“Best teachers are those who excite you about life, push you beyond” – A Candid Interview with Prof. Janat Shah

Interviewer: Rajashree

Student Representative, Media and industry interaction Cell (MiiC), IIMU

Photographer: Zeeshan

Student Representative, Media and industry interaction Cell (MiiC), IIMU

This week to garner the occasion of Teachers’ Day, we bring to you some reflections and heartfelt words from our Director and one of our most loved teachers, Professor Janat Shah.

We enter the cabin after a short wait, and a little time bargain with a fellow visitor. The humble Professor greets us with a kind smile and offers us a seat. Zeeshan is ready with his camera and in one glorious opportunity, out comes my smartphone. I hit record, and our conversation begins, interspersed with his contagious laughter.

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MiiC : Sir, please share with us a little about your time as a student, maybe something memorable from your school or college years.

Prof. Shah : It has been so long, schooldays were so many years back ! You know what happens, when you look back on life sometimes, you tend to forget. I kept changing schools as my father moved to various places in the city. Then I did my engineering from IIT Bombay, then worked for five years and then did my Fellow Programme at IIM Ahmedabad.

MiiC : How was your stint as a fellow programme student ?

He responds with surprising candor and a frank laughter.

Prof. Shah : Initially, I didn’t know why I was doing a PhD. I just wanted to switch from Corporate and here was a programme where they were also offering a stipend and so I joined. But I decided to cross the bridge and do it more seriously than I had studied in my undergraduate years.

MiiC: Sir, you are an inspiration to so many of us. Could you tell us about a teacher who has left a lasting impression in your life?

Prof. Shah: Yes, I have had some outstanding teachers.  For instance, Professor Jahar Saha, he is also a visiting faculty with us. In IIM, I would say, we had teachers who were outstanding in terms of not just what they taught about business in class but about life as a whole. We had Professor Balakrishnan who taught Management Accounting which for lot of people can be very mechanical, but I would say I learnt business from him. I believe the best teachers are those who excite you about life, push you beyond. In engineering back then, we used punch cards for computer programming where you got the result for your codes only the next day. So a single error can ruin it completely.  We had great teachers on this subject as well. Then we had a professor who invited us to dinner at his place. Also we had an out-of-the-box warden who would never visit hostel and would blindly sign any letter or certificate, be it for extension for fees payment or anything at all. So I think people who trust you make a huge difference.  I believe therefore I had a range of teachers who not just taught me business but about a broader way of looking at life.

MiiC : Sir, you have been leading IIMU last five years. Would you tell us about some of the challenges you faced, assembling the team and so on and so forth.

Prof. Shah: I would say the challenges we faced in the first four months were immense. When I took over, I had nobody but I had some ideas. I wanted to give the students here the same facilities that our students at IIM Bangalore had. We had a few things in mind that we put down as a necessity, like great classrooms. CR-1 that you see was done in less than a month. Similarly arranging for fast Wifi, high quality IT infrastructure and then bringing in outstanding faculty were some of the things we aimed at. Being able to deliver these starting from scratch was much fun.

MiiC : Sir, as a teacher how do you deal with students having different vibes and aspirations ? Some may work well under pressure while some may underperform.

Prof. Shah:  I think this a challenge where I have sometimes, though not always, been successful. Say there were two courses I remember two courses very well from my teaching life. In one, I had systematically planned my course. I knew my entire student profile, and I had planned something for every group. So you see, you need to recognize but you shouldn’t target any one particular group. But this requires fair amount of effort but when that effort is put in, it is highly rewarding. The second course that I highly enjoyed teaching was one which I had designed very differently, deciding it would just have my own cases. We met once a week in a two hour class. Every Sunday, they were given a case and the analysis that the students did was amazing. So everywhere I find that as a teacher if you are excited about the course, then students always reciprocate.

MiiC : Sir, as a teacher who has also worked in the corporate what would you say are the challenges and rewards in migrating to the teaching profession?

