Utkrishta 2016, the management conclave of Institute of Management, Nirma University, was organized by four prominent clubs of IMNU namely: Niche – the Marketing Club, Imprintz – the HR Club, Optimus – the Operations Club and Finesse – the Finance Clubof IMNU. The conclave commenced at 9:15 AM on 9th September, 2016, with the theme, “Emerging Management Practices”. The industry is witnessing a rapid change in the way management practices are being offered to the public. The conclave thus sought to provide a platform to eminent stalwarts of the business world to share their valuable experiences and opinions on the developments in the management sector.
The inaugural address was delivered by Mr. Saurabh Soparkar, Senior Advocate at Gujarat High Court. He spoke about the growing complexity of business on national and international level. He elaborated the same with the very relevant example of Brexit and the ways in which it’ll affect the global economies and even make lives for individuals more challenging. He also spoke about how the tax policies of Ireland, formulated and focused to attract FDI, prove to be contradicting when they slap a huge tax bill on Apple this year. It won’t just affect Apple, but will also send waves of loss to the US Government at large as currency flows out of the nation. He elucidated how the need for adapting to such complexity and challenges by the incumbent and future managers and businessmen.
After a short briefing given by Mr. Saurabh Soparkar on Goods and Services Tax (GST) bill, a short video on Nirma University was played in the auditorium. Gearing up for the second session, the students looked enthusiastic. Mr.P.A. Padmanabhan, Senior Vice President at Zydus Cadila, consolidated the session on the platform set by Mr. Saurabh Soparkar. Mr. Padmanabhan started off the session by introducing facts about the recent GST bill. More than 150 countries have already implemented the single tax system. The main idea of GST is to remove different taxing schemes under the umbrella of one tax system. He explained the features proposed in the GST bill and their possible impact on the Indian market system. In accordance with it, there would be two GST’s that would be implemented, one at central level and other at state level. This dual GST’s exist in parallel and bring about major changes over the existing taxing practices. He added that the major features of proposed GST structure would consist of exports and SEZ (which will be 0 rated), applicability of IGST on interstate transactions of goods and services and taxation on stocks transferred. Major focus in IGST would remain on the basis of supply and consumption. He said that all the existing taxations such as central excise duty, state VAT/sales tax, service tax, etc. would be subsumed into a single tax. Mr. Padmanabhan concluded by explaining the next steps in facilitation and implementation of Goods and Services Tax bill that would be taken up by the Government.
Commencing the second session of the day, Mr. Yogesh Shah, DGM & Rating Head of CARE Rating Agency spoke about the current state of affairs in the Indian debt market. He explained about the three categories of debt: Government securities, corporate bonds and Municipal bonds. The G-sec, which comprise of T-Bills, Government bonds, etc. stand as the most widely utilized and popular in the Indian debt market segment, due to its regulatory back-ups, risk free nature, relaxations, open-availability to a large set of investors and many other factors. The primary market of gilt securities accounts for 65-70% of the domestic debt, while its share in the secondary market is 95% of country debt market. Though this market has exhibited exponential growth over the last decade, liquidity aspects still need to be improved herein. The second category, Corporate Debt, has turned out to be less preferred avenues of corporate financing in India. The small size of the market and the limited players make the growth of the sector stagnant. Its investor base is confined to Banks, Insurers and Pension funds. 90% of the funds herein are raised via private placement. There is a hence underpenetrated public issue market which needs to be tapped. Negligible market activity on secondary markets lack liquidity and transparency. Hence, investors are reluctant to trade in lower rated papers. This, according to Mr. Yogesh, stands as one of the major hindrances in the growth of Debt Market. The market today needs a wide variety of instruments to diversify the funding. SEBI has introduced a system of primary dealers, DVP (Delivery Versus Payment), Gilt oriented mutual funds, Wholesale debt market segment on NSE, and several other measures to deepen the corporate bond market. He also shared some valuable measures adopted in the Union Budget 2017 for the same, like widening the investment basket of foreign portfolio investors, electronic auction platform developed by SEBI, and very importantly, Repo corporate bonds. The RBI also has worked extensively in fuelling this untapped market like; Partial Credit Enhancement, Masala Bonds (rupee denominated bonds), improved Hedging mechanism, etc.
