IIMB Alumni Leadership Conclave

The Alumni Leadership Conclave, a highlight of the Golden Jubilee Celebrations at the Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore, unfolded successfully on October 28, 2023, marking the institute’s Foundation Day. This flagship event, integral to the week-long jubilee festivities, served as a paramount platform to contemplate India’s trajectory towards emerging as a developed nation in the forthcoming decades.

As India charts its course towards achieving developed nation status in the coming decades, the conclave assumes profound significance by providing a platform for thoughtful deliberations on the multifaceted aspects that contribute to the nation’s development. The event drew upon the rich experiences of accomplished IIMB alumni, luminaries in their respective fields, who generously shared insights and reflections on the intricate art of nation-building. Guiding these discussions were esteemed faculty members, themselves proud IIMB alumni, who skillfully moderated the panel discussions, adding an extra layer of expertise to the discourse.

The conclave, a melting pot of ideas and expertise, encapsulated the spirit of collaboration and shared vision among the IIMB alumni community. The event not only celebrated the achievements of the past but also laid the groundwork for a collective commitment to shaping a dynamic and prosperous future for India. As the echoes of the Alumni Leadership Conclave linger, they resonate as a testament to the enduring legacy and forward-looking spirit of IIMB and its alumni.

Corporate Leadership: “Sustainable Leadership in the VUCA (Volatile, Uncertain, Complexity, Ambiguity) world”

Corporate Leadership: Navigating the VUCA World with Visionaries

The Alumni Leadership Conclave witnessed an illuminating panel discussion on “Sustainable Leadership in the VUCA (Volatile, Uncertain, Complexity, Ambiguity) World.” The panel featured distinguished figures in the corporate realm, namely Ananth Chandramouli (EPGP 2010), Hitesh Garg (PGSEM 2011), Dipesh Shah (PGSEM 2002), and Siva Ganapathi (PGP 1994). Moderated by the insightful Prof. Sourav Mukherji (FPM 2002), the discussion provided a deep dive into the challenges and opportunities inherent in today’s dynamic business landscape. Although the event has concluded, the enduring wisdom shared by these industry stalwarts continues to resonate, offering valuable guidance for navigating the complexities of sustainable leadership in an ever-evolving VUCA world.

Siva Ganapathi, MD of Gokaldas Exports, highlighted market unpredictability and leaders’ adept navigation of uncertainties. He stressed that experienced leaders develop a natural ability to handle market challenges. A strong leader should be fueled by passion for people both within the organization and customers and guided by a clear perspective. Ganapathi emphasized adaptability, people-centric leadership, and a clear viewpoint as essential components of effective leadership in dynamic markets.

Dipesh Shah, the Managing Director of Samsung Research India Bengaluru, presented a unique perspective on change, proposing that it isn’t solely a result of personal decisions. Instead, change can be instigated by transformations in the environment, compelling individuals to adjust and align themselves accordingly. This underscores the importance of embracing change as a catalyst for growth and adaptation, recognizing that shifts in the surroundings can prompt valuable opportunities for progress and development.

Ananth Chandramouli, Capgemini’s EVP & MD, believes effective leadership hinges on three core characteristics: courage, a positive mindset, and self-awareness. These qualities empower leaders to make bold decisions, maintain optimism in adversity, and understand their impact on the organization and its members.

Hitesh Garg, VP & Country Head-India at NXP Semiconductors, highlighted the foundational factors of VUCA, pointing to geopolitical challenges, technological disruptions, and major events like the COVID-19 pandemic. He emphasized their collective impact on reshaping market dynamics with elements of volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity. He stressed that effective leadership requires collaboration and foresight to navigate the evolving path forward.

Entrepreneurship: “Making India the Unicorn Capital of the World”

Embarking on an ambitious journey, this engaging panel discussion takes a closer look at the dynamic landscape of entrepreneurship in India, fueled by the bold aspiration to establish the country as the preeminent Unicorn Capital of the World. The esteemed panelists, including Vipul Parekh (PGP 1988), Atul Shinghal (PGP 1993), Rohit M A.(MPEFB 2010), and moderated by Prof. Srivardhini Jha (FPM 2013) from the entrepreneurship area at IIMB, share riveting accounts of their entrepreneurial ventures. They explore the challenges, triumphs, and transformative moments that define their success stories. Additionally, the discourse engages in a comprehensive SWOT analysis, meticulously examining the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats, charting the course for India to claim a pole position in the ever-evolving global startup ecosystem.

