B-school round up: JBIMS hosts K V Sridhar, Horizons 09 held at IIM K, Illumina held at MDI, Consultancy week organised by IMT-G and ‘Joy of Giving’ celebrated at VGSOM, IIT Kgp

K V Sridhar, National Creative Director of Leo Burnett visited Jamnalal Bajaj Institute of Management Studies, JBIMS, Mumbai on October 13 for a session on New Age Advertising. A veteran with 30 years of experience at leading advertising agencies, Sridhar has worked on a plethora of brands – Thumbs Up, Reebok, Bajaj (the Hoodibaba Campaign), Taj Mahal Tea (the Wah Taj campaign), St. Gobain and many others.

Sridhar initiated the session with a small anecdote which led to an interesting discussion. In advertising being creative is not about coming up with a story with a twist in the end but rather devising simple solutions to address the problems of how to sell products. He also mentioned that consumers do not like to have the brand proposition shouted out to them but rather be reminded of it gently through maybe a story-like advertisement. He defined good communication as designing a stimulus to achieve a desired response from the consumer.

Moving on, he touched upon the changes that have swept through India, from the lack of privacy to the fact that today the power lies in the hands of the consumer. People are the owners of brands and companies have to listen to them.

The question of what distinguishes brands and whether brands have differentiators anymore was taken up next. In a scenario of decreasing brand loyalty how does a company make a person buy their product? This was the crux of the lecture and he explained to the audience that it is by understanding the consumer and communicating through acts that brands show their relevance to consumers.

After highlighting the changing rules of advertising, he spoke about the new media available to reach out to the customers and in particular viral marketing. This part of the talk was complemented by videos of famous viral advertisements. He insisted that effective customer reach and branding is possible even by spending less money.

Horizons 2009: Annual Management Conclave at IIM Kozhikode

Horizons the annual management conclave of the Indian Institute of Management, Kozhikode was held at the campus from 9th to 11th of October 2009. The seminar was organized by the Industry Interaction Cell of IIM Kozhikode. Horizons 2009 revolved around the theme – Refuelling growth – Gearing up for a new Economic Landscape

Day 1 of the event started with an analysis of the current global scenario from multiple perspectives and set a platform of learning and a framework to be carried forward and built upon. The second day looked at the present scenario, focussing on the marketing and operations aspects, and built a holistic view for participants to precipitate understanding and spark critical thinking. Day 3 looked into diverse sectors from construction to healthcare, with a view on the future, thus taking the economic debate to the next level. It envisaged the new economic order for India in 2020 and raised questions about how to grow sustainably.

The first speaker on day 1 Retrospection was Govind Shankarnarayanan, CFO, Tata Capital. The topic of the speech was Financial regulations Lessons that the West can learn from India. He pointed out that low interest rates and easy credit are part of a social contract in US. This public choice has led to many things including financial innovation, increase in inflation and market influence on regulator. Indian regulators, in comparison, have amore holistic view of the economy. He stressed on the need to look out for warning signs, have stricter trading practices, cap on executive compensation and exchange for asset trading.

The second speaker on day 1 was Pulapre Balakrishnan, Independent Economist who spoke about the origin of globalisation and the the financial crisis and their corelation.

The second session was followed by a Panel Discussion on the topic India and the Global crisis Opportunities and threats. The panel included Govind Shankarnarayanan, CFO, Tata Capital, and Pulapre Balakrishnan, Independent Economist. Prof. K.K. Ladha moderated the discussion. Several issues were discussed including RBI independence, development of organizational capital and managerial intelligence and the generation of political will.

The next session on day 1 was conducted by Utpal Seth, Rare Enterprises. The topic of the session was Investment Management New challenges in a volatile market. The speech dealt with various dimensions of volatility and its effect on finanacial markets. The talk was interspersed with interesting quotes including It doesnt matter whether you are right or wrong, what matters is how much you lose when you are wrong and how much you win when you are right.

