7th November 2013 - XLRI, the premier B-School of India hosted ‘INSIGHT 2013’ – The Annual Consulting conference brought together eminent industry leaders and academicians on a common platform to discuss key issues pertinent to the sustenance of India’s growth story.
Organized by the Consulting and Research Undertaking at XLRI (CRUX), ‘INSIGHT 2013’ was based on the theme ‘Roadmap for Sustaining India’s Growth Story’. It saw an august presence of eminent members of the industry and academia, including Mr. Krishnakumar Natarajan, President NASSCOM & CEO, Mindtree as well as Mr. Sanjiv Bhasin, General Manager & CEO, DBS Bank.
Celebrated as an economic miracle, India, over the past decade, was the cynosure among all growth stories. 9% growth rate had become a norm rather than an exception. India under two decades has transformed itself into the 3th largest economy (by Purchasing Power Parity). Today, however, the forecasted growth outlook is bleak. The rupee has tumbled over 13% in the past 3 months. Inflation, at 10%, is higher than in any other comparable economy by size.
With several conjectures doing the rounds about the possible causes of the plunge that the economy seems to have taken, CRUX and XLRI have attempted to provide a national platform to discuss viable strategies to tackle the multitude of challenges facing the economy, and also to take advantage of the whole spectrum of opportunities that exist for the economy.
The Conference also marked the launch of XLRI’s Annual Consulting Magazine, VISIONARIOS 1.0. The magazine was unveiled by the keynote speakers Mr. Natarajan and Mr. Bhasin, alongwith Prof Munish Thakur, Chairperson(Strategic Management Area at XLRI), amid much hype and enthusiasm. It is an endeavor on the part of CRUX and XLRI to create a platform for enthusiasts across a wide spectrum to pour in their ideas on the raging debate that engulfs the nation. Through this magazine, the Consulting Committee at XLRI hopes to be able to bridge the gap that they believe currently exists between classroom study and the ground realities; and continue to keep coming up with important and relevant topics each year.
The eminent panel of speakers at the conference included Mr. Ajay Bagga (MD and Head Private Wealth Management, Deutsche Bank), Mr. Asitava Sen (Senior Director & Head, Rabobank, Ex-MD, Nielson Company), Mr. Supratim Ganguly (India Head for Supply Chain, Future Group), Mr. Athar Shahab (CEO, Uniquest Infrastructure), Mr. Amitabh Jaipuria (CEO, Banking Division, AGS Technologies), Mr. Anand Ladsariya (CEO and Promoter-Director, Everest Flavours Limited), Mr. Santosh Kamath (Partner, KPMG), Mr. Mohinish Sinha (Practice Leader, Hay Group) and Mr. Ashish Mehta (Solutions Director, Dunnhumby).
The conference commenced with the speech of the Guests of Honour, Mr. Natarajan and Mr. Bhasin. The NASSCOM chief talked from an entrepreneur’s point of view and raised the question as to whether India is a case of ‘an un-kept promise’. He went on to talk about social entrepreneurship and emphasized the need for “social enterprises coupled with dispersed growth.” He insisted that India has a unique potential in the sector of higher education as the propensity to spend on education is high while the cost of higher education in India is very low as compared to global averages. He focused on leveraging technology to drive transparency and productivity, and driving a robust and sustainable cadre of social enterprises.
Mr. Bhasin spoke on the prevailing trends in Indian financial sector and the role of India’s regulatory authorities in mitigating the troughs in the growth trajectory. He focused on the changing requirements of the banking sector for it to perform according to the expectations of the economy. He alluded to the immense growth potential of the sector in the country, insisting that “the demands for financial inclusion will drive the growth of the banking and finance industry.”
The speeches were followed by the first panel discussion of the day on Role of financial intermediaries in sustaining India's growth & Avenues for meeting Capital requirement of businesses. The three other panels were on Role of infrastructure in sustaining India's growth & Removal of Infrastructure bottlenecks, Export enhancement & a Road map for businesses to grow in a volatile environment, Role of Leadership and the rich demographic dividend in charting India's growth, and were moderated by Prof Thakur.
The conference also hosted the finals of ‘Drishtikon’ XLRI’s Annual National Paper Presentation Competition and saw the top 5 presentations of the over 30 entries that the competition received.
CRUX, acronym for Consulting and Research Undertaking at XLRI, is the exclusive students’ committee promoting consulting and research related activities and careers for the students of XLRI. The objectives of the committee are (a) to promote and hone basic consulting skills at XLRI and within management student community at large, (b) to offer consultancy and research services to interested startups, organizations and voluntary bodies; leveraging upon XLRI’s capable student base, access to knowledge resources and faculty expertise, and (c) to partner with consultancy and research firms for on and off campus branding with a view of developing long- term fruitful relations between XLRI and the world of consultancy.