The Industry Interaction Cell (IIC) of IIM Indore organized Colloquium: the Annual Business Conclave at the Institute with an objective to provide a forum for participants to interact with experts from various industries. The theme of this year was ‘The Strategy Spectrum’. The conclave witnessed the presence of eminent speakers from nuanced spheres of the corporate world, who gave industry insight to the students. The event was attended by more than 500 participants with a lot of enthusiasm and zeal to learn from the speakers.
Professor Rishikesha T. Krishnan, Director, IIM Indore in his address talked about the challenges being faced by the industry by quoting many recent examples. In the first half of Day 1 of the colloquium, the students got to interact with eminent personalities like Mr. Shirish Joshi, with over 28 years of experience in firms like Procter and Gamble, Godrej, and PepsiCo in a variety of positions, shed light on what the core difference between a choice and a strategy for a business firm is. He quoted examples from the airline, FMCG and telecom industry to explain how marketing strategies differ depending on the size of the company.
Mr. Hitesh Malhotra, Chief Marketing Officer at Nykaa, shared his insights with the students on the digital marketing and spoke about India’s premier beauty and wellness portal – Nykaa.com and what differentiates it from other ecommerce players. He also talked about the strategy adopted by Nykaa and the challenges they faced on the way in becoming a formidable force in the e-commerce sector. He stated that 92% of Nykaa’s customer base is female, and that they are the only company with such a large female to male customer ratio (92:8). He is an alumnus of UC Berkeley, and has held roles in strategy formation and analytics at Levi Strauss USA, and best in class engagement practices with MakeMyTrip.com. As Chief Marketing Officer at Nykaa.com, he spearheads digital, main line and customer relationship marketing – controlling 20% of the P&L at an organization level.
Mr. Kirti Sharma, who has more than 22 years of experience in strategizing and implementing Sustainable Business Models (SBM), spoke about the potential of the sanitation sector in stimulating other industries and explained from an economic point of view why it made sense for other industries to be a part of and support the sanitation drive. He discussed how sanitation could have underlying impact on businesses in the brick and cement, sanitary hardware, and FMCG industry.
Mr. Amit Gupta, Senior Manager at Deloitte, touched upon a range of domains including emerging consumer trends, disruptive technologies, and rise of the digital customer along with a Telecom Sector focus. He discussed a variety of topics falling under the ambit of the telecom sector, such as the disruption caused by Reliance Jio, the penetration of social media, and societal changes driven by the telecom boom.
The second day began with a talk by Mr. Badri Raghavan, currently the SVP & Chief Data Scientist at OLA, who discussed how data insights could be used in various aspects business, particularly focusing on how Ola used data analytics. He emphasised the sheer amount of data they received – about 1 billion GPS pings from their drivers each day. Some of the questions that machine learning and artificial intelligence helps them answer are placement of cars, reasons for customers who are leaving, customer’s intent to travel at specific place etc. He explained the changing trends in the car buying behaviour of Gen X and trends in the space of riders and drivers.
Mr. Achint Setia, Head-Strategy, Business Development & Data Science at VIACOM 18, discussed the ‘The Media War of the Worlds-Challenges and Imperatives’. He discussed how the media industry is changing every day and the power of the consumers as the driving force behind the same.
Mr. Nitin Seth, EX-COO, FLIPKART, talked about his experiences of leading in a VUCA (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, Ambiguous) world and how leaders can create breakthrough opportunities from disruption. He gave insights on how to manage disruptions in the dynamic environment, initiate change and build value for the organisation. In addition, he discussed the challenges faced by large organisations while competing with the new firms, which have a less complex organisational structure.
The second half of day 2 began with a talk by Mr. Rajib Sen, a Banking Professional. He talked about digitization of all the traditional banking activities and programs. He discussed various topics ranging from the impact on the digital movement post demonetization to how digitization will impact customer service of banks. He also shared about the prospects of pre-payment instruments in India. Being an alumnus of IIM Indore, he was able to relate to the audience very well and gave some very useful insights into the future of banking.
Mr. Manish Jain, Partner-Banking & Financial Services, IBM gave insights about Role of Cloud Computing and technology in Finance and how user experience is of utmost importance. He also talked about his experience of being one of the first few employees of ICICI Bank and how technology and innovation has changed since then. He shared that the future of Banking lies in cognitive technology.
The 2 days of Colloquium 2017 were filled with lots of key takeaways for the students and witnessed enthusiastic participation. The speakers were quite impressed with the meaningful questions that students asked in the Q & A sessions. The conclave, through the journey of immersive speeches by eminent speakers, concluded on July 30, 2017. The IIC thanked all the speakers for their valuable time and the probing insights they provided to the participants. The colloquium was a huge success due to the active participation of students and the hard work of the IIC.