Concept Note

Value-Centric Business Development for a Secure Future

“Prime Minister Narendra Modi likes to talk about the auspiciousness of the northeastern direction in the Vastu Shastra—the traditional Indian system of architecture and design. “The ishan kon of a house should be taken care of,” he says—using the Vastus Shastra’s word for the northeastern direction... so the northeast should be developed to ensure the country’s well-being.” ­

— In the Name of the Nation by Sanjib Barua

Overview

Economic activity drives life, and for many, it is the manifestation of meaningful existence. In this context, the North East Economic Summit (NEES) is an endeavor to urgently build the foundations of northeast India’s economic and social system for a sustainable and resilient future. This endeavor becomes even more significant due to the disruptions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

 

The Summit is envisaged in a dual format: Virtual and Physical, wherein the Virtual component will be in the form of a Web Portal (neeconomics.com) and the Physical component will take place in Shillong, Meghalaya as soon as we achieve enduring stability in the management of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Summit Objectives

The NE Economic Summit (NEES) for the northeastern States of India (Arunachal Pradesh, Assam, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Nagaland, Tripura, and Sikkim), has articulated its objectives as follows:

  • Rebuild our economic foundations for a sustainable future.

  • Identify economic revival plans of the Government (NE States and Government of India, GOI) and different governmental organizations.

  • Bring together values-driven businesses to ensure that social and cultural progress go hand in hand with economic development.

  • Create immediate resources to combat the Covid-19 pandemic by rectifying age-old fissures in our economies and societies.

  • Convene key government officials and business leaders to provide actionable information that will be accessible 24/7 through the Web Portal.

  • Connect all interested stakeholders throughout NE India, India, and even the world.

  • Host a Physical Summit (in Shillong) to bring together all invested stakeholders (people ready to take immediate action for conducting business) and enable them with resources for execution.

 

Methodology

The conceptualization and execution of NEES is based on the following:

  1. Uncertainties arising due to the Covid-19 Pandemic: Any event these days is subject to Covid-19 protocols, operating procedures, travel restrictions, and lockdowns.

  2. Internet and Communications Technologies: These have facilitated business to such an extent that many businesses often rely solely on these technologies.

  3. Government goes Online: Many Government bodies are now advertising schemes and funding opportunities on their websites. Some even expect 100% online compliance for applications.

 

From the above, it is clear that any event requiring physical attendance is subject to many protocols, unpredictable changes, and restrictions. However, economic development cannot stop and innovative means are required to continue with business and with overall economic revival.

 

The NEES attempts to address this issue by:

  • Bringing people together virtually,

  • Ensuring propagation of information, and

  • Facilitating effective dialogue among businesses and governmental bodies

 

Infographic

The following diagram presents the different stages of the Economic Summit:

 

         

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

STAGES OF THE NE ECONOMIC SUMMIT

 

Concept Note: This Webpage.

Nest: The Northeast Economic Summit Tech-table

The Northeast Economic Summit Tech-table (NEST) is a digital platform that enables the aforementioned objectives. It hosts the information database of entrepreneurs, business people, companies, NGOs, organizations, experts, consultants, bureaucrats, and Government officials that are involved in the economic activities of the region. NEST also provides a platform for communication through the following means:

  • E-mail and Telephone Numbers

  • Private Messaging

  • Discussion Boards

  • Showcase Websites

  • Digital Marketing & Advertising Opportunities

  • Videos of Interviews for Informational and Marketing Purposes

 

The Web Portal is being developed to serve as a digital platform for all stakeholders. This platform is being equipped with SAAS tools that will also help the organizers to go about their Summit-related work in a more effective manner. For example, members can access important information through private, members-only logins on the website.

 

  • NEES: This is the Physical Component of the Summit that will be organized at a suitable time but definitely before the next Budget. It is hoped that some intellectual artifacts in the form of white papers, thought leadership articles, etc. will be produced as an outcome of the entire exercise.

  • Post-Summit Execution: This will be in the form of an Execution Document or Working Template to guide future activities, assess performance, and review procedural steps for enhanced productivity.

 

NEES

  • Information Database: Provide complete access to all the Government Schemes through links to the official sites. This will include brief descriptions of the schemes and YouTube links to officials explaining the scheme. Example: There are YouTube links of senior officials of Bank of Baroda explaining the MUDRA Loan scheme.

  • Authoritative Interviews: Showcase interviews and talks by experts, government officials, and ministers that provide clarity on the policies. Such interviews are important to explain the historical and geo-political situation that provides a conducive environment for a business. Example: Organize an interview with Union Minister of State, Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER), Dr Jitendra Singh to elaborate on the significance of India’s Act-East Policy, which was announced in 2014 by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

  • Inspirational Interviews: Invite business leaders and social activists to share their individual stories of struggle and success. Example: Young entrepreneurs and promoters of technologically innovative business ventures in the northeast can be invited to share their success stories. One such list can be found at the following link:

  • Case Studies: We intend to give extensive coverage to people who have availed of one or the other Government Scheme. Example: Provide synopses of people who have turned their businesses around, created employment for themselves and at least 3 or 4 more people, or helped in socially uplifting the underprivileged.

  • Problem Resolution: We also intend to provide a mechanism whereby people undergoing the process can approach NEES to solve any problems that they may encounter. Example: One such problem is loan-sanctioning banks asking for collateral even though a Scheme clearly states that no collateral is required. This situation is serious enough to warrant a mention in the Policy document itself where it is also mentioned that such practices by banks should be discouraged.

 

Post-Summit Execution

Execution of all activities planned during the Summit.

 

Summary

The current pandemic has served as a wake-up call to remind us of the need to build sustainable economies and equitable societies while preserving the highest of human values. While the pandemic has exacerbated prevalent social evils, it has also demonstrated how interconnected we are. India showed its firm belief in the principles of Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam, and today the world is responding to us in kind.

 

While the Government of India has been effusive in providing financial relief and funding, the message has not yet filtered down to the grassroots. In this context, NEES is a highly innovative mechanism that makes full use of the latest advances in digital, Internet, and communication technologies to bring vital and life-changing information to the people.

 

By providing a mechanism to address problems at all levels and provide solutions for all those who need it, NEES goes beyond traditional thinking. In doing so, it will ensure economic development and financial security for all.

Stages of Economic Summit.jpg