GIIS students interact with dignitaries at Pravasi Bharatiya Divas, find encouragement


Published on 09 Jan 2018
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Students of the Global Indian International School took home wealth of knowledge, encouragement and memories following their interaction with a host of dignitaries from all walks of life at the just concluded two-day Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) event in Singapore. These are the highlights of PBD2018:

  • Industry leaders pleasantly surprised by the depth of knowledge of students during  tete-a-tete
  • Encourage them to take risks, promise backing for great ideas

Perhaps the most cheer came from Amitabh Kant, chief executive officer of Niti Ayog, India, who promised students of a financial backing if they came up with a great new idea for a startup. “He was a good speaker, who spoke very clearly without beating around the bush,” said a group of GIIS students who had the good fortune of speaking to Mr Kant at the PBD event where he was one of the guest speakers.

Another angel investor who galvanized the students’ interest was Mr Jayesh Parekh, managing partner of Singapore’s Jungle Ventures. He encouraged the students to not be afraid to take risks and to look out for “what, where, how and why” in potential startups.

Students also interacted with other industry leaders, experts and celebrities like Nasscom chairman Raman Roy, politician and activist Shazia Ilmi, managing director of Bajaj Finserve Ltd Sanjeev Bajaj, singer and composer Sonam Kalra and Bollywood actor/director Satish Kaushik.

The students received pats on their backs and words of encouragement from the likes of India’s Minister for External Affairs Mrs Sushma Swaraj, and Singapore Minister of Foreign Affairs Dr Vivian Balakrishnan, who posed for pictures with them.

Many students had their curiosity satiated as they interacted with the dignitaries - microphones in hand - posing questions on contemporary and relevant topics.

For instance, Ms Ilmi was asked about her thoughts on the introduction of the ‘Triple Talaq’ bill in India, and her successful anti-corruption movement alongside veteran activist Anna Hazare. Students said they felt inspired by her “determination and experience” and hoped to “implement her message of being more engaged in what we believe in.”

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