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Global Entrepreneurship Summit 2017: If event is to achieve results, it must get over Ivanka Trump obsession

The bangle-seller was extra eager to bring out the special piece his artisans had crafted. Mohammed Waseem opened the packaging carefully, almost as if to prolong the suspense. On display was a glittering piece, studded with stones that read ‘Ivanka’. Sitting at his store at Lad Bazaar by the Charminar, Waseem wished Ivanka would take the time to go bangle-shopping so that he could get an opportunity to gift her the Ivanka bangles.

The gesture gives you a sense of what the Global Entrepreneurship Summit is all about. Much to the discomfiture of many officials in the organising party, the GES 2017, being organised for the first time in South Asia, has become more about Ivanka and less about the 1500 entrepreneurs who are attending the summit.

“This is not the way we had envisaged it,” said an official on condition of anonymity, “The media too is more interested in writing about the designer who created Ivanka’s dress for the inauguration rather than what this global meeting of entrepreneurs, most of them women, could mean.”

The inside story of how Hyderabad won the race, received a further endorsement when Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his inaugural speech spoke of the summit as a connection between Silicon Valley and Hyderabad. That won’t be music to Bengaluru’s ears because India’s IT capital has worn the unofficial tag of being India’s Silicon Valley for a long time.

What GES 2017 does is to give a fillip to Hyderabad and India’s youngest state that is also joint number one with Andhra Pradesh in the Ease of Doing Business rankings. Showcasing its T-Hub — that is an ecosystem that mentors start-ups, Hyderabad has gained the reputation of being an innovation hub. And the city got a thumbs up from Ivanka Trump herself when she said that Hyderabad’s tech centres may even outshine the city’s world famous biryani. That was after Telangana chief minister K Chandrasekhar Rao, as the host, asked everyone to relish the Hyderabadi biryani during their visit.