Hindustan Times hosting leadership event in Singapore on Friday

Actor Aamir Khan, the Bollywood hero whose wrestling-themed movie, Dangal, was a big hit in Chinese theatres last year, will be making an appearance at the event.
Actor Aamir Khan, the Bollywood hero whose wrestling-themed movie, Dangal, was a big hit in Chinese theatres last year, will be making an appearance at the event.PHOTO: AFP

SINGAPORE - Indians sometimes say they feel so comfortable in Singapore, they refer to it as "the finest Indian city".

With its unique economic, cultural and strategic ties with India, the island has become a staging point for the country to penetrate Asean and conversely, a sounding board for the giant economy taking shape in South Asia.

Some 8,000 Indian companies operate on the island - the highest for any country.

Small wonder then that Hindustan Times Media, New Delhi's dominant newspaper group, is hosting its inaugural HT-Mint Asia Leadership event in Singapore this week after its successful run of more than a decade in India.

Headlined by Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam, who will deliver the inaugural address, the invitation-only event on Friday (April 13) will feature select high-level personalities from the political, sports and cultural fields representing Indian soft power.

They include Mr N. Chandrababu Naidu, Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh state, and Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari. A special address by former British prime minister Tony Blair is scheduled for the afternoon.

The one-day event also features a former minister in the Congress-led government, Mr Jyotiraditya Scindia, whom some consider a potential prime minister, and Mr Ram Madhav, the powerful general secretary of the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party. They will appear at a panel to discuss what India needs to do in the next 10 years to become a global influencer.

A separate panel on Asia's emerging role in the new world order will feature recently retired Indian foreign secretary S. Jaishankar and the noted scholar, Professor Wang Gungwu.

There will also be a panel on emerging business ecosystems that will feature Dr Robert Yap, executive chairman of YCH Group, and Mr Arthur Lang, chief executive of Singtel's international group.

The sports field will be represented by Mr Sachin Tendulkar, India's most famous contemporary cricketer and batting great.

Also putting in an appearance is Mr Aamir Khan, the Bollywood hero whose wrestling-themed movie, Dangal, was a big hit in Chinese theatres last year.