Transforming India: Ideas to Implementation

“It’s the millennial’s world, that’s moving fast

Through fabled path, we connect the dots

From systems and processes, to technology we sway

Disruptions and innovations, all here to stay

For greater good, in a world of foray

The cadence carries me and I drift away

Experience we carry and we seek reflections

Through diverse disciplines we create CONNEXIONS “

As I look at the beautifully assorted ‘rangoli’ outside the PP Gupta auditorium, I cannot help but notice how a carefully administered design can create beauty in diversity. Isn’t it exactly what we seek in the two-day flagship event called CONNEXIONS at our very own IIM Ahmedabad, driven by the PGPX 2016-17 batch.

CONNEXIONS brings in experience, research and most importantly perspective from disciplines such as manufacturing, Information systems, social entrepreneurship, consulting, finance and healthcare. Every year, we invite CXO’s and subject matter experts in their fields to help us contemplate how different domains can come together and amplify efficiency and productivity while reducing cost and cognitive losses.

Day stated as early as 6 am with CADENCE, a friendly 2.5K marathon or 5K run. Volunteers rushed in an around the IMDC area and new campus runway with liquids along with the participants. As dawn broke energies started rolling, only to get ready to embrace the events to follow for the next two days.

On 15th Oct 2016, sharp at 9 am, CONNEXIONS kicked off in the brightly lit PP Gupta Auditorium with walls covered by CONNEXIONS posters, displaying streaking white threads connecting white illuminating dots, symbolizing the need to consummate possibilities across domains via pooling of resources. Prof Shailesh Gandhi (Dean Programs at IIMA), rendered the inaugural address setting the context for the first round of panel discussion. He spoke about possibility of innovation in healthcare sectors with facilities such the “Aravind Eye care”. He applauded Government efforts for its programs on AADHAR and solar power. Soon after Prof Aravind Sahay, our moderator for the day started the discussion on the use of Block Chain Technology for capturing the last piece of information. He gave an interesting example about L’Oréal creating an app for consumers to test their skin tone and decide on optimal color palette of cosmetics.

The first panel discussion started rolling with panelists Mr R S Sharma(TRAI Chairman), Dr Bhaskar Ghosh( Group CEO, Accenture) and Mr Gulzar Azad(Country Head Connectivity, Google). On one hand Mr Sharma enlightened us with govt’s plan on JAM (Jandhan, Aadhar and Mobile, on the other Mr Azad amazed us with Google’s plan to cover all Indian railway stations with free WIFI. Discussions swayed from ubiquitous banking, to hassle free digital identification to unified payment interface and even drone taxis and smart watch controlled cars. Our own batch mates presented an interesting take on the application of IOT in telecom industry and how by 2020, a total of 26bn devices would be interconnected.

Post lunch session, we dwelled into challenges of social entrepreneurship. Dr. R Balasubramaniam, (Founder, SVYM) narrated an interesting story on how a 6-year-old boy from a vagabond family cannot be forced to sit in a classroom and handle books and homework. We not only need to find resources but also new ways to educate him. Mr. Karthik Rapaka (City Director, Teach for India) explained the challenges faced in finding motivated and well educated teachers, who can ditch monetary gains and hence the need for temporary fellowship programs.

The day ended but not the brainstorming. Discussions spilled over an official dinner hosted over the plush lawns of new campus and quite a few ideas started taking shape over late night tea at Tapri, corridors and dorm rooms.

End of first day