Solaris – A grand success

The inaugural management fest of IIM Udaipur, Solaris, was a two day extravaganza held on the 7th and 8th of November. The fest was entirely conceptualized and executed by the student body and earmarked the exponential growth the college has seen since its inception. The fest encompassed a wide array of activities from summits, workshops to umpteen competitions. The summits and workshops covered all domains of management and were graced by industry veterans and provided huge impetus for learning. The competitions too provided an interesting mix ranging from testing participants on core domains such as finance, marketing to a short film making competition and the high competence level helped bring out the best in the students.

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The first day started with an address from the director of IIM Udaipur, Prof. Janat Shah. He outlined the key focus areas of the institute’s growth and how the concept of Solaris was directly in sync with the college’s focus on holistic growth. He emphasized on research, transformation and contributing to society as the key pillars of growth of the institute. Prof. Shah’s address was followed by an enriching talk from industry behemoth and keynote speaker, Mr. Subir Gokarn( recently appointed executive director of the IMF). He helped provide a comprehensive view of India’s growth potential and the means to eradicate the present frailities to exploit this potential.

The keynote address was followed by the first summit, The Leadership Summit. This is the flagship event of the Media and Industry Interaction Cell of the institute and as in the preceding three editions, this time too, the summit had industry veterans such as Mr. Unnikrishnan(CEO, Thermax), Mr. Sandeep Budhiraja( Country Head, MMR Research Worldwide),Mr. Ajay Gupta( COO, Decimal Point Analytics) and Mr. Manish Rastogi( Head, Metro Cash and Carry) attending. Their speeches helped provide detailed perspectives on specific industries and the macroeconomic situation. They helped provide unique interplays on the central theme “Evolve” by helping elucidate as to how companies consistently break through existing norms and bring about innovation in all spheres to cope with the present times.

Samvaah , the marketing conclave organized by the marketing club Marclan, was the other summit held on the first day. The theme for the event was “The Future of Marketing”  and had a keen focus on the advent of new marketing techniques in view of the tried and tested concepts becoming obsolete in the present scenario. The conclave had industry marketing wizards such as Mr. Ramamoorthi (Managing partner at Ogilvy and Mather), Mr. Abhishek Joshi (Director- Digital Marketing and Customer Acquisition at Redbus), Mr. Atindriya Bose (Country Head of Sony entertainment) and Ms. Gayatri Ojha (Brand Communications & Insights Head – M-Pesa at Vodafone India).They emphasized on the dynamic nature of the marketing field and the practices needed to remain abreast with this dynamism. The speeches covered a wide array of topics such as digital marketing, new age advertising and also marketing techniques to popularize novel initiatives such as M-Pesa.

The second day commenced with Arth-Samvaad, the Finance Summit which was organized by Finomina, the finance committee of the college. The presence of industry stalwarts such as The Chief Economist at YES BANK– Dr. Shubhada Rao, Associate Director at NVS Brokerage- Mr. Kamlesh Mehta and Executive Director of IDBI Bank Ltd.– Mr. N.S. Venkatesh helped provide the ideal platform for future financial managers to interact with them and help understand the intricacies of the financial world. The panel discussion was on the topic “Currency Chaos: Where will it lead to?” where the industry experts helped decipher the intricacies and position of the Indian Rupee along with the market swings brought in by the Chinese Renminbi. The panel discussion was followed by Mr. Deepak Mohanty(Executive Director of the RBI) addressing the audience on the objectives of the central bank and how the RBI has coped with global financial pressures in the past. Mr. Mohanty helped enrich the audience regarding the key financial indicators and how performance on these indicators is a sign of growth. The summit concluded with the dignitaries unveiling the finance magazine-Arthaarth and hence concluding another successful edition of the summit.

