B-school roundup:Roundtable conference on Power Trading held at MDI, Flashback held at MICA,Workshop on Entrepreneurship conducted at IIM-I, JBIMS concluded Prayaag, IIM-L conducted Samvit 09 and XIMB hosts Finomics

MDI School of Energy Management, Gurgaon organizes Round Table Conference on ‘Power Trading in India-the way forward’

A Round Table conference on ‘Power Trading in India-the way forward’ was conducted by MDI School of Energy Management, Gurgaon on October 23, at MDI, Gurgaon. The conference was attended by prominent experts from the Power Sector. The conference was chaired by T. N. Thakur, CMD, and PTC. It was also attended by T. R. Dhaka, Retd., Member of Haryana Electricity Regulatory Commission, Akhilesh Avasthi, VP(Marketing) of Indian Energy Exchange, Mahesh Vipradas, Head Regulatory, Suzlon Energy Ltd and Rakesh Mahajan, Director, Lanco Infratech.

The Conference focused on the various issues affecting the Power Trading from the perspective of the power trader, regulator, generator, promoter and consumer. The central theme of the discussion was how to create an environment that can enhance Power Trading in the country and what are the various policy issues that need to be addressed for establishing an efficient market for power. The conference discussed about the technical, political, legal and social issues pertaining to power trading in India. Thakur emphasized that we have to encourage investments in the Power sector and to create a market where people can buy and sell power and he also stressed upon the need for regulator to establish consistent policy with regard to the various modes of trading like Unscheduled Interchange, bilateral trade and trade through exchanges.

Avasthi briefed about the establishment of Power Exchange which has been successful on two fronts. First it provided a platform for Power generators producing power below 20 MW to trade power which was not viable

under for traders earlier. Secondly the Exchange has helped to standardize the power trading business.

Vipradas raised the concern which has to be addressed for Renewable Energy Generators to become a participant in the Power trading process. First point is the forecasting of wind to enable scheduling of power generation which is a basic requirement for Power trading and second building awareness among the generators regarding the benefits of power trading through Exchanges.

Mahajan raised the burning issue of accountability of regulators. He has also stressed on the importance of uniform direction in the policy making process. He also expressed that at in present scenario it is difficult to sell in short term with long term conditions for generators.

Dhaka expressed his views from the consumer point of view and elaborated on the need for the role of Regulators in ensuring that the consumer’s interests are safeguarded.

FLASHBACK-Alumni conclave organized by MICA

The Alumni Engagement Committee of MICA organised FLASHBACK-‘the conclave’ on its campus at Ahmedabad on Oct 24, 2009. Six alumni holding eminent national and global positions were on the campus to interact with the current MICAns about their career paths, current industry trends, expectations and their respective areas of specialisation including Brand Management and Entrepreneurship, Advertising Management, Media planning and Management, Marketing Research. The panelists namely Gaurav Bhasin (ex CEO-Universal McCann, Singapore), Sandeep Arora, (VP- Research and Analytics, Datamatics Technologies Ltd.), Dennis Koshy (VP, JWT), Rahul Anand, (Co-Founder and Director, Happily Unmarried Marketing Pvt. Ltd.), Arjoon Bose, (International Project Manager(Garnier), L’Oreal S.A, France), Kunal Mukherjee, (Marketing Head, Zoom TV) represent diverse industries but share the common MICAn tag.

Having been on the other side of the podium themselves, the speakers were able to identify with the dilemmas and challenges that current students face and provided their unique perspectives. While Arora focussed on the changing face and pace of the Market Research industry, growing industry size and opportunities, Bhasin through an interactive presentation discussed his 14 year career path in the Media Planning and Management industry. He touched upon the relevance of ‘Cultural quotient’, balancing humility with confidence, simplicity and focusing on the end user. Dennis Koshy talked about the volatile advertising industry and the importance of Environmental and Client management and Creativity in the same. Anand’s take on entrepreneurship proved an eye opener and reality check for many who wish to start their own venture. “If you have started a business of your own and haven’t faced a problem, you are either doing something wrong or haven’t experimented enough”, he said. Bose and Kunal Mukherjee engaged the audience with their ideas and views on what lies ahead for MICA s. Coming from Singapore and Paris, Gaurav and Arjoon shared their global perspectives on their respective industries.

The common themes shared across the evening were balancing excessive job swapping with stagnation, Specialization versus Convergence, importance of technology in all areas and permeating cross cultural boundaries. The turnout and participation of students and faculty alike is testimony of the close network of professionals that MICA churns out year on year. The conclave envisions opening a new era in MICA’s Alumni engagement efforts.