Prof. Shah : I think firstly you should enjoy working with young people, secondly a lot of patience and thirdly a lot of empathy. For instance, if someone comes and says I could not submit an assignment, you could say I don’t care or you could choose to understand why. Or you could be very strict inside the classroom and once out, understand why and how certain things happen. So, if you have these qualities you would have a fun time, especially when somebody gets back after years and tells you how you made a difference to their lives. Say, just two days ago I had a one hour long conversation with a student who has graduated some fifteen years ago about his experiences then on. I would say in every batch there are always a few students with who I have developed a strong relationship which continued over years.

MiiC: Do you have a personal hero? A real or fictitious character that inspires you?

Prof Shah: I am great admirer of Gandhi’s philosophy. Other than that I enjoy literature, writings of various authors. On one side I read Harry Potter and on another I like Dostoevsky’s characters.

MiiC: Tell us your take on balancing work and life? You being a busy person, how do you manage it?

Prof Shah: I think valuing relationships is the first thing, and then recognizing you need to invest in them. Once you recognize this fact, it will happen. Several of us make this mistake of taking people close to us for granted, and believe they will always understand. You think you will spend time with them at later stage in your lives. But it does not happen. You need to invest time in them.

MiiC:  Sir, your cycling is legendary now! Any other hobby we do not know of?

Prof Shah: Cycling is more of a practical thing! As you know legends are just mythology. I used to go for trekking amid nature once in a while though have not done it much off late, not for lack of time though.  I did one major trek as part of club during engineering, then some in Maharashtra and one in Himalayas.

MiiC : Sir, a question just popped up. Is there any book you read again and again?

Prof Shah: Quite a few, like J.D.Salinger’s ‘Catcher in the Rye’ and Lewis Carol’s ‘Alice in Wonderland’. Some other authors whose works I like are Franz Kafka and Lee Carr.

MiiC: If you had to give us a one line message Sir, what would it be?

Prof Shah: I would ask you to be curious. To me that is the key element. If you are curious in life, you will discover a lot in life, in the smallest of things.

We conclude the interview and talk a while more. The heartwarming encouragement remains with us as we walk out with a lot of thoughts and a treasury of pictures. Zeeshan has not been idle all this time.

The interview gave us an opportunity to bring to you some of the savored moments and invaluable advice from life of an inspirational teacher. We bid adieu to return with many such engaging conversations.

Signing Off!

Rajashree & Zeeshan

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Successful completion of Final Placements of PGP Batch 2013-2015 at IIM Udaipur

Indian Institute of Management Udaipur successfully concluded its final placement season for the class of 2015 of its flagship Post Graduate Programme (PGP). The institute achieved an incredible feat of 100% placement yet again as the big corporate houses in the industry continued to trust the quality of the management education delivered.

This year, 48 companies made 104 offers across various domains. The institute showed its marketing prowess as Sales & Marketing domain continued to offer the highest number of offers.

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All the three major sectors Banking/Financial, Manufacturing/Engineering/Energy and IT/ITes competed strength to strength with almost equal number of recruitment offers.

The outgoing PGP 2013-15 batch made numerous contributions to building a competitive culture in the institute with significant achievements in diverse fields such as extra-curricular activities, event management, entrepreneurship , business competitions, sports, cultural festival and social activities. The robust placement season concluded with impressive statistics of average salary of Rs. 13.62 lakhs per annum for the top quartile. The average placement figures for the top 50 percentile stood at Rs. 12.20 lakhs per annum. The changing business scenario influenced companies to hire the quality talent for assigning key roles and responsibilities with average salary of Rs. 10.28 lakhs per annum.

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The institute continued to strengthen its association with past recruiters like Accenture, Aranca, Bajaj Auto, Cognizant Technology Solutions, GE, Genpact, ICICI Bank, Mindtree, Mother Dairy, Quikr, Showman Logistics, Titan, Vedanta, Wipro, Yes Bank to name a few.

The institute also takes immense pride in associating with prominent first time recruiters like ACG Pharma, Amul, Berger Paints, Bharat Forge, Cognizant Business Consulting, CRISIL, Cummins, Deloitte US, ExxonMobil, Fidelity Investments, Jindal Steel & Power, KPMG, MAQ Software, Meru Cabs, RBL Bank, Raychem RPG and United Breweries.