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The final summit of the fest was Technovate, the IT-Entreprenuership Summit which focused on the booming world of startups and how technology was the key enabler for this boom. The industry leaders in attendance were Mr. Manoj Sharma the Chief Technical Officer of Quikr, Mr. Vishal Verma the Operations and Logistics Manager of Uber, Mr. Anil Joshi of Unicorn India Ventures, Ms. Aditee Rele, the Lead in Technical Evangelism at Microsoft, Mr. Piyush Poddar, the Director of Professional Services at Axelerant and Ms. Lalitha Yanamandra, the General Manager of Enterprise Services & Delivery at MartJack and they spoke on the topic “Evolution of entrepreneurs in IT”. The summit was an extremely engaging medium as the panel discussions helped shed light on various facets associated with startups i.e. investment , target market, evolving technology etc. Mr. Anil Joshi, founder of early stage investment provider, Unicorn India Ventures, too provided inputs on the investment cycle. The summit helped educate budding entreprenuers of the essential parameters to start a successful enterprise and was a huge success.

The various competitions and workshops were held across the two days and provided ample opportunities for learning and testing one’s competencies. The various competitions included events that tested core concepts such as Vitt-Sangram, the finance case study competition and marketing events such as Juxtapose, the ad-making event to events such as the short film making competition which was judged by eminent director Mr. Vibhu Puri. The competition was extremely intense as a number of teams were from other top B-schools such as IIM Ahmedabad, Symbiosis, IIM Amritsar etc. The students of IIMU too gave their best and bagged laurels in several events. A number of workshops were held too such as the Dabbawala workshop, the Consultimg workshop etc which were attended in great numbers as students had the chance for close interaction with industry veterans. The Dabbawala workshop in particular was a huge hit as Mr. Vijay Aggarwal provided an in depth study of the world famous supply chain system of the Dabbawalas.

The two day inaugural fest was thus organized on a very grand scale even though the college is in its nascent stage. The various summits and workshops proved to be ideal grounds for learning and understanding of the various facets of the corporate world. The competitions tested competencies to the hilt and hence proved to be ideal for the best minds of the country. The smooth conduction of the event in itself provided umpteen challenges but the coordinated efforts of the student body and everyone associated with the institute helped the IIM Udaipur fraternity pull it off. Hence, Solaris was a huge success and it certainly set the benchmark for other top B-schools to emulate.

Solaris – A historic moment

solarisA college which sets trends for its contemporaries to follow has come up with a new benchmark for others. IIM Udaipur is ready to host its Maiden management fest – Solaris which will be held on the 7th and 8th of November.

‘Solaris’, a name coined in sync with the famously sunny disposition of Rajasthan skies is set to touch a cherished milestone envisioned ever since the inception of IIM Udaipur. A two-day long extravaganza full of events to keep some of India’s most brilliant minds engaged, Solaris is entirely conceptualized and managed by students of the institute.

The event is planned to present an enthralling keynote address from distinguished luminaries like Dr. Subir Gokarnthe youngest ever Deputy Governor of RBI . He shall be flagging off the management fest with tales of his work and impart wisdom in the young minds present in the audience and also to some of the other revered personalities present there.

Summits

The event commences the flagship event of ‘Solaris’- The Leadership Summit. The event is one of four summits taking place in this business extravaganza which has been brought to life by the Media and Industry Interaction Cell (MiiC) of IIM Udaipur.

The Leadership Summit will be followed by the annual marketing conclave named Samvaah organized completely by the marketing club- Marclan. The club which tries to instill a zeal for marketing in the college as well as beyond believes that the world of marketing is changing from the tried and tested concepts of the old. Marclan put in untiring effort and diligence into finding the perfect panel for a discussion on “The future of marketing”.

The second day commences with the finance summit- Arth-Samvaad, the flagship event of the finance club- Finomina. The summit provides a platform for future financial managers to interact with industry stalwarts and discuss the changing trends in the world of finance and economics.

The final summit will bring the era of tech-startups to light. The world of IT has spread across all domains and infiltrated every walk of life. The summit – Technovate will be organized by Saksham – the E-cell at IIMU.

