Press Note dated 21st November, 2008 (1700 hours) On-campus events kicked off at the tenth edition

of Confluence, the annual business summit of the Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad. The unifying theme for all the events, lecture sessions and panel discussions was christened “Wheel of Fortune” and it revolved around the concept of wealth and various features thereof.

Workshops
The morning session started with an interesting workshop titled “Business and Law” conducted by Prof. Anurag K. Agarwal, an alumnus of the prestigious Harvard Law School and currently a faculty member in the business policy area at IIM, Ahmedabad. Prof. Agarwal emphasised on the significance of the legal environment for every business entity. He asked the participants to look beyond the theoretical aspects of the law and urged them to consider its practical implications as well. He cited a number of relevant examples from recent times to drive home his point. Prof Agarwal also fielded a number of questions from the enthusiastic audience largely consisting of students from various B-schools across the country who have enrolled for the Management Students Program (MSP) at this year’s Confluence. Another workshop on “Understanding Business Transformation” was conducted by Prof. Sunil Maheshwari as a part of the Young Managers Program (YMP) at Confluence 2008. The interactive workshop helped the young managers from more than 10 companies understand the challenges faced during business transformation. “All of us have to go through the process of business change and transformation, whether we like it or not. So it is imperative that we understand the pattern behind the chaos that accompanies the transformation process”, said Prof. Maheshwari. The discussion shed light on the various changes that can be effected along with their triggers and the available instruments for handling them. Talking about the issues during the transformation process Prof. Maheshwari said, “The companies must understand the need for change and also have clarity on what the proposed change aims to achieve.” The participants, who were working across various sectors recounted their experiences and made many insightful contributions. “I have observed that people who are marginalized by the change are the most resistant to it. The change must be humane and properly communicated to all the stakeholders. [Infact] The top managers are the ones who can prove to be a stumbling block”, said Prof. Maheshwari while concluding the workshop.

20th to 23rd November 2008

Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad, Vastrapur, Ahmedabad – 380 015 www.iima-confluence.com | www.iimahd.ernet.in

The last of the workshops for the day “Leadership skills in Today’s Managers” was conducted by Prof Manikutty of IIM Ahmedabad. The participants were a mix of professionals and B-school students from across the country. The workshop answered the questions pertaining to the essence of leadership and the leadership at organizations. Commenting upon the importance of leadership, Prof. Manikutty said “Leadership is about leveraging the analytical, technological and conceptual abilities of the organization. Without leadership people may do the right thing in the wrong direction.” Moving on to the traits of an effective leader Prof. Manikutty commented, “A leader is a motivator. He not only delivers results, but also creates a commitment among his followers. A leader has great energy and is constantly energizing others.” He also added, “Organizations that have a good leadership are open, have a general agreement upon organizational goals and people are more energetic.”

Speaker Series
The first speaker session at Confluence 2008 was initiated by Mr. Bhaskar Bhatt, the Managing Director of Titan. He showcased the stupendous growth of Titan Watches starting with Rs. 176 crores in 2000-01 to Rs. 4715 crores in 2007-08. Mr. Bhatt said “Since its inception, Titan has made creativity, change, inventiveness, rule changing & game strategy a part of everyday life. Doing so profitably has been the recent mantra reaping rich dividends for Titan. In 2001 Titan started the transformation process by embarking on a three point program: Prosperity, Progress and most importantly, Pride.” Mr. Bhatt shared various initiatives of Titan in Corporate Sustainability such as development of Tanishq Karigar Park for the underprivileged with incredible talent, but leading a poor quality of life. The audience applauded Titan for being one of the largest employers of specially-abled people who constitute 20% of the workforce at Titan. He noted that Wealth creation isn’t limited to management. “Wealth cannot be linear, nor can it belong to a simple dimension. It has multiple dimensions and multiple stakeholders.” Commenting on the current state of financial turmoil, Mr. Bhatt remarked “...the corporations who have a holistic approach to the concept of creating wealth will perhaps weather the storm better.” Mr. Bhatt was followed by Mr. Harsh Mariwala, Chairman and Managing Director of Marico Limited. “To make a strong company, one needs a strong culture. Mr. Mariwala gave insights into the lessons he learned during the journey of Marico from an off-shoot of Bombay Oil to one of the largest players in India with an annual turnover of over 1900 crores. “Single minded focus can overcome brute force. Motivating people down the line is
20th to 23rd November 2008

Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad, Vastrapur, Ahmedabad – 380 015 www.iima-confluence.com | www.iimahd.ernet.in

critical in a crisis situation”, he said. The second session of Confluence 2008 was chaired by Prof. M.M. Monipally of IIM Ahmedabad. The speakers were Ms. Sangitha Reddy, Executive Director Apollo Hospitals and Dr. Indiresan, Former Director, IIT Madras. Ms. Reddy asked the audience present to adopt a much broader definition of wealth and not just wealth as measured in monetary terms. Exhorting the listeners to think beyond the balance sheets, she reminded them that wealth measurement mechanisms presently in use often gave a skewed representation of the reality. Ms. Reddy said, “We must develop a more holistic wealth measurement system that takes into account factors such as Human Development Index (HDI), health care and relevant social parameters.” Talking about the status of the health care sector in India she pointed out that in spite of having a good quality health care the poor in the country do not have access to affordable healthcare. Speaking about wealth creation she said, “Wealth creation must be a humane and ethical. It should help us create affordable health care and good civic amenities.” Answering a question about cost of health insurance Ms Reddy said, “Cost of health care can be reduced by spending money on the health infrastructure and by improving processes so that consumer affordability is enhanced.” Dr. Indiresan talked about PURA (Provide Urban amenities in Rural Areas) as an instrument for enriching the rural villages. Dr. Indiresan commented, “Wealth is something permanent.” He also presented a plan wherein the rural connectivity would help in creating viable economic units in the rural areas. Talking about the ways in which civic amenities can be provided for the poor people he averred, “Rich people can pay the full capital costs associated with the social and civil amenities and the marginalised sections of the society can be asked to pay the marginal costs.” He also stressed upon the need for creating jobs in the rural areas to fight the problems such as rural desertification and rural poverty. Talking about creating wealth in the rural areas he said, “Civic amenities and good economic opportunities must be provided in the rural areas so that even the rich can be attracted to the rural areas.”