Pradeep Kumar, Scientist, ISRO, shared details on the Chandrayaan mission and the challenges faced during the launch. The session focussed on decision making and confidence in ones product.

The second day Action opened by Dr P Rameshan, Director in-charge of IIM Kozhikode during April-May 2009 and Professor in the area of Strategic Management, saw the dignitaries speaking on the current scenario and how they have adapted to the change in conditions. The first session saw B. Ramakrishna, COO, Idea Cellular (Kerala), speak on the subject – Redefining Business Transactions: Increasing Speed and Reducing Costs.

Srinivas Acharya, Dy MD Sundaram finance dicussed the role of NBFCs in the country and how they operate quite differently from the banks to tap the bottom of the pyramid. He called upon banking institutions to look at NBFCs as complementaries rather than adversaries or competitors.

Ramesh Nair, COO, Sterlite Industries India Ltd. conducted the next session dealing with mining opportunities. Analysing the present industry challenges, he spoke of the harsh conditions faced by miners and the political conditions that make mining in a few African countries difficult.

The final speaker on day 2, Pratik Pota, Executive Director, South, PepsiCo India, dwelt upon Kick-starting growth in Unfriendly Environments. Some priceless advice given by the speaker included listening to your customer and cutting costs instead of investments under adverse circumstances.

Prof Abhilash Nair, Professor at IIM K started the event proceedings on day 3 Ascension saying that government regulation may gain acceptance but not all regulation is desirable. Prof. Nair discussed the issue of sluggish growth in agricultural lending due to the perception of risk-reward mismatch caused by a tab on the interest-rates for farmers.

Gautam Khanna, Vice-President, HealthCare, 3M India, delivering a talk on India The next healthcare services destination, said that Being Healthy is financially good for the nation. He described India as a Country in Transition with a major segment of the population having no insurance. He discussed the plight of Indian health-care sector by highlighting the deficiency in public health-care systems.

S. C. Dixit, Director, Operations, Shapoorji Pallonji & Co. Ltd, described a typical phase of downturn, by giving various diagnostics such as reduced inflation and stringent government regulation, which may or may not be dull. Dixit compared the spending on infrastructure with spending on other emerging markets and developed countries. He also identified land acquisition as one of the biggest hurdle in the development of infrastructure. Dixit analyzed different limbs of infrastructure: Ports, Roads, Construction, Urban and Rural housing and stated that inspite of being a successful concept, Public-Private Partnership implementation of should be more aggressive to accelerate growth.

A panel discussion on the topic India in the new century where do we go from here was conducted in the second half of the session. The elite panel included Gautam Khanna, VP, health-care, 3M India, S. C. Dixit, Director, Operations, Shapoorji Palloonji & Co. Ltd andAbhay Sinha, Head, Support Systems, Cable & Wireless, Europe, Asia & USA. Prof. Jyotirmoy Bhattacharya, Asst. Professor at IIM K moderated the discussion. Sinha compared the growth stories of India and China under various heads and evaluated the factors responsible for their growth.

Abhay Sinha, Head, Support Systems, Cable & Wireless, Europe, Asia and USA, speaking on the topic Offshoring and India – New challenges and opportunities from emerging markets, discussed the history of outsourcing in India from an IT/ ITeS standpoint. He outlined the challenges in outsourcing as India moved up the value-chain and provided recommendations to help the nation maintain its position as an IT services leader in Asia.

ILLUMINA 09: MDI STUDENTS CONDUCTS UNIQUE MARKET RESEARCH FOR LEADING CORPORATES

Management Development Institute, Gurgaon, along with knowledge partner TNS, held its annual Diwali Mela cum disguised market research fest titled ILLUMINA on the MDI campus today. Free stalls were provided to NGOs to spread awareness about relevant social issues. With five sponsored market researches, 60 stalls and a footfall of over 12000 people, ILLUMINA 09 was a great success. The market research partners included Marico Saffola Gold, Punjab National Bank, Future Brands and ILLUMINA 08 partner Amul. TVB Breweries sponsored a student street play on Responsible Drinking as part of its social awareness campaign.

