Consultant of the Year 2017: Inauguration Ceremony

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The preliminary workshop for the event “Consultant of the year”, organised by OMEGA, commenced with the Inauguration Ceremony on 9th December 2017. The chief guest of the event Mr. Viswanath P, Chief of Technology and Transformation of Future Consumer Enterprise Ltd., is an alumnus of TAPMI Batch of 2011. The event was attended by the Director of TAPMI Dr. Madhu Veeraraghavan. Professor Ishwar Haritas the faculty advisor of OMEGA – TAPMI was also present. Sham Ranjan Shetty the Chairman – Student Activities and Professor Vidya Pratap Associate professor – TAPMI were also among the dignitaries present on the dais.

The Chief Guest Mr. Vishwanath P was handed a small token of appreciation from the Director of TAPMI, Dr. Madhu Veeraraghavan. The Director then addressed the gathering saying the students at TAPMI are encouraged to think and are taught to be independent in a sense that there is no hand-holding by the professors, it is a sink or swim process. This is helpful to the students when they enter the professional world.  He then elaborated on how Consultant of the Year event was divided into three parts. First, a two-day workshop would be conducted by Mr. Viswanath P. Then there would be a case study challenge. The top ten teams in the case study challenge would then work on a live project.

Mr. Vishwanath P began his speech by wishing all the students. He compared a consultant with a barber by saying that a once a consultant always a consultant. You are not a true consultant until it soaks into every part of your life. He then elaborated on what he planned to cover over the two-day workshop. He would cover the myths regarding consulting, the work involved, the different levels of strategy and also his own experiences. He would be conducting an interactive workshop.

Professor Ishwar Haritas then shared his views on the event by stating that he hoped that the students will gain knowledge regarding the scope of strategy and its applications in today’s world. Everyone one of us should make use of all the opportunities and resources available to us to increase our knowledge and build our skills. Professor Sham Ranjan Shetty also addressed the gathering and stated that he hopes the students get all the inputs they want from the workshop and that they should work hard to make the best use of it.

The inaugural ceremony ended with the chief guest planting a sapling for a greener future. There can be no development in business or technology if the progress is not aimed towards a greener future. This is a belief held by TAPMI which is a centre for inclusive learning.

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CXO Leadership Series 2017: “Building a business in emerging markets- A practitioner’s view”- Mr. Mithun Kamath, Group CEO – Arc Skills

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On 11th November 2017, Mr. Mithun Kamath interacted with the student fraternity of T. A. Pai Management Institute on building business in emerging countries. Citing examples from his diverse experience of working in Africa, Latin America and Asia, he informed the students that the economic needle is moving towards Asia and Africa. He cited that the driving factors for this change were Scale, Socio-Economic conditions, Cultural conditioning, Languages and Strategy vs Opportunity.

He said that the disparity in population makes India a massive market which operates under a single currency. On the other hand, he mentioned that Africa has markets operating in 54 countries each with different territories and currencies. Mr. Kamath stated that in the retail sector, the profile of distributors, the number of employees, the transportation, etc. are deeply influenced with changes in the socio-economic conditions. He disclosed that in Latin America and Africa, retailers buy stocks for extremely short duration and usually stock up multiple times a day. The sub-distributors in S. Africa were not exclusive to a particular retailer unlike those in India. The Indian distribution and merchandising strategies he concluded, would, therefore, fail if applied in Africa and ergo these emerging countries.

Mr. Kamath went on to mention that 70% of adults in Latin America lack high school graduation leading to a huge talent crunch. He disclosed that the cost of living in Africa is 2.5 times more expensive than India because the majority of commodities are imported. He remarked that in Africa there are two types of companies – the ones who cater to the top of the pyramid and others who cater to the bottom of the pyramid, unlike India that has a middle-class market. Therefore, he enunciated, a completely different planning and strategizing was required to sustain in the emerging countries.

Mr. Kamath emphasized the importance of understanding the culture of the country you are working in. He reminded that it is important to understand the local languages and accept their beliefs which may be very different from ours. Also, he said that we as Indians try to utilize incremental methods of getting the job done as quickly as possible. “We don’t strategize but implement the assigned work. We seek direction. While this trait helps us earn our bread and butter, it is also the reason why we are second to major world competitors”, he explained.

