Connect Gujarat

P. Gopichand, Punit Lalbhai engage with students at Youth Connect event at ITM University Vadodara

P. Gopichand, Punit Lalbhai engage with students at Youth Connect event at ITM University Vadodara

Run up event to Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit 2019.

The ITM University in Vadodara hosted a Youth leadership event under the aegis of the upcoming Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit 2019. The event was considered to be the run up to the VGGS with focus on key areas of Innovation, Entrepreneurship and the Youth. The 9th edition of the Summit will begins on the 18th of January.

Titled ‘Shaping a New India: The Story of a Billion Dreams’, the youth leadership session had approximately 1000 youths in Vadodara listening with rapt attention to former Indian badminton ace and current Chief national coach of the Indian Badminton team P. Gopichand, Gujarat’s very own young corporate leader Punit Lalbhai, founder of the Kaivalya Education Foundation Aditya Natarajan and the COO and Co-Founder of a new-age Freight and Logistics company, Delhivery, Bhavesh Manglani.

This unique event brought together youths- university students, young professionals, entrepreneurs and youth icons from different backgrounds under one roof. The session was a forum for exchange of ideas and knowledge and a platform to ideate and discuss the critical role the youth will have to play to fast track the next wave of socio-economic development.

Each of the speakers shared their experiences and learnings that led them to where they are and inspire the next generation of young achievers.

Talking about the future of sports in India, P. Gopichand said “There is a distinct change in the way people in our country look at sports today. The youth of India today hold immense confidence in their abilities and the future of sports in the country looks very bright. In the last few years there is also sustained support from the Government and corporate sector in the last few years to promote sports. We’re still only scratching the surface as far as achievements are concerned.”

Aditya Natarajan made a poignant point that stayed with the audience. Speaking of the education system of the country he said, “When we speak of the youth in the country, we only talk of employment, however we need to approach education from the point of view of nation building. The future of employment is in entrepreneurship, particularly in a state like Gujarat, where entrepreneurship runs in the blood.”

Bhavesh Manglani, had words of wisdom for the budding entrepreneurs taking lessons on how to build a startup. He said, “I would like to ask young entrepreneurs who are building new business plans and business ideas to also be responsible for them and stand for their convictions. In the coming decades Indian entrepreneurs will expand their geographical footprint beyond India’s periphery.”

Finally Punit Lalbhai said, “The youth today is fast thinking and innovative, they are not bound by the conservative thinking of 20 years ago. The need of the hour is disruptive thinking, and the younger generation will find success through out of the box thinking.”

A total of 4 Youth Connect Forums will be organised between the 5 th and 16 th of January, ahead of the Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit 2019. Some of the big names that will be a part of these events include, cricketer Cheteshwar Pujara and industry leader Dhanraj Nathwani from the Reliance Group. Representing the high achieving women in the country, Chhavi Rajawat, a dynamic and inspiring lady Sarpanch from Rajasthan, Founder of and Shaheen Mistry, Founder and CEO, Teach for India will also participate. After Vadodara the forum will be organised at Rajkot on 09 January 2019 at Atmiya University, Surat on 11 January at AURO University and in Ahmedabad on 16 January at IIM Ahmedabad. The Youth Connect forums are being organised by the Government of Gujarat in partnership with Invest India, CII, FICCI, Young Indians and iCreate.

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