Building Entrepreneurs-Thought Leaders for Tomorrow: IIM Indore’s Workshop on Entrepreneurship Business Ideas and Opportunity Evaluation Workshop 2009

IIM Indore in association with NEN (National Entrepreneurship Network) and iBranch.in organized a day-long workshop on Business Ideas and Opportunity Evaluation on Sunday, October 25, 2009 at IIM Indore. The workshop, which was conducted by Prof Vasanti Venugopal, saw participation from over a 100 students across Indore.

Venugopal from the Department of Commerce and Management at Mount Carmel College, Bangalore has over 24 years of teaching experience across various areas such as Entrepreneurship, Services Marketing and Cost and Management Accounting. Currently the mentor of MCC’s E-cell, ‘Initium’, she has been a driving force for startups such as Creative – line Solutions Co Ltd. and Myriad Co. Ltd. She has co-chaired the Women Entrepreneur Committee, FKCCI in the year 2006.

On the occasion, IIM Indore’s Director, N. Ravichandran, laid emphasis on the need for entrepreneurs of tomorrow to be visionary and to act as social change agents, making meaningful contributions to the society and environment. According to him, the opportunities are not same across the board due to various forms of inequalities existing in the country and hence when the opportunity arises, we must show compassion and social relevance while implementing their ideas.

The workshop started off with a group activity on idea generation using newspaper articles as an aid. Through this activity and a subsequent presentation, Venugopal expressed the importance of the flow of new ideas and various avenues available to assist us with the same. Through certain videos, she also highlighted the need to keep in mind the ‘bigger picture’and also how it may be wise to get away from the problem when you face a complete block. She also mentioned that very few, around three percent ideas are novel and are not necessary to launch a successful venture.

During the post-lunch session, each student in his/her respective group was asked to take up one entrepreneurial idea and present it to his/her peers. Each group was finally asked to finalize one idea and present it to the entire audience. Raghvendra Pandey, Founder and CEO of iBranch.in, also provided valuable inputs on various practical aspects which creep in while starting an enterprise.

The final leg of the workshop concentrated on opportunity evaluation by understanding the macro and micro factors which need to be studied for both the market and the industry. Venugopal explained the significance of networking and building a strong team for any enterprise. She showed how an entrepreneur could use ‘Mullins 7 Domain Framework’ to assess attractive opportunities.

Jamnalal Bajaj Institute of Management Studies (JBIMS), Mumbai concluded ‘Prayaag’

Jamnalal Bajaj Institute of Management Studies (JBIMS), Mumbai, recently concluded its Inter B School and Corporate festival Prayaag which was held from October 23 to 25 2009. Literally translated as a ‘confluence of thoughts’, Prayaag is a festival that brings forth the expertise and talent of some of the best minds of the corporate and student world of today. And the festival at JBIMS, this season, did just that.

Prayaag-09, designed around the ‘Mine your Fortune’ theme was aimed at highlighting the importance of the challenges to face, the hurdles to overcome and the battles to conquer to make one’s way to success in these global times.

The event was inaugurated in the K. S. Basu auditorium of JBIMS by Umesh Shrikhande, CEO Contract Advertising. Shrikhande, an alumnus of JBIMS, enlightened the students about analyzing and choosing the right options in life while keeping the long term goals in focus throughout.

A major highlight this time round was the curtain raiser lecture by Prahlad Kakkar. Kakkar (Ad Guru), who is a well known personality in the field of advertising, inspired the students to prioritize better while emphasizing on the art of risk taking.

Union Bank of India was the chief festival partner for Prayaag this year. The events held were: From Dealers to Leaders – a test of one’s risk appetite and decision making abilities, Fund of Funds – an online simulation of real life trading, Jewelhouse Rock – the theme treasure hunt event, Search for the Emerald- Marketing plan, The Road to El Dorado – Search for the best business brain, The Village – glimpse into commodity trading, Talk the Walk – exploring viral marketing etc. Various teams from B Schools all over the country, like the IIMs, XLRI, NITIE, MICA, NMIMS etc won many of the pre launch and on-the-spot events.

Kwizkraft, the signature event of Prayaag, in association with UBI was held on the final day of the three day festival. As per tradition, corporate and B School students participated in large numbers. This year it was held at the Akashwani auditorium and was hosted by Dhananjay Shettigar of QuizMonks. Through the years all the events have seen tremendous participation from B-schools in Mumbai and outside as also from the corporate world. This year Prayaag saw a footfall of about 3500 student and corporate entries.

IIM Lucknow Samvit’09-The Leader’s Conclave

October 25 2009 saw IIM Lucknow host some of the who’s who from India Inc for a discussion on the theme ‘Emerging Pillars of the Indian Economy’.

