02 Apr India2022 starts to deliver
Speech delivered by Dr Osvald Bjelland, Chairman and CEO, Xynteo at the closing of the Xynteo Exchange/India2022
The three burning conclusions
This has been a meeting of incredible people with truly inspiring ideas.
It is impossible to do justice to everything that we have achieved together but I am personally left with three burning conclusions:
First, we know what the problem is.
We know that we are leaving too many people behind. Despite great progress, one in five Indians still find their life opportunities dramatically reduced by poverty.
We know that we are playing a losing game with our climate. India is now two and a half times more likely to experience a deadly heatwave than it did 50 years ago.
And we know we are unacceptably, shamefully wasteful. As things stand, by 2050, there will be more plastic than fish in the ocean.
So, we know what the problem is.
And, second, we have what we need to solve the problem.
We have the talent. By 2021, India will be the world’s youngest country, with 64% of the population between 20-35, and better educated than any generation before – the changemakers have arrived!
We have the capital. India is the world’s fastest growing major economy, generating enormous revenue to reinvest in a new kind of growth.
And we have the ideas. Solutions exist for almost every problem – just take a look at all of the concepts that have been showcased in the Marketplace.
We have the talent, capital, and ideas we need. We just need to invest them wisely.
So, we know what the problem is, and we have what we need to create solutions. Those are my first two conclusions.
My third conclusion is that we have moved far too slowly – we have wasted time and we don’t have much left.
According to the latest research we have just 12 years to turn the tide on dangerous climate change.
We must go farther and faster – now and together.
The power of the human
The stakes are high, but I am hopeful.
I am hopeful because it is clear we face no material obstacle to success. The obstacles are in our minds.
But I am also hopeful because of the strength of the team that is coming together, here in India and elsewhere, behind our shared mission.
And I have always said: the team, the people – the quality of the human – is what stands between success and failure.
Here in this room we have remarkable people. Leaders who have the courage to step out of the current system and stand up for the future.
My late father always taught me that the benchmark of success is leaving the farm in a better place than we found it. Do we give value, or only take it?
We must always remember that no matter our role, rank or profession, we are first and foremost daughters and sons; brothers and sisters; mothers and fathers; and neighbours and friends who depend on the value created by the communities in which we live and work.
My experience is that if we give what we have, we see great progress and we often get what we need.
Over these past two days we have seen ample evidence of this kind of generous leadership – the business leadership that works for the many and not the few:
From Cyient, who are leveraging the power of technology to make quality healthcare accessible to the last-mile;
From Shell, TechnipFMC and Baker Hughes GE, who are accelerating sustainable energy, trying to bring the right kind of power into the homes of the energy poor;
From Hindustan Unilever, who are transforming the way Indian businesses think about packaging waste;
And from Hindalco, who are reinventing mining practices to add value not only to their own workers but also the communities in which they operate.
A call to action
If anything, these last two days reinforce my belief that a new kind of growth is possible.
If we change the logic of growth, if we reimagine what success looks like, we can create growth that catalyses human progress, rather than reversing it.
I hope I speak for us all when I say that I will leave today inspired, with new energy and even clearer about what needs to be done!
And here is my call to action: when you go home, when you go back to your organisations, look for proofpoints that a new growth model is possible – proofpoints that can inspire others, as you have inspired me, to take action in service of a growth model that is fit for the realities of our time.
Growth doesn’t have to create inequality; it doesn’t have to bust our planetary boundaries; it doesn’t have to sacrifice the prosperity of future generations.
Our time has come. Our choice is clear.
I look forward to continuing this journey with you all.
Next year, I am delighted to say, Tata Sons will be our host, and we very much look forward to that.
I would also like to say some thank yous.
Firstly, to this year’s wonderful hosts, Baker Hughes GE, and all of the India2022 partners.
Secondly, to Subhashini and the entire Xynteo team for a tremendous effort.
And finally, to all of you for spending your time with us and bringing such infectious enthusiasm.