I get to speak to some pretty big crowds as Prime Minister. But I have to say that the warmth and the energy here tonight is second to none. I said to my friend, the Prime Minister before, the last time I saw someone on the stage here was Bruce Springsteen, and he didn't get the welcome that Prime Minister Modi has got. Prime Minister Modi is the boss!
I engaged in a conversation with PM Modi on the Ayurvedic principles of ancient Indian culture and the use of the finest local ingredients and their health benefits. Our discussion reinforced my love of India, my passion for the food industry and reaffirmed that I am on the right track. Beyond the captivating conversation, we also discussed the next steps and carved a clear vision for the direction for me to follow. Grateful for Mr.Modi’s guidance and support in shaping my path ahead.
Mr. Modi is of course highly reputable not only in India but on the global stage. Someone once asks me since I do write a lot of humor and I put fun at things on a good-natured person, why don’t you ever make fun of Mr. Modi, and I tell them because it’s impossible to make fun of Mr. Modi. He doesn’t give you anything to make fun of. Because He has such gravitas in everything he does. Now of course Mr. Modi is very well respected as you would expect on the international stage and he has been a leader on the international stage.
I must say, he was very well briefed on the topic and we were able to discuss many important issues around how it going to impact all countries around the world, impacts gonna have how we deliver healthcare, the impacts gonna have on jobs, and how country like India should embrace the opportunities. UPI is a wonderful example how India can do things itself and really create a world leading product and that probably is the future of currency. And so that’s a great start, great example how India’s innovation can drive a huge amount of business huge amount of prosperity.
It is incredible on our meeting with His Excellency and we talked about a whole bunch of things. He was so warm and so kind and listening to everything with such a respect. And we talked about music, he showed me a song which is gone viral even the Korean embassy did a cover of this song called ‘Naatu Naatu’. So, it’s something I gonna go and learn, we talked about my mother, who is from Kanpur and he said we share something in common. It was really just a beautiful time for me and the first person I am gonna call when I leave is my mother. She was so excited that I was meeting His Excellency, so it’s a huge honour.
We talked a lot about How India and Australia could work better encouraging creative subjects particularly in universities. He definitely has a creative element to himself so, I think he really see similarities between first nations arts and possibly gone to arts so indigenous arts of India.
It was actually really enjoyable. He is very well briefed on what we are doing here in Australia and how we can work together in Research and Science. India’s ability to do world-class Science has become just an order of magnitude higher because India’s investing in its Science and Scientists to give them equipment and the ability to you know ask questions on the edge. Prime Minister Modi is certainly one of the most visible leaders that India has had in my lifetime and as just talking to him I can see why he is very personable and really takes an interest to people when he talks to them and that is probably true of whoever he talks to whether it’s you know the President of United States or someone that he is meeting for the first time from society.
We spoke about something that he and I both have great passion for which is sanitation. You know in India there is the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan. Mr. Modi is the number one change maker in the sanitation space globally. Absolutely! Number one and there is no one who comes close and I am not a strong political person as such but in terms of his social impact in this very important field, no one in the world comes as close to the Swachh Bharat Program which is the biggest sanitation infrastructure program in human history, nothing comes close. You know Mr. Modi’s impact socially to create social will and political will for this issue in India has been enormous and this social impact is unquestionable. This is one of the most important things that I have seen happen in India in the 15-20 years that I have been visiting your country.
It was the most impressive meeting. The Prime Minister of course is a very impressive person who understands business which is very encouraging as well. The Prime Minister talked about his dreams for India and his ethic which was a really powerful message. AustralianSuper does invest in India of course and in particular in the National Indian Infrastructure Fund (NIIF) and we have had a very good experience in investing in India.
The Prime Minister is such an incredible man, I feel very lucky to have met him and I can see that he really cares about the country and the vision. The Prime Minister is an incredible influencer and I think coming from humble beginnings and standing up as this leader in the country he has done such incredible work and really taken people on a journey and made people heard and I think sitting with him today and having a conversation may be realize just to how personable he is and really engaged.
We acknowledged together that the fossil fuel sector has only limited time to run and it must be replaced with a fuel which causes no harm but can do everything which coal, oil and gas can do. That is something the Prime Minister is clearly a global champion on… I also thanked him for his humanitarian efforts. Under Prime Minister Modi, he has been able to spread economic growth throughout the grassroots of India.
As you know your wonderful Prime Minister came to office on a terribly important Mantra which was from “Red Tape to Red Carpet” in other words cut approvals cut regulations so you can welcome investment and that is what he has done and that is what he wants to do for his country.