Ivanka Trump: From selling tea to becoming PM, Narendra Modi showed transformational change is possible


HYDERABAD, Nov. 29: Ivanka Trump, daughter of and advisor to US President Donald Trump, on Tuesday lauded Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi “for all that you are doing to build India” and proving that “transformational change is possible”.

“From your childhood selling tea to your election as India’s Prime Minister, you’ve proven that transformational change is possible. And now you are bringing that promise to hundreds of millions of people across your country. Thank you,” Ivanka said during her inaugural address as the Global Entrepreneurship Summit (GES) began here on Tuesday.

“Thank you, Prime Minister Modi, for joining us here today — and for all that you are doing to build India as a thriving economy — a beacon of democracy — and a symbol of hope to the world,” she said.

Highlighting the importance of women entrepreneurs, she said, “Just consider if India closes the labour force gender gap by half, your economy could grow by over $150 billion dollars in the next three years.”

“I am proud to say women are in majority here. I have seen that more often women must do more to prove themselves. We must ensure women entrepreneurs have access to capital, access to networks and mentors, and access to equitable laws.”

Modi inaugurated the summit themed “Women First, Prosperity for All” at the Hyderabad International Convention Centre (HICC) at 4 pm in the presence of Ivanka, who is leading the US delegation. They were greeted by a robot ‘Mitra’, made by Bengaluru-based Invento Robotics headed by Balaji Vishwanathan.

In his short speech, Modi said the event not only connects the Silicon Valley with Hyderabad but also showcases the close ties between the US and India. “It underlines our shared commitment towards encouraging entrepreneurship and innovation. The theme ‘Women First, Prosperity for All’ makes this edition of GES stand out. In Indian mythology, woman is an incarnation of Shakti — the goddess of power. We believe women empowerment is vital to our development,’’ he said.

“To my entrepreneur friends from across the globe, I would like to say, ‘Come, Make in India, Invest in India’, for India and for the world,” he said. “I invite each one of you to become a partner in India’s growth story. And once again assure you of our wholehearted support.”

As the evening progressed, woman entrepreneurs and innovators from across the world sent out a strong message for equal work space, dismantling gender inequalities and closing the gender gap in entrepreneurship. Nearly 53 per cent of the delegates at the GES were women, and they emphatically stated that women were turning the page after generations accepting inequality.

The first session, “Be the Change: Women’s Entrepreneurial Leadership’’, was addressed by Telangana Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao. He said Hyderabad is the most hospitable city with a vibrant economy where the top five most valuable companies have their bases outside of the US. He said Telangana’s industrial policy Ti-Pass, which makes it mandatory to give approvals to industries within 14 days, has become a huge success.

“We have given 5,469 approvals to industrial units drawing an investment of $17.5 billion and creating 4 lakh jobs. Please enjoy the legendary Hyderabadi hospitality and relish the signature dish, Hyderabadi biryani,’’ KCR said to claps and whistles.

This was followed by a panel session on opening opportunities for women entrepreneurs in their countries and communities. Earlier in the day, Ivanka met Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj at the Trident hotel, where she is staying, before driving down to meet the Indian PM at the HICC for a short meeting. TIE


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