Pratidhwani – The Alumni Conclave 2017

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The Kaizen Committee of the Institute of Management, Nirma University organized Pratidhwani – The Alumni Conclave celebrating the contributions of its alumni in various fields across industries. The theme of the conclave is “Uncertainty is the New Normal”. The Alumni Conclave is an endeavor by IMNU to bring together its alumni on a common platform to share their experiences with current students. The Institute hopes to encourage industry interaction and prepare its students for the grueling corporate world. The conclave started at 09:00 am on 4th February, 2017.
Pratidhwani this year initiated a new format of a panel discussion and was divided into five-panel sessions consisting of a marketing panel, a finance panel, a human resource panel, an operations panel and an entrepreneurship panel.
The conclave was inaugurated by the entrepreneurship panel consisting of some of the most respected alumni of Institute of Management, Nirma University, namely, Mr. Amol Bhagwati, Mr. Nishith Mmodi and Mr. Sharad Kumar.
Mr. Amol Bhagwati, Owner, Insprion Engineering Pvt. Ltd talked about points of uncertainty with a mocking example. He said that being a member of a company belonging to his own family, he was neither considered a professional nor a family member.
Mr. Nishith Modi, Director, Karnavati Chemicals compared Entrepreneurship with a roller coaster ride. He added that even a downward ride in a roller coaster ride is enjoyable but it is not the same with Entrepreneurship. Saying this, he talked about how to handle uncertain things like demonetization. He shared his very own understanding of business. Mr. Modi said that while running the business, if every business is shutting down, our business should be the last one to be shutting and if everyone else is doing well, we should be first on the list of performers. He concluded by advising the audience to help themselves before helping others!
Mr. Sharad Kumar talked about disruptions and according to him most of the disruptions were related to money. He was of the view that MBA curriculum teaches us to be entrepreneur or a consultant and not a job professional. Because, in jobs, one needed to possess particular functional knowledge whereas being a consultant or an entrepreneur required one to have knowledge about almost everything.
The three of them then had a panel discussion where they shared their views on the theme ‘Uncertainty is the new normal’. They discussed on how one should not let his/her life attain stagnation. All of them were of the view that disruptions and innovations will help us create a new paradise of thoughts and new revenue models and thus aid in betterment.
The next session on marketing, started around 11:00 AM. The three guests for the session were Mr. Sapan Oza, Mr. Vaibhav Kathju and Mr. Rajat Dang.
Mr. Sapan Oza was the first to address the audience. He belonged to the 1999-2001 batch. He is currently the Regional Manager at TCS. He said that we are all surrounded by uncertainty. Uncertainty has been increasing in the business world ever since. One should never get disheartened by uncertainties that result in failures. If we react to situations, we get under the control of those situations. But if we learn not to react to situations, we will control them. We should always have a strategy to keep ourselves prepared to respond to such uncertain times.
Mr. Vaibhav Katju belongs to the 2000-02 batch. He currently works as the VP Strategic Alliances, at HDFC LIFE. He said that there have been significant changes in the industry in recent times. Most of the industries have gone online. This has brought a change in the business model and has increased the customer base for these companies. Responding this way to uncertainty has increased revenues for these companies, thus turning uncertainties to success. He said that if companies don’t have alternate plans to respond to uncertainties, they fail. He said that Blackberry and Nokia failed to survive since they did not have alternate plans. He also added that nowadays, companies have specialized teams to know about the trends taking place in the industry to come up with strategies to manage the same.
The next to address the audience was Mr. Rajat Dang. He belonged to the 2003-05 batch. He currently works as the head of Customer Care, Abbot India Ltd. He said that since marketers are always involved in knowing more about the customers and coming up with innovative ideas, they have to be abreast with the changes taking place to manage the uncertainties. Life is exciting with uncertainties. Without them, life would be quite routine and boring. With the right attitude, we can manage uncertainties very well and emerge and successful personnel.
The plenary sessions on Operations kicked off with a lecture from Mr. Chintan Mehta. Mr. Mehta is the DGM (Pre-sales & Delivery) at Code Solutions, which is the IT Division of GNFC Ltd. He talked extensively about inventory management, implementation of IT systems, ERP and Big Data Analytics in the Business scenario. Through his experience in the industry, Mr. Mehta was able to highlight all the important applications of IT in the corporate world. Using the examples of the 2014 General Elections, he highlighted the importance of Social Media Analytics in the Political scenario as well.
The second lecture of the session was taken up by Mr. Rakesh Kumar. A graduate of the 2010 batch, Mr. Kumar is the Manager of Strategic Sourcing and Supply Chain at Suzuki Motor Gujarat Pvt. Ltd. Through his lecture, Mr. Kumar mainly focused on the employee perspective of Inventory management and Supply chain management and gave his insights on the challenges and uncertainties faced in the same sector.
Mr. Saurav Gupta, batch 2000-02, is currently a finance controller at Cap Gemini. He began the post-lunch session of the finance panel by sharing an incident from his personal life. He demonstrated the concept of not to worry about things that we can’t control and to work for things which we can control. He told the audience how transparent one needs to be while doing business forecasting and not to divulge or hide things in rows and columns.

