In keeping with its aspirations of igniting, inspiring, and illuminating the young and brilliant minds of the country, Indian Institute of Management, Udaipur in association with Secure Meters flagged off the second edition of its annual management fest, Solaris’16, on the 12th of November, from its new campus at Balicha, Udaipur. The event started off with an inaugural talk by the Director of the Institute, Prof. Janat Shah, who spoke about the challenges that the young, yet rising institute has had to face over the last five years, and how, despite these hurdles, it has managed to create an impact in the elite B-School scene, with its emphasis on the three pillars of academics, research, and entrepreneurship.
The Leadership Summit
The event, which comprises of four summits spread over various domains of management, started off on Saturday with its flagship event, the Leadership Summit. With a view to widen the minds of the audience beyond just the business world, the theme of the event was- “Rise- Traverse, Transform, and Transcend”. The summit aimed to bring together leaders from different backgrounds ranging from pharmaceuticals and insurance to entrepreneurship and social inclusion to give their insights and share their experiences on how they managed to rise above and beyond the challenges they faced to come out successful.
The first talk was given by Mr. Ashok Banerjee, former Senior Executive Director of GlaxoSmithKline. Mr. Banerjee spoke on his experience in the pharmaceutical industry and how he overcame challenges on both technical and interpersonal level to increase growth rate of the company.This was followed by a discussion on brand differentiation by Mr. Sanjay Tripathy, Head- Analytics and marketing at HDFC Life. Mr. Tripathy enlightened the students on the nuances of the evolution of marketing of life insurance over the years keeping in mind the needs and wants of the customers. The next speaker in line for the event was Mr. Satyabrata Dey, the owner of Sreeleathers Ltd, a leading East Indian shoemaking company, for the last 30 years. He spoke about how the concepts of management needn’t be required to manage a business, and explained how he created a 300 crore company from scratch on the back of three important things- Affordability, Quality, and Availability.Mr. Jithin Nedumala, the co-founder of Make a Difference, a non-profit organisation that aims to educate young underprivileged kids, talked around how we as a society need to take up responsibility for the education of those who lack even the most basic of the sources. He further talked about how NGOs can be supported through crowdfunding.The event culminated with a speech by Mr. Ashish Gupta, who spoke about how FED leaders over the years have given insights about the market and taken decisions that affect economy at large. The session ended with an intriguing Q&A session by both the audience and the guests.
The afternoon of the first day of Solaris commenced with the Economics Summit – Antardrishti. The first leg of the summit included speeches and a panel discussion on “Shifting of the economic centre of the world to east and the role of India in this shift”.
The business conclave, organized by ConsultU, the consulting club and PiE, the economic club of IIM Udaipur, opened with an address from Mr. G Mahalingam, RBI’s Executive Director. Mr. Mahalingam enlightened the audiences on the theme iterating that even though the popular opinion is that the shift to east is a possibility, there are still a large number of steps to be taken to improve the overall situation in east before it happens. Mr. Sriram Krishnan, Director, Head of Investor Services, Deutsche Bank, talked about how corporate sector, and government initiatives such as ‘Make In India’ can aid this shift resulting in the rise of the Asian economies. He said that it is projected that by 2050, India will be among the top 10 economies of the world. The final speaker on this theme, Mr. Frederico Gil Sander, World Bank’s senior country economist for India, gave a different perspective to the idea, emphasizing how the east can actually become the economic centre of the world, but to achieve that goal, the hurdle of standard of living needs to be overcome. He talked about how improving the standard of life and betterment of facilities like education and healthcare can accelerate the economic growth of the Asian countries. The three addresses were followed by an insightful panel discussion by the three speakers on the given theme, finally reaching a consensus on the fact that the schemes undertaken by the government would definitely help in leading companies towards the desired direction but would require them to innovate new processes and not just copy global players.
