Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke on the benefits that growing technology and expanding startups have had on Indian development at the India-U.S. Startup Konnect 2015 in San Jose, California.
Modi emphasized the importance of embracing and harnessing technological change, rather than resisting it.
“I often say, if there’s a strong wind blowing, some might want to shut the window,” Modi said. “Others will want to put up a windmill or launch their sails on the seas.”
He pointed to the startup culture of Silicon Valley as the model for what he hopes India can attain, noting that removing barriers for new startups to form and flourish was an important goal for India’s development.
“I want to see the idea and the spirit of startups light up the economies and the fortunes of people in rural India,” he said. “From handicrafts to tourism, the frontiers of possibilities and the scale of reach in India is immense.”
Modi noted that the results of this growing entrepreneurial spirit can already been seen across the country in areas such as healthcare, education, agriculture and access to clean water. He said this innovative attitude was crucial for progress.
“The idea of startups is as ancient as this world,” Modi said. “Each economic age has been defined by disruption of the previous one, by the evolution of ideas and products that displace the old ones.”