10% of the students were offered pre-placement job (PPO) and pre-placement interview (PPI) based on their performance during the summer internship.

International offers were made by Xpress Money and ASC Thailand. Companies including ACG Pharma and India Pistons offered leadership roles such as Executive Assistant to CEO.

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Fostering the spirit of entrepreneurship, the institute takes pride to announce 2 year placement holiday to 3 students who took the road less travelled and opted out placement process to pursue their ventures. To support their endeavors, IIM Udaipur will also provide them the financial support in the form of monthly stipend of Rs. 20,000 per month.

The institute is proud to be one of the few B-Schools that follow the Indian Placement Reporting Standards (IPRS) to bring transparency in reporting its placement statistics.

Follow the below link for detailed final placement report PGP 2013-15 (Unaudited)-

http://iimu.ac.in/images/pdf/IIMU_PGP_FINAL_PLACEMENT_REPORT_APR09.pdf

The Supply Chain Summit 2015 – A Success Story

SKEIN, the Supply Chain and Operations Club of IIM Udaipur in collaboration with State Bank of India successfully conducted The Supply Chain Summit’15, second edition of the annual Supply Chain Symposium on 14th February, 2015. 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. SKIEN’s constant endeavor remains imparting the students of IIMU the latest knowledge from the World of Supply Chain. It is an initiative to bring together Supply Chain enthusiasts from academia, the local community and industry alike and provide a platform where global leaders can share their opinions and views on supply chain through engagement in panel discussions and thus provide valuable insights to the students.

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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 this Supply Chain Summit 2015 was “From Apple to Apple – Supply Chain Transformation”, aptly developed around the global Supply Chain evolving activities and the prominent opportunities in the sector in future. The theme throws light on the transformation that took place from selling of apples in grocery stores to developing and implementing innovative supply chain technologies in companies such as Apple Inc.

The run-up to the event saw numerous online and on-campus competitions being held, with teams from the best B-schools across the country joining the event for battling their knowledge out in the arena in front of the judges.

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The event saw two important panel discussions between eminent corporate leaders. The first panel discussion with the sub-theme, “Make in India: How Supply Chain can help achieve the Dream” had panelists Mr. Ajay Jhalani – Head Supply Chain (CHEP India Pvt. Ltd.) , Mr. Chandramohan Gupta – Director Supply Chain (Coca Cola – India and SW Asia),  Mr. Shyamal Chatterjee – Head India Operations (Tupperware) , and Mr. Vinal Kabra -Global Supply Manager (Apple Inc., California). The vast experience these professionals had helped in an engaging and enriching discussion with various strata of Supply Chain management touched upon like Sustainability of Make in India, Importance of Analytics in the field of Supply Chain, protecting the margins in businesses, amalgamation of frontend and backend processes, and problems pertaining to warehousing and storage of food in India. The panel mentioned that roughly 12-14% of India’s GDP goes into logistics and similarly 80% of the price of the product also comprises of supply chain. They also threw light on the importance of new managers coming into the industry and the expectation from them. The speakers discussed about plethora of issues ranging from integration with suppliers, Squeezing of working capital & its profitability, Accurate Demand aggregation, and enhancement in Cold Chain infrastructure.

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The second panel discussion revolved around the sub-theme, “E-Commerce in India: Competitive Advantage through Innovations in Supply Chain” with the panelists Mr. Hrishikesh Pore – Head Grocery Online (My247Market.com – A TATA Enterprise) , Mr. Navneet Rai – Co-founder (Tolexo) and Mr. Jayant Mahto – VP Operations (Firstcry.com). The panel discussed about how e-commerce has brought the once backend process of a business i.e supply chain to front end. They discussed the dilemma of maintaining a site that offers products both perishable and nonperishable products.  The panel discussion was mainly interaction driven with students asking questions specifically related to e-commerce industry as well as companies that the panelists are representing. The panelists also discussed the benefits of e-commerce as compared to the traditional method of shopping offline.