Panel Discussion
Confluence 2008 continued through the afternoon with the first panel discussion titled “The Dimensions of Wealth”. The session was chaired by Prof. G Raghuram of the Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad. The eminent speakers on the panel included Mr.Hasit Joshipura, Managing Director, GSK Pharmaceuticals, Mr.Bhushan Punani, Founder and Executive Director, Blind People’s Association, Mr.Arvind Sharma, Chairman, Leo Burnett
20th to 23rd November 2008

Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad, Vastrapur, Ahmedabad – 380 015 www.iima-confluence.com | www.iimahd.ernet.in

and Mr.Ashank Desai, Chairman, Mastek. Prof Raghuram initiated the proceedings and set out the order for the discussion, choosing to give the speakers a good deal of freedom in deciding the dimensions of wealth. Mr Joshipura, while recounting his own experiences in different corporations stated, “… for any sustainable value creation -innovation, efficiency and inclusiveness are the prime drivers.” He highlighted the need for inclusive growth citing the example of USA where growth in the last 15 years has bypassed the middle class. Mr. Ashank Desai, illustrated how the IT industry has added a different dimension to the adage – ‘wealth is the health of the shareholder’ by creating wealth for its customers as well as employees. He stressed the need for more entrepreneurs who are leaders in upholding cultural values and who can push the government to make things happen by saying “the wealth creation process has its foundation in entrepreneurship.” Mr Arvind Sharma agreed with the other panelists and provided relevant examples to drive home the point that perception of a country, a political party or a corporation can play a significant role in wealth creation. He said “wealth exists in the minds and hearts of human beings.” Mr Bhushan Punani said that inspite of the progress made by the country on many fronts, the benefits have not reached a large section of our population. He felt that the remedy includes an equitable distribution of wealth, affordable educational opportunities & healthcare to all along with focus on micro-credit. He recommended that a strong political will, focus on humanity and investment in human capital is the need of the hour. Mr Punani stated “Do away with charity, aim for equality, equity, equal opportunity and social justice”.

Events
One of the major events slotted today was TATA Think Tank, a uniquely structured team debate event. Six teams from IIM Ahmedabad, IIM Bangalore, IIM Kozhikode, MDI Gurgaon, FMS Delhi and SP Jain Mumbai participated in this invitational event. The motions for the debating teams were the past and potential business decisions by the TATA Group which were colourfully worded to generate sharp reactions from the participants. The first round of debating was between three teams each. The topics of discussion were “Ginger takes away from the taste of Taj” and “This is the right time to grow TATA Capital”. Teams from IIM Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Kozhikode and FMS Delhi qualified for the final round the topic for which was “TATA group should cut down the recruitments from b-

20th to 23rd November 2008

Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad, Vastrapur, Ahmedabad – 380 015 www.iima-confluence.com | www.iimahd.ernet.in

schools considering the current economic and financial scenario”. Arijit Ganguly, Kaustubh Bhatnagar and Vivek Mandhata from IIM Kozhikode went on to bag the first position while Sudeep Kashyap, Peeyush Garg and Srividhya from IIM Ahmedabad secured the second place. Judges for the event were Mr. Rahul Krishna and Mr. Darius Merchant from TATA Administrative Services. Students were judged on the qualities of originality, manner of speaking and presentation and in the strength of their rebuttals and answering during the cross-questioning phase. The day also saw the initial briefing of the strategic planning contest “Nestle Munching Forward” being presented by eminent personalities from Nestle. Mr. Balan Kannan, Regional Manager, Sales, Western India, Nestle Ltd, the person behind the launch of ‘Polo’, in India and the conception of ‘Munch’, gave an insight on how Nestle as a company manages the cutting edge in reaching out the last mile to its consumers. Nestle, the fastest growing FMCG Company in India believes wealth creation can happen only through good brands. He also added the offerings should be a balance of acceptability, affordability and availability. “In the era when customers are dictators, availability will be our biggest challenge”, opined Mr.Kannan. Mr. Nikhil Chand, an alumnus of IIM Ahmedabad and currently working as Marketing Manager, Chocolates, Nestle India, gave a brief description about the ‘Munching Forward’ case study contest. The study given to the students from various b-schools from across India mainly tries to identify the key leverage points for the brand ‘Munch’ such as the target segment, availability to consumers, support on television including celebrity presence in the advertisements etc. A total of 35 teams have registered for the competition from 14 different management schools across the country. Two rounds of the competition will be held over the next two days, day one will focus on data analysis and strategic thoughts while day two on creativity, attention to detail and impact. Mr. Kannan and Mr. Chand were accompanied by Mr. Puneet Dua, Business HR and sourcing Manager for Nestle South Asia Region. Also planned later during the day is a video conference session with Sam Pitroda, the Chairman, National Knowledge Commission & Chairman and CEO, World-Tel Limited. Tomorrow, the events will be centred on the theme - “Crisis to Control” which would seek to draw lessons from the major crises the world has experienced.

20th to 23rd November 2008

Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad, Vastrapur, Ahmedabad – 380 015 www.iima-confluence.com | www.iimahd.ernet.in