Many Indian leaders give WEF meet a miss

Tags: WEF, Economy
While the rich and famous from across the world have assembled here for their annual talk-fest and networking for business, many top Indian business leaders like Mukesh Ambani and Rahul Bajaj have given this year's WEF Annual Meeting a miss.

Others who have been here earlier but could not make it to the ongoing meeting include Anand Mahindra, Kumar Mangalam Birla and Chanda Kochhar.

Among these, people like Bajaj, Mahindra and Kochhar have been very active in WEF meetings and used to speak on a host of issues very vocally, although leaders like Ambani and Birla have always kept a low profile.

But what is not missing is a highly informal atmosphere which corporate and political leaders from India are enjoying here in this Swiss ski resort town -- which generally remains a rarity amid watchful public eye back in India.

These top-shots can be seen enjoying their drinks and snacks and cracking jokes at various parties and receptions being hosted here on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting.

Despite these dropouts, Indian delegation still runs into about 125 business and political leaders, which makes India's presence fourth largest after the US, UK and the host country Switzerland.

Those present here include Tata group chief Cyrus Mistry, top executives of TCS and a host of other IT firms such as Infosys, Tech Mahindra and iGate, Bharti group's Sunil Mittal, Ravi Ruia and Prashant Ruia of Essar group, bankers Uday Kotak and Rana Kapoor, as also a host of CEOs from many medium-to- large Indian companies.

Among the Indian-origin global business leaders, PepsiCo's Indra Nooyi and ArcelorMittal's Lakshmi Mittal are also present.

In addition, Finance Minister P Chidambaram is here along with his cabinet colleagues like Anand Sharma and Kamal Nath, as also Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia, Economic Affairs Secretary Arvind Mayaram and Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithvi Raj Chavan.

Industry body CII Director General Chandra Kant Bannerjee said that some Indian leaders may not have been able to come, but this does not mean that India's presence is less. He said that there are close to 120-130 participants from India, including four union ministers, and at least 30 of them are speaking at various sessions at the WEF meeting.

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