HTLS 2020 highlights: Abhijit Banerjee on economic recovery and more
Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, Nobel laureate Abhijit Banerjee, Deloitte CEO Punit Renjen and Walmart CEO and president Doug McMillon shared their views on the Covid-19 pandemic and other issues.
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Hindustan Times Leadership Summit began its final week on a power-packed note. Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, Nobel laureate Abhijit Banerjee, Deloitte CEO Punit Renjen and Walmart CEO and president Doug McMillon shared their views on the Covid-19 pandemic and other issues.
The day started with a session with Chouhan who spoke to Sunetra Choudhury about coming back to power in Madhya Pradesh. In the second session, McMillon spoke to Hindustan Times Editor-in-chief Sukumar Ranganathan about reinventing self and a global retail giant.
The third session was held with Renjen who spoke to Hindustan Times Editor-in-chief Sukumar Ranganathan about resilient leadership in the new Covid normal. In the final session of the day, Dr Banerjee discussed how to lead a tough battle against global poverty while speaking to Dr Niranjan Rajadhyaksha, research director and senior fellow, IDFC Institute.
The 18th edition of the prestigious HTLS is being held virtually amidst the Covid-19 pandemic, and aims to drive conversations that can help with 'Defining a New Era', which is the theme of this year's event. The virtual summit is bringing together global leaders to draw a blueprint for what lies ahead for India and the world.
Abhijit Banerjee's wishlist for India's Budget
I think the government should focus on things which are visible - like infrastructure projects. The government should show that it is focussed on development. People like assurance that growth will be restored. And the government has a commitment to ensure growth.
'Farmers suspicious of govt motive'
Abhijit Banerjee says farmers' issue is less about content of legislation, more about trust. "There are more rounds to be played," he added.
'Indian states way too big'
Nobel laureate Abhijit Banerjee talked about federalism in India and said that the size of states in the country is way too big. "We need much more federalism, Indian states way too big," said Dr Banerjee.
'This was a wasted crisis'
"There should be more fiscal stimulus, but the question is: How much of deficit the government is willing to run. This was a time to do radical things. This is a wasted crisis, we could have done more on the fiscal side," said Dr Abhijit Banerjee.
'No guarantee that we're out of Covid-19 pandemic'
"There are 2 issues to worry about - one of them is Covid-19. It's clear that measured rate is going down, but we have no basis to assume that we are out of the pandemic. We shouldn't be pessimistic, but there is no coherent explanation as to why it is going down," said Dr Banerjee.
"The second one is vaccine - and it's too long away. We need two quarters to estimate how to vaccinate 1.4 billion people," he added.
'This is India's century'
"Many across the world are bullish about India. It has the talent and demographic advantage and the vibrancy of the culture. Many see the opportunities that exist in India," said Deloitte CEO Punit Renjen.
'Globalisation is here to stay'
Speaking on HTLS, Punit Renjen said that Covid-19 has affected the world but globalisation is here to stay. He, however, added that rules will change. "It's an opportunity for India, which is aiming to become $5 trillion economy," said Punit Renjen.
'Most economies will recover'
Remote working is here to stay. Deloitte has 800 offices across the world. Do we need so many offices? I don't think so. So Covid-19 has brought in a change in the way we work. And I think most economies will recover.
'Silver lining in Covid-19'
"2020 has been a miserable year for everyone, especially for the business community. Deloitte was also impacted substantially, but being a large organisation helped us survive. I don't think we are going to go back to the way we used to live. So there's a silver lining, and wake-up call as far as climate change is concerned," said Deloitte CEO Punit Renjen.
'Consumer behaviour has changed during Covid-19'
"Consumer behaviour has changed during the Covid-19 pandemic, but it'll be interesting to watch what happens next year. As soon as people feel safe, they like to go out - whether it's the US or India," said Walmart CEO Doug McMillon.
Walmart CEO on his plans for India
"Apart from the demographics, there are many remarkable things in India. And that is why we invested in India. We would like to invest more in supply chains in India," said Doug McMillon.
Walmart CEO on managing the company during Covid-19
"We weren't totally prepared for a pandemic like Covid-19. We have plans for hurricanes and other natural disasters, but not for something like this. We didn't have all the PPEs that we needed. Fast decision-making helped us in that, but we had to learn and adjust real time," said Doug McMillon.
'See a lot of potential for growth of exports from India'
Walmart CEO and CEO and president Doug McMillon laid out his company's plan for having business partnership with Indian companies, hours after committing to exporting $10 billion of India-made goods each year by 2027. "We are honouring to be your partner," said McMillon.
Walmart CEO on Covid-19
Early days of Covid-19 were chaotic. I am proud of our partners, they were very brave.
Proposed 'love jihad' law part of our Beti Bachao movement: Chouhan
There have been a few developments which have opened our eyes. A mother came to me, her 14-year-old daughter was missing, she was found near Nepal. And then a number of cases came to light in which girls from Madhya Pradesh were lured and taken away. It's part of our Beti Bachao movement. To curb such incidents, strict laws are needed.
First published: Dec 10, 2020 17:40 IST