He went on to say that we needed to realize our potential and enter the strategy phase of projects. “We have some major strengths like adaptability and hard work which we should use to improve our impact globally. We should stop following paths of least resistance and start building brands instead of providing labor”, he reminded.

Mr. Kamath emphasized the need for collaboration with locals of a country as a very crucial aspect of managing a business in various countries. According to him, International Business requires a good knowledge of acquisitions and joint ventures which is very different from the usual deal-making. Any strategy that we make, he pointed, has a very small shelf life in the global dynamic world.

Mr. Kamath concluded the discussion by emphasizing the need to be dynamic, understanding risks and failure and thinking out of the box. These, he summarized, would help us stay relevant.

Manthan 2017: Day 2: Guest Lecture 1: “Operational risk” – Mr. Lalit Taneja, Regional Director, Global Association of Risk Professionals.

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The topic being discussed in the guest lecture was operational risk. Mr. Taneja explained to the students the concept of operational risk using Basel Committee’s existing definition. It is basically the loss that is incurred due to failed internal processes, people, and systems or from external events. He also explained that individual banks can adopt their own definitions of operational risk if the minimum elements in the Committee’s definition are included. A key takeaway from the discussion was that operational risk is inevitable and cannot be zero.

Mr. Taneja briefly spoke about internal & external fraud, employee & workplace safety, clients, products and business practices, and process management. He emphasized the importance of operational risk indicators. These indicators are vital in identifying potential losses and tend to be specific to organizations.  They refer to lagging/ex-post measures and information on events that have already taken place (examples include failed trades, settlement errors). It is up to the risk managers to transform lagging into leading indicators. This process can be carried out by changing the focus of the indicators or even by adding new information. Thus, the focus of these indicators could be changed to highlight issues that are still outstanding or remain open after a specified period of time. The transformation of these processes is difficult to implement in reality. He went on to explain three types of risks namely:

  1. Legal risk – It is included in operational risk. It refers to the risk of disruption to operations due to unenforceable contracts, lawsuits, adverse judgments and legal proceedings.
  2. Reputation risk – Although this type of risk isn’t usually considered, reputation risk is very critical to a business. It refers to negative public opinion. A fall in a company’s reputation can result in liquidity difficulties and falling share prices.
  3. Business or strategy risk – It arises from an adverse shift in the assumptions, goals and other features that underpin a strategy.

The next part of the lecture was about the latest trends and approaches. Mr. Taneja spoke of the relevance of frameworks, advanced analytics, strategic planning, stakeholder feedback, advanced management approach and the need to forecast “black swan” events. Post the discussion, Mr. Taneja answered questions which were along the lines of operational risk, risk management, and its applicability. He was able to explain the concept exceedingly well because he was able to relate it to real life examples in corporate organizations and financial institutions.

Maneeshi 2017: Day 2: Panel Discussion- “Corporate Entrepreneurship”

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The 8 Panelists along with the Moderator, Prof. Ishwar Haritas, shared their thoughts on the topic “Corporate Entrepreneurship”.

Prof. Sushil, Chair Strategic Management Group, DOMS, IIT Delhi

Prof. Sushil said that Corporate Entrepreneurship is an ambiguous area. He took the analogy of Alice in Wonderland and students going to industrial wonderland. He believes that to be an individual entrepreneur or be it in corporate entrepreneurship, most important aspect is to have a vision as to where to reach. He further stated that corporate entrepreneurship contributes only to certain areas for competitiveness and took Indian illustrations such as HCL, Kinetic, and ITC. He concluded with the mantra “To give a LIFE (Learning, Innovation, Flexibility, and Entrepreneurship) to your organization

Mr. T V Ganesh, CEO, Indiaproperty.com

Mr. Ganesh stated that the fundamental problem running a company or encouraging innovation is-How to let people think within a frame of mind with nothing to lose. He continued that there is an absence of structured framework where employees would be allowed to make mistakes, helping encourage a culture of risk-taking and innovation. He quoted that “Challenge today is to set up an environment to encourage such risk-taking.”

