India Abroad

An Indian Lunch At Davos

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| January 31 , 2018 , 15:05 IST

It is not uncommon to find at least fifty simultaneous lunch and dinner invitations by various parties over the four-day annual meeting of the World Economic Forum at Davos. One that stands out for its exclusivity and taste (figuratively and literally) is the lunch hosted by the Hinduja brothers every year. The Hinduja Group is a $25 billion Indian business conglomerate.

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While Gopichand Hinduja lives in London, his brother Prakash Hinduja lives in Geneva to oversee the group's European operations and is good friends with the World Economic Forum’s founder Professor Klaus Schwab. His residence being close by to the World Economic Forum’s headquarters, Prakash Hinduja likes to welcome the VIPs from around the world who travel up to Switzerland for the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting. Both Gopichand and Prakash Hinduja were present at the Davos lunch as hosts.

Every year the Hinduja lunch is a strictly vegetarian offering at the Sunstar Park Hotel. It is a gracefully designed by-invitation-only event, attended by some of the most well-known business, political, and cultural leaders of the world.

This year the Hinduja lunch was different from previous years, as the emphasis was on Africa. The Hinduja brothers invited several African Heads of State such as the President of Guinea Alpha Conde and the recently sworn-in President of Mozambique Emmerson Mnangagwa, as well as cultural leaders of African origin such as celebrity news anchor Zainab Badawi.

The reason for this Africa focus during the Hinduja lunch was the Hinduja group’s foray into Africa as a priority, explained brothers Gopichand and Prakash Hinduja to the audience. Prakash Hinduja said, “We have successfully made a mark in Europe and the Middle East, and now our focus is on Africa.”

Several prominent Indian CEOs were at the lunch too. While the lunch was about Africa, author Miniya Chatterji spoke on stage inviting the world to read about, visit, and invest in India.

The Hinduja Group is involved in a wide range of activities including foundries, import-export, trading, motor vehicles, banking, call centres and healthcare. The group had identified Africa as its next big frontier for growth and had committed to pump in $1 billion across the sectors in 2015 over the next five years.