BT Podcast: Honoured to receive WEF's 24th Crystal Award, says Shah Rukh Khan   New Delhi     Last Updated: January 23, 2018  | 12:50 IST
BT Podcast: Honoured to receive WEF's 24th Crystal Award, says Shah Rukh Khan

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WEF meet kicks off

The annual World Economic Forum (WEF) meet of the rich and the powerful began here with a special message from Pope Francis being read out at the opening ceremony. WEF Founder and Executive Chairman Klaus Schwab declared the summit open amid the ski-resort receiving record snowfall. He also said all are here despite such weather as "we are all part of a community".

Modi's visit generates interest

Prime minister Modi, the first Indian Prime Minister in two decades to attend the summit reached Davos. Apart from holding a series of meetings with business leaders, the PM will also hold bilateral talks with the President of Swiss Confederation, Alain Berset and Prime Minister of Sweden. The opening plenary of the 48th Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF) is already generating a lot of attention and interest with Prime Minister Modi set for his maiden inaugural speech . In an exclusive interview with India Today, WEF president Borge Brende said, "We are very much looking forward to listen to the Prime Minister's mission for India and the world. It is a significant visit for us."

Modi is here to tell the world his 'Mann ki Baat': Anand Mahindra

On the sidelines of the mega event, Mahindra and Mahindra Chairman Anand Mahindra spoke about the Prime Minister's agenda and India's role on the world stage "I think he has recognised the WEF is today's one-stop-destination to put forward your vision, which I presume is going to be Prime Minister Modi's vision too. In essence, he is here to tell the world his 'Mann Ki Baat'," explained Mahindra. Mahindra was also asked about Prime Minister Modi's "offensive" against criticism over structural reforms - carried out by the Narendra Modi government - after India's ranking on 'ease of doing business' took a sharp jump. "These are the initiative carried out with good intention. So he does not need to be apologetic.  And I think his timing - decision to visit Davos to address the world's who's who at the WEF - is perfect that shows India is ready to play a big role."

Honoured to receive WEF's 24th Crystal Award, says Shah Rukh Khan

What is the superstar doing in the midst of all the political, business and world leaders? He received the Crystal award along with Cate Blanchett and Elton John. Shah Rukh Khan is the founder of the non-profit Meer Foundation, which provides support to female victims of acid attacks and major burn injuries through medical treatment, legal aid, vocational training, rehabilitation and livelihood support. He was presented the award for "his leadership in championing children's and women's rights in India". Shah Rukh Khan will also address a session called An Insight, an Idea with Shah Rukh Khan. The actor will be addressing issues of women empowerment in that session as well.

Indian CEOs in Davos make a strong pitch for India

Indian delegation, which is the fourth largest group at WEF Davos 2018, includes top industrialists including Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani, Bajaj Auto Chairman Rahul Bajaj, Bharti Enterprises Chairman Sunil Mittal and JSW Group Chairman Sajjan Jindal, Anand Mahindra of Mahindra & Mahindra. Tata Sons CEO N Chandrasekaran are also present at the gathering. Kotak Mahindra Bank Chairman Uday Kotak said India needs to understand the subtle difference between sales and marketing, and presents the India story accordingly while positioning itself in the role of a statesman. Spicejet CEO Ajay Singh, who turned around the budget carrier Spicejet, said India has a real terrific story to tell in Davos and there can be no one better than Prime Minister Modi to tell this story.

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