It wouldn’t be difficult to list out the names of the top 10 or 20 billionaires if ever quizzed on the same, but when asked what do these billionaires do with their accumulated wealth and whether at all they are willing to part with their wealth in causes concerning charity and environment, the guess would be as good as anybody’s – mostly in the nay. This is what newly-launched business magazine ‘Forbes India’ attempted to find out as it brought together some of the most influential and rich business honchos to discuss the cause and come up with solutions at Four Seasons, Mumbai.
The evening was centered around the theme ‘Wealth creation in the next decade: Towards an inclusive India’. The event was Forbes’ way of familiarising the gathering with the names of some of the richest Indians as it announced the launch of the much-anticipated Forbes India Rich List 2010.
Opening the conversation, Indrajit Gupta, Editor, Forbes India wasted no time in praising India and presented facts that would make it a formidable forerunner as the fastest developing economy by 2020. While it is no secret that the economy is growing at a forward-looking growth rate of 9 per cent, what will make it tick in the future, according to Gupta, is the manner in which business houses will practice and conduct their business. “There is a need to create products of great value; we have to showcase a new and inclusive world of capitalism,” he urged.
After Gupta, it was the turn of Maneka Doshi, Corporate Editor, CNBC-TV18, to quiz the business honchos on matters related to wealth, more specifically its inclination towards charitable causes. The likes of Shashi Ruia of Essar Group, Ashwin Dani of Asian Paints, business historian Dr Gita Piramal, Virendra Mahiskar of IRB Infrastructure and the others debated on how wealth creation can be a force for sustainable, inclusive change and which would be good for all stakeholders in the society and the environment at large.
The conversation was made more interesting with a set of questions that was posed across to the gathering, who had to answer through the digital meter made available to them. Questions relating to CSR intitiatives being adopted by organisations to how many in the audience would donate wealth if Warren Buffet had made a request, and other such intriguing questions had the audience put on their thinking caps.
The Q&A session was followed by the launch of the cover of the Rich List 2010, the copy of which would be available on stands on October 1, 2010. CNBC-TV18’s Sanjay Pugalia and Ashwin Dani of Asian Paints unveiled the cover in the presence of Forbes Editor, Indrajit Gupta.