When a private public partnership was announced for the building of Hyderabad Metro, many were apprehensive. Even E. Sreedharan, India’s Metro man, was not confident about the success of the project. Fast forward to January 27, 2018. A proud NVS Reddy, the managing director of Hyderabad Metro Pvt. Ltd, stood in front of a massive audience, announcing the triumph of the Hyderabad Metro.

The journey, however, was fraught with challenges. Collaboration is the key, Reddy told the 600+ audience present at the Development Dialogue 2018 of the Kakatiya Sandbox when shedding light on “Collaborating for Big Bets.” The mega event hosted at Brindavanam Palace on Saturday saw active participation from students, farmers, activists, and social entrepreneurs.

So far with more than 200 mass transportation projects globally, only four have been profitable, he said. When the Hyderabad Metro Project was proposed for a PPP model, it raised many eyebrows. Even the industry stalwarts doubted this newfangled approach. Challenges were aplenty: Social challenges superseded the ones pertaining to engineering. “There were only 35% engineering challenges against 65% social ones,” he said. However, the Hyderabad Metro Project team tackled each of them efficiently.

The Hyderabad Metro Project, which leveraged the potential of a private public partnership, is an embodiment of a futuristic working model that the Indian government should look at. With more private companies and foundations willing to lend a helping hand, these models would help boost the country’s progress.

Shedding light on innovation, Dr Gururaj Deshpande, a humanitarian and philanthropist, said that it is not viable for the governments, who shoulder multiple responsibilities, to spend time and resources on innovation. Private groups, with the help of funds from philanthropists, must join hands to create newer platforms and best practices, which the governments can adopt and implement, the founder of Deshpande Foundation suggested.

Reiterating Deshpande’s message, Phanindra Sama, co-founder of Kakatiya Sandbox and Chief Innovation Officer of Telangana Government, reiterated the need for citizens to implement and execute strategies that the governments could duplicate. He added that the government today is more open to new ideas. It is up to the individuals who want to make a difference to seize the opportunity and work from within, he added.

Rahul Mehta, founder of Mehta Foundation, highlighted the advent of newer technologies and platforms that are being developed and are emerging in India. “In India, everybody is making bets,” Mehta said. The education sector, in particular, is witnessing a great change in terms of approach. Shedding light on the Indian government’s open-mindedness, he said that the government bet big in the 1960s when it established the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs). Today, graduates from the IITs are held in high regard. Case in point: Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google, who studied in IIT-Kharagpur.

Mehta also pointed out that the Indian governments must bet on articial intelligence (AI) and genetics.

TiE Summit in Nizamabad

The event, Kakatiya Sandbox, also marked the launch of Nizamabad chapter’s The Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE). This platform aims at boosting and strengthening the local entrepreneurial ecosystem. Dr Krishna Reddy of CARE Hospitals, Dr M Padmanabh Reddy of NICE Foundation, Dr Ramki Kanuri of Kanuri Center for Leadership, K G Mohan of Rural Shores and other renowned entrepreneurs took part in the Development Dialogue.

Raju Reddy, co-founder of the Kakatiya Sandbox, moderated the keynote panel.

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