The Telegraph
Tuesday , December 11 , 2012
Since 1st March, 1999

Nitish to speak, czars to listen

- Biz galaxy at meet with CM

Dec. 10: When Nitish Kumar gets up to speak and hardsell Bihar as an investment destination in Calcutta on Friday, his listeners would be a galaxy of business maharajas who are set to gather in the eastern metro over the weekend.

The industrialists will be in the Bengal capital for the South-Asian regional retreat of the Young Presidents’ Organisation (YPO).

Come Friday, the likes of Kumar Mangalam Birla and Vijay Mallya will rub shoulders with investment guru Marc Faber and Tomas Prenosil, owner of luxury Swiss chocolate maker Confiserie Sprungli.

The event, where 580 and odd business magnates and corporate czars are set to assemble, will be inaugurated by Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee, who is slated to deliver the keynote address.

But Mamata will have her task cut out as her speech will soon be followed by that of Nitish, who has earned kudos from industry for bringing the eastern state back on track.

The Bihar chief minister, sources in the secretariat in Patna said, would highlight the potential of the state as an investment destination and also a largely untapped market which also offers high quality labour and skill.

The event is already attracting eyeballs. A video on “Roll Cal Roll 2012” – the official title of the three-day event starting Friday — has gone viral on YouTube, attracting millions of hits.

The meet has been broken up into a number of closed-door interactive sessions and many offsite events.

Besides the two chief ministers and the business magnates, the speakers’ list also includes best-selling British author Lord Jeffrey Archer and Uzi Arad, the former national security adviser to the Israeli Prime Minister and head of the Israeli National Security Council.

IndiGo boss Rahul Bhatia will hold a session with Orissa MP Jai Panda and Union ministers Shashi Tharoor and Jyotiraditya Scindia.

Satguru Jaggi Vasudev, Vice-Admiral Anil Chopra and actor Saif Ali Khan have also confirmed participation in the event. They will all hold a session each.

To familiarise with the Indian Navy, two warships, INS Airavat and INS Karmuk, will be stationed at the Kidderpore Docks in Calcutta.

The organisers, led by event chairman Jyoti Vardhan Sonthalia, co-chair Akhshay Poddar, industrialists Karan Paul, Sanjiv Goenka and Rajeev Jhawar, have also arranged a number of offsite events for the delegates and their family members.