Times Network Presents Digital Economic Forum 2016


TIMES NETWORK, a part of India’s largest media conglomerate, The Times Group, organized the ‘Digital Economic Forum 2016’ in association with Huawei India. The initiative took place on December 20, 2016, at Taj Palace, New Delhi and was attended by some of the most influential dignitaries in India. The Chief Guest at the event were Shri Arun Jaitley, Minister of Finance and Corporate Affairs and the Guest of Honor was Shri Piyush Goyal, Minister of State (IC) for Power, Coal, New and Renewable Energy and Mines.  Also present at the event were some high profile names such as Mr. P Balaji, Director, External Regulatory Affairs, Vodafone India; Mr. Bipin Preet Singh, Founder & CEO, Mobikwik; Mr. Sanjay Sethi, Founder, Shopclues and Mr. Praveen Kumar, MD, SBI.

On 8th November 2016, India embarked on a massive economic reform by demonetization. Only future has the answers to the impact of this momentous decision. Economic growth with financial inclusion and equity is a key priority of the Government. Hence, digitization of payments would significantly be of grave importance to overcome physical barriers and would thus enhance access to financial services rapidly. To generate awareness about this and to raise questions on this drastic economic reform policy, in collaboration with Huawei India, TIMES NETWORK organized the ‘Digital Economic Forum 2016’.

The forum started off with the opening address by Mr. Jay Chen, CEO, Huawei Telecommunications India, followed by a panel discussion on ‘Digi-Monetisation: Sparking a less cash economy in India’, that involved participation from key industry experts. This was followed by a welcome address from the presenting partner, M K Anand, MD and CEO, TIMES NETWORK.

Mr. Jay Chen, CEO, Huawei Telecommunications India said, “Today India is at the center of world’s attention thanks to the vision and leadership of the present Government. Key national initiatives have given an impetus to the Indian economy. Digital India specifically, is the engine of all the key initiatives and it can help India bridge the digital gap. To us, this initiative will transform India into a digitally empowered society and knowledge economy.”

“We believe the recent drive by the Government of India towards digital payments is the heart of a digital economy. The recent high value currency demonetization is a lifetime opportunity for India to leapfrog into a digital economy” he added.

M K Anand, MD & CEO of TIMES NETWORK, said, “As a successful media company we have to be aware of the pulse of our audience. In the last 12 years that we have existed in the industry, we have seen a distinct change in the mood of this country. Indians are in a hurry to progress. And they are willing to undergo pain if needed to quickly move forward. We have aptly captured and reflected this mood of the nation in our hallmark tagline NOW or Nothing.

This mood of the people is reflected by the most action oriented government that this country has seen in a long while. Demonetization or remonetisation as we call it is an expression of Now or Nothing.  As India’s premium network for influencers, we believe it is within our power and mandate to contribute to this historic endeavor. Amongst a series of initiatives aimed at bringing clarity and accelerating much needed understanding and action in this area, the Digital Economy Forum has been designed to look at Digitization as a means and an end to Demonetization and the benefits thereof. We are thankful to Shri Arun Jaitley (Minister of Finance and Corporate Affairs) and Shri Piyush Goyal (Minister of State (IC) for Power, Coal, New and Renewable Energy and Mines) for having taken the initiative to share their insights on this emerging strategic initiative.”

The welcome address was followed by a tete-a-tete with Shri Piyush Goyal, Minister of State (IC) for Power, Coal, New and Renewable Energy and Mines. Shri Piyush Goyal, Minister of State (IC) for Power, Coal, New and Renewable Energy and Mines, said, “Digital push was an integral part of demonetization exercise. Any move as big as demonetization is bound to have some small issues. Today telecom companies have confirmed that spectrum is no longer an issue. Once the person gets addicted to digital transaction, then the possibility of fraud will also reduce. Currently, we are looking for a change in the working and mindset of the country. As we say that, the country’s youth have a lot of potential for innovation. Lastly, I would like to congratulate the TIMES Network for such an initiative like Digital Economy Forum.”

This was followed by another tete-a-tete with Shri Arun Jaitley, Minister of Finance and Corporate Affairs.

Shri Arun Jaitley, Minister of Finance and Corporate Affairs, said, “Management of the economy does not depend on the kind of slogans people create. India is an economy that has been suffering with a high cost of capital. The ultimate goal is to digitize the economy.  A less cash economy is supplemented with a digital economy. There is no settled behaviour as to how people will behave when remonetization sets in. Digitizing the economy gives us a great opportunity. Over the next few years, the incremental impact of Digi- monetization will also be felt in the economy. Lastly, we should make political funding transparent.”

Both the sessions were moderated by Navika Kumar, Executive Editor, TIMES NETWORK.

The event brought together various stakeholders to discuss ways and technologies available to expedite India’s effort to have larger digital economy. The platform also provided the opportunity for all stakeholders to discuss issues and concern faced by the industry and also suggested solutions that can be adapted for faster adaptation of digital economy.

The ‘Digital Economic Forum 2016’ was presented by Huawei Telecommunications India and TIMES NETWORK. The entire event will be converted into episodes, each to be telecast on TIMES NOW- India’s No. 1 English News channel and ET NOW – India’s leading English Business News channel.

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