Great Lakes Institute of Management, Gurgaon, a premier B School in the country hosted its Annual Management Conclave ‘Sapience – 2015’ at India Habitat Centre, New Delhi. The conclave was graced by the presence of Mr. Vineet Nayar, Former CEO, HCL Technologies and Founder, Sampark Foundation as the Chief Guest and Keynote Speaker. The theme of the conclave was – “Driving Growth through Innovation”. The Conclave witnessed 21 eminent industry leaders participating in panels and discussing on key areas that could drive growth through innovations.
Mr. Vineet Nayar, Former CEO, HCL Technologies and Founder, Seamark Foundation, said,
To be successful in life, one must think out of the box and try to attempt what others perceive as impossible. He stressed on the fact that innovation is something that is a personal matter, it is about the individual, and it is a skill that can be learnt. Innovation happens when the individual thinks outside the boundaries of reasons and logic and challenges the status quo. He further added that it is high aspirations that take us ahead in life. He also advised students to think carefully, act reasonably and perform thoughtfully in all areas of life.
The keynote address was followed by four panel discussions in the areas of Internet Business, Digital Marketing, Analytics and Renewable Energy.
The first panel discussion on “Internet Business – Innovations around the marketplace model” emphasized on the various innovations around the market place model originally brought in by the pivoting of e-commerce companies from an inventory model to a marketplace model, which was then emulated as a model for other categories as well. The panel also raised the question whether marketplace models are scalable and sustainable for all categories and if quality can be assured to consumers as the supply side of the platform grows? The panel comprised of Mr. Umang Kumar, Co-founder & CEO, Gaadi.com and President, Cardekho, Mr. Varun Khurana, CTO, Grofers, Mr. Praneet Gupta, VP Global Growth, Zomato, Mr. Ankit Khanna, Senior VP, Product Management, Snapdeal, Mr. Gaurav Agarwal, Co-founder & CTO, 1mg. The panel concluded on the note, that a lot of innovation is required on the logistics side and around supply chain management infrastructure for sustenance of market place models. To solve these problems of large companies many startups are coming up with innovative solutions. The panel highlighted that any e-commerce business depends on two things – availability and assortment. The companies are using a mix of technology and process to make sure that they focus on these two factors to keep the consumers satisfied.
The second panel discussion on “Digital Marketing – Innovating to solve the customer targeting problem” focused on how Digital Marketing tools have innovated to disrupt the conventional marketing methods, enabling the marketers to communicate with the target groups instantly using digitizable content/product. The panel raised the question whether digital marketing will make conventional marketing irrelevant and if so how soon? The panel comprised of Mr. Apurva Chamaria, Head Branding & Digital Marketing, HCL Technologies, Mr. Samraat Kakkar, Head Digital, Team Airtel, GroupM, Nitin Agarwal, Director, Marketing & Merchandising, Shopclues.com and Mr. Nitin Pandey, Founder & CEO, Parentune.com. The panel concluded on the note that, though the old trends of marketing will remain relevant but the future belongs to digital marketing. Digital is going to be a foundation skill in the future. The panel also highlighted the fact that consumers behave differently online and in the physical world. It is, therefore, imperative for any marketer to understand the consumer behavior and then come up with innovative ideas. To understand the consumer behavior, data analytics is going to play a major role in the digital marketing domain, the panelists concurred.
The third panel discussion on “Analytics – Extending the frontiers” focused on the fact that large business enterprises use data analytics on a daily basis for better targeting, operational efficiency and risk management. The panel raised the question that what innovations in analytics are required for better decision making in sectors like SME and Government for further growth of these sectors. The panel comprised of Dr. Laveesh Bhandari, Director, Indicus Analytics, Dr. Sachin Gulati, Director, Network Policy and Process, Global Network Business, American Express, Mr. Nitish Pandey, CTO, Power2SME, Dr. Manish Gupta, Senior Vice President, Analytics, Infoedge, Mr Amit Gupta, Procurement Analytics Lead at Accenture, and Mr. Anurag Verma, CFO, FN Mathlogic. The panel concluded on the note, that the reasons why SME and Government sectors are yet to use analytics for their growth are – firstly, it is a cultural issue, many companies are not using analytics simply because others are not using it in the same sector, secondly, to use analytics they will have to set up a system, thirdly, cost of learning data science is high, and lastly people in the sector are not aware of the various options available and the sectors require awareness on the data analytics domain and its benefits.
The last panel discussion was on “Renewable Energy – Unprecedented scaling up”. The panel discussed the Union Cabinet’s plan to install 100 GW solar capacity by the year 2022. To achieve this target government will have to devise highly innovative strategies in the areas of Finance, Human Resources, Operations and Technology Development. The panel focused on the kind of innovative approaches required to realize these stiff renewable energy targets. The panel comprised of Mr. Rajendra Srivastava, Managing Director, Nuclear & Solar Business, Alstom Power, Dr. Jami Hossain, Technical Chair, World Wind Energy Association, Chief Mentor and Co-founder, Windforce Management Services, Mr. Ashootosh Sharma, Director, Equis Funds Group, Mr. Anish Garg, Director, JERC, Ms. Namrata Mukherjee, Head of Group, Policy and Regulatory, IL&FS Energy Development Company ltd. and Mr. Prabhat Kumar Mishra, Head, Offtake and Regulatory Affairs, ReNew Power Ventures. The panel highlighted the various issues that are posing challenges to investors, regulators, State and Central Government and end users arising out of such ambitious renewable energy targets. The panel expressed that India needs many new big players to come in the country and invest in the solar and wind power sector. In order to reassure the big players of the global renewable sector, the state and central governments have to offer some kind of payment guarantees for the developers to make them feel confident to make long term investment decision in solar projects.