Mr. Yogesh also shared how their organization has introduced the CARE Debt quality index to measure the credit worthiness of a debt fund. He also spoke about the role of credit rating agencies in deciding the competence of different entities. He concluded by emphasizing on the need for standardization of bond issuance and improvement in the Bankruptcy code and Credit default swap protection of India.
The third session was addressed by Mr. Hemendra Shah, President(Finance), Sadbhav Engineering Ltd. The topic for the session was “Corporate Governance Practices and Business Ethics in India with Special Reference to Finance”.
Mr. Shah started the session defining Corporate Governance as the system of rules, practices and processes by which a company is directed and controlled. He described how corporate governance essentially involves balancing the interests of a company’s stakeholders, such as shareholders, management, customers, financiers, government and the community. He shared a video on the introduction of Corporate Governance which gave insights on how flow of information is critical in decision making of an organisation. He was of the view that foundation of Corporate Governance is disclosure and openness, which helps in gaining public confidence.
Mr. Shah took forward the discussion by quoting an example of Benjamin Franklin which said: “A little neglect may breed great mischief, for want of a nail, the shoe was lost for want of a shoe the horse was lost and for want of a horse the rider was lost”. He thus said how a little neglect can cost an organisation tremendously. He also stated honesty, integrity, transparency and accountability as the basic principles that underline Corporate Governance. He suggested that companies can be tested on Corporate Governance by assessing whether they adopt practices that are ethical and fair and whether the companies are following audit practices that are in accordance with accounting standards of ICAI.
He concluded by showing a video that summarized the various aspects taken up during the discussion. Also, he discussed some recent developments and facts related to the Ethical Practices in Finance in the Indian Business context.
The second day of Utkrishta 2016 was devoted to “Emerging Management Practices” in Marketing and Human Resource. It took place on the 10th of September, 2016. The first half of the day was dedicated to the idea-generation and stimulation of novel marketing thoughts.
The first session for the day commenced with a gathering lead by Mr. Kamal Kishore Taparia, Independent Director at M/s D. S. Kulkarni Developers Ltd. and M/s Universal Construction Machinery & Equipment, and advisor at Binani Cement Ltd.
The seasoned professional addressed the audience on the theme “Brand Management”. At first, he walked the listeners through the concepts, principles and techniques of building a strong brand. Talking about the core values, he elucidated that these fundamental values need to depict the Brand Essence and Beliefs that define the brand. He explained how instead of “Build fast, build more” the consumer preferred to “Build more, but build to last”. He branded the product with thoughtful logo creation, introduction of Birla Super Shoppe, a focused press advertisement campaign, site demonstration for saving cement, focused consultant, architects, and technical meets etc. He concluded by advising today’s marketers to addressing new challenges by being creative, analytical and systematic, and most of all honest to the promise.
The second session was addressed by Ms. Lubna Khan, National Strategy Head at Orchard Advertising ( Leo Burnett Group). The topic for the session was “Culture Based Marketing in Digital Era”.
Ms. Khan started the session describing the present world as an Era of Data. She defined Marketing as a fusion of art and science, certainties and uncertainties. She also spoke in short about Insightful Seller analytics and Depth in Merchandising. She explained about the uphill battle that Amazon faced when it came to India in 2013. She also talked about the initiatives and strategies adopted by them to compete with Flipkart which was already a beloved brand of India. Ms. Khan shared how Culture in Marketing helped Amazon connect with the Indian consumers. She defined the target mass in India as one having a yearn for more choice but resigning to compromise with less. Saying this, she justified her statement by showing the famous advertisement video campaign ‘Aur Dikhao’ by Amazon. She believes that the foundation of Culture based Marketing lies in focusing on feeling rather than thinking behind the deal. She concluded her session by sharing the success mantra of how great brands tap into culture and shape it into a sensation.