Mr. Srinivas Prasad, Head, Gravitas Advisory

Mr. Srinivas Prasad stated that not all entrepreneurship comes internally, but might also come externally like in the case of CISCO, Intel and Google capital. He added that large companies are looking at accelerators to come up with new ideas for business which help them to stay in touch with disruptions.

Mr. Rohit Rao, Director, Grant Thorton

Mr. Rohit Rao started off by stating that corporate entrepreneurship depends on the kind of organization you are from and the onus is on the company to constantly innovate. He defined the values to be CLEAR- Collaboration, Leadership, Egility, Ability, and Respect. He also commented that the bigger a company gets, more the probability of lethargy to creep in. He believes it is important to foster right talent in terms of encouraging entrepreneurship.

Mr. Vaitheeswaran, Speaker, Angel Investor, Mentor

Mr. Vaitheeswaran said that Corporate entrepreneurship is the fashion in the fag, it will follow a similar trajectory like the start-ups. There is a need to corporates to venture into entrepreneurship to keep up with the competitiveness. He even mentioned that the biggest challenge is the unwillingness of corporates to invest their funds in innovative ideas due to the risks. He believes that the culture of an organization makes a difference in the success of corporate entrepreneurship.

 Mr. Darshan Doshi, Head Program Reliance Jio GenNext Hub

Mr. Darshan Doshi believes that the technology front and talent pool play the main role in corporate entrepreneurship. One should be willing to take ownership and adapt new technologies to grow in the market. The purpose of every entrepreneur within and outside an organization is to find the market need. He said that we need to identify and solve the problem. He concluded by saying that an organization’s returns should be exponential after executing an action plan.

Mr. Manish Harodia, Co-founder, and Head of Marketing & Sales, DreamWallets

Mr. Manish started the discussion by stating that the learning in one month of entrepreneurship is equal to the two years spent in a B- School case study methodology. According to him, entrepreneurship is a multiplier of an idea, product, team, and execution. The success of any business depends on the timing of the market. It is the deciding factor for the success of any idea. He shared his thoughts on how demonetization gave rise to many whacky ideas. Individuals with such ideas are influencing big enterprises to change the way organizations are working. He emphasized on idea generation and implementation.

Mr. Saumyajit Guha, Co-Principal, Jaarvis Accelerator

Mr. Saumyajit Guha started the discussion by citing examples in solving problems innovatively in the corporate world. According to him, the manner in which a problem is solved leads to corporate innovation. He said that an entrepreneur is comparatively more free to take risks and launch a new product or service unlike the corporate. This is because of the accountability and ownership factor which is lacking in the corporate. The challenge in the corporate is the job mentalities of the employees, which plays a major role in the execution of successful operations.

Maneeshi: Inauguration Ceremony

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Maneeshi the first installment held in T. A. Pai Institute of Management was inaugurated on the 28th of January. This initiative is launched by Omega, the consultancy wing and SEG, the social endeavour group of TAPMI. The theme of the event is “Entrepreneurship as Competitiveness”. This captures the true spirit of the entrepreneur scene currently prevalent in the country. The ceremony started with the invocation song and lighting of the lamp.

Professor Gururaj Kidyoor, the Director at TAPMI opened the inauguration by introducing the theme to the present guests, faculty and students. He feels that when we think of a start-up or a new entrepreneurship initiative we only think of e-commerce. The other sectors are not given the due weightage or importance because of the lack of knowledge or awareness. He concluded by saying the events like Maneeshi explore other avenues which emphasize on social transformation and not just to feed in consumerism.

Prof Kidyoor welcomed the chief guest of the event Mr Gautam Pai, Managing Director of Manipal Technologies, onto the stage to give his views. He explained that a country like India had a huge potential given the vast talent pool and the major social issues awaiting a simple solution. But he feels the major problem lies in the fact that there is taboo for a business failing. This mentality forms a major block because for higher risk one needs to take higher returns. He went on to explain the various reasons that India is an open playing field for start-ups because of the various problems awaiting a simple solution.

The inauguration ceremony came to an end with exciting events lined up. The panelists and participants for these events geared up for the three day event. The first of its kind, Maneeshi holds a promising and eventful journey for all the guests, faculty and students.