Competitions and workshops

The fest continues with a stimulating line up of events and competitions conducted by the marketing club- Marclan, a business quiz conducted by the Literary and Quizzing society- Potpourri along with individual events by the entrepreneurship cell- Saksham and the finance club- Finomina. A workshop in analytics will be conducted by the IT cell of the college connect-IT.

The maiden fest of IIM Udaipur is destined to be a great success and put the event as amongst the top ranking business extravaganzas of the country. As the torchbearers light the proverbial inaugural lamp IIM Udaipur opens its doors for the world to see the rising sun that is ‘Solaris’. Ignite. Illuminate. Inspire.

ARTH SAMVAAD – Another blossom added to the Financial Tree

Mergers and Acquisitions, company IPOs, role of regulatory bodies, and valuing companies are some of the most talked about topics in the world of finance today. To bring together finance enthusiasts from across the country to discuss these and other critical topics, Arth Samvaad-the third edition of the annual finance symposium of IIM Udaipur was organized on 24th January, 2015 at the institute’s campus.

Arth Samvaad is a student driven initiative organized by Finomina- the finance club of IIM Udaipur. The event serves as a platform for future financial managers to learn and interact with industry stalwarts to discuss changing trends in the financial world and the micro and macro- economic factors that affect financial decision making.

The event began with a welcome address by Prof. Janat Shah, the director of IIM Udaipur. Prof. Shah elaborated on the key features of education at IIM Udaipur namely research, MBA as a transformational journey and making a difference to the region. Prof. Shah also spoke at length about IIM Udaipur’s focus on global and rural immersion and on encouraging entrepreneurship among students.

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The welcome address was followed by a panel discussion on the theme ‘Rethink: Decades of Financial Folly-Will it be different this time?’ The speakers for the same were:

  • Harsh Vardhan: Head of Bain India’s Financial Services practice
  •  Mr. Niraj Karia: Senior VP, Kotak Mahindra Capital
  • Mr. Sriram Krishnan: Director & Head – Market Specialists, Securities Services, India
  • Mr. Umesh Agrawal: Executive Director of Investment Banking at Axis Capital, Mumbai, India

Mr. Niraj Karia spoke on the changing scenario over the past decade as regards changes in leverage and derivatives, complexity of regulations and valuations. Mr. Vardhan then discussed the reasons for the global and Indian financial follies over the past decades and how we could deal with the same. Mr. Krishnan emphasized on the need to first understand the framework and background for each historical folly while Mr. Agrawal discussed current economic trends and key indicators that will influence India’s future financial growth.

The panel discussion was followed by an intercollege debate competition on the topic: ‘Is Increasing Regulations on Financial Institutions Good?’ The debate saw teams from IMT Ghaziabad, IIM Lucknow, NMIMS Bangalore and IIM Udaipur present their stance on the topic, while also challenging the views of other teams.

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The event also saw a Mergers and Acquisition workshop conducted by Mr. V S Sundaresan, Chief General Manager, SEBI. The workshop involved the analysis of a case study, and an ensuing discussion on the finer and often controversial topics in Mergers and Acquisitions.

The final event for the evening was a faceoff between the students of IIM Udaipur and Mr. V S Sundaresan on the necessity of a regulatory body. The faceoff saw a very animated discussion on the topic, with a number of key insights also contributed by the audience.

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The conclave ended with the launch of Finomina’s magazine: Arthaarth and the felicitation of the speakers by the director. The winners of the great debate challenge were also announced with NMIMS Bangalore coming first and the team from IIM Lucknow being the first runners up.

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The third edition of Arth Samvaad was a success with the students and speakers alike, looking forward to next year’s edition. Kudos to team Finomina!

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Things which differentiate IIM Udaipur – Team Work!

Climbing the ladders of a managerial career requires one to be cinch with team working abilities. Beginning from management trainees and proceeding through various phases of middle management and senior management roles, responsible managers are expected to work and deliver according to best of the capabilities of the team with which they are associated.

