Open Minds 2017: Public Square

Amitabh Kant, CEO, NITI Aayog

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Kinetic Technocrat

He is widely credited with transforming Kerala from a backpacker destination to a high-end tourist hub. It was the success of the ‘God’s Own Country’ campaign that pitch-forked him into the national scheme of things. He played a pivotal role in bringing professionalism to tourism campaigns—including ‘Incredible India’—by hiring advertising hotshots to work for the Government. Soon, he earned a name as a go-getter bureaucrat who could cut red tape and think out of the box.

“He brings vast knowledge, experience and energy to the institution in areas that matter most to the Indian economy today. Together, we hope to speed up the change for the better that the Prime Minister desires” - Arvind Panagariya, Vice-chairman, NITI Aayog

He would later become secretary of the Department of Industrial Policy & Promotion and also steer a few other global campaigns, including ‘Make in India’ and ‘Start-up India’. An alumnus of St Stephen’s College and JNU who has helped initiate smart cities in India, Kant is currently CEO of NITI Aayog, a job for which he was handpicked by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

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