Mr. Hrishikesh Deshmukh, batch 2004-06, is currently a Manager Business Analysis at BNY Mellon. He began by addressing the crowd regarding what is uncertainty and how can one make things certain or favorable. He made the audience aware of the threat that artificial intelligence will impose over their jobs and how to deal and tackle with the upcoming technologies. He also told how robo advisor is the next big thing and how it will kill the lower jobs in near future. So in order to survive in the competitive and technological world outside, one needs to develop out of the box skills which are generally not thought in an MBA college.

Mr. Kshitij Johari, batch 2006-08, is currently the Senior Relationship Manager, Non-Resident and International Priority Banking at Standard Chartered Bank. He began the session by talking about 1991 liberalization era which led to the emergence of middle class and prosperity to the nation which was mainly due to decisive actions were taken by the then finance minister Dr. Manmohan Singh. He further talked about the financial peak that happened in the month of January, 2008 and after that, it fell and it took about six years to recover till Modi government came to power. He concluded his speech by explaining how consumer behavior is changing post demonetization, For example, when there was a shortage of flow of money, even those reluctant of using digital wallet were forced to use wallets such as Paytm, etc.

Commencing the HR panel discussion was Mr. Sumit Bhatnagar of 1999-2001 batch, Vice President, Human Resources, at Wells Fargo. Relating it to the uncertainty theme, he shared how his life’s journey that started with marketing, continued with financial operations and ended up with HR in the corporate world has been able to strike a perfect analogy of uncertainty in one’s life. He quoted an example of dell computers, who disrupted with the customization in the PC world, a totally new affair then. Be it southwest airlines or AMUL in Gujarat, it is the newness in the business that helped reached these organizations where they are today. The speed of evolution is itself speeding up. Sustainability thrives on uncertainties and how one deals with it. VUCA – Velocity, Uncertainty, Complexity and Ambiguity pretty much sums up the businesses across the globe. He terms challenges as not just HR challenges, but business challenges. Talent acquisition, training and collaborating with new business partners are the most uncertain and risky part of HR in recent times that the organizations are facing. On the concluding note, he emphasized on the path that must be adapted in order to face the challenges and convert them into opportunities. One must be aware of the content through voracious reading, embracing technology, up-skilling regularly, managing the business of business – an HR’s role and balancing health. These factors form a smart strategy to deal with unexpectedness the corporate world brings about.
Lastly, Mr. Shiv Kiran Nath, 2002-04 batch, Group Manager, Human resources, at UST Global shared his insights with the audience. Starting on a funnier note, he relived his journey of life. From IMNU’s B-school life to the restaurant industry, he traveled through a series of uncertainties to reach to where he is today in the HR world. And they needed to adapt it very fast before it becomes obsolete and the business suffers. Recruitment forms the most challenging part for any HR in an organization. And Google spots on with this process in the most innovative way. HR needs to innovate continuously, and this they need to inculcate in the culture of the organization as fast as possible. Being technologically challenged is an oxymoron for any HR, since HR’s are always considered to be a people’s person. The most important role of HR should focus on making a smooth transition from technology to human touch for the organizational employees. More the technology evolves, more the job is created. Hence, HR should focus on employee engagement, to keep them stable and reduce the attrition rate. Human touch and leadership define why HR is so important that even technology cannot provide. Finally, diversity should form the base for any organizational human resource that continuously creates new pathways in the business world. Balancing between technology and people is what an HR is expected in recent times.

