Events Galore on the Second Day of Confluence!

by IIM Ahmedabad on Monday 28 November 2011, 3:09 PM | Category: Press Releases| View: 1479 views

 Ahmedabad, 26th November, 2011

B-School students enthusiastically participated and networked during the second day of Confluence in the events as well as during the Speaker Sessions. The Management Student Program registrations went up to over 500 students while footfalls of over 700 students were recorded at the registration desk. Events like the Model United Nation saw heavy participation from non B-School students as well.

Speaker Sessions:
Today's morning session focused on public policy and social change and featured 3 distinguished speakers with unique experiences: Mr. Bhavarlal Hiralal Jain the founder and Chairman of Jain Irrigation, Mr. Paranjoy Guha Thakurta, noted journalist and educator and Mr. Satish Jha, current President and CEO of One Laptop per Child India Foundation. The 3 charismatic speakers held the audience spellbound as they spoke about the quest of excellence in their various fields and the special challenges of making a change in the social sphere.

Mr. Jain spoke about the challenges in implementing drip irrigation, which his company specializes in and his experience in educating farmers about the benefits of this superior mode of irrigation. He stated that while his company was not in the Fortune 500, it was among the Fortunate 50 companies, fortunate enough to be able to contribute to social change.

Mr. Jha spoke extensively about his strong belief in the One Laptop per Child policy and its potential to revolutionize learning in India. He said that there was an urgency with respect to educating a child – the time a child loses in getting educated does not come back and hence, it is necessary to reach out to each and every child as soon as possible. He also spoke about the important of thinking in leaps as opposed to small increments in order to truly make a change.

Mr. Thakurta spoke candidly about the state of affairs of the media in India. He noted that while the mass media has great ability to make a change, it has itself become embroiled in corruption and profiteering. He spoke of how some of the leading mass media houses have become leaders in lowering the standards for reporting in the country; but expressed hope that the situation would improve over time.

The audience enthusiastically applauded the three speakers and asked several questions to the speakers who were impressed with the level of participation and the quality of questions.

The afternoon session focuses on Entrepreneurship in E-Retail and features Mr. Vishal Mehta, founder of Infibeam, Mr. Kartik Taneja, the MD of Verisign, Mr. Rohit Bansal, the MD of Snapdeal and Mr. Kashyap Dalal the MD of Inkfruit. Mr. Vishal Mehta had an insightful session on Viral Marketing where he spoke about the basics of Viral Marketing and Infibeam's approach to the same. He noted that it was important to complete the loop in a viral campaign – a person should not just view the campaign but should complete the loop by sharing it. The session was highly interactive with several interesting questions being asked. Several participants had initiated campaigns of their own and asked for ideas to improve their campaigns. The level of energy and enthusiasm shown by the participants made the session memorable for all parties present.

