The former President of India was speaking at the Calcutta Chamber of Commerce in the capital of West Bengal.
Kalam said, "National economic development is based on competitiveness. Competitiveness is powered by knowledge. There is a need for creative leadership and a creative leader means he should be a mentor."
He added, "We need a large number of creative leadership. Knowledge is the primary source of empowerment. Ability to develop knowledge infrastructure is the key factor to develop a knowledge society."
Kalam said that for India to become a developed nation by 2020, it needs to first attain and then maintain 10 percent growth rate in its Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
He said, "To be a developed nation by 2020, India's GDP growth rate should be 10 percent (per annum) and it should be maintained."
The former President also added that corruption-free society, physical and economic connectivity in the rural areas and stress on micro-finance as well as small-scale industries were equally important for India to become a developed nation.