Monday, April 23, 2012

India: Maintaining Momentum

 When we join Columbia Business School, we get involved in many things on campus. It's a chaos and you just try to live in the moment. After a semester or two a time comes when you might think more deeply about how you wish to make a real difference during your time in school.

We learn many aspects of leadership at school and even pass judgments on various cases that we study in courses like Organizational Change and Top Management Process. But only platforms such as India Business Conference actually provide us with a real world experience on leadership. My experience chairing the conference along with Shobhit Datta was phenomenal. I enjoyed working with the team and develop my own organizational skills. Together, I can proudly say that we have raised the bar for future IBC conferences even higher!

The theme for this year’s conference was India: Maintaining Momentum. The conference brought together various perspectives on the question on everyone’s mind. Is the story of India’s rise losing steam? After a few strong years of growth, India is struggling to maintain its high growth trajectory. Lack of political will, structural constraints, and declining investor confidence are challenging the previous inevitability of high growth rates in India.

The impressive line-up of speakers including the Indian Ambassador to USA Mrs. Nirupama Rao, Padma Vibhushan Prof. Jagdish Bhagwati, Mr. George Alexander Muthoot (MD, Muthoot Finance), Padma Bhushan Prof. Arvind Panagariya, Mr. Anoop Singh (Director, IMF), Mr. Rajesh Jain (Founder, Netcore Solutions), Mr. Manoj Singh (Global COO, Deloitte), Mr. Ron Somers (President, USIBC), Dr. Alex Preker (World Bank) and many others tackled the topic from various angles.

This year the conference pushed the envelope further by inviting Dr. Kiran Bedi to engage the audience in a thought provoking and captivating discussion on corruption in India and how the youth of Indian diaspora based in the US can play a vital role in developing the country.

The conference provides the students real world training in leadership by allowing them to strategize and execute a conference of such scale and stature. This year’s conference was sponsored by Incredible India (Ministry of Tourism, India), Infosys, Muthoot Group, State Bank of India and Chazen Institute.
The conference leadership - Prasanth Ramanand (Conference Chair), Shobhit Datta (Conference Chair), Sachee Trivedi (AVP) worked for over six months to put together the conference and a larger team over a dozen MBA students worked tirelessly in the last few days to execute everything into perfection.

Quote from an audience member, Anupama Ahluwalia – “Just wanted to say thanks to you and your team for putting up such a wonderful conference...excellent panelists. I am so glad I went for the conference yesterday.

Quote from one of the partners, Bhinish Shah (Asha for Education NYC/NJ) -  IBC was an incredible experience, and one of the best business conferences I've attended. The quality of the panelists was probably second to none.  The focus on sustaining momentum and opportunities in India not only covered the private sector, but also spoke about the rising middle class, and the problems still facing the Indian diaspora. The NYC/NJ chapter of Asha for Education was fortunate to have a presence at the conference, and we look forward to being there again! We'd like to thank the conference chairs- Prasanth  and  Shobhit for putting on a spectacular event.

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