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The event ended with a felicitation of the speakers and a vote of thanks. The Supply Chain Summit’15 was a resounding success with speakers and participants alike, appreciating the seamless organization of the entire event and the insights they gained through the discussions.

IIM Udaipur’s Supply Chain Summit 2015

SKEIN, the Supply Chain and Operations Club of IIM Udaipur in association with State Bank of India is pleased to present the second edition of “The IIM Udaipur Supply Chain Summit“. The annual event is a platform where global leaders can share their opinions and views on supply chain through engagement in panel discussions and thus provide valuable insights to the students. This edition of the summit is scheduled at 2:00 pm on 14th February, 2015

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Living by the spirit of IIM Udaipur to be a forerunner in developing management leaders, the theme for Supply Chain Summit 2015 is:

From Apple to apple – Supply Chain Transformation

The panel discussion topics for the event are as follows:

Panel discussion 1: Make in India – How Supply Chain can help achieve the Dream

Panel discussion 2: E-Commerce in India – Competitive Advantage through Innovations in Supply Chain

Our esteemed guests for the event are:

  • Ajay Jhalani, Head Supply Chain-CHEP India Pvt. Ltd.
  • Vinal Kabra, Global Supply Manager – Apple Inc, USA
  • Chandramohan Gupta, Director Supply Chain- Coca Cola – India and SW Asia
  • Shyamal Chatterjee, Head India Operations – Tupperware
  • Hrishikesh Pore, Head Supply Chain – Tesco Hindustan Wholesaling Pvt. Ltd.
  • Navneet Rai, Co-founder – Tolexo
  • Jayant Mahto, Vice President Operations – Firstcry.com

The event is well supported by other sponsors as listed below:

Gati KWE – Associate Sponsor Zuccini- Food Partner Valley View- Hospitality Partner Udaipur Blog– Media Partner Chaudhary Offset Pvt. Ltd.- Printing Partner

Check out more details at-

Website: http://iimu.ac.in/campus/clubs-aamp-committees/supply-chain-management.html

FB page: https://www.facebook.com/SKEIN.SCM.IIMU

Mail: skein@iimu.ac.in

IIM Udaipur invites applications for Management Development Programme for Women Entrepreneurs – 2014

IIM Udaipur is pleased to invite applications for the Management Development Programme (MDP) for Women Entrepreneurs, 2014. This MDP organized by the Centre for Entrepreneurship and Innovation (CEI)Indian Institute of Management, Udaipur is a four-week academic workshop to be conducted from April 21 to May 15, 2014.

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Vision

In an effort to encourage, empower and educate potential women entrepreneurs to create their own business or social enterprise as well as to enable women entrepreneurs to grow their existing enterprises, CEI conducts a Management Development Programme for Women Entrepreneurs at the IIMU campus.

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For Whom

This programme specifically designed for current and aspiring women entrepreneurs focuses on enabling them to identify viable business opportunities and develop a feasible and sustainable plan for their proposed or existing enterprises.

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The program has sessions covering all areas of practical relevance to entrepreneurs including Entrepreneurial Orientation, Business Planning, Economic Environment, Business Economics, Industry Analysis, Business Strategy, Product Development, Marketing, Sales, Services Marketing, Product Management, Operations & Supply Chain Management, Accounting, Costing, Working Capital Management, Pricing, Finance, Banking, Budgeting, Managing People, Law, Taxation, Communication, Negotiation and Networking. This will be supplemented with site visits and interaction with successful women entrepreneurs and panel discussions on entrepreneurship.

Last Date for Registration

Nominations should reach latest by April 3, 2014.

Address

Indian Institute of Management, Udaipur
Polymer Science Building
MLSU Campus
Udaipur – 313001
Rajasthan

Duration

The programme will be inaugurated on Monday, April 21, 2014 at 9:30 am. Classes will be held from April 21 to May 15, 2014.