Street Smart – 2017

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Street Smart 2017, turned out to be one of the most successful events of Swayam – The Entrepreneurship Club of IMNU. Street Smart is a real time business event where students of IMNU come up with business ideas to carry out business on the campus. They can put up stalls that sell mouthwatering delicacies or organize games for the visitors. The stalls are put up for three days and the earnings are added at the end of three days to come up with the total profit.

The event tested the management proficiencies of students in all domains namely, operations, finance, marketing, inventory management etc.

Street Smart 2017 started on 26th January and ended on 28th January. Students were asked to make teams prior to the event, think of a business idea and send their plans considering a maximum investment of Rs. 10,000. The 10 most feasible business ideas were selected and they went ahead with the execution of the business idea. They had to manage everything with this amount right from procurement of raw materials and inventory to the marketing of their stalls.

The stalls were set up at the Dome Ground of the University. The ten teams that were selected had different things to offer. Some of them came up with delicacies of the South while others came up with the taste of Punjab. There were others stalls that offered shakes, chocolates, frankies etc. The prices of the items were decided upon by the teams and were displayed outside the stalls.

The event continued from 7 PM till 11 PM every day. Fiesta – The Music and Dance Club of IMNU had a dance performance on 27th January and on 28th, a karaoke was organized by the organizers of Street Smart.

The collections were added at the end of the third day. The students managed to collect a sum of Rs. 1,50,000 cumulatively. Team Hogspot were the highest revenue generators of the event. They also made the highest profit. The best decoration award went to team Treasure, the Best Marketing award to team Kerela Café and the best team award to team Sadda Adda.

Street Smart was a fun event which also inculcated in the students a spirit of entrepreneurship and gave them an opportunity to prove their mettle in management.

IMNU – Model United Nations

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Institute of Management, Nirma University organized the first edition of its annual model united nations conference, IMNU MUN, on 27th and 28th January 2017. The conference, organized by the students of BBA-MBA integrated program, simulated three committees: UNSC, ECOSOC and DISEC.

About 38 delegates from various universities attended the opening ceremony of the first model united nations organized by the students of BBA-MBA integrated program under the guidance of Institute of Management, Nirma University. The event took place in the auditorium of Institute of Management and was presided by chief guest K H  Patel, former Indian High Commissioner to Uganda and Ambassador to Rwanda and Burundi. Also, Dr. Anup K Singh director general of Nirma university was also present to welcome the delegates and Dr. Reena shah and Dr. Meeta Munshi as faculty coordinators of MUN 2017.

Anup K. Singh talked about how India used to be on sidelines of international pages but now is in front because of the events like MUN”.  he mentioned the importance of MUN, importance to delegates and talked about the India-Pakistan tension and need of the hour to discuss the issue and develop the perspective. “Relation among nations are quite complicated”. India has a deep relation with china but has trade deficit improve trade relationships “We give something we get something.”. MUN when people meet and discuss the elements of truth and due to mutual respect develop understanding good to clash on arguments and view than on personality.

K H Patel’s  involvement in these kind events provides knowledge of the world which can enrich the career of delegates. “United Nations is a hub of international relation and international politics”.

Security Council

Chaired by Mr. Akshat Jain and Vice Chaired by Ms. Aishwariya council started with GSL on views of delegates on the Kashmir issue between India and Pakistan. Most nations broke their silence and diplomacy on the issues and took a stand to state that India victim of terrorism. Delegates also discussed upon the past of the issue and how their country was related to it. And concerns were raised on the past terrorist attack on India and human rights violation and destructions. Concerns were also raised on how the unrest has affected the growth of both the nations and South Asia as a whole. Concerns were also raised to curb the problem of Kashmir and terrorism. Also, the problem of border and mapping of the region were debated. At the end of the session, a resolution was passed in the favour of delegate of Pakistan and China. Feedback was taken from all participants.

