As India will prepare for its next PBD in January 2014, somewhere in the eastern part of India, it will have to look at scaling up the event.
Since it was incepted with much fanfare in the year 2003, the PBD has come to be known as an annual meeting point of global Indians. Two things have not happened in this annual exercise though: firstly, the percentage of those that return to the following PBD (the returnees) has fallen away, and, secondly, the overall numbers attending haven’t shot up. In fact, compared to the year 2003, figures have actually dipped.
And here in lies the paradox because the event has every opportunity of scaling up. It is an interesting event that provides a specialized platform to NRIs to interact with India’s top functionaries, from the Government, industry, corporate and media levels. Three events of scale that attract the Indian diaspora quickly come to mind—Vibrant Gujarat, the AAHOA Convention and Trade Show in the USA and the North American Bengali Conference. Each one has footfalls a few times more than the PBD. And yet, the PBD gets the maximum importance possible, the Indian Prime Minister and President are in attendance, which means the highest echelons of the Government are willing to dialogue with the Indian Diaspora.
True, there are regional PBDs to address regional concerns, but for an event that has been pitched as truly global, and has both Prime Minister and President of India welcoming delegates, the numbers need to go up. One can look at the timing of the PBD, and figure whether the second week of January, i.e. post holidays in December—when majority NRIs are making their way back home—is the best time to hold the event.
We have introduced a new segment called The India Story. This looks at how Indian Government is functioning and what they have in store for interested stakeholders. This will supplement our segment called NRI Empire.
We have several other articles and segments in the magazine, and also an interview with Kerala’s Chief Minister, Mr Oommen Chandy who did a wonderful job of showcasing Kerala’s hospitality to the world at the PBD in Kochi.
Happy and enjoyable
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