An Inspiring End to Confluence 2011

by IIM Ahmedabad on Monday 28 November 2011, 4:17 PM | Category: Press Releases| View: 1666 views

 Ahmedabad, 27th November, 2011.

Confluence today saw some inspiring speakers and the close of its flagship events. The event's Principle Sponsor is Tata and the Associate Sponsor is Google. The apparel sponsors were Vimal while event sponsors include TSMG, Digisol, iInteract, SREI Infrastructure and Infibeam. Students enthusiastically participated in the Confluence dinner that was held last night and which provided an excellent networking opportunity. There was also full attendance at last evenings speaker session on ‘Entrepreneurship in E-Retail'. Today's sessions and events once again

Speaker Sessions:

Last evening's session on Entrepreneurship in E-Retail saw four stalwarts from the field of entrepreneurship - Mr. Katik Taneja, founder of Verisign, Mr. Rohit Bansal, founder of Snapdeal, Mr. Kashyap Dalal, founder of Inkfruit and Mr. Sachin Oswal, the COO of Infibeam. Mr. Taneja spoke about the opportunities in E-retail, E-commerce and M-Commerce and noted that the volume of transactions in e-commerce threw up a lot of opportunities for ensuring proper verification of transactions. Mr. Bansal gave an inspiring account of Snapdeal and how taking his coupon booklet business online lead to exponential growth. He also spoke about the culture of the company i.e. the practice of giving every idea a good shot, which lead to some excellent results. Mr. Dalal spoke about how he built a co-creative design website from scratch learning about apparel sales and merchandising. He noted that the main challenge of his website was to source good designs and give recognition to designers. For this, his company conducted competitions in design schools, gave recognition to artists on the website and allowed purchasers to follow designers there. Mr. Oswal noted that E-commerce was growing fundamental to most retail businesses and that his company through its excellent technology platform was able to offer an extremely large variety of products. He also spoke about creating innovative channels to source items. The main takeaway from the session was the phenomenal growth opportunities that the e-retail sector afforded.

Today's morning session saw two highly inspiring personalities, Wing Commander Rakesh Sharma, the first Indian in Space and Mr. T. R. Raghunandan, an ex-IAS member and spokesperson for Mr. Rakesh Sharma discussed why public sector units don't perform and gave examples out of his experience at HAL. He noted that things tended to get into a rut without people examining the causes for problems. He also noted the importance of technology in improving the public sector and how partnership with private players could help. He said that India needed more R&D in aerospace and defence as spending more money in acquiring weapons from abroad did not make much sense year on year. He also gave an evocative description of his view of India from space, which lead to a huge round of applause from the audience. Mr. T. R. Raghunandan gave an interesting equation for corruption i.e. Corruption = Monopoly + Discretion – Accountability. To explain this, corruption is increased when a person is given greater monopoly and more discretion with lesser accountability. He explained how India's corruption was not black and white as there were some levels of corruption quite acceptable to the general public. He gave 3 methods of tackling corruption i.e. implementing more technology, reducing monopoly through competition and ultimately setting up a Lokpal.

 The afternoon session had Honourable Justice C. K. Thakkar of the Supreme Court of India talking about Business and Law. Justice Thakkar demystified concepts such as Judicial Activism, Locus Standi, Public Interest Litigation and Judicial Review in front of a rapt audience. He drew several examples from his long experience about interactions between the law and business and also people's perception of the law. He spoke of the importance of independence of the Judiciary and the separation of powers and how it was also important to separate politics from the Constitution.

The final Speaker Session of Confluence is a talk by Mr. J. M. Lyngdoh, the former Chief Election Commissioner of India. This session promises to be as interesting and inspiring as the sessions before it.

Turnaround Artist

One of the most sought after event in the Confluence event list, Turnaround Artist provides contestants with a stellar opportunity to nurse a sick company and revive it to take on the world. There were more than 150 registrations and 89 final entries for the event. In the first round contestants were asked to make a detailed strategy on business in the rural banking sector. The strategy had to be a holistic one encompassing financial, distribution, marketing, and other logistic angles. After intense scrutiny of their presentations 6 teams progressed to the final round held on campus at IIM Ahmedabad. In the final round the teams have been asked to plan a turnaround strategy for Audi in China. As we write this the teams from SPJIMR - Mumbai , IMT Ghaziabad, ISB – Hyderabad, IIM Shillong and two teams from IIM Indore are battling it out to be crowned the Turnaround artists and total cash prizes of Rs 70,000.


The final round of Cric-Ex was conducted amidst much excitement. Ultimately, the team Win4IIMA comprising Rahul Yelisetti and Avinash Reddy from IIMA emerged victorious. For the event description, please see the previous press releases.


Day two of the multi-council conference kicked off in high gear as discussions across all three committees became increasingly serious with fierce debate leading to tempers rising at times. In the Arab League committee, delegates began discussions on working papers on issues like a 10% reservation for women in legislative bodies and interest free loans for infrastructural purposes. They were also faced with an emergency situation of a civil war breaking out in the region, leading to a 2-hour long session of updates, crisis management and negotiation. Discussions on the draft resolution were intense and detailed, leading to a highly fruitful session for the delegates as well as the chair persons. The UNPSF committee as well as the legal committee picked up their discussion from the previous day as first-time participants got into the groove of the event and began finding concrete solutions on issues like curbing corruption. The crisis simulation involved a revelation by Reuters that leading global corporations were hiding money in Swiss bank accounts, and lead to heated discussions once it was announced that UN officials were also found party to illegal activities.

Nandan Sharalaya from Symbiosis, Apurv Mishra from NLU, Bhopal and Trisha Mitra from Symbiosis Law School, Pune were chosen as the best delegates for the event. With over 120 participants and a team of 10 chairpersons, editors and press members involved in a stimulating discussions and drafting resolutions over 2 days, the event was a huge success in its inaugural edition.

 Beyond the Case

This event concluded with a final presentation from teams detailing the strategies used to sell products in yesterday's round. The event was ultimately won by the team Foto Finis from MICA who had contributed to around 1/3rd of the total revenues. The second prize was bagged by the team from S.P. Jain and third prize by the team from IIM A. The event was also well appreciated by the representative from SEWA who informed us that he was very happy about the profits made by the teams and would hope to be a part of Confluence and other activities at IIM A next year as well.

The results of Corporate Combat have not yet been released and will be notified along with the results of Bizzquizitive and titbits from Mr. Lyngdoh's talk, tomorrow.


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