The second half of the summit with the theme “Emerging trends in payment systems” began with the address of Mr. Kumar Karpe, CEO, TechProcess Payment Services who spoke on the significance of emerging markets like India in furthering advancements in the field of payment services. Mr. Nipun Kapur, Head, Strategy and Planning, Hero FinCorp Limited was the next speaker. He talked about how technology is making payments simpler and the merchant acceptance network with its low investment solutions and proprietary payment systems is making the economy more attractive. Mr. Rajesh Prasad, Vice-President and Head, RuPay Acceptance spoke about the importance of availability of both digital and physical touch points for payments and empowering consumers such that “one person should be in a position to pay another person without any barriers.” Mr. Abhishant Pant, Founder, Cashless Journey, enlightened the participants with a different line of thought on how the wallets are not going to be affected by the rise of online payments as they are the traditional way of payment, an incentive of human greed. He added that the online payments need to be more adaptive to the needs of the Indian consumer and remove the language barrier that many of them face. The second panel discussion culminated the event with all the four speakers, provided the audience with a great opportunity to listen to some of the greatest minds of the industry brainstorm and present their views on the theme topic.
The Inaugural Address – Dr. Hasit Joshipura
The second day of Solaris, the annual management fest of IIM Udaipur – began with the inaugural note by Dr. Hasit B Joshipura. Dr. Joshipura, who is the Member of Executive Management Committee and Head of Corporate Centre, Larsen & Toubro, spoke on this year’s theme – The Quantum Leap. He addressed the audience about how the theme indicates radical as opposed to incremental change and how that is the true symbol of the current times and the times to come. Stressing on how important this radical change will be in the existence of the economy, he spoke about the underlying trends which are going to have a bearing on the global economy and business. The need to deal with the increasingly disenfranchised segments of the population, the need for knowledge creation rather than just information and need for ideas to use the ever increasing capital, according to him were three of the most important trends that needed addressing by the great economies of the world. He ended his speech by emphasizing how it is the students; the future of this economy who are will need to find the new answers to deal with these trends, and it is their wise actions only that will create great wealth for this economy.
Arth Samvaad – The Finance Summit
The inaugural address was followed by the highly awaited Arth Samvaad – the Finance Summit. The two phase summit involved stalwarts from the finance industry speaking and holding. The first segment of the summit was initiated by Mr. Nirmal Jain, Founder and Chairman, India Infoline Holdings (IIFL) Limited. Mr. Jain talked about the structural issues of the Indian Economy like infrastructure, inadequate policies, judiciary and democracy being in lack in the country and how we as one of the youngest and the fastest growing economies have the strength to overcome all these barriers by focusing not just on the economic but the social and general happiness factors of the people of the country as well. The second speaker for the finance summit was Mr. Sarbvir Singh, Regional Adviser, JP Morgan PEG in New Delhi who talked about why a corporate debt market is needed in the Indian economy and what are the challenges faced by such a market. He culminated his note by stating how inception of the credit derivates came into being with the ideation of a single person, emphasizing on the students that “even an individual an make a lot of changes, one just have to keep their eyes and ears open”.
The latter half of the finance summit was kick started by Mr. Kapil Bali, CEO, Yes Securities Limited who stressed on how valuing markets is all about keeping yourself happy with justifications. He went on to say that forward valuations are the future and the most important key to enable long term movements in the market. The final speaker Mr. Harsha Upadhyaya, Chief Investment Officer, Equity, Kotak MF, spoke about the dependence of the valuation of the market on three pillars – fundamentals, liquidity and sentiments and the three Ds that are the general concerns for economies – Deflation, Demography, and Disinflation. Mr. Upadhyaya ended his speech on a high note for the Indian economy accentuating that on the macro level the country has no issues for the next few years.The addresses of both the segments were followed by a panel discussion by the leaders on the topic “Is the time ripe for corporate debt market to flourish in India?” and “Is the Indian Market correctly valued in current times?” where they answered questions from the audience and gave a deeper insight into the financial market of the country.
Samvaah – The Marketing Conclave
The former half of the final day of Solaris saw eminent speakers from the field of marketing, coming together to enlighten the students, through Samvaah – the annual marketing conclave, organized by MarClan – the marketing club of IIM Udaipur. The event started with the launch of the quarterly magazine of the club – “Zeitgeist”.
The first speaker for Samvaah was Ms. Manmeet Vohra, Director – Marketing and Category, Starbucks, who guided the audience on how Starbucks built “Brand Loyalty through Social and Digital Platform” and how they used technology to stand out as the leading chain customers turn to and see as the third place after home and work.Next speaker for the event was Mr. Vikas Mehta, President, Group Marketing Services, MullenLowe Lintas Group. Mr. Mehta talked about “Marketing in the Age of Disruption”. He elaborated on the two new P’s of marketing – “Pace” and “Purpose” and how brands all over India have to keep with the changing times to stay in existence in current times. Ms. Suparna Mitra, CMO – Watches and Accessories, Titan Company Limited, talked to the audience about how “Titan JUXT” came into existence. She also spoke about how the marketing concepts taught in classrooms are actually relevant outside in the real world.