Professor Srivardhini Jha initiated the dialogue by emphasizing the ongoing golden age of entrepreneurship. She also recognized the government’s proactive role in making decisions that foster and cultivate the entrepreneurial spirit, leading to the influx of various venture capital firms and unicorn companies into the country. Moreover, she invited the panelists to explore the factors surrounding unicorn companies and the allure they possess, including the captivating and prestigious aspects associated with them.

Rohit, Co-founder of Cloudnine Hospitals and Managing Director at PeerCapital, further expounded on the concept that unicorns, akin to the theory of evolution, have evolved into prominent global markers. These entities not only signify economic standing but also underscore a nation’s prowess and influence in the global economic landscape. Rohit emphasized how the presence of unicorns reflects a country’s ability to foster innovation, cultivate successful business ventures, and make substantial contributions to the international economic narrative.

Atul Shinghal, the Founder & CEO of Scripbox, emphasized that while being labeled as a unicorn is a commendable achievement, the paramount goal should be to position our nation as the global hub of entrepreneurship. Beyond the tag of a unicorn, the focus should be on fostering an environment that cultivates innovation, nurtures diverse business ventures, and solidifies our standing as a powerhouse of entrepreneurial endeavors on the world stage. Shinghal advocated for a holistic approach that goes beyond mere valuation metrics, emphasizing the significance of sustained entrepreneurial growth and influence in shaping India’s narrative in the global entrepreneurial landscape.

Vipul Parekh, the Founder of BigBasket, expressed that the term “unicorn” is often glamourized by the media. He emphasized that a company’s valuation is not necessarily indicative of its success, considering various factors that contribute to its overall performance. Parekh dissected the entrepreneurial journey into three distinct phases. The initial stage involves the seed stage, characterized by exploration and discovery. The second phase focuses on scaling up and building the foundation, while the third phase centers on sustaining and managing continuous growth. Parekh highlighted the multifaceted nature of the entrepreneurial process, emphasizing the importance of understanding and navigating each stage effectively.

Governance & Public Service: “Enhanced Well-being of Indian Citizens”

Embarking on an exploration of governance and public service, the distinguished panel, featuring Nita Tyagi (PGP 1993), Revathy Ashok (PGP 1980), and Pratap Reddy (PGPPM 2008), under the expert moderation of Prof. Vasanthi Srinivasan, immersed into the critical aspects of enhancing the overall well-being of Indian citizens. Actively engaging in discussions covering strategies, policies, and innovative approaches, the esteemed group explored avenues to address diverse needs across varied geographies, demographics, and societal strata in India. The dynamic conversations circled around unveiling the transformative potential of effective governance. This positioned governance as a propelling force steering India towards development while unwaveringly prioritizing the welfare and well-being of its people.

Prof. Vasanthi Srinivasan initiated the discourse by highlighting the inherent complexity of governing diverse territories, emphasizing the need for intricate mechanisms to navigate the dynamic changes in geographies occurring every few kilometers. The ensuing discussion aimed to unravel the intricate workings of governmental offices and shed light on the distinctive approaches employed by the panellists, offering valuable insights into their innovative practices.

Nita Tyagi, serving as the Director of e-Governments Foundation, passionately conveyed that the core objective of every governmental body is to actively contribute to enhancing the overall quality of citizens’ lives. In her insightful remarks, she underscored the essential connection between innovation and experimentation, emphasizing how these elements work hand in hand to drive the nation forward. Tyagi’s perspective shed light on the dynamic landscape of governance, where a commitment to innovation becomes pivotal in addressing evolving societal needs and fostering progress for the benefit of the entire citizenry.

Pratap Reddy, the Additional Director General of Police, Karnataka, highlighted the ongoing efforts of law enforcement to tackle distress situations effectively. He credited the significant reduction in the response time of the Bangalore City Police, now at an impressive 7 minutes compared to the initial 15 minutes, to a dedicated combination of technology and human efforts. Reflecting on the journey since 2015, this transformative initiative aims to enhance the services provided by the police to the public, showcasing a commitment to leveraging advancements in technology and optimizing human resources for the benefit of the community.

Revathy Ashok, Managing Trustee & CEO of B.PAC, emphasized that the foundation’s primary goal is citizen engagement. The establishment of B.PAC stems from a dedicated initiative to nurture future leaders, aiming to equip them as adept problem solvers for the challenges of the future. The core intention is to actively involve citizens in the democratic process, fostering a sense of responsibility and leadership among individuals who can contribute meaningfully to addressing the evolving needs of society.