The International Business Summit was a one-day event aimed at providing exposure and knowledge to all attendees regarding aspects of International Business which are vital as all corporates nowadays are aiming at becoming global and expanding the scope of their operations. The theme of the event was “Future of SAARC.” The summit featured many engaging activities that enhanced knowledge like panel discussion among prominent industry personalities on the topic “Business in SAARC nations & its future scope,” a keynote speech and a B-Plan competition. The event was organized on the 8th of December, 2018, a Saturday, at K J Somaiya Institute of Management Studies & Research, Mumbai by IBS@SIMSR and the day is also recognized as SAARC Charter Day.
SAARC CHARTER DAY:
Trade bloc consisting of the South Asian countries was planned and created by the president Ziaur Rahman during the late 1970s. There was a meeting related to the Bangladeshi proposal held in the Colombo in the year 1981 which was later accepted by Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and India. The statement on the South Asian The leaders accepted regional Cooperation in a meeting held in New Delhi during the month of August in 1983. Also, later, on the 8th of December in 1985, the leader of the Seven South Asian Countries (Maldives, India, Bhutan, Pakistan, Nepal, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka) had signed the contract (charter) to set up the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC). Afghanistan joined SAARC as a Member during the 14th meeting of SAARC in Delhi in April 2007.
SAARC (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation) is an excellent notion of the regional collaboration with the diverse culture, geographic and diversity of the environment. The member of the stated it SAARC that it is a packed together of the highest mountains, land protected mountains, low line flood (prone areas) as well as low line island country of the world. SAARC is a habitat of almost 1.5 billion people (around 22%) of the total population of the world.
MAJOR OBJECTIVES OF THE EVENT:
The major objectives were:
• To raise awareness about the SAARC nations by emphasizing on the significant activities and works of the association
• To increase awareness about ordinary problems, interests, and objectives in SAARC countries by organizing an inter B-School business plan competition
• To understand business dynamics in SAARC nations
• To establish PGDM-IB program at SIMSR as a well renowned and established discipline in the corporate world
Lamp Lighting & Prayer: As it is said, knowledge removes ignorance just as light removes darkness. The day began with the dignitaries lighting the lamp which symbolized the victory over darkness. As followed in the Somaiya tradition, everyone stood up for the Somaiya prayer to pay respect to Goddess Saraswati.
Keynote Speech & Panel Discussion: The knowledge enriching session commenced with the keynote speech by Mr. Anirban Das, who held the audience in rapt attention while addressing them about SAARC and its journey through the last three decades. Mr. Das has had exposure in various international roles.
He has worked with South Asian Association for Regional Corporation (SAARC) as a Transport & Energy Division Intern. Post that; he has worked as the Vice-President at Network for International Law Students (NILS) Also, is currently working with the Ministry of External Affairs, India. He has also published various papers - Challenges & Forward for Economic Co-operation and Transport Integration in SAARC, BRICS Global Governance & the New Development Bank, Centre for BRICS Studies, China - to name a few. He also engages with many International Associations such as the UN Youth Assembly, UNESCO Asia-Pacific Youth Dialogue, Youth India Policy Parliament and many more. The session had some expert views on the topic “Future of SAARC” by Mr. Md. Lutfor Rahman (Bangladesh Deputy High Commissioner, Mumbai).
The roundtable discussion was presided over by three well-known panelists and prominent speakers, namely Mr. Amit Bansal (Head of Global Generics, SANOFI), Mr. Abithab Bhaskar (CEO - International Business, Netcore Solutions), and Mr. Manish Pathak (President - Strategy & New Markets, Welspun Corp Limited). Prof. Isaac Jacob took on the mantle of moderating the talk. The panel discussion was highly interactive with many senior faculties and students taking part in the discussion. The roundtable discussion provided an in-depth view of the opportunities and the challenges that are mainly faced by organizations concerning business in SAARC nations. The panelists, though from different backgrounds such as Pharmaceuticals, Digital marketing & Data Analytics and Textile, shared their knowledge on the prospects of the growth and globalization and the necessary steps for the same for any successful organization. Students gained several insights and put forth intriguing questions that came to their minds. All the questions were answered, and the panelists cleared doubts. Linking the youth of a country with the technology which is relevant to the SAARC nations was the critical factor that each of the panelists considered to be an integral path for growth. Opportunities and challenges in the area of textile constituted another niche area which was considered to be vital. Pharmaceutical sector, artificial intelligence, and machine learning were a few points that were touched upon. All the panelists agreed that India is one of the drivers of SAARC and so other members can benefit out of this. India has emerged as an exporter, so looking at the global aspect of ‘Make in India,’ it is creating an impact. India’s youth can be one of the powerful tools that make a difference by developing a good resource model. Prof. Isaac Jacob concluded the informative session.
All the guests and students were served with refreshments. Prof felicitated the guest speakers. Kuldip Kawatra. This session was attended by PGDM – IB, PGDM – IMC, PGDM – Exec and international students of SVV. It was also graced by Dr. Satyendra Kumar Upadhyay, Prof. (Dr.) Thomas Mathew, Prof. (Dr.) Swati Godbole, Prof. (Dr.) Brajesh Bolia, Prof. Kuldip Kawatra, and other senior faculties.
A themed lunch was organized which included various delicacies from all the SAARC member countries. The menu included Ema Datshi (Bhutan), Maldivian Coconut Rice (Maldives), Muligatwanni (SriLanka), Paneer Makhani (India), Peyaj Dal (Bangladesh), Saak Er Ghanto (Bangladesh), Salata & Shor Nakut (Afghanistan), Sheer Khorma (India), Steamed Rice (India), Urunda (Srilanka), Veg Momos (Nepal) and Veg Sheek Kabab (India). The lunch was called “remarkable” by the director Prof. (Dr.) Monica Khanna. It ended with all the guests individually giving feedback about their experience.
VISTAAR – A BUSINESS PLAN COMPETITION:
The International Business Summit 2018 also featured an inter B-school business plan competition, VISTAAR, on the topic “How can Indian startups and MSME firms expand their business in SAARC countries?” The competition tested and challenged analytical and strategic skills around various aspects of International Business. The first round was an online quiz which revolved around the theme of the event, “Future of SAARC” which took place on the 2nd of December, 2018. The competition had participation from over 207 teams from various premiere B-schools across India. Six shortlisted teams were called to SIMSR campus for the final round on the 8th of December, 2018.
The competition was judged by a panel of four esteemed judges, Prof. (Dr.) Thomas Mathew, Prof. Kuldip Kawatra, Mr. Manish Pathak and Mr. Anirban Das. After an exciting round of presentations followed by some back-breaking questions by the judges, the panel decided the winners. Team ‘Superb’ from NMIMS, Mumbai took home the first prize, and the runner-up team was ‘Warriors’ from IMI Delhi. The judges were felicitated by Prof. (Dr.) Brajesh Bolia. The entire competition came to an end with all the judges highlighting the key points of the winners’ presentations and also sharing some learnings from the day.
The event concluded successfully and was immensely loved by the guests and the participants. We hope
that this event can be made grander every year.
PANKHURY GUPTA (PGDM IB, 2018-20)