The second half of the summit saw Mr. Subhranshu Singh, Executive Vice President, Head Marketing – Sports, Star India take the stage and share his experience of facing an extremely uphill task – of making a sport that had been relegated to the verge of oblivion – and transforming it into a million dollar brand- ‘Pro Kabaddi’- by marketing the three salient factors of the game – the gripping physical action, the “Indian-ness” and the basic rules extremely simple to understand. Mr. Subhamoy Das, Former Director, International Association of Business Communications (IABC) enlightened the audience on the “Power of Stories in Brand Building”. He spoke about how stories are the new differentiator that makes or breaks a brand. The final speaker of the day and Solaris was Mr. Suraja Kishore, National Head – Planning, McCann Erickson. Mr. Kishore talked about how India has undergone a sea change in the last couple of years in terms of ideas about life, lifestyle, value systems and consciousness and in order to stay relevant brands need to reinvent them, change them by understanding what the audience wants
Competitions and Events
The fest also encompassed some interesting competitions which saw the participation from students from various B-Schools in the country. These competitions tested the students in the domains of Marketing, Economics and Entrepreneurship where the students were enthusiastic to learn as well as to win.
Head Rush – The business quiz organized by the quizzing society of the college, Potpourri, witnessed the participation of students from external institutes like MICA and IIM Rohtak alongside the students of IIMU. The finalists were selected after a gruelling online round. The eventual champions of the quiz was the team from Mudra Institute of Communications, Ahmedabad.
Auteur’s Labyrinth – A short-film making competition which witnessed entries from all over India including a couple from FTII, Pune. Renowned Film Critic and critically- acclaimed director Mr. Sudhish Kamath was the judge for the event. He also delivered a captivating speech on the “Changing Dynamics of Indian Cinema”. The eventual winners of the event were the team from FTII, Pune with their stunning short-film ‘Setu’.
Juxtapose, the branding event, organized by MarClan, the marketing club of IIM Udaipur had teams presenting the brand extension of various brands such as Samsung, Cadbury, Volkswagen, Google where they included the concepts such as product portfolio, value proposition, target customers, TV commercials and the logo of the brand. Team “The Sappy” and Team “Illusion”, both of them from MICA, Ahmedabad won the first and second prizes respectively.
Brand Charades, a twist on brands and dumb charades, organized, again by MarClan, was a fun event where one member of the participating teams had to prompt a famous brand and the other members had to recognize it. Amongst all the excitement, Team Mediocres from IIM Udaipur were the winners and Team Illusion from MICA, Ahmedabad took away the runners-up title.
A verbal battle of knowledge, wit and humour concerning some of the most relevant topics on economics, VaadVivaad, the annual national economics debate organized by PiE – the Economics Club of IIMU, witnessed the participation of the top six teams who qualified through to the finals after the first two qualifying rounds. The event was adjudged by faculty members Miss Rezina Sultana and Mr. Amish Dugar and the winning spot was taken by a home team.
Evolution D’ Entrepreneur,a startup quiz & simulation game organized by Saksham, the E-Cell of IIM Udaipur in collaboration with TOPSIM (by TATA Interactive Systems) tested the entrepreneurial concepts from strategy, resource optimization, marketing, organizational behavior and financial management of the participants. Team AIB, from MICA, Ahmedabad and Team Idea Bargains from IIM Udaipur, emerged as the winners and runners-up respectively.
Kalakriti, an art exhibition was also organized by Team CreArt, with a vision to promote art. The exhibition showcased the best of the artwork by the artists of Udaipur as well as the in-house artists from IIM Udaipur.
Mr. Shashank Singh Jadaun, Convener, Solaris’16 delivered the closing note of the management extravaganza. He talked about how even with the technical and logistical challenges because of the shift to the new BalichaCampus; the successful completion of the event is a testament of the hard-work, determination and spirit of IIM Udaipur and its student community. He thanked the sponsors for their support, the faculty and the administrative staff for their guidance, the students for their passion, enthusiasm and participation and the luminaries from the industry for taking time off from their busy schedules and gracing the occasion. With that the second edition of Solaris – the annual management of IIM Udaipur, after 2 days of grandeur came to a successful conclusion.