garu mentored me and also advised me on how to go about doing public good, setting realistic goals, how to channelise energy levels, etc. I have plans to work in partnership with the state government,” she mentions.

Admitting that she was nervous at the event, the civic entrepreneur says, “Especially on the first two days! There was pressure on me to bring back something home, and I am glad that I found solutions at the forum.”

Mani Vajipey
Humility: the key to learning

Hyderabad-based plastic recycling start-up, Banyan Nation has won the Dell People’s Choice Award for Circular Economy Entrepreneur as part of the Circulars Awards at the World Economic Forum (WEF) at Davos. Apparently, this is the first ever Indian firm to be shortlisted for and to win the award.

Sharing his thoughts, Mani Vajipey, Co-founder, Banyan Nation, says, “We want to inspire more mainstream companies to use recycled plastic instead of original plastic to make India sustainable. And WEF gave us an opportunity to demonstrate our work in front of the world and put Hyderabad on the global sustainability map too. The award gives us enormous confidence and validation.”

He adds, “After meeting global leaders personally, I got an insight into creating a value chain and taking a holistic approach. The innovations coming out of India are world-class. We want to bring solutions to improve the quality of life and urbanise sustainability here. I went to the summit with an open mind, and I would love to go again because WEF is not just limited to human ideology. Several things like human progress, well-being, humanity and how artificial intelligence (A.I.) affects human life in many spheres was discussed. It’s been a great learning experience.”

Harshavardhana G.
An enabling environment

A young Hyderabadi, Harshavardhana Gourineni made the most of the opportunity to attend WEF. He says, “It was my first time at the WEF. The environment was very progressive, fostered by the participation of many global thought leaders.”

Harshavardhana also feels that above all, it was great to see so many companies and government representatives come together to forge a better today and tomorrow. The MD and CEO of Mangal Industries Limited, which is a part of the Amara Raja Group, the 29-year-old continues, “While my uncle and Vice-chairman of the group, Jayadev Galla, attended the official WEF agenda, my brother Vikram and I attended auxiliary events that ran parallelly as well as various receptions and nightcap events.”

— With inputs from Sashidhar Adivi and Neha Jha

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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