ECOSOC

The council was chaired by Mr. Harshil Shah and Vice chaired by Shravan Vohra the council and began by GSL on the issue of civilian deaths that take place in wars. The delegates began by stating their countries stand on the topic. Then the debate moved towards the Bankruptcy crisis in Greece and then towards the devastation caused by ISIS in Syria and their refugee crisis. The debate concluded with the resolution towards eliminating ISIS and to engage a surgical strike on the terrorist group. An appeal was made Council to all the member countries of United Nations to adopt a policy directing the members to create or amend any policy which is against any particular religion or a community.

DISEC

The council was chaired by Mr. Anshuman Sawant and Satyajay Jethwa and Vice chaired by Satyajay Jethwa the council and began by GSL on the issue of preventing the third world war and maintaining the peace. The delegates talked about the issues which may lead to war in future majorly- Syrian condition, south china sea issue, Indo- Pak relations and non poliferication treaty and ISIS. The committee emphasised the importance of co-operation and trust between the countries.

Socials

The Socials, organised for the Delegates of IMNU MUN on 27th January 2017, offered a great opportunity for the participants to interact with one another after a day’s work, in a relaxed setting. It was accompanied by good food and live music, which was organized by the students of Institute of Management. The event began with an Indian classical dance performance by Avantika Singh, which mesmerised the audience. The jazz music performance was the highlight of the event, played by Harmesh Joshi, a professional saxophone player. Several bands from the institute combined popular songs with instrumental music- drums, banjo and tabla, which was a big hit with the audience. The delegates performed as well- song performances were received with much excitement and enthusiasm. The event ended with an impromptu duet performance by IMNU students. Amidst lots of entertainment, conversations, and happiness, the event ended on a happy note.

Closing Ceremony

On the second day, a valedictory session and closing ceremony was organised. The ceremony had Mr. Manasvi Thapar, founder of Candour Legal, President of Analog and Digital Labs, and an alumni of Institute of Law, Nirma University as the chief guest, who was escorted by Prof. Nirmal Soni and Prof. Amola Bhatt. The session kicked off with a presentation of session report by Prof. Nirmal Soni. The chief guest talked about the diminishing need and reason for innovation and change amongst the youth for the development of the country, which he related to his own experiences of entrepreneurship, business management and his law firm. He quoted, “We need to understand who we were and how or why we got affected with the West, how powerful we were and if we were capable in those times, then why not now?” His speech was received with a round of applause and the award distribution ceremony followed. To conclude the event, Prof. Amola Bhatt proposed the vote of thanks. The event was a massive success, as she concluded with the declaration of the MUN being an annual event at Institute of Management, Nirma University from now onwards.

Lohri – 2017

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The merry festival of Lohri celebrated on 13th January,2016, initiated with a religious spell – a blaze setup. Starting with the Aardas, IMNU cherished the festival with the enormous number of students who participated in the jubilation. The sound of dhol resonated from mess to hostel gates marked the celebration of the festivity. These festivals, time and again, bring the inhabitants of the IMNU family together and deepen the bonds of friendship and togetherness.
Cheers to The Cultural Committee, IMNU for organizing such beautiful celebrations of various festivals for students and making IMNU-a “HOME” far from home.

20th Nirma International Conference on Management – Day 3

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The first plenary session of Day 3 was presided by Mr. Rajendra Nargundkar, Professor, IIM Indore. The topic of discussion was Thoughts on Advancing Marketing Theory and Practice.
He shared his views on how faculties, academicians and researchers can improve and elevate the level of marketing by various steps. The first one he talked about was networking. He urged the audience to visit a new business school each year, attend conferences and meet new intellectuals from time to time. He also elucidated how important it is to write and publish conceptual papers regularly. He shared how at IIM Indore, where he teaches, 50% of the compensation is dependent on their publications and researches. He commended to write at least one conceptual paper that extends theory by adding variables or constructs to existing ones by using marketing orientation and marketing innovation.
Marketing suffers from a lack of theory development. Initiated or published conceptual papers are few. He also pressed on writing a book to develop contextual theories and cases. He shared that he finds it pleasant how we have started using books written by Indian authors in our courses. Ultimately, he wants us to become thought leaders in our fields, which is an ardent toil, but also a pursuit worthwhile to follow.
He explained how thought leaders predict the future and see what others can’t. He ended his session by discussing a few topics that are very debatable and researchable in marketing. The topics he shared are “Why people buy”, Demographics, Leisure spends, Online v/s offline buying, Malls, etc.