The mega event christened Samvit’09 The Leaders’ Conclave hosted Kalpana J Morparia, CEO JPMorgan, Pramod Bhasin, Chairman – NASSCOM and President and CEO Genpact Ajit Balakrishnan, founder and CEO – Rediff.com, Dr Sandeep Pandey, Magsaysay Award Winner for Emergent Leadership, 2002, Meera Sanyal Country Head, ABN AMRO, Dr. Biswadip Mitra President and Managing Director, Texas Instruments India. The conclave was anchored by Sanjeev Srivastava, BBC India Editor.

The event opened with key note speeches from the each of the leaders. Balakrishnan and Mitra shared their insights on technology’s indispensable contribution hitherto and its potential for India. To a question on corruption remaining unchanged, Balakrishnan intrigued the audience by focusing on the different facets of corruption and how India emerging from a license raj era to a fairly liberal environment is progress and an abatement of one type of corruption.

Pandey, renowned for his work for the underprivileged, reminded the audience about the plight of more than a million people who truly constitute the ‘Unorganized’ sector and thereby forced to accept punitive measures.

Sanyal shared her thoughts on the elections she contested. The student community was awed by her rationale and sense of conviction in contesting the elections while managing ABN AMRO in addition to contributing to social welfare activities.

Bhasin delivered a flawless key note address followed by multiple interjections in the panel discussion and made it clear that India’s progress can be supplemented only by the simultaneous existence of liberalization and social transformation.

Kalpana Morparia disabused some of the most popular misconceptions about China and drew the panel into an interesting discussion on China’s progress viz-a-viz India. The panel of leaders collectively threw light on how China’s administration is governed by some of the smartest people in their country which facilitates sustained development.

The panel discussion drew a flurry of questions from the audience including the most appreciated one from a serving captain of the army who said, “We have heard of Jai Javan Jai Keesan. We only talk about the kisan, what about the Javan? Do banks also have models for our needs?”

XIMB hosts Finomics 2009

On October 24, 2009 saw a number of experts come together for Finomics 2009 organized by X-Fin-the Finance association of Xavier Institute of Management, Bhubhaneshwar. It was a forum for engrossing lively discussion and debate on the various issues of interest. The student community was exposed to a wide array of different perspectives which made them ponder on the intricacies of the financial arena.

The list of eminent speakers included Kaza Sudhakar, Regional Director, RBI, Eastern Region, Prof Pulin Nayak, Delhi School of Economics, Arun Pingaley, Head of Sungard, India Risk Division, Naveen Kapoor, General Manager Distribution Business, Feedback Ventures Limited and Neil Chakravarti, Head of investor relations and content solutions firm, Corporate Storytellers. The seminar began with the lighting of the lamp, after which the panel released this year’s edition of X-Fin Journal. Dr D V Ramana, faculty in Finance at XIMB was a moderator for this discussion.

Dr Ramana set the tone for the discussion as he put forth the questions on how to innovate in Finance, what is illiquidity, and how the corporate sector can manage liquidity and profitability.

This discussion was taken forward by Kaza Sudhakar, who outlined the various measures taken by RBI to manage the current scenario by reducing CRR from 9 percent to 5 percent and slashing SLR, Repo and Reverse Repo rates to inject liquidity in the markets. He observed that furious financial innovations, a tsunami of credit, deteriorating quality of deals and disregard for fundamentals have brought about this current downfall. He suggested that some restrain in spending, a judicious mix of less capital intensive products, right pricing strategy and reduced inventory using JIT are some methods to survive and thrive in the current crisis.

Prof Pulin Nayak observed that Capitalism is a form of creative destruction prone to booms and busts. It is in these times of bust that we face problems of liquidity and need a third party to bring in counter cyclical economic policies that can end this recession. This can be done by government intervention with fiscal policies and giving a strong role to entrepreneurs to come up with physical and financial innovation.

Kapoor brought forth his knowledge and experience in the power sector to explore the problems of liquidity in this industry. He emphasized the need for financial and technical innovation, as the power sector continues to be haunted by 33 percent transmission and distribution losses, collection inefficiency and skewed tariff structure in this sector.

Chakravarti addressed the problem from an operational point of view, noting that ‘cash is king’, conservatism with transparency is the best approach to follow, and that sometimes innovation lies in simplicity.

The last speaker of the day, Pingaley observed that the liquidity in the markets was not due to lack of funds, but due to lack of trust. The banks are reluctant to participate in mutually beneficial transactions, which is detriment to the growth of the economy. He suggested innovative measures like Pension liability revamp, Asset monetization by sale and lease of toll roads, adoption of Islamic banking, reemergence of covered bonds like RCMBs, tri party repo and Hybrid SIV as measures to counter liquidity.

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