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Rupert Murdoch hails Narendra Modi as best Indian leader since Independence

MUMBAI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi
has charmed the world’s most
influential media baron and chairman
of 21st Century Fox and News Corp,
Rupert Murdoch.
After spending an hour with Modi in
New York City, the senior Murdoch
hailed the PM as the best Indian
leader with best policies since India’s
“Great hour with Indian PM Modi. Best
leader with best policies since
independence, but massive task to
achieve in most complex nation,”
Murdoch wrote on micro-blogging site
Modi, who is in the US until 29
September, also chaired a round table
meeting with top American CEOs from
the media and entertainment sector,
where the CEOs “appreciated the PM
for energetic and dynamic leadership,
and expressed optimism about the
future of India”.
The roundtable was attended by News
Corp and 21st Century Fox executive
chairman Rupert Murdoch, 21st
Century Fox CEO James Murdoch,
News Corp CEO Robert Thompson, Star
India CEO Uday Shankar, Discovery
Communications president and CEO
David Zaslav, Sony Entertainment CEO
Michael Lynton, Interpublic Group of
Companies CEO Michael Roth, Vice
Media CEO Shane Smith, WPP CEO
Martin Sorrell, Time Warner CEO Jeff
Bewkes, A&E Networks CEO Nancy
Dubuc, Visy Industries chairman
Anthony Pratt, Route One Investment
Company’s William Duhamel and
ValueAct Capital CEO Jeff Ubben.
Combined, these top bosses control
over 40 per cent of the world’s media
and entertainment industry.
They said that the current strong
trajectory of the Indian economy
comes at a unique moment to
accelerate growth in this sector.
More importantly, the CEOs called for
speeding up of television digitisation
and strengthening of the cellular
(mobile) infrastructure.
Modi and the CEOs observed that the
changes in technology and media in
recent times have led to an enormous
democratisation of knowledge. The PM
stated that the world is now in a
technology-driven era, where the
growth of digital infrastructure is as
important as the growth of physical
He told the CEOs that India
represents both the biggest
opportunity and the biggest challenge
for them, and urged the business
leaders to keep regional languages in
mind while firming up investment plans
for India.
Modi also highlighted his government’s
vision to connect 600,000 villages
through broadband connectivity.
He asked the CEOs to visualise the
citizen of the 21st century, and think
about what values he will represent
and what challenges he will face. He
also stressed the role that digital
technology can play in human resource
Ministry of External Affairs
spokesperson Vikas Swarup told
reporters in New York City that all
the CEOs agreed that India is the
biggest market for them in terms of
the phenomenal growth of the
entertainment channels, in terms of
the youth in India wanting more such
Emphasising his government’s
commitment to protecting intellectual
property rights, Modi said, “We are
committed to protecting IPR which is
essential to fostering creativity.”
“There was a discussion about
connectivity and infrastructure.
There was also some discussion on
sustainable development goal,”
Swarup added.
One of the ideas Modi floated was that
of setting up a communications
university in India, Swarup revealed.
Modi also tweeted that media CEOs
have shown interest in the
government’s Digital India initiative.
“Met top American CEOs from media &
entertainment sector. They were
enthusiastic about the change Digital
India initiative is driving. Explained to
media CEOs why India is a great
opportunity for them & how many
regional languages make India even
more special to invest in,” he said in a
series of tweets.

Rupert Murdoch hails Narendra Modi as best Indian leader since Independence; media CEOs bullish on India

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