Mr Thomas Kuruvilla, MD a Asia Pacific of Arthur D Little, delivered the keynote address. He shared insights from his experience of the counsulting profession, gained working across Middle-East, Singapore, India and China. He spoke about the differences across these markets and also the expectations of clients in these specific markets. He appreciated the trust based business environment of the middle-east and said that this allows high flexibility in the various consulting assignment. Talking of China, he opined that it was very different there and though huge opportunities existed it was important to note certain critical factors as language, culture and strict delivery timelines. India, according to him, was dominated by local talent and that it wasnat feasible to take part in consulting opportunities here without having local operations. Singapore, a unique market with government owned entities are characterized by very fixed & descriptive approach and provides good opportunities in operational consulting rather than strategic scope. Answering a question posed by a student, Mr Kuruvilla stated that though the current downturn would result in increase of cost-cutting assignments, it was necessary to take a holistic view and stressed the increased need of innovation.
Mr Amit Kumar, Founder and Country Head of Grail Research spoke about consulting opportunities in India and China. He stated that though the growth estimates of these two economies would likely need to be revised downwards in the wake of the current financial crisis, but as they are based on solid fundamentals, they would not be affected as other regions of the world. Speaking about consulting, he elaborated on how consulting was not just about being smart and that a lot of scientific approach to analyzing data and uncovering knowledge was involved in the process.
Mr Harish HV, Partner a National Management of Grant Thornton concluded the dayas events with a short talk about his views on the current global scenario. He stated that the current crisis was partly panic driven, and that the falling prices of commodities should usher in the next upswing sooner rather than later. He was of the opinion that reform in India has happened more through stealth rather than concerted political will, and also that good governance was the need of the hour to tackle external threats like the recent terrorist attacks in Mumbai.
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