Horizons 2005 – Management Seminar at IIM-Kozhikode

Retaining talent in a company, Basel II, entrepreneurship, mergers and aquisitions, these were just some of the varied and interesting topics covered in “Horizons 2005” annual management seminar of the Indian Institute of Management, Kozhikode held at institute’s campus in the picturesque hills of Kozhikode (Calicut), Kerala, on 8th October, 2005.

The seminar was inaugurated by Dr. A.C. Muthiah, Chairman, SPIC, Chennai and Chairman of the Board of Governors, IIM Kozhikode and Dr. Krishna Kumar, Director of IIM Kozhikode delivered the welcome speech.

Google India’s HR Head, Mr. Manoj Varghese, was the first speaker to address the seminar. He talked about HR in emerging sectors, and the very relevant issue of talent management and retention. He commented that in the IT enabled sector today, due to the need for more people at higher levels of the pyramid, many techies are pushed too soon into management roles. He emphasized that a key factor in enabling talent is to modify our education philosophy, which should focus on equipping the participant with the know-how to find the best solution, rather than teach ‘one way to do it.’ Continuing in the same vein, Mr. Somas Jeevan from EDS, also the India HR head, gave an engaging and extremely interactive talk on a wide variety of topics. He mentioned how HR, being a child of the social sciences, was an art as well as a science. He recounted his experiences while setting up the first few outlets of the McDonald’s chain in India, and said that people management was about managing diversity, be it cultural, educational, technological or functional.

The post-lunch session began with Mr. M.J. Aravind, partner, Artiman Ventures, recounting his experiences of starting his own venture, Daksh. The session was very informative and provided a glimpse into the problems one has to grapple with when starting a new venture. He vividly mentioned the complex and often inexplicable legalities and infrastructural problems that plagued this pathbreaking business in the beginning, but were overcome through planning, having solid backups in place, and determination. One of Daksh’s key success factors was their training model, which was painstakingly developed over time, so that the employees could handle services in any functional domain with only a few weeks of training. In line with the optimistic spirit prevalent in the nation, Mr. Bijou Kurien, Chief Operating Officer of Titan Industries spoke on India’s capability in creating global brands. The talk centered on the reasons and challenges faced by Titan Industries in deciding to go global. He also talked about the success attained by Tanishq in branding jewellery, which has been traditionally viewed as a commodity. He concluded his talk with the message that to be global it is necessary that we make use of our capability advantages along with better government initiatives in areas of policy making and implementation.

The CFO of CRISIL, Mr. D. Ravishankar then took over with an extremely informative and interactive talk on Basel II for banks. He talked about the different types of risk a bank faces, and how each of these needs to be hedged for by the banks. He also talked about the difference in Standardized credit rating of external agencies and the internal IRB rating that banks could go for, and fended a lot of questions from the engrossed audience on the same. The architect of mega-mergers like Glaxo-Wellcome, Glaxo-Smithkline and Tata-Tetley was up next. Mr Homi Khusrokhan, who was the MD of these companies when he led them through these massive mergers, and is now the ED of Tata Chemicals, told the participants about his experience with mergers & acquisitions over a period of nearly 40 years. He mentioned that the prime reason many mergers fail is because revenue synergies are ignored in favor of rampant cost-cutting. Mr Khusrokhan stressed that in this age of international mergers, convergence of values is more crucial than that of culture, since some differences in culture are inevitable, but they can be ironed out if the companies’ value-systems match. He concluded by saying that treating people sensitively goes a long way in cultural integration, which was a fitting end to a seminar that brought together experts from such diverse backgrounds.

The participants of the seminar went away with rich learnings from the masters of diverse domains, with a view to incorporate the same into their careers. FICCI was the knowledge partner for this event, and Sify.in was the media partner.
For more information please visit http://intranet.iimk.ac.in/events/horizons/.

Read Next