The Davos Special

Alps hardsell

The Make in India pitch garnered its share of ears in Davos but are investors ready to take that leap of faith?

We are delighted to bring to you a special edition on the World Economic Forum in Davos, the jamboree where statesmen and corporate chieftains from all over the world get together every year to exchange views on global business trends and the future. This year, Outlook Business deputy editor V Keshavdev endured the freezing chill to bring us an on-the-ground report about the hottest topics being discussed at the 45th annual WEF meeting.

This being a defining year for India, finance minister Arun Jaitley and his few good men — as also state chief ministers Chandrababu Naidu and Devendra Fadnavis — were seen seriously talking shop. The agenda, of course, was the most critical component of Modi’s development plans. The high-decibel pitch on Make in India garnered its share of ears at the Congress Centre in Davos but are global investors ready to take that leap of faith? To find out, see our cover story Can Modi Turn Indian Manufacturing's Whimper Into A Roar?.

That apart, a number of sessions this year were dedicated to financial markets. That’s predictable given that last year, the world saw some dramatic shifts that no one actually predicted or anticipated. The price of crude crashed below $50, US growth was stronger than expected and growth in several emerging markets was sub-par. We have put together edited excerpts from discussions on how global growth is likely to pan out this year, geopolitical risks facing the financial markets today and how businesses ought to approach the digital wave.

One subject that global CEOs love to talk about — and yet, few walk that talk — is sustainability. Among the very few who actually are practicing what they preach is Unilever chief Paul Polman. We have an exclusive interview with Polman on the big challenge that climate change poses to our society — particularly to consumer companies — and the path Unilever is taking to integrate these social objectives with its main business. You can read the interview here. Besides that, we also have an interview with Steve Miller, chairman of AIG, the marquee insurer that went to hell and back during the 2008 financial crisis and lived to tell the tale. To know what he was going through then, please see "We couldn't replicate 2008 if we wanted to".

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