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Skills, digital revolution, India-UAE partnership in focus at first India Global Forum UAE 2021

On the second and final day of the first-ever UAE edition of the UK-based India Global Forum (IGF) – India Global Forum UAE 2021 – the focus was on skills, the digital revolution and closer India-UAE collaborations in these sectors and beyond.
Building on the momentum generated by the high-powered sessions from Day One, ministers and policymakers once again got together with entrepreneurs and business chiefs to delve deep into subject areas across innovation, skill development, financial services, boardrooms of the future and more.
Dr. Rajeev Chandrasekhar, Minister of State for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship & Electronics and Information Technology, Government of India, took to the stage for a wide-ranging session entitled ‘License to Skill’, during which he highlighted India’s role as a “technology partner to the world”.
He said: “The rate at which the world is digitizing and embracing digital technologies, India has a significant opportunity to be a technology partner to the world, governments, citizens and businesses. India now has two unicorns a month coming out in the middle of the pandemic as a result of the hard work and complete re-architecturing of the economic landscape by the Government. The $1 trillion digital economy is a statement to India’s entrepreneurs and global players who are looking at India as a reliable partner for technology products and services.”
Day Two opened with an address by Amitabh Kant, CEO, NITI Aayog, on “Boosting Innovation Opportunities”. Highlighting the importance of India and UAE relationship, Kant stated, “India-UAE trade collaboration is the outcome of a long-standing partnership between the two countries. Recently, UAE with its boost to technology and AI is poised to be the Silicon Valley of the region. There is a great potential for collaborations. A mutually beneficial and comprehensive economic partnership appears to be the next logical step that will boost bilateral trade in goods and services for wider socio-economic opportunities in the India-UAE partnership.”
On Day One, speaking at a panel discussion on “Byteing the Learning Curve”, Saranjit Sangar, CEO – EMEA, upGrad focused on the need for rapid upskilling through the digital space. She said “The nature of jobs is changing and so are the skillsets required for them. Hence, the importance of skilling and upskilling is of the utmost importance while ensuring it stays inclusive & personalized for users.”
Vikram Chopra, Co-Founder, Cars24 spoke at the event’s Global Disruptors Series to discuss the reasons behind his company’s recent expansion into the UAE and Australia. Speaking about the company’s success in India, he said: “Pre-owned cars make a lot of sense in the Indian market. We are allowing a lot of first- time buyers in India to actually buy a pre-owned car without worrying. I believe that what happened with mobile phones is exactly the same thing that’s going to happen with cars. There will be a gradual shift to electric cars, but at the same time, the churn will continue to happen as people upgrade with new features.”
Addressing the Forum on Globalisation, Digitisation and ESG for a New Generation, Karan Adani, CEO – Adani Ports and SEZ, Adani Group said: “Climate change is a big disruptor and in my view it is going to be a big opportunity as well. He said, “Our renewable platforms started in 2014 and today I am happy to say it is larger than our thermal portfolio.”
Adel Sajan, Global Managing Director, Danube Group, during a session on “Next Gen Business Leaders – Driving Transformation in Turbulent Times” noted: “E-commerce is something which has always been our focus. Our e-commerce sales during the COVID period spiked 400%. Selling furniture online is a little harder compared to electronics and fashion.”
Delivering the closing remarks at the Forum, Prof. Manoj Ladwa, Chairman & CEO, India Inc. Group, and IGF Founder, said: “India Global Forum UAE 2021 has been a truly invigorating experience, given the sheer depth and breadth of sectors covered by so many of our inspirational delegates and speakers. Our goal was to build Dynamic Alliances and I can confidently declare that from that perspective, the event was a resounding success.”

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