IIMU follows the pedagogy in the academic and non-academic student affairs in such a manner that the best of team working skills are inculcated in the students within the first three months itself of their stay at the institute. The academic programmes of the institute are launched with the first week entirely dedicated to team building workshops. External agencies who are specialist in the field are also sought to conduct innovative exercises involving sports, games et al to help in ice-breaking between the students and help them get ready for their journey in the institute.

A large part of the academic process involves weightage given to assignments, project submissions and class presentations given in study groups, furthermore, individual assignments. The study groups are formed by the Programmes Office with inputs from the faculty. A large care is taken to ensure parameters like academic, cultural and work experience diversity in the formation of groups to enhance the overall functioning of groups. IIM Udaipur has adopted case based learning methodology and a significant importance lies in the class participation and case discussions, hence providing the students of a feel of simulation of real life complex managerial situations.

The student clubs and committees and their plethora of vibrant activities in the institute complement the team building process. These bodies maintain autonomy in their selection process and hence bypass a large number of conventional parameters to form best teams aligned with their outcomes. The challenges posed to the students prepare them in honing their skills not confined to academic pursuits. The institute provides ample opportunities, independence and resources to students to conceive ideas and work in teams to plan and orchestrate their design and implementation. The institute has seen many such student driven initiatives culminating into events like The Leadership SummitThe Flagship Event of IIMU, Arth SamvaadThe Annual Finance Symposium of IIMU, SpandanThe Annual HR Conclave of IIMU, The Udaipur Leap Day Literature Festival and the Excursus Series.

Other prominent didactics like Live Projects, Field Surveys, Focus Group Studies, Industrial & Companies Visits, Global Immersion Programme, Student Exchange Term, Rural Immersion Course, Summer Internships and Placements Preparation Process all benefit students in the team working abilities by teaching them the values of mutual respect, appreciation, motivation, trust, understanding and refining of opinions, processes and working approaches.

Students also unite together with common interests and have come up with hobby clubs and societies for activities pertaining to sports, dance, music, arts, literature, photography, dramatics etc. Dedication to serve for a sensitive cause and social responsibility have also resulted in execution of student drives like Blood Donation Camp, Stem Cell Donation Camp and School Children Mentorship Programme.

Leaders well known in the corporate world are comprehended as great based on their abilities to lead teams with perfection for exceptional work deliveries. And IIMU strives to help students in developing as managers more confident of their team working capabilities and more responsible for team based actions so that they excel in their corporate journeys after learning the insights of transition at their stay at IIM Udaipur.

Arth – Samvaad 2014 concludes amidst piquant discussions, applauds and cheers!

Finomina The Finance Club of IIM Udaipur successfully organized Arth Samvaad 2014, the second edition of its annual Finance Symposium on 25th January, 2014. The clubs and committees of IIMU give ample opportunities to its students to master the tapestry of learning and holistic development while getting hands on experience in organizing events. Finomina’s constant endeavor remains imparting to the students of IIMU, the latest knowledge from the world of finance. In light of the recent economic complexities and the challenges faced by corporates in financial management, a host of speakers, all leaders in multiple financial services organizations were invited for the symposium.

Panel discussion

The event flagged off with an opening speech from Prof. Janat Shah Director, IIMU who presented his vision for the institute with strong emphasis on research, analysis and entrepreneurship. The umbrella theme for Arth-Samvaad 2014 was Financial Management Cues for the Future, aptly developed around global financial chaos and prominent future opportunities in the sector. The Chief Guest of the event, Mr. V S Sundaresan, Chief General Manager, SEBI efficiently deliberated on the topic progressing through the performance of financial markets in leaps and bounds and how SEBI’s focus has been around Products, Processes and Participants.

