As trial balloon launches go, it should’ve been a perfect launch plan. The location would have brought together a phalanx of powerful policy-makers, business leaders and influencers including the chairman of India’s telecom regulator, its foreign secretary, the ministers of technology and industry for the state of Karnataka and dozens of powerful CEOs, researchers and technologists. A successful launch would have the kind of visibility and impact few could hope for.
No expenses were spared either. Sponsorships were paid for. Panellist slots were obtained.
And then, on 7 December 2016, the balloons were floated.
“What we need to do is what China did 15 years ago and tell the world we need your capital, but we don’t need your companies,” said Sachin Bansal, executive chairman and co-founder of Flipkart, India’s most valuable e-commerce startup and market leader.