Inclusive growth was crucial for the country's economic growth to be long-lasting and “to change the lives of our people,” President Pratibha Patil said here on Monday.
Ms. Patil was delivering the key-note address at a function organised to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the Indian School of Business (ISB) on the “role of young business leaders in achieving inclusive growth and nation-building.”
The President referred to the country's average growth rate of 8 to 9 per cent per annum. India was expected to emerge as one of the four major economies of the world by 2020, she noted.
There was need to draw people living in poverty within the growth cycle by expanding it to every level. Only then, the vision of securing economic justice for all could be fulfilled. Successful business models could go hand-in-hand with growth that was beneficial to society. “It would be important to align your goals with the priorities of the nation,” she said.
The world's most successful organisations were those that had a commitment not only towards their shareholders but also towards society at large.
Emphasising the need to expand education infrastructure, Ms. Patil said it was a worrying sign that even though the third largest number of graduates in the world every year was produced in India, only 15 per cent of the students passing out of a college had the skills required to become employable. Institutions such as the ISB should collaborate with the National Skills Development Corporation to make 500 million people skilful by 2022.
The President also called for the development of some basic “models” to bring farmers into partnership arrangements with the corporate world, much like a joint venture. She also urged young business leaders to look at ways of working in rural areas by making farmers stakeholders in their enterprises.
Andhra Pradesh Governor, E.S.L. Narasimhan said development had to be people-centric, necessarily integrating them into the economic mainstream. He urged the ISB students to think differently and act unconventionally and make a difference with their sophisticated skills with a concern for society.
Chief Minister N. Kiran Kumar Reddy asked the budding business leaders to find solutions to the problems faced by people, particularly on the agricultural and horticultural fronts. He wanted business schools to train people from rural areas.
ISB Dean, Ajit Rangnekar and Analjit Singh, member, ISB Executive Board, also spoke.