Prof. Janat Shah has always been a driving force motivating his students. And IIMU students witnessed a sheer moment of this construct when the Chief Guest was joined by the Keynote Speaker of the event, Mr. Satya Narayanan R, FounderChairman, Career Launcher. Mr. Satya Narayanan R has been a student of Prof. Janat Shah at IIM Bangalore and his entrepreneurial success in leading Career Launcher to the helm among the Educational Services companies of India shows the prominence with which Prof. Janat Shah champions the transformation of his students exalting all of them with his vision. Mr. Satya Narayanan R discussed about the role capital markets can play in influencing the masses and the values like paying back to the society which should lead the businesses.

The event saw two important panel discussions between eminent corporate leaders. The first panel discussion with the sub-theme, “Corporate FinanceDoes Practice Meet Theory?” had panelists Mr. V Srinivasa Rangan, Executive Director, HDFC, Mr. Sourav Mallik, Senior Executive Director and HeadMergers & Acquisitions, Kotak Investment Banking and Mr. Srinivas Baratam, MD, Kriscore Financial Advisors. The discussion was moderated by PGP student, Dhiraj Kumar. The vast experience of these professionals nurtured an engaging and enriching the discussion with various aspects of corporate finance touched upon like conservatism, valuation to the shareholders, gaps between theory and the dynamic world of practice, debt, equity and the challenges of expected returns in the market. The finance enthusiasts of IIMU were equally excited to be in the audience and the panelists instantly struck a chord to inspire the students as role models with their innovative talks, delivering complex financial jargons in a light manner keeping everyone in splits.

The precursors of the final day event were competitions under the title Vitt-Sangram, the Pan India Debate Challenge, Quiz Competition and Article Writing Contest. The participants from leading B-School joined the team from IIM Udaipur for battling their knowledge out in the arena in front of the judges.

The second panel discussion revolved around the sub-theme, “Capital Markets in India: Infancy, Early Adulthood or Mature?” with the panelists Mr. Sandip Sabharwal, Investment Advisor and a Star Fund Manager, Mr. Amit Thawani, Executive Director, Nomura Financial Advisory & Securities (India) and Mr. Imtaiyazur Rahman, Group President & CFO, UTI AMC with the discussion being moderated by PGP student, Naimish Shah. The speakers discussed about the market size of Indian Capital Markets, Mutual Funds, IPO and the effect of GAAR on the Capital Markets.

With the winners

Finomina’s stride to deepen the financial acumen of the students of IIMU culminated on a promissory note with the launch of the 4th edition of Arthaarth, the Quarterly Magazine of Finomina. The speakers insistence on getting the foundation and clarity of concepts in theory right before practise left the students motivated. And the institute’s infrastructure with sophisticated Bloomberg Terminals leaves no stone unturned in shaping the best finance leaders of tomorrow. The event concluded with a vote of thanks and prize distribution to the winning teams from IIM Udaipur and SIBM Pune of the Debate Challenge, as well as a token of gratitude expressed for the event sponsors, Union Bank of India and Indian Bank.

The other participating teams were IIFT Kolkata and IMT Hyderabad. The winners of Article Challenge were IIM Bangalore and IIM Udaipur. And the Quiz Competition was won by IMT Ghaziabad, NMIMS and IIM Udaipur.

Life @ IIMU

Nestled amongst the lush, verdant hills of the Aravallis in Rajasthan, the Indian Institute of Management, Udaipur currently located in the campus of the Mohan Lal Sukhadia University possesses the perfect setting and environment for a business school.

