The Rise of Asia

The sense of uncertainty that's gripped the entire Western world was palpable. In contrast, you could feel the quiet confidence every time you shook hands with the tycoons from China, Indonesia, Taiwan and India

Published: Sep 23, 2011 06:26:40 AM IST
Updated: Feb 27, 2014 11:31:02 AM IST

Last week, I was away at the Forbes Global CEO Conference in Kuala Lumpur. Attended by 400 leading entrepreneurs and thought leaders from around the world, it was a veritable intellectual feast for the mind. If one needed a reaffirmation that the balance of power was shifting to Asia, this was one such occasion. The sense of uncertainty that’s gripped the entire Western world, particularly the crisis facing the Eurozone, was palpable in the formal panel discussions. In contrast, you could feel the buoyancy and the quiet confidence every time you shook hands with the tycoons from China, Indonesia, Taiwan, Singapore, and of course, India at the formal sit-down lunches and dinners over the two-and-a-half days of the conference.mg_56922_social_power_sm_280x210.jpg

Capitalism is alive and kicking across Asia. I met Asian entrepreneurs who had made billions from healthcare, real estate and construction, media and the consumer sector. There were many smart minds there, including the co-founder of Facebook, the mild-mannered Eduardo Saverin, who sat through most of the sessions. William Adamopoulos, the president and publisher of Forbes Asia and the man who brought the conference to Asia for the first time in 2001, days after the 9/11 attacks, told me that the collective net worth inside the Grand Ballroom at the Shangri-la hotel, where the conference was held, was close to $115 billion.

Back home, the countdown to the Forbes India Leadership Awards, one of our biggest showpiece events, has begun. Preparations are on in full swing to make October 21 a night to remember at The Trident in Mumbai. On page 94 of this edition, you’ll get a sneak peek into the list of outstanding entrepreneurs, who are in contention for the various awards.

Click here to see Forbes India's comprehensive coverage on the Covid-19 situation and its impact on life, business and the economy‚Äč

(This story appears in the 07 October, 2011 issue of Forbes India. You can buy our tablet version from To visit our Archives, click here.)

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  • Kalyani Srinath

    Finally ! Forbes is back from a self-appointed sabbatical ! The issues werent missing, but the quality sorely was .. Oct 7th issue made for interesting reading - esp on Women power leaders across the globe. Only wish the Cover story on Social powers had more relavant 'implemented' ideas from the power house brands adn the mid-sized firms about how they have already applied ' employee / customer' inclusion to their AOP ! That would have been more decisive and indepth.. Looking forward to more quality stuff from Forbes !

    on Sep 24, 2011
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