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NICOM, 2012- Day 2

The 15th Nirma International Conference on Management (NICOM) continued the discussion on the key management and economic issues through its second day at the Institute of Management, Nirma University. In the two plenary session that were held, the dominant themes were “Globalisation”, “Being IntelliGentle”, “International Student Exchanges: Challenges and Opportunities” and “Commercialization Resulting from University Research”

The first session of the day was chaired by Dr. V.G. Patel, Chairman, Consumer Education and Research Centre. He set off the panel discussion with questions such as “Do innovations flourish in recession?”, “Is India’s growth story in trouble?” and “What competencies will define success in business?”

Dr. P.N. Bhagwati, Chairman, Bhagwati Sphero Cast Ltd., commenting on the technology transfers resulting from joint ventures between Indian and foreign companies, said “Earlier a lot of vital information was withheld, there were a lot of secrets, but today, it has become much more transparent”. In the context of globalisation, he also stressed on the importance of highly skilled workforce, benchmarking and innovation, where he thought India has to improve. He suggested education as a solution to this issue. “Germany is successful due to its highly skilled workforce, which in turn is because their chamber of commerce, as they call it, and educational institutions work in conjunction”, he commented.

Mr. Sunil R. Parekh, Strategic Advisor to Industry said “Much of the problems in European Union and United States in 2011-12 are a direct result of 2008-09, which shows that the management of these economies has not been done well”. Closer home, talking about inflation, he said, “Earlier, the contributors to inflation were the food items, and now the share of non-food items has also increased. And when you have an exchange rate that fluctuates so frequently, 30% import is contributed by fuel and government does little to manage the supply side, inflation is bound to be high and prices, sticky.” He commented on the irony of the situation of the country and said, “We live in a country where you get a car loan at 5% and education loan at 12%, where Rice costs Rs 40 per kg and a sim-card is free”. Intrigued by the delays in administrative processes such as those with regard to Posco’s environmental clearance, he said indecisiveness is major hurdle in ease of doing business in India.

The second session for the day started with session chair, Prof. Larry Lemanski, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, Texas A&M University-Commerce, USA, addressing the audience and bringing to the fore the important themes of the conference.

Mr. Manish Advani, Chief Marketing, M/s. Mahindra SSG, Mumbai, talked about “Being Intelli-Gentle” and emphasised that people are an important resource even in the era of advanced technology. “There’s a man behind the machine”, he held. Speaking of retrenchment after 2008 economic crisis, he said, “I feel sad when people get fired because some people at the top made mistakes.”

Prof. Kenneth Lawrence Clinton, Associate Vice President for Global Initiatives, Director of International Studies, Texas A&M University-Commerce, USA, importance of education and how it was instrumental in USA’s growth story.

Besides the two plenary sessions, there were also 12 track sessions in which delegates from around the world presented papers on the issues at hand and enriched the knowledge through exchange of ideas and opinions.

(Content courtesy: Mahima Singhal)

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