Keynote Speakers

Iqbal QuadirIqbal Z. Quadir (Morning keynote)
Professor of the Practice of Development and Entrepreneurship, MIT
Founder and Director Emeritus, Legatum Center at MIT

Iqbal Z. Quadir is a pioneer in creating inclusive ventures in low-income countries. An accomplished entrepreneur, Quadir saw the potential of mobile technology more than two decades ago. Realizing the ensuing digital revolution could facilitate the introduction of telephone access throughout Bangladesh, including its rural areas, he founded Grameenphone in the 1990s. Grameenphone is now Bangladesh’s leading telecommunications operator with 50 million subscribers. Quadir subsequently helped found bKash. With 17 million subscribers, bKash is dramatically improving financial inclusion in Bangladesh. Quadir also founded Emergence BioEnergy to help farmers produce and consume electricity while increasing agricultural productivity.

With this inclusive philosophy in mind, in 2005 Quadir cofounded Innovations, an MIT Press journal, and in 2007 he founded the Legatum Center at MIT. The center has already trained 200 MIT students who aspire to create for-profit enterprises promoting prosperity in low-income countries.

Quadir’s work and thinking has been cited in more than 70 books. He has been published in the Financial Times,, Harvard Business Review, Science, Nature, Newsweek, and The Wall Street Journal. He holds an MBA and MA from the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, and a BS from Swarthmore College. He has received two honorary doctorate degrees and other honors for his work.

Anil GuptaAnil K. Gupta (Afternoon keynote)
Michael Dingman Chair in Strategy, Globalization & Entrepreneurship
Robert H. Smith School of Business, University of Maryland

Widely recognized as one of the world’s leading experts in strategy, globalization and entrepreneurship, Anil K. Gupta is ranked by Thinkers50 as one of the world’s “most influential living management thinkers.” He is one of only three professors, out of more than 25,000 worldwide, who have been elected as a Lifetime Fellow of the three most prestigious academic bodies in his field:  Academy of Management, Strategic Management Society and Academy of International Business. He is a member of the World Economic Forum's Global Agenda Council on Emerging Multinationals and has served on the boards of several NYSE- and NASDAQ-listed companies in the United States.

Gupta is a regular participant at the World Economic Forum summits, including their annual meeting in Davos and regional meetings in China, India and the Middle East. He is also a member of the Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Emerging Multinationals.

Gupta is also a columnist for Bloomberg BusinessWeek, and his opinion pieces have been published in The Wall Street Journal, Financial Times, China Daily and Economic Times, among others. Gupta serves regularly as a keynote speaker at major conferences and corporate forums worldwide. He holds a doctorate from the Harvard Business School, an MBA from the Indian Institute of Management at Ahmedabad, and a B.Tech. from the Indian Institute of Technology at Kanpur.