The second day of Solaris – the knowledge festival that it has been – began with one of the most awaited events of IIM Udaipur, Arth Samvaad – The Finance summit. As the director Prof. Janat Shah put it during his address, this is one event IIMU have been doing very successfully over the years. This year it has been graced by luminaries like Dr. Shubhada Rao, Mr. Kamlesh Mehta, Mr. N.S. Venkatesh and Mr.Deepak Mohanty.
The central theme on which the discussions ran was “Currency Chaos”. The speakers gave enlightening talks on various aspects of macro-economics.
Dr. Shubhada Rao has been the Chief Economist at Yes Bank since the past 9 years. She is responsible for the Economic Research Unit compiling forecasts through superior econometrics modelling techniques of all important macro-economic indicators, at the Bank. She talked about how competitive currency devaluation affects other countries and how reserves serve as a war-chest during times of turmoil. One of the important thoughts put forward by her was that we need to restore domestic macros and stability will be a manifestation of it.
Mr. Kamlesh Mehta a Chartered Accountant, with more than 30 years of experience in industry in various areas of business including Strategic Planning, Financial Planning, M&A among many others. His speech was mostly centered on the idea that it is not prudent to take risk that can lead to problems of sustainability for the corporates. He emphasized on the importance of hedging as an instrument to increase the safety net when it comes to lending.
Mr. N. S Venkatesh is currently the Executive Director and CFO, IDBI Bank Ltd. He spearheaded the transformation of IDBI from a Development Financial institution to a Commercial Bank. He provided yet another perspective of the currency wars as regards to it being a problem in the long run for an economy. He said that each country’s currency strategy should be tailor made based on its various components and the balance it requires. He also spoke about non deliverable forward rate and transferring most of the trade back into India to ensure control over currency and prices.
Mr. Deepak Mohanty, Executive Director of the RBI was the esteemed luminary for ‘face-off’. He initially addressed the audience regarding macro-financial risks and financial stability in India. His speech covered various aspects that affect the economy and in turn the policy decisions of the RBI. It was an enlightening talk about the objectives of the RBI as a central bank and how that defines the steps that are taken by the institution. He covered various aspects encompassing inflation, NPAs and restructured assets which cause stress on the PSBs as well as the central banks.
The session was followed by an intriguing round of Q&A. The summit concluded with the esteemed panelists launching “Arthaarth” , the annual finance magazine of Finomina, the finance club of IIM Udaipur .
The final summit of the two day mega event was Technovate – a unique IT tech-startup related session which talked about the evolution of the startup ecosystem in India. The esteemed guests included Mr. Manoj Sharma-Chief Technical Officer, Quikr, Ms. Lalitha Yanamandra -General Manager – Enterprise Services & Delivery at MartJack, Ms. Aditee Rele – Lead – Technical Evangelism, Microsoft, Mr. Piyush Poddar – Director of Professional Services, EMEA at Axelerant.
The session began with 4 panel members giving their introduction speech about the evolution of the IT through the past 2 decades. The next part of the summit was a panel discussion which touched upon some interesting topics related to the entrepreneurial ecosystem and its future potential in India. Some of the interesting thoughts shared by the guests were pertinent to questions like what is the environment for the IT industry today and the future of it. The panelists were asked if Bangalore or Pune would be the next Silicon Valley. An interesting statement Ms. Rele made was that Tier 1 and Tier 2 cities of the country have the greatest potential through which multiple Silicon Valleys could arise.
Following the discussion was a talk by Mr.Anil Joshi, Unicorn India Ventures – Early stage investor. He previously headed the operations at Mumbai Angels and Bangalore Angels. He gave us some interesting insights as to what is looked at when startups pitch to investors, for example: the strength of the team; Backgrounds and profiles of the founders should resonate with the domains in which they are trying to create their startups; What problem is being solved and what solution is being suggested; existence of an IPR; And finally can the investor exit. The Q&A session answered some pointed questions the students had for Mr. Joshi. It concluded with the speaker giving insights on finding the right investors to be successful.
The session concluded with Mr.Vishal Varma, Operations and logistics manager at Uber, sharing his thoughts on various facets related to beginning a startup. He said that – Today startups are looked upon by their market capitalization value and that what is needed is the right idea, right team and the right execution for a successful startup. What next is needed is to work towards sustainability.
The analytics workshop conducted by Connect-IT started with brief introduction about the speaker Mr. Kunal Jain, founder of Analytics Vidhya. Mr. Kunal discussed about the Analytics and its importance in business world and its varied applications. The workshop was primarily focused on the thinking an Analyst should adopt to come to a solution for a problem using different Analytics techniques. A case study on survival in Titanic was discussed and students had hands on experience in solving the case. Modeling techniques based on Hypothesis were discussed based on effective analysis of data. Students were given the opportunity to participate in the Hackathon competition hosted by Analytics Vidhya. Workshop concluded by a vote of thanks and felicitation of the speaker and Mr. Anand Chaturvedi, CEO of Deerghayu Foundation.
The final and the most awaited workshop of the day was the Dabbawalas Workshop. It started off with Dr.Pawan Girdharilal Agrawal sharing his experiences acquired by researching and heading the Dabbawalas.
Dr.Agrawal has been the CEO of the Mumbai Dabbawalas Association. He focused on aspects like self-management, simplicity, flexibility and the rigorous adherence to process and standards that made it the master supply chain organization in the world. It was an enthralling session where the audience thoroughly enjoyed and appreciated the speaker with a standing ovation.
Competitions on Day 2 of Solaris:
The fest also encompassed some interesting competitions like Vaad-Vivaad-The Big Debate competition and Pitch Perfect, a branding competition, which saw the participation from students from various B-Schools in the country. These competitions tested the students in the domains of Marketing and Economics where the students were enthusiastic to learn as well as to win.
Vaad-Vivaad, the Great Debate Challenge that was organized by PiE – The Economics club of IIM Udaipur witnessed enthusiastic teams debating on various topics which included Currency Devaluation, Effect of decrease in interest rates and the pros and cons of Public private Partnerships. The competition tested the understanding of the various concepts of economics and its relation with the real world. In the midst of tough competition from other business schools all over India too, IIM Udaipur team bagged the first prize.
Pitch Perfect, the product innovation competition was organized by MarClan, the Marketing club of IIM Udaipur. The participants had to create a new product and pitch for it by applying their learnings of branding and positioning. This competition tested students’ creativity and knowledge about the marketing concepts in branding. Pitch Perfect got many entries from B-Schools across the country and team from BIM Trichy bagged the first prize.
NeoLogo, the brand elements competition was a 2 round event that had online and offline rounds. The first round was an online logo quiz and the second round which was held in campus included logo design, naming the product and tagline creation. Teams from IIM Udaipur were victorious again.
The 2-day maiden management fest was a phenomenal success with various dignitaries from diverse industries and students from all over the country attending the events.