KIIT School of Management (KSOM) organized its 5th National Finance Conclave on 29th November, 2014. The theme of this year’s conclave was “Road to 8% growth – Challenges & Opportunities”. The conclave was attended by industry practitioners, academicians, faculty members from business schools and management students.
The conclave was inaugurated by Mr. Saugata Bhattacharya, Sr. Vice President and Chief Economist at Axis bank accompanied by keynote speakers Mr. Sundaresh Bhat, President and CFO, VVF Ltd. and Dr Sanjay Muthal, Executive director, RGF Management Search, Prof. P.P. Mathur, Vice Chancellor KIIT University and Prof. Anil Bajpai, Director, KSOM.
Prof. Bajpai introduced the theme of the conclave and set the platform for a wholesome discussion.
In his welcome address, Prof. P.P. Mathur spoke about the impact of industrial growth on the environment. He also talked about different growth drivers of Indian economy.
Mr. Bhattacharya, the chief guest of the conclave stressed on the role government can play in ensuring better infrastructure, removal of policy lethargy and increased use of technology to create an environment conducive for growth. He cited examples of multinational organizations such as a reputed global tractor manufacturer who created a clear differentiation for themselves and therefore grew significantly by leveraging technologies such as Big Data Analytics and Remote Sensing. He also mentioned that in the face of global competition, Indian companies have to understand their core strength areas and use it for sustained growth.
Highlighting the most common issues that industries face today including land acquisition, he wondered why the country can’t promote industries such as renewable energy or chip manufacturing that doesn’t require large tracts of land. He added that the 3 C’s, Code (Culture of Innovation), Crude (Energy) and Capital are the important parameters that a country must have to grow at a rapid pace.
Mr. Sundaresh Bhat, the keynote speaker for the day stressed primarily on the geopolitical aspects of the country and the impact regional and global politics has on Indian industry. In many cases, he mentioned, the country’s unfavourable policies governing business is the primary culprit robbing the industry of its global competitive edge. He cited the example of Malaysia and Indonesia who are now monopolies in the Palm Oil industry.
He also dwelled considerably on drawing comparisons between China and India and the huge lead China has over India in business, with forex reserves and foreign investments several time more than India. He ended his talk with a list of major regional business trends including Philippines catching up in the outsourcing space and China’s investment dominance in the South Asia region.
Dr. Muthal in his talk highlighted the promising sectors in the country that can witness rapid growth and propel the country into the 8% growth path. They include Financial Services, Education, Healthcare, Retail and Manufacturing. He differentiated between “Happiness” and “Joy” and said true happiness and progress would come from social wellbeing. He urged the students to contribute individually to the growth of the country by finding opportunities for social contribution.
The inaugural talk was followed by an engaging panel discussion by three panelists, with Ms. Maithili Bhusnurmath, Consulting Editor, Times of India Group, as the moderator. The panelists were Mr. Saugata Bhattacharya, Mr. Uday Jena, Director & Treasurer – India, Societe Generale and Mr. Santanu Gupta, Associate Professor, XLRI. The panel spoke on “8% Growth with Equity”.
For equitable growth, the panel came with multiple suggestions, including more private sector participation in higher education, primary education getting priority, banks proactively reaching out to the unbanked or to those served by money lenders, simplifying processes and speeding up businesses for MSMEs.
The latter half of the discussion shifted to understanding the “Make in India” call by the current government; whether it was call for domestic self-sufficiency or an invitation to the global investor community to make India a manufacturing hub. The panel took several questions from an enthusiastic audience comprised mainly of students and academicians. The questions dealt with a wide range of topics from environmental impact of growth to limitation of democracy in speeding up processes, from disparity in financial inclusion to ways and means of promoting agriculture.
The conclave that ended with several workshops for students by mid and senior management professionals from organizations such as Snapdeal, PwC, ICICI Bank and Deloitte was a significant step by KIIT School of Management to integrate industry into management education. It provided students a rare opportunity to interact with business leaders and policy makers for a holistic learning.