IIM Kozhikode conducts Horizons 2015 – Annual Management & Public Policy Conclave

The human mind is a landscape of infinite possibilities. It’s the strength of human endeavour and his continuous thirst for knowledge that has expanded human vision beyond any point in history. The pace of technological and social development of human beings as a civilization and as a species is evidence of the zeal to go beyond our limitations and expand our ‘Horizons’ to achieve excellence. Kindling this very innate attitude of human beings, IIM Kozhikode organized a 5-day Annual Management and Public policy Conclave – Horizons 2015.

The first day of IIM Kozhikode’s flagship event ‘Horizons’ saw noted personalities sharing their ideas with hundreds of enthusiastic students. Speakers encouraged the students to make a unique difference to the world by bringing powerful ideas and showing unrelenting commitment to the same.

The first speaker of the event was Mr. Madhukar Sabnavis, Vice Chairman of the premier advertising firm, Ogilvy & Mather, India. He spoke on ‘The Joy of Advertising’, elaborating on the joy of creating shared stories that his audiences could connect with; stories of success, uncertainties, failures etc.  He highlighted the craftsmanship associated with creating these stories and then selling them in short advertisements to the most receptive of audiences. In a highly interactive session, he drove home these points via various commercials such as O&M’s ‘Shubharambh’ campaign for Cadbury’s Dairy Milk or the ‘Zoo Zoo’ campaign for Vodafone India.

Also gracing the event with his presence was Mr. SV Nathan, Director-Talent, and Deloitte Consulting India. Mr. Nathan has many awards to his name including “HR Person of the Year” award from the Asia Pacific Congress and National Super Achiever Award for HR at a national level. He spoke to the students about his key idea of ‘Self-Belief’ that leads individuals to achieve great heights in their lives and also lets them pursue their dreams. He shared stories from his own life to further enthuse the participants.

Mr. Rahul Roushan, an alumnus of Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad and a journalist by profession who went on to start fakingnews.com in 2008, was also among the dignitaries addressing the students. He shared his life story and career path and gave valuable insights on the evolving digital landscape and entrepreneurship in the country. His art of storytelling combined with his wit gave a dose of inspiration to students.

Another renowned personality was Mr. Sumit Keshan, CFO of portfolio company, Blackstone Private Equity. Mr. Sumit Keshan introduced the concept of private equity, stressing on the fact that though it is a part of investment banking, private equity is more competitive and challenging.He spoke on investment banking, sustainability of private equity in the long run and the key differences between venture capital firms, angel investors, and private equity.

The jewel of the guest list was Dr. Sam Pitroda, the man behind the telecom revolution in India. His session was electrifying to say the least as he went on to narrate his life’s journey and experiences. He said that the two key components lying behind the future development of India were, young talent and technology. His message to the student community was simple – take risks early in life, think out of the ordinary and invest your creativity in making India an all-inclusive nation. On being asked by one of the students, that even at the age of 72, what drives him today, the Indian visionary said, that it is his love and passion for work. He stressed on the fact that one should be sensitive towards others and focussed and dedicated towards work.

 The 3rd day of Horizons witnessed two highly respected speakers Dr. Subir Gokarn and Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan. Dr. Subir Gokarn former deputy RBI governor spoke at length about the road map ahead of India for establishing a sustainable development. He spoke about the falling global oil prices and their significance in the Indian context and later went on to speak the three major structural challenges currently facing India viz. infrastructure, food inflation, and employment. It was a session which was not only attended by students, faculty from the economics, strategy and humanities area of IIM Kozhikode.

Dr. Jayaprakash Narayan is a visionary and the founder of Lok Satta party which is currently operational in many Indian states, the man behind RTI Act and many other electoral reforms. He started the talk on current value system of our country and opened up a debate to the students by asking their views on the current moral values of the India. While he got differing views from the students, he showcased absolute optimism by stating that he believed India is currently much better off in terms of values as compared to the past, contrary to what many believed to be the opposite. He then went on to speak about how he thinks India should create a mechanism which would align authority with accountability. He specifically spoke about creating an institution of incentives to drive morality and not just rely on sporadic mass uprisings to bring down corruption etc. The session turned out to be a very engaging one and the students actively debated, participated and applauded the visionary.

The final 2 days of Horizons 2015, saw big names from fields of social anthropology, corporate social responsibility, judiciary and police and policy making agencies like the erstwhile planning commission. Mr. Shiv Vishwanathan, who is a regular columnist in national papers like Indian Express, Deccan Chronicle and Asian Age, spoke at length about some of the perils of the Indian society. His talk had an eclectic mixture of Indian history and the present as he went to sight some horrific incidents from the partition of India to the contemporary yet complex issues of sensuality and sexuality

Also  Mrs. Neelima Khetan, the current Director of CSR & Sustainability Coca Cola India South West Asia shared her views on corporate social responsibility and sustainable social development. She also talked about various approaches used by Coca cola in promoting sustainable projects and how it affects their value chain. The talk ended with the discussion on major dilemmas of CSR and the need to bridge the gap between civil society organisations and corporate delegates.

The last day of the Conclave had Mr Y.P Singh the former Indian Police Service and IPS lawyer and Mr. Arun Maira, former chairman of the planning commission, and former India chairman of Boston Consulting Group. While Mr.YP Singh spoke on corruption in police system in India, Mr. Arun Maira spoke about two broad aspects planning in India over the short and long term and the contemporary policy, ‘Make in India’. He insisted on the need to make structural changes which would enable institutions to operate in a manner which would be in sync the strategy of creating capabilities of better governance and better management.

Thus marked the end of this year’s Horizons-Annual Management & Public Policy Conclave. Horizons-2015 was a great success, made possible by the dint of constant hardwork and persistence of two student bodies, Economics, Politics & Social Sciences Interest group, and Industry Interaction Cell along with the support from faculty and other student bodies. Such activities not only enhance the student’s knowledge and but also motivate them to stretch their thinking beyond the usual mundane and widen the scope of their Horizons like never before.