Microsoft's Satya Nadella says he's an 'India optimist' — the country needs to manage its challenges to stay on track

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Microsoft's Satya Nadella says he's an 'India optimist' — the country needs to manage its challenges to stay on track
Microsoft CEO Satya NadellaBCCL

  • Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella hopes India will build on its multi-cultural ethos and 70-year history to overcome its challenges.
  • On the sidelines of the World Economic Forum at Davos, Nadella told Bloomberg that he is an ‘India optimist’.
  • He believes that countries need to support immigration or they might miss the tech boom.
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella recently came under fire for flip-flopping on his stance against India’s new citizenship law — the Citizenship Amendment Act (CAA) — that has been a source of unrest in the country. Speaking on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Nadella told Bloomberg, "I’m an India optimistic."

"When I think about the multi-cultural ethos of the country, the vibrant democracy and the economic opportunities that the country has to raise what is 1/5th of the population and participate in the 4th industrial revolution — I’m an optimist," Nadella explained.

Addressing similar immigration policies of the US, Nadella claims that countries need to support immigration or they might miss the tech boom. In order for countries to attract talent, they need to be immigrant-friendly.
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"In order for India to stay on track, it has to manage all of the challenges," he added.

Nadella’s changing stance on immigration in India
Last week, Nadella told Buzzfeed editor Ben Smith, that the citizenship law that discriminates against Muslims is " just bad".

However, mere hours later, Microsoft issued an official statement on behalf of Nadella stating, "Every country will and should define its borders, protect national security and set immigration policy accordingly."
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Not just Nadella, but most CEOs of domestic companies too have refrained from speaking out on the issue for a fear of hurting investment sentiment.

In India, protests against the CAA have broken out in many parts of the country with the government shutting down the internet and sometimes using force to keep protestors at bay.

However, Nadella believes that India is multi-cultural and has the history to back it up, which should be enough to carry it through its current circumstances.
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"I think, the fact that there is that 70-year history of nation-building — I think it’s a very strong foundation… I hope that what is happening in India today will build on that multi-cultural ethos that the country has," he said.

See also:
Bezos’ India visit and a billion-dollar business ⁠— many reasons why Microsoft may have had to retract Satya Nadella’s statement on India’s new citizenship law

Indian government shut off the Internet over 100 times in 2019 — and China is lovin' it

India's Citizenship Act gets challenged at the Supreme Court barely a day after passing Parliament

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