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Blackstone, Airbnb, Harrods chiefs to speak at GBS 2019

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NEW DELHI: A private equity czar who oversees investments of billions of dollars, a startup founder who’s changed travel choices of millions of people, an A-lister adman who’s singlehandedly changed his industry’s landscape, and a retail business boss who runs a brand that’s synonymous with all things luxurious — these are just some of the global business leaders who will speak at the February 22-23 Global Business Summit, presented by Yes Bank and The Economic Times, and powered by Facebook.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s will be the keynote address, and adding to the star power of GBS 2019 will be the likes of Jonathan Gray, global president of the Blackstone Group, Airbnb’s Nathan Blecharczyk, Martin Sorrell, ex-WPP chief and now chief executive officer of S4 Capital, and Michael Ward, CEO of Harrods.

Gray is widely expected to succeed private equity’s biggest name, Stephen Schwarzmann, the Blackstone co-founder. Blackstone has a $10 billionplus bet in India.

Blecharczyk, who co-founded the peer-to-peer room and home rental firm Airbnb that’s changed the hospitality industry, is a much-sought-after speaker.

Session on Disruptors

This is Blecharczyk’s first speaking gig in India.

Sorrell, whose stint as WPP boss is said by many to be one of global business’ most consequential careers, has made S4 Capital a nimble company hungry for acquisitions.

And Ward, as head of Harrods, is the CEO who presides over a superstore that has a million square feet of shopping area, 330 departments and over 20 restaurants.

Plus, GBS 2019 will hear from Paul Hermelin, chairman of global IT major Capgemini, Hans-Paul Bürkner, chairman of consulting major BCG, and Punit Renjen, global CEO of Deloitte.

And that’s just on the first day of GBS 2019, February 22. Following the PM’s address on February 23, there will be another set of business innovators who will speak in a special session on disruptors.

More details will follow. But, for now, pencil GBS 2019 in your diary, the dates: February 22-23; venue: Taj Palace Hotel, New Delhi.



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