Count the upcoming Wharton India Economic Forum as the latest casualty of the fast-spreading omicron variant.
Originally scheduled to take place in Mumbai, India, the Wharton School’s student-organized forum will move to a virtual format, Gauri Singhal, MBA ‘23, told Poets&Quants today (December 28). Singhal is WIEF’s vice president for speakers and marketing.
The schedule date of the 26th annual conference has not changed. It will begin on January 8.
WIEF is one of the largest, most prestigious India-centric business conferences in the world. It is organized by Wharton School students each year to highlight India’s growing economic and business influence on the world stage. This year’s theme is “Transforming India Inc: For India and Beyond.”
INDIAN GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS & INDUSTRY LEADERS AMONG PANEL SPEAKERS
The forum will examine India’s journey to establishing itself at the center of the global economy. “We will reflect on the steps that India Inc has taken so far, talk about how companies, new and old are disrupting the markets today, and talk about what more needs to be done going forward for India to lead on all fronts,” reads the forum’s website.
This year’s forum will feature virtual fireside chats with representatives from Indian government and industry leaders. Topics will range from the Indian tech landscape, bridging the talent gap, and the evolution of the sports and entertainment industries. Speakers include:
- Ashneer Grover, founder of BharatPe
- Jyotiraditya Scinida, India’s Minister of State for Civil Aviation and member of parliament
- Harsh Jain, founder of Dream 11
- Karan Thapar, business journalist
- Mayank Kumar, co-founder and MD of Upgrad
- Padmaja Ruparel, co-founder of Indian Angel Network
- Pradeep Parmeswaran, regional GM of Uber APAC
‘OPEN TO ALL STUDENTS’
“This conference helps us understand and stay in touch with what’s happening in the ecosystem in India which is almost 20% of the world population,” Singhal says. “It is open to all college students, and it is a very intellectual discussion about the Indian business ecosystem and its relevance to the international business ecosystem.”
The forum will also feature the final round of pitches as part of the Wharton India Start-Up Challenge, with a $20,000 prize on the line. This year, 130 startup applicants were invited to pitch and 10 finalist teams were selected. They will pitch their startup ideas to Indian venture capitalists and entrepreneurs. Past challenge winners have gone on to raise over $50 million, and the challenge has been a platform for companies like Ketto, Zostel and BabyChakra.
Because the format will now be virtual, cost to attend will be $2. It is open to MBA students, college students, and professionals interested in the Indian economy. For more information or to register, visit the website.