Track Sessions:
Track Session 5A:
The Chairperson for this session on Measurement in Management was Professor Rajesh Jain. A total of eight papers were presented during this session. The speakers spoke about the various studies and research conducted by them and related it to the marketing and operating concepts. The studies were based on quality management, consumer awareness about health foods, happiness report, role of market research, etc.
Track Session 5B:
The Chairperson for this session on Holistic Marketing Concepts was Professor P.K Yadav. A total of eight papers were presented during this session. The speakers talked about a wide variety of topics such as artificial intelligence, B2B marketing strategies and customer satisfaction, healthcare financing, marketing in SME’s and influence of eWOM in online hotel bookings.
Track Session 5C:
The Chairperson for this session on Holistic Marketing Concepts was Professor Harismita Trivedi. A total of seven papers were presented during this session. The speakers talked about concepts like neuromarketing, internal marketing and digital marketing. They explained these concepts through the means of various case studies- Adidas, Tarla Dalal, etc. – and research conducted by them.
Track Session 5D:
The Chairperson for this session on Contemporary Issues in Marketing was Professor Reena Shah. A total of seven papers were presented during this session. The speakers talked about various contemporary issues in marketing like developing marketable content in Bollywood, motivation for solo leisure travel, sustainable tourism, effect of children on advertisements, travel blogging to improve sales, etc.
Track Session 5E:
The Chairperson for this session on Social and Service Marketing was Professor Chetan Jhaveri. A total of eight papers were presented during this session. The speakers talked on the topics like Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan in Gujarat, role of ICT policy for community development, emotional impact of sales promotion, marketing communication campaign and application of service quality models in primary health centres.
Track Session 5F:
The Chairperson for this session on Emerging Issues in Marketing was Professor Deepak Shrivastav. A total of six papers were presented during this session. The speakers talked on the topics like inbound marketing, emergence and evolution of marketing, marketing and licensing opportunities in unchartered markets, bureaucracy and challenges faced for organizational change, fostering entrepreneurship and strategic thinking using gamification as a tool, etc.
The Valedictory Session started at 12:30 PM. Amongst the dignitaries, were present were Mr. Saurabh Pandey as the chief guest, Mr. K.K.Patel, the Vice Present of Nirma University, Prof. Tripura Sundari Joshi, Dr. M. Mallikarjun, Mr. D.P. Chhaya and Dr. Sapna Parashar. Prof. Jayesh Aagja of the Institute of Management, Nirma University began the session by giving a brief report of the Conference.
The best paper awards were then announced. The 1st prize in the Academic and Industry Category was awarded to Dr. Gaurav Mishra and Prof. Balakrishnan Unny Raghavan. The 2nd prize in this category was awarded to Dr. Vivek Bhatt and Prof. Shriman Kadiya. The 1st prize in the Student Category was awarded to Mr. Jayendra Bharati and Dr. R. Srikant. The 2nd prize was awarded to Navaneethakrishnan K. and Prof. Sathish A.S.
The chief guest, Mr. Saurabh Pandey, Founder and CEO, Dot Converse Social Media and Online Marketing. He had taken up the topic of Viral Marketing for the discussion. He said that word of mouth is a more powerful tool than brand advertising. People who buy a product because of the positive word of mouth it has, tend to stay longer with it. The challenge that a brand faces is the decay of trust with time. If the media is already proliferated and all marketers decide to spend on it, they add to the clutter and end up decreasing their presence. This decreases consumer retention. They should try to create a model that is different from the rest. They should advertise across different categories. Viral marketing, he said, is a marketing technique whereby information about a company’s goods or services is passed electronically from one Internet user to another. People get connected emotionally with anything that goes viral. Any content that is high on arousal and dominance is received well by the people. A more positive content gets more viral than the one with negative content. The negatives get shared only when there is a surprise element hidden in the content. Social media, he added, is a very powerful tool for marketing, these days.
Dr. Sapna Parashar then presented the vote of thanks. The guests, the presenters, the faculty colleagues and students were thanked for their contributions that made NICOM 2017 a grand success.