The third session began post tea break. Mr. Suraj Kumar Sharma, Head marketing at MTR Foods Pvt Ltd, addressed the students on Disruptive marketing. He started by explaining how Jio used disruptive marketing strategy to create a stir in the market through pricing and innovative strategies. Disruption can be in all dimensions, from marketing strategies to distribution strategies, from operations to advertising, etc. Features of disruptive marketing include creating of newer market demands through packaging, distinct advertisements, creating noise, tapping future trends and many more. He explained the change in trends and evolution of time from early 1990s to post 2000s. Cultural and technological changes have been a major breakthrough in the consumer mindsets. With continuous changes, decision time has declined for consumers. Hence, convenience and innovation becomes a key to differentiate. The four basic elements needed for successful disruptive marketing are product/service insights, identification of future trends, creativity and impeccable execution. Finally, from students’ perspective, one needs to be aware of changing environments with an open mind, strong consumer focus and continuous innovative thinking.
The fourth session was taken up by Mr. Samak S. Chakrabarti, MD at Social Quotient . The theme of the session was, “Marketing for the Future – Youth, Rural and Experiential”.
Mr. Chakrabarti emphasized upon the fact that there lies huge business opportunity in tapping the youth. He said that in order to be a successful marketer, it is important to build a perspective and understand that nothing is right or wrong in marketing. One should build one’s own perspective in order to solve a problem. He also added that it is very important to be open and intuitive which will help one to observe more and develop a disruptive strategy. Also, people should learn from stories of failure and try to build a strategy for future. He stressed on how a successful marketer should use influencer strategy where segmentation is done on the basis of mindsets of people. Also, marketing research should be progressive and qualitative in nature.
He finally talked about the three segments of future marketing– youth, experiential and rural. The youth is a huge segment to target as it is ready to experiment and high disposal income. The future lies in vernacular content and region specific approach. Experiential marketing is cost effective as it helps convert strategies into sales and get an immediate feedback. The rural market represents the largest customer set as it is expanding at a fast rate.
He concluded by stating that one should be very passionate, have a niche and be creative in life.
The post lunch session was dedicated to Human Resource Management. The session, with the theme -Designing, Developing, and Institutionalizing Innovative HR Practices, was addressed by Mr. Roy Joseph and Mr. Yogesh Nene. Mr. Roy Joseph holds the position of VP – HR & Services at MRF Ltd. whereas Mr. Yogesh Nene is the Manager – HR, Employee Services at Atos India Pvt. Ltd. Dr. Col. Naveen Malhotra, who was the session chair, introduced the students to the role of HR. Dr. Col. Naveen Malhotra is the CHRO & Group President at Sintex Industries Ltd. With his experiences in the corporate world, Dr. Col. Malhotra gave his insights on how innovation is linked with Human Resources and how innovation can come only when one aligns with people. With the focus on Smart HR Solutions, the welcome address concluded and the Mr. Roy Joseph was asked to take the session forward.
Mr. Roy Joseph started with an interesting story of a tree and exemplified the values, customs, traditions of Institute of Management, Nirma University to be rooted deeply. The first agenda was Globalization and how it affects HR in terms of aspects like expansion as well as restructuring of an organization. The impact of on-demand economy on customers was also discussed at length. Emergency management practices related to structure, hierarchy and control were also discussed by Mr. Joseph. The discussion was concluded with a set of questions and answers.
The session was then carried forward by Mr. Yogesh Nene. As an HR Manager in a French Multinational, Mr. Nene manages the HR Department of the Indian arm. The core of the discussion was Employee Engagement model and, how the level of engagement of employees contributes towards the performance of any organization. The employee engagement in an organization depends on various factors like quality of work life balance, career opportunities, company policies as well as the rewards and compensation. This penultimate session was then concluded by clearing the doubts which the students had regarding the Human Resource practices.
The valedictory session for the conclave was taken up by Ms. Neetu Wadhwan, Head HR International Business at Cipla. She had previously worked with Cadila Pharmaceuticals Ltd. She spoke on various topics during the discussion. Firstly, she discussed the differences between international HR practices and Indian HR practices. She said that there exists significant differences in recruitment, compensation, training & development and employee communication practices followed by India and that followed internationally by some of the powerful nations of the world. With increase in globalization, the workforce of organizations is becoming diverse in terms of culture. This creates barriers in effective human resource management. She further added that there lies huge scope in the field of Human Resource Management and encouraged students to take it up for future studies.