India Today Conclave Session Speakers

Session Speakers

Vikram Akula

Founder & CEO, SKS Microfinance Pvt Ltd
SESSION: Youth Forum - If I Could Change The World
March 15, 2008; 15.45 - 17.30 hrs
Vikram Akula is the CEO and Founder of SKS Microfinance in 1998, an organisation that offers micro-loans and insurance to women in impoverished areas of India. Today, SKS is one of the fastest growing microfinance institutions in the world, having provided over $550 million in loans to nearly 1,72 million poor women. SKS leads the industry in the use of innovative technologies and has pioneered the use of technology at the village level. Vikram Akula worked as a management consultant with McKinsey & Company, and as a Fulbright Scholar in India coordinated an action-research project on providing micro-credit for food security.

William J. Clinton

42nd President of the United States
Inaugural Keynote Address (via 2-way satellite)
March 13, 2008; 20.30 – 22.00 hrs

The Honourable William J. Clinton.

The first Democratic president to be awarded a second term in six decades, President Clinton served from 1993 to 2001. Under his leadership, the United States enjoyed the strongest economy in a generation and the longest and largest peacetime economic expansion in US history, moving the nation from record deficits to record surpluses and creating over 22 million jobs.

After leaving the White House, President Clinton established the William J. Clinton Foundation with the mission to strengthen the capacity of people in the United States and throughout the world to meet the challenges of global interdependence. The Clinton Foundation works to combat HIV/AIDS, catalyse sustainable economic growth globally and brings together a community of global leaders to devise and implement innovative solutions to some of the world's most pressing challenges.

The foundation has also partnered with the American Heart Association to fight childhood obesity in America. Following the 2004 tsunami, President Clinton served as the United Nations Special Envoy for Tsunami Recovery for two years and raised funds to assist the survivors of Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

Wim Elfrink

Executive Vice-President, Cisco Services, and Chief Globalisation Officer, Cisco
SESSION: The Future of Communications & Its Role in Globalisation
March 14, 2008; 11.15 - 12.30 hrs
Wim Elfrink has dual roles at Cisco. As Chief Globalization Officer (CGO), he is leading the company's globalisation strategy, and as Executive Vice-President, Cisco Services, he is responsible for Cisco Services worldwide. Wim Elfrink has been with Cisco since 1997. The Cisco globalisation strategy represents a shift in business management from a focus on geography to a focus on skill sets and talents. As Chief Globalisation Officer, Wim Elfrink leads Cisco's efforts to use innovative business models to globalise many business functions. He is also Executive Vice-President of Cisco Services, an award-winning and growing part of the business with annual revenues of $5 billion.

from the chairman

What India needs is political vision and a leadership that has nothing at stake except India.
Aroon Purie
Chairman & Editor-in-Chief
India Today Group


I am what I am through my failures: Aamir

His contemporaries may be dancing at weddings and signing endorsement deals for big money, but Aamir Khan says he is content doing one film a year. Sidhi Chadha spoke to the actor-director about commercial and art cinema, his experiences and apparent aloofness.

She said, He said

"If we segregate religion from politics, it will serve the country a great deal. Religion is personal and something that should be confined to the home and the heart and not politicised."
(Conclave 2008)
Sachin Pilot
Member of Parliament
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