Further details of the programme, application procedure and forms are available at: http://www.iimu.ac.in/programs/mdp-for-women-entrepreneurs-2014.html

IIM Udaipur releases Summer Placement Report for the Batch 2013-15

Indian Institute of Management, Udaipur, takes great honor in announcing the successful completion of the Summer Placements 2013-14. The institute once again takes pride in 100% summer placements in spite of 11% increase in batch size. This season saw participation of several reputed organizations across various sectors such as Banking, Financial Services and Insurance (BFSI), FMCG, Consulting, E-Commerce, Pharmaceutical / Healthcare, Retail, Energy and Conglomerates among others. BFSI emerged as the largest sector making offers to 25% of the batch.

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IIM Udaipur witnessed participation from a total of 56 companies, marking a 22% increase over the previous year in the Summer Placement process for the 110 students of the Post Graduate Programme (PGP) 2013-2015. This year saw many prominent brands visiting the campus for the first time, a few names being Aegis Global Ltd., Boston Consulting Group, Cummins, Future Group, Dover Corporation, Marico, Maersk Line, Sundaram Mutual, Talisma and many more. This strongly reflects the rising distinction of the institute and the increasing value of its talent in the industry. Several past recruiters like GE India, ICICI Bank, ICRA, KPMG, Infoedge India (naukri.com), Mapro, Xpress Money, UAE Exchange, Vedanta and others have continued to show confidence in the quality of the students and the management education imparted. With the varied professional and educational diversity of the batch, students have been offered with a variety of profiles like Finance, Marketing, Consulting, Operations, IT/Analytics and HR. Various profiles of Business Development, Strategy design and execution have been provided by different start-ups.

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Also, the institute is the first B-school from India to partner with the prestigious Global Business Project consortium through which selected students get an opportunity to work with the very best management graduates from a set of 12 global universities namely UNC-Chapel Hill, Columbia, George Washington University, Lingnan College, Miami, Maryland, Purdue, Pittsburgh, San Diego State, the University of Connecticut, and University of Wisconsin & UNISINOS. The project will provide the students with an opportunity to work with top global companies who recruit MBAs as well as with fellow MBAs from different backgrounds, countries and culture. Three of our students will be working for clients HPCL, Eli Lilly and Handwriting Without Tears in consulting projects which will help them gain an international business experience complementary to the academics.

IIM Udaipur believes in doing things differently and focuses on maximizing the utility of the summer internship program. The students have been selected to work for Trunz Water Systems, a Switzerland based firm on a project that will be completely handled by the students and they will carry out the commercial-feasibility analysis. The students will get an opportunity to work in collaboration with the students from the University of St. Gallen, thus giving them exposure of working with a global team and analyzing from a global perspective.

IIMU is one of the few institutes in India which follow IPRS Reporting Standards for placement reports. An unaudited detailed report of the placements can be found at: http://www.iimu.ac.in/images/pdf/iimu_summer_placement%20report_2013-15.pdf.

The audited report of the placements will be shared soon. Other communications regarding the placements can be found at: http://www.iimu.ac.in/corporate/placements/placement-report.html.

Bombay Stock Exchange CEO presides over 4th edition of FinTalk at IIMU

FinominaThe Finance Club of IIM Udaipur organized the 4th edition of FinTalk on 1st February, 2014. The session was presided over by Mr. Ashish Chauhan, CEO & MD, Bombay Stock Exchange. Mr. Chauhan is an IIT Bombay and IIM Calcutta alumnus and he is one of the pioneers of the modern trading markets of India. His journey has seen multiple career dimensions encompassing strategy, finance, marketing, operations, policies, microstructure, information technology, organized retail, telecommunications, Indian social issues and cricket growing along with the growth of the financial market and economy of India.

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Popularly known as the father of modern financial derivatives in India, Mr. Chauhan spoke in lengths about his stay at IIMC and his work with IDBI. He shared the challenges he faced being a part of the core team that founded NSE and the regulatory norms in the business set by SEBI, FICCI and CII of which he is an eminent board member. Quoting “Life is very random”, Mr. Chauhan spoke of how things at NSE led him to the role of CIO at Reliance Communications and later as the President & Group CIO of Reliance Industries Ltd.