FINOMENAL 2016: DAY 2:”CAREERS IN FRM”-Mr. Lalit Taneja, Regional Director, Global Association of Risk Professionals

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In an interactive session with students Mr. Lalit Taneja, Regional Director, Global Association of  Risk Professionals gave the students insights about the various career prospects in the field of Financial Risk Management. The session started off with him telling the students about the key forces driving the demand for risk managers. Before 2008 financial crisis market was driven by sales then post the crisis operations took over and presently the focus has completely shifted to regulation. This demand is the result of many historical drivers some of which are globalisation and integration of markets, increased product complexity, technological advances, regulations and market crisis. Sovereign risk, commodity market volatility, increased focus on organizational risk are some of the factors that have recently further accelerated the demand for risk managers.

He further stated why people are increasingly shifting to jobs in the field of FRM. Financial Risk Management assesses an individual’s ability to measure and manage risk in a real-world environment. What sets FRM apart is reliability, maintenance, validity, and acceptance. In the recent years, new trends have been constantly emerging in FRM. Due to current issues like cyber risk, liquidity risk, and regulatory stress, FRM has become a prerequisite for every organisation. GARP plays an active role in monitoring the work of certified FMR practitioners.

As the session approached its end, he concluded by stating some of the latest trends shaping the role of risk management which includes regulations, technology, advanced analytics and the emergence of newly arrived risks such as model risk, cyber security risk, and contagious risk. With these emerging trends, companies are gearing up to tackle these risks. Organisations are imparting risk education to their employees and are encouraging them to learn by providing benefits like exam preparation leaves, study groups in office and in-house course instructor.

“The 4 Ps of Marketing are Please Please Please Please!” – Mr. Amit Gupta, Associate Director of Strategy and Operations, KPMG

On 7th August, Mr. Amit Gupta, Associate Director of Strategy and Operations, KPMG conducted an interactive session on the topic-“Marketing and product management in telecom sector”. The agenda for the session was 4 P’s of marketing .He believes that the 4P’s of marketing are not product, place, price and promotion as defined by Kotler but are Please! Please! Please! Please! Consumer behaviour is changing rapidly and differentiation can only be achieved through quality service, convenience, responsiveness and availability.

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He talked about Digital revolution and why it is so important to be online these days .India is a hypercompetitive market with 13 telecom operators, which is twice as compared to other countries .Only 30% of the people are smartphone users and rural penetration is just 48% which means India has a huge potential for data penetration. The maximum number of transactions happen in tier 1 and tier 2 cities. India has one of the lowest APUs globally and also spectrum challenge is acute in India. The margin pressure in India is lowest as compared to other countries and Indian Telecom industry is facing a lot of pressure due to this.

If we look back at how the consumers and market place have changed drastically, 1990s saw  MNCs coming to India after which in 2000s there was the IT blow and arrival of IPOs. In 2008 global recession hit most of the nations but India was not affected as much. After 2008 India came out of hibernation .New things and trends emerged in India and lifestyle of the people changed. Instant gratification was one of the trends that emerged during this time. India also came out of the closet and people started discussing things openly. Now the society is more open.

Further he told spoke about the rise of digital consumer. The rising presence and reach of the internet coupled with the prolific growth of smartphones, tablets and related technologies has provided consumers with unmatched access to information. One of the biggest achievements of social media is that it is giving customers what they want .Terms like Omni channel marketing, big data is a marketing buzz word these days.

He further stated that cloud computing, social media, big data, augmented reach and mobility are some of the top disruptive technologies in digital space. Companies are continuously tracking your footprints on web and accumulating all the data and processing it into structured information. The consumer buying process has also changed .Earlier it was a traditional linear process. With the evolution of digital media there is no buying process now and anything can influence your buying behaviour. The key drivers of growth are content on demand, convergence, Internet of things and increased mobile penetration in rural areas. Some of the key trends affecting product management are market growth slowing, competition getting more aggressive and high churn.

In the end he concluded by saying that “Your competitors are not always who you think they are. Innovations like Loon by Google, Drone by Facebook and SPACEX can be the biggest threats to telecom companies in the future”.