Naina Lal Kidwai, Chairman of HSBC India, called Narendra Modi’s recent election “historic” and said he represents an office charged with executing ideas. She said energy efficiency and water efficiency projects offer huge opportunities in the country and called India the factory for the rest of the world, but in an updated 21st century context. “The services sector in India relies on broadband, and it and telecom can be the next wave of growth,” she declared.
Perceptions of Asia are changing, according to three women from those countries on the ‘Changing Asia: New Dynamics for Multinationals’ panel at Fortune’s Most Powerful Women forum in Hong Kong. Mari Elka Pangestu, former Tourism Minister of Indonesia added that Indonesia and India share a demographic gift that aging China and Japan can only dream of. “Asia is young, and in my country of 250 million people, 30% are below 30 years old,” she said in language that might have been spoken by an official in China three decades earlier.
According to Fortune magazine, which hosted the event, “Pessimism is turning to optimism in India after new Prime Minister Narendra Modi set about a reform agenda. … And China’s economy is slowing.”