Mr. Chauhan laid stress on the importance of proper execution and how good strategy coupled with proper execution can work out wonders. He related this with his tenure as the CEO of Mumbai Indians. He also discussed about the strategies adopted at the BSE and competitive advantage in its rivalry with NSE. He explained students about the intricacies of the trading business and how good strategies fail when traders start believing in their bluff, thus explaining the students about the need of sound judgmental skills in making business decisions.

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He also laid importance on the use of sophisticated technologies and new trends like Algo Trading in business because speed and fast information flow form the essence of effective and competitive business practices. He mentioned the examples of failure of over the counter exchange and how modern trends have significantly changed the ATMs, Liquidity, Derivatives, Nifty, Futures, Options and Forwards in the market.

The sessions turned out to be extremely informative and engaging as it was full of anecdotes from real life experiences which he interspersed in his talk. Mr. Chauhan also urged the students to develop entrepreneurial skills and to contribute to the society in any way they can.

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The student community was present in large numbers during the session to learn from such an experienced member of the industry. The objectives of such sessions conducted by Finomina and other clubs & committees at IIMU are not only to learn about the industry that the speakers represent but also to form relationships with them and with their companies for collaboration in designing academic curriculum and other activities on campus.

IRISThe Photography Club of IIM Udaipur helped in coverage of the event.

IIM Udaipur Supply Chain Excursus

Indian Institute of Management, Udaipur successfully conducted the IIM Udaipur Supply Chain Excursus on 18th January, 2014, the third in the Excursus series in a span of two months. The aim of the event was to create a platform for the industry leaders in Supply Chain to share their rich experiences and expertise through engaging dialogues, to showcase IIMU and its students to the outside world and provide a unique learning opportunity to the students through interactions with the industry stalwarts.

The theme of this event was ‘Supply Chain 2020’.  The event was flagged off by Prof. Janat Shah, DirectorIIM Udaipur, an Operations liturgist himself, where he highlighted that despite being one of the youngest IIMs, IIMU is leveraging the opportunity to establish itself as a completely different institute, focusing more on industry interactions, live projects and research.

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The first panel, represented by the Senior Supply Chain Management team from the corporate world with Mr. Siva PeriasamyHead of Procurement, Wipro, Mr. Kalyana Krishnan Head of Supply Chain, Ranbaxy and Mr. Arun Kumar GhoshHead of Supply Chain, Microsoft India, discussed on the topic ‘Collaboration in future Supply Chains’. The discussion was very enriching, where the esteemed panelists mentioned that team-work is an extremely crucial element in ensuring the success of Supply Chains. The areas touched upon were sourcing, collaborative planning cum forecasting and logistics services. Mr. Siva Periasamy emphasized that mutual trust forms the backbone of collaboration and companies should increasingly focus on collaboration to manage their complex Supply Chains.

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Poster Competition conducted by SKEIN The Operations Club of IIMU, during the event witnessed students battling it out in the final round by giving a 2-minute elevator pitch on various burning issues in today’s Supply Chain – containerization, impact of social media, use of hi-tech weather forecasting technologies etc.

The second panel discussion on ‘Supply Chain Innovations and their impact’ was represented by the Supply Chain Heads consisting of Mr. Moti GyamlaniChief Supply Chain Officer & Board MemberBharti Airtel, Mr. Ankur BhandariPartnerErnst & Young and an esteemed guest from a leading pharmaceutical company. All the honored panelists stressed on the need to build the culture of innovation in organizations. Mr. Moti Gyamlani mentioned how innovations in the service industry have transformed the business models and made it increasingly customer-centric.

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The day concluded with the declaration of the Poster Competition results followed by a vote of thanks. The Excursus event proved to be a great learning experience for the entire IIMU student community from the discussions about the future of Supply Chain with the experts from leading corporations and how tomorrows Supply Chain leaders need to think differently in order to cater to increasing customer needs.