Market research involves the onerous task of capturing data about the customers identity, needs, preferences and perceptions. But unless the respondent is unaware of the experience, the responses are at best biased. The highest quality data is obtained only when the research is disguised. The students of Management Development Institute adopted a unique methodology to do this by craftily executing the research under the guise of a Diwali Mela which hosted all the fun elements like food stalls, street plays, fire-eaters, stilt walkers etc. The mela helped students gain a real world perspective about consumer behaviour.

Student teams from MDI Gurgaon prepared games like Rab ne bana di Sehat, Dhoni fail kyun hua, Big Boss 2.5 to disguise their questionnaires and generated high quality market research. After the event the responses of these researches will be compiled and analysed by the students under the guidance of the faculty. The market research reports will then be sent to respective companies which will use them further.

Consultancy Week organized at IMT Ghaziabad

The Alumni Relationship Committee of IMT-Ghaziabad organised a Consultancy Week in the week concluding October 10, 2009. Seminars, workshops and knowledge sharing sessions about the consulting business were organised with eminent personalities from the consulting industry. The first session with the theme Consulting as a career was conducted by Abhimanyu Roy, Associate Vice President, Avalon Consulting on October 6, 2009. Roy lucidly explained the various career paths and growth options that one could aspire for if he/she wants to build a career in the consulting business. He answered a lot of queries from the students patiently and the session turned out to be very informative and enriching. The second session had the theme A global perspective to consulting and was conducted by Rachit Channana and Priyank Rastogi, Consultants, Strategy and Change, IBM-India Pvt. Ltd on October 7, 2009. The highlight of the session was various examples of models adopted by IBM to sustain in a competitive environment. Apart from that student managers also understood about the importance of green technologies for future sustenance and innovation required for the much required competitive edge by the organizations. The third session that concluded the week on October 10, 2009 was based on the theme of Performance Management and was conducted by Ramendra Verma, Managing Consultant, PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC). The highlight of this session was the stress on operational effectiveness and strategies for performance improvement. A healthy discussion also ensued about the concept of lean time and six sigma quality controls and their importance. The Finance club of IMT-Ghaziabad, Fin-Niche, also organised a workshop on Consultancy and Corporate Strategy that was conducted by Gaurav Moda, Strategy Consulting, Booz and Company, India on October 8, 2009. The highlights of the workshop included knowledge sharing on the consulting business as well as steps to tackle case studies and provide effective solutions. The workshop also saw the student managers of IMT-Ghaziabad present the solutions to a case study that was given to them earlier. The team presenting the best solution was awarded at the end of the workshop. The whole week brought about immense insights and knowledge for the student managers at IMT-Ghaziabad regarding the consulting business and various facets associated with it.

VGSOM-IIT Kgp. organizes Joy of Giving Week on Gandhi Jayanti

Shraddha the socially responsible arm of VGSOM- celebrated the Joy of giving on the auspicious day of Gandhi Jayanti on October 2, 2009. The event was a part of Joyfest organised by the JAM magazine,it is spread over a week and covered around 300 colleges in India. The event started with a three and a half km bicycle ride to reach a remote village of Saluva where the event was planned. Although the initial response was weak, as time passed we had around 100 kids clamoring for taking part in the activities arranged. Various activities organized by the team on this occasion were general interaction, chocolate distribution, and dance party, sharing general awareness among children and then arranging for meals at the end. Though the event lasted only 3 hours, the team was able to engage the children, which was a challenge in itself.

The audience included not only children but teachers of the school as well who heartily congratulated us on our efforts. The enthusiasm of the children was beyond description, they shared their aspirations to be pilots and doctors while a few dreamed of being the next SRK! But their optimism was palpable. We saw Sachin Tendulkar distribute food among the less privileged and Shobhaa De talk about it in The Times of India but the Joy of Giving week could really be celebrated in its true spirit by just giving.

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