Sheth Lecture in Indian Studies

The 2017 Sheth Lecture in Indian Studies
"The Challenges of Being a Latecomer: When the rules have changed," an afternoon with T.N. Ninan, Chairman and former Editor of Business Standard

Sunday, September 24, 2017 | 5:00 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
W525 Goizueta Business School

India's rise has followed three to four decades behind that of the East Asian countries. As East Asia has slowed, India has gathered momentum to become the world's fastest-growing large economy. As a latecomer to the party, India has the usual advantages of learning from others' experiences, but the disadvantage of having to create space for itself in a crowded world with more established players. In addition, India faces three distinct disadvantages: functioning in a world being transformed by technology; dealing with a noticeably less hospitable international trading environment; and finding solutions when the standard economic policy packages have created rising inequality such that it presents new social and political challenges.

The principal challenge for latecomer India is how to deliver sustained, rapid economic growth, regardless of these circumstances, and thereby to create the millions of jobs that are needed to get people off low-productivity farms and into higher-productivity occupations. India will have to work out new solutions for itself.

Mr. T. N. Ninan is widely considered to be a pioneering editor and trend-setter in Indian business journalism. During an illustrious career spanning more than four decades, he brought about transformative change and rapid growth in different publications that he led as the editor. His book on India’s recent history and prospects, titled The Turn of the Tortoise, was published in India by Penguin Random House in 2015, and later in New York by Oxford University Press.

He is currently the Chairman of Business Standard. Earlier, he was the paper’s Editor from 1993 to 2009, and also its Publisher for most of that period. Before moving to Business Standard, Mr. Ninan was the editor of The Economic Times; among magazines, the executive editor at India Today (India’s leading newsmagazine) in the 1980s, and later the editor of Business World.

Mr. Ninan has been a television commentator on economic and business issues. He was awarded the Jawaharlal Nehru Fellowship in 2013-2014. He has been at various times a board member of the World Editors Forum, President of the Editors Guild of India, member of the National Integration Council, member of the Board of Trade, and an invitee to the Prime Minister’s Advisory Council on Trade and Industry. He has taken part in Track II Dialogues with the US, Germany, China, Israel and Singapore. He currently chairs the Board of Trustees of the Independent and Public-Spirited Media Foundation.

Mr. Ninan is a recipient of several professional awards, including three for lifetime achievement.

flier for Sheth lecture

Established in 2000, the annual Sheth Lecture in Indian Studies is made possible by the generous support of the Sheth Family Foundation, which is dedicated to raising awareness of the culture and history of India and South Asia and to serving the Indian community in Atlanta and the Southeast.

Past speakers have included distinguished guests such as author Salman Rushdie, internationally acclaimed film director Deepa Mehta, and prominent environmental human rights activist Medha Patkar, among others.

Title of Talk
October 2, 2016 Nipun Mehta, founder of ServiceSpace Gandhi 3.0: Bridging the Internet and the Inner-Net
October 5, 2014 Sumantra Ghosal, film maker, and Malavika Sarukkai, dancer-choreographer The Unseen Sequence: Exploring Bharatanatyam through the Art of Malavika Sarukkai
April 14, 2013 Sadhguru Vasudev, founder, Isha Foundation Inner Management: The Missing Link to Leadership Excellence - VIDEO
February 12, 2012 K. Srinath Reddy, president, Public Health Foundation of India Universal Health Coverage in an Emerging Economy: Will India Accomplish Its Goal? - VIDEO
2010 Deepa Mehta, filmmaker Approaching Midnight: Making Salman Rushdie’s Novel, Midnight’s Children, into a Feature Film
2009 Medha Patkar, environmental and human rights activist People's Movements: The State and Civil Society
2008 Shashi Tharoor, former UN diplomat, author, novelist, and political leader The Elephant, the Tiger and the Cell Phone: The Transformation of India in the 21st Century
2007 Salman Rushdie, novelist The Composite Artist
2006 Mira Nair, filmmaker Between Two Worlds
2005 Gyan Prakash, historian The Modern City in Ruins: The Memory of Cosmopolitan Bombay
2004 Vidya Dehejia, art historian The Body Adorned: Secular and Sacred
2003 Ashutosh Varshney, political scientist Hindu-Muslim Violence: Gujarat Riots in Perspective
2002 Amitav Ghosh, novelist The Greatest Sorrow: Times of Joy Recalled in Wretchedness
2001 Vasudha Narayanan, history of religions scholar Diversity, Diaspora, and Dharma