Academic rigour has always been a part and parcel of the life of an IIM student and the experience at IIM Udaipur so far, lives up to the same. With business cases to be prepared on an almost daily basis, the study sessions with fellow group mates and the umpteen reports and presentations that have to be made and delivered before deadlines (which more often than not are at unearthly hours, so far spent either watching movies, surfing the net or partying hard) life can get stressful and sleep, a bygone luxury. And just when you’ve had a really heavy lunch topped off with some chilled lassi, does a mail pop into your inbox. Now, outside professional life, mails are usually responded to with a bored glance or a casual laugh. An IIM student learns to expect more. Mails from the PGP office between 12.30PM and 3.30PM are…the most dreaded on campus. Statistics for Management toppers have for decades struggled with their regression, correlation and heuristic analyses to comprehend the relationship between full stomachs and afternoon mails from the PGP office. Surprise quizzes, considered by many as an initiative by the Lucifer himself, serve to knock you off your dreamy siestas and full tummies to those notes that you had, in all probability, hastily scribbled over the last couple of sessions in class. However, the burden of all these activities can be alleviated by merely stepping out onto the hostel terraces for some casual banter with your “ever-ready” group mates whilst taking in the fresh mountain air that most of us have for so long missed, before resuming preparations.

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Udaipur, also called the ‘Venice of the East’ is also called the City of Lakes. Hills, lakes, gardens and palaces, the city is not short on options to recharge the soul and the mind, a welcome relief from the daily grind. The Chief Conservator of Forests in Udaipur organizes regular treks for the students, which apart from being an experience in itself, helps build bonds that could very well last a lifetime. For the foodie, the alleys of the Old Udaipur town are a godsend. Rajasthani delicacies, Mumbai vadapavs and even Keralite non-vegetarian cuisine, the city’s got enough to keep you satiated. Fast food outlets of the likes of KFC, Pizza Hut are in a close proximity to the campus and make for a welcome reprieve at the weekends.

For those who want to work on their extra-curricular activities, IIM Udaipur’s clubs and committees (currently numbering to around 20) provide ample opportunities. The Media & Industry Interaction Cell organizes the Leadership Summit, which is the flagship event of the campus. The Literary club is not just restricted to organizing quizzes. Over the last year, it has organized the Udaipur Leap Day Lit Fest where authors of the likes of Rashmi Bansal and Ashwin Sanghvi visited the campus and interacted with the students. The club also conducted the Udaipur Amazing Race which was basically a treasure hunt across the city of Udaipur, organized along the lines of the popular TV show. The football and crickets enthusiasts among the batch have a Cricket and Football League system in place, complete with an IPL-style auctioning system to add a little extra spice. There are also regular JAM sessions and film screenings that allow the entire batch to let its hair down and have fun as a group. The institute also has a music room, where the musicians of the batch can let loose post the sessions in class.

As in every Management School, due importance is given to those clubs that promote the business of Business itself at IIM Udaipur. Finomina – The Finance Club of IIM Udaipur holds sessions and competitions with the batch to illustrate and discuss various aspects of finance. The Entrepreneurship Cell – Saksham holds guest lectures with the batch, where students get to interact with budding entrepreneurs. Prayatna – The Social Responsibility club has taken up a variety of initiatives to promote a spirit of social responsibility among the students. The Cultural Committee organizes various cultural events in the campus to highlight the diversity of the batch. The recent Food Fest conducted in association with the Mess Committee is just an example of the same.

As with any other college, the real flavour of IIM Udaipur is best experienced in its hostels. Time inside the hostels doesn’t run according to the Indian Standard Time though, at any point in the day the mean number of people sleeping and those wide awake are roughly the same. The latter are either working furiously to complete some assignment or trying to derive some inspiration for doing so off of Facebook!

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Come 8:30 AM and its quite common to see mouths frantically trying to gobble down the breakfast before entering the lecture hall – hopefully before the professor. The afternoons and evenings that are privileged enough to not be spent in class are utilized for impromptu siestas, volleyball matches or Counter Strike battles. More often than not, it’s all three combined.

The nights can be rather subdued before a quiz or some similar tragedy scheduled for the next day, however one thing that manages to bring people together even in times of such hardship is the call for “Maaro Maaro Maaro Maaro” that accompanies every poor soul’s birthday celebrations. The crowd congregates, beats the person black and blue, eats all the cake, (occasionally remembers to wish said person) and then go back to their respective studies. The quizzes still lie in waiting, and they are not going to study for themselves!