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That’s why the tech elite is hitting India this weekend

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That’s why the tech elite is hitting India this weekend

Ivanka Trump arrives for the Ambani wedding pre-party in Jamnagar, India. Ajit Solanki/AP

Mark Zuckerberg, Bill Gates and other CEOs and celebrities are attending a wedding shower in India this weekend.

At billionaire Mukesh Ambani’s lavish celebration, they could find their way into the huge Indian market.

Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, Meta and Netflix have all previously touted the country’s enormous growth potential.

This is a machine translation of an article from our US colleagues at Business Insider. It was automatically translated and checked by a real editor.

Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerberg and Sundar Pichai are among the many US business leaders and other celebrities such as Ivanka Trump invited to a pre-wedding party in India. This weekend’s host is the richest person in Asia.

The crowd of tech, finance and media bosses at Mukesh Ambani’s three-day party underscores his global influence. But he also shows India’s growing importance for foreign companies.

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Ambani owns a 42 percent stake in India’s largest private company, Reliance Industries. With assets equivalent to 102 billion euros, he ranks 11th Bloomberg Billionaires Index. Right behind him in the ranking of billionaires are the Alphabet founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin. This weekend he is hosting the celebrations for his youngest son Anant and his fiancée Radhika Merchant.

Best conditions for foreign companies

The hundred-time billionaire’s influence on domestic trade makes him a powerful partner for Western companies. In particular, such companies that are trying to gain a foothold in the Indian market could seek contact with Abani. Meta, Alphabet, Qualcomm and Intel, for example, have invested in Reliance’s telecommunications subsidiary, Jio Platforms, in recent years.

U.S. executives are eager to align themselves with Ambani and Reliance because they hope to do business well in India.

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Mukesh Ambani, here with his wife Nita, hosts the pre-wedding celebrations of his son. Prodip Guha/Getty Images

In the South Asian country, companies can employ people for relatively low wages. They also find a large pool of technical talent and a certain familiarity with an English-speaking democracy.

In recent years, many companies have expanded their global presence and perceived India as an attractive business location. In China, on the other hand, the actually reliable factories closed during the pandemic. Additionally, many political and legal challenges in the country have caused U.S. companies to look elsewhere.

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India is undergoing a technological revolution

Moreover, India is in the midst of a technological and financial revolution. As their incomes rise, more and more Indians are turning to digital payments, online communication and e-commerce. “What I see in India is that a lot of people are moving into the middle class, and I’m confident that we can convince some of them to buy an iPhone,” Apple CEO Tim Cook said at an earnings conference in May last year . “I really feel like India is at a turning point and it’s great to be there.”

On another conference call in August, Cook pointed out that Apple has a “very, very modest” share of the world‘s second-largest smartphone market. For this reason, India represents a “huge opportunity” for the group.

Cook’s comments explain why Apple opened its first two stores in India last year. It was worth it: the tech giant achieved a new regional sales record in the fourth quarter.

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Tim Cook attended the opening of the first Apple Store in New Delhi in April 2023. Hindustan Times/Getty Images

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On a conference call in April, Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos called India a “huge win” given the “tremendous population that loves entertainment.” In the meantime has Meta In its most recent annual report, India was highlighted as one of the three largest sources of active user growth in the past year. Amazon recorded about a billion customer visits to its website during the month-long Great Indian Festival in the fourth quarter, including four million who made their first purchase on Amazon. Additionally, Microsoft has touted India as a key driver of LinkedIn membership growth. The number of users there increased by 19 percent to 100 million in the first quarter of 2023 compared to the previous year.

Profits, partnerships and parties

India is clearly a key growth engine for some of America’s largest companies. Therefore, it is not surprising that they want to further develop this market. The Ambani pre-wedding event offers the opportunity to break bread with one of India’s most powerful men and his family, mingle with a who’s who of industry leaders, discuss and close local deals, and arguably one of the most extravagant parties of the year to enjoy. So it’s no surprise that America’s business elite are coming in droves.

Read the original article Business Insider.

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