Beyond the Case
IIMA Confluence 2011 introduced a new event this year called "Beyond the Case". The event which had over 110 entrants asked its 5 finalists today to setup actual 6X6 feet stores at ISKON Mall, Ahmedabad and sell merchandise from the women empowerment NGO SEWA. SEWA provided merchandise made by its workers consisting of handicrafts such as wall hangings, cushion covers, pen-stands as well as greeting cards and teams competed against each other to sell these to customers. The event replicated the actual world of business as teams had to bid for the location of their stores, determine the product mix, decorate and brand their store as well as set the price for the products. The teams were judged on the basis of sales as well as the look and feel of the store. Srikant Gokhale, former CEO of The Mobile store and a visiting faculty of IIM Ahmedabad had rich praise for the event and said that more events like these were needed which tested participants in the real marketplace. The finalists who were from MICA, IIM Indore, SP Jain and IIM Ahmedabad did extremely well in almost all respects and actually sold over Rs. 4000 of merchandise each in a span of three and a half hours. Organizers and participants both felt that the beauty of the event was that it was able to combine a competition which was more in tune with the real world than case studies with a campaign for a good cause. The final round for the event is a presentation that will take place tomorrow.
Master Plan
Master Plan, the Business Plan competition of Confluence, was won by a mixed team consisting of Anandh Sundar and Arivazhagan from IIM Ahmedabad and Manish Manhar and Gaurav Kumar from IIM Bangalore. The four of them walked away with the Rs.1,00,000 cash prize after impressing the judges with their Business Plan on Microfinance. The finalists were asked questions from the ground level starting from how they would set up their business to how they would pitch to Venture Capital firms by the expert panel of judges and found the whole experience of interacting with them to be enriching.
Back to the Roots
In India where rapid urbanization is taking place to the detriment of rural areas, innovations based on grass root technologies face their own unique set of constraints to be acknowledged.
Back to the Roots is an attempt to bring some of those innovations into limelight and show them the power of ideas. The event is about converting some fascinating innovations to a marketable product. We saw total registrations of 123 teams from all over the country. In the first round each team was asked to choose one of the three simple innovations viz. Herbal medication for Mastitis, Toys made of natural dye and Pollution controller and formulate a business plan to help the innovators in taking the product/service to the market. This saw the emergence Great Lakes Institute of Management, Chennai, NITIE, Mumbai, IIM Indore and NIPER, Mohali as the four finalists for the Grand Finale. In the final round the teams had the additional challenge of making a video that introduces products to the target customer, which can be used by the innovator for product advertising. The event was conducted in association with and judged by the National Innovation Foundation (NIF) and saw the team from Great Lakes Institute of Management take top honours and a cash prize of Rs. 30,000. The team from NITIE, Mumbai took 2nd place and a cash reward of Rs. 25,000.
M&A Frenzy
One of the most popular events at Confluence 2011, M&A Frenzy saw 2 total of 223 teams trying to out-pitch and outsmart each other in this event that tests skills of an investment banker. In helping the world's companies become the biggest and the best, by looking for inorganic growth opportunities the most important role in this activity is played by the bankers who carry out all due diligence and valuation for the acquirer. The teams first battled it out in an online quiz round from which the top 21 teams progressed to the next stage of evaluation. In Stage 2 all teams were asked to evaluate and pitch for a stake in a Roads and Highway construction company to a PE firm in the form of pitch book. Based on this analysis 7 teams moved on the grand finale held today at the IIM A Campus. In the finale the teams were asked to make their pitch to Prof. Joshy Jacob of the Finance and Accounting area at IIM Ahmedabad. After the grueling 3 rounds the team from IIM Ahmedabad finished with top honours and a cash prize of Rs. 35,000. The team from IIFT Delhi finished 2nd and an award of Rs. 25,000 and MDI Gurgaon finished 3rd with a prize of Rs. 10,000. IIM Ranchi came in fourth and the teams from IIM Shillong, SJM SoM IIT Bombay and IIM Lucknow were the other 3 finalists.
The Budget
Budget, an extremely popular finance event, tested over 250 participants on macroeconomic concepts and the current macroeconomic scenario in the world for the prelims round at IIMA here today. This was followed by another round for the shortlisted students where they were supposed to display their understanding of the policy instruments that could be used to tackle fiscal and current deficit and explain their impact on the current economy. Solutions provided by the participants were evaluated on the basis of their general understanding of the problem, overall structure, quality of analysis, rationale and logic, level of detailing and innovative idea generation. A team from IIM-L bagged the first prize, followed by SPJAIN at the second position and a tie at the third position between IIMA & IIML.
TAS Altius
TAS Altius, an invitation only prestigious event, tested candidates at various levels to check their capabilities at being a CEO. In the first round, candidates showed their excellence at the functional domain level. After a tough fight, the shortlisted candidates battled it out for the
top post as CFOs and CMOs. Out of the 400 people who came for Round 1, 24 made it to Round 2 out of which 4 people were the finalists. Aditya Somani from IIM Ranchi emerged as the winner in this event which had prizes worth INR 70000 up for grabs.
Campaign for a Cause
The flagship public policy video making event at Confluence, Campaign for a Cause concluded with video presentations by the 5 finalist teams. The judges, impressed by the efforts put in by the participants, had a difficult time evaluating the presentations and eventually decided to award the runners-up prize to 2 teams, Cause For Effect from MICA and IIFMights from IIFM. While the former's presentation was based on a fictional child labour theme emphasizing the negative impact the practice has caused in the society, the latter's was about the problems faced by tribes in relocating from forests because of government policies. The event was won by Team Mavericks from IIM A, which presented on cultural issues faced by poorer communities in shifting to the low cost housing under pressure from the Govt. The event, bearing a prize money of Rs. 1 lakh, was judged by an eminent panel featuring renowned filmmaker Mr. Pankuj Parashar, Chairperson of Public Policy & Management department at MDI Gurgaon, Prof. Avanish Kumar, a documentary filmmaker, media trainer and human right activist, Mr. Stalin and an IIM A alumnus and professor of Contemporary Film Industry course at IIM A, Prof. Bharathan Kandaswamy.
The finals of the public policy event at Confluence, Chakravyuh has kicked off today. The event comprising 5 gruelling rounds is being judged by 3 senior IIM A professors, viz. Prof Ajay Pandey, Prof Ankur Sarin and Prof Samar Datta. 5 teams from institutes like IIFT, FMS, MICA and IIM K feature in the finals after qualifying from the prelims which required writing a 1000 word essay in teams of 2/3 on the issues of Civil Society/Foreign Policy/Poverty/Infrastructure & Resource Allocation. While the first round of the finals will see the participants take a written quiz, the format progressively starts to resemble real-life situations, where, in the subsequent rounds, the finalists would be required to convince all the stakeholders for implementation of a policy change and would need to manage negotiations with different parties in light of a surfacing controversy. The final round would be a word association game where participants would be required to explain terms related to public policy to their team-mates under a set of guidelines, who are expected guess the terms within a time limit. The finals are currently in progress.
Model United Nations
Confluence is hosting its first multi-council Model United Nations conference. The event, held over 2 days is a simulation of the United Nations, where each participant is allotted a country whose foreign policy and interests the participant has to represent in order to tackle the problems that the world is currently facing. These problems could be anything from terrorism to economic deterioration. MUN India, an organization focused on introducing the concept of MUNs to students all over the country and helping them take a small step towards shaping a better world for tomorrow, helped organize this flagship event. The 130 participants included college students from diverse backgrounds in arts, science & law as well higher secondary students from cities like Delhi, Chennai and Ahmedabad. Prof. Satish Deodhar, a faculty of economics at the institute, inaugurated the event. Well versed with
student activities as well as the MUN concept, he urged participants to make the most of this opportunity and continue their learning beyond the conference by following up on the issues faced by countries they represent. The participants were split into 3 committees: The Arab League, Legal Committee and UN Private Sector Forum. Over the first day they debated over several pertaining issues while following the protocol of the United Nations. The participants were highly enthusiastic and several heated debates continued during breaks as well as after the day's proceedings were over. The event continues tomorrow, with new topics and a crisis session. Awards for Rs. 1 Lakh are on offer for the best delegates!
The simulation rounds of National Business Olympiad and Corporate Combat are still going on and the finalists and winners will be announced tomorrow. The event Cric Ex will also conclude this evening.
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