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NICOM 2014: Day 1 Highlights

The 17th Nirma International Conference on Management (NICOM), organized by the Institute of Management, Nirma University (IMNU), commenced at 10:30 am on 9th January, 2014. NICOM has been an annual event at IMNU providing a platform for an interactive discussion between academicians and industry veterans on a plethora of topics under a common theme. The aim of the conference this year is to discuss the new trends and emerging perspectives in the world of finance, after the events that rocked Europe and US. This year, a parallel session will be organised in the National Education Summit as part of NICOM, focusing on Innovative Management Education Practices on 10th January, 2014. Parallel to the conference, various track sessions will be organized where researchers from across the country will submit research papers on various topics such as Financial Inclusion, Government Policy, Corporate Governance and Financial Systems.

DSC_6047The inaugural session was addressed by the Guest of Honour, Dr Dilip Nachane – Member of Prime Minister’s Economic Advisory Council (PMEAC), on the role of the financial sector in the aftermath of the global financial crisis. The financial crisis was caused due to complacency on part of the regulators, a glut of global savings, decreasing interest rates, a loose monetary policy and shadow banking. There is also a moral dimension to the crisis if we look at who presided over the crisis. Mr. Nachane also touched on the issue of ‘financialization’ – the trend towards increasing financial inclusion across sectors and populations. Excessive financialization leads to increase in market risks, increased reliance on credit rating agencies, weakens regulatory oversight and places greater misplaced trust on efficiency of markets. It can also lead to the domino effect – due to financial inter-linkages, the failure of one institution leads to the failure of other institutions in a chain reaction. He recommended that monetary policy be made responsive to asset prices, profits be retained and reinvestments be made to downsize and re-distribute the income as dividends. The financial sector is both skill and capital intensive as it draws labour from diverse sectors as it expands. He called upon the audience to introspect on why one chunk of the talent of our country is going outside, while the other chunk is taken up by management. If this continues, India may run into technical stagnation.

Dr Dilip Nachane – Member of Prime Minister’s Economic Advisory Council (PMEAC)
Dr Dilip Nachane – Member of Prime Minister’s Economic Advisory Council (PMEAC)

The Chief Guest of the inaugural session, Dr. A.K. Balyan – MD & CEO, Petronet LNG Limited, spoke about the changing economic scenario and business growth. The world is integrated and countries are dependent on each other. He suggested three ways to tackle future crisis in the financial sector. Organisations can learn from companies that successfully managed the risks and uncertainties during the crisis. There has been an increased focus on auditing and accounting processes to prevent future crisis. Focus should now be directed to hiring people with different competencies to look at different perspectives of the same issue. The need of the hour is creation of a ‘New World Order for Business’ post the financial crisis. Dr. Balyan proposed a simplistic business model centred on technology and human capital, with people being the differentiator between organisations. He concluded his talk by revisiting former President Dr. APJ Abdul Kalam’s concept of PURA – Providing Urban amenities in Rural Areas and stressed that for true development, we need to focus on ‘India-centric solutions’.

Dr. A.K. Balyan – MD & CEO, Petronet LNG Limited
Dr. A.K. Balyan – MD & CEO, Petronet LNG Limited

 The inaugural session was followed by a track session where papers were submitted on various issues such as ‘Changing patterns of investment in various financial derivatives in India’ , ‘ Perception of mutual funds in Ahmedabad (76.7% are aware of mutual funds and their derivatives), ‘Effect of MNC FDI retailers on small retailers’, ‘Controlling inflation rate and sustainable growth’, ‘Economic reforms implemented in India, China & Poland- A comparative Study’

Post-lunch, the plenary session started off with an address by Mr Prabhal Banerjee – President, International Finance, Essar Services Ltd on the topic of Corporate Finance. Today, the world of finance is in trouble because we have forgotten that finance is a business of trust, not a business of money. Today, the investor is unsure of investing money, whether his own or through banks, because he is not sure of the returns. Increasingly, the source of capital has shifted from the traditional markets of U. S. and Europe to the Middle East, China etc., relations becoming more number driven than long term. To succeed in today’s volatile times, there is a need for building credibility constantly by keeping a balanced view and keeping the financial institutions in the loop.

The concluding address of the day was addressed by Mr. Rajesh Tulsiani, CFO, ABG Shipyard Ltd. He brought out the importance of arranging customized solutions over cost-effective solutions, as they prove more valuable in the long term and help in maintaining the company’s reputation. He also spoke about the increasing trend of hybrid bonds and market instruments, and the gap between the expectations of the investment banks and of the company owners. In the end, there was also a tip for the students: to avoid job-hopping and stay in a company for at least a decade understand the intricacies of the market.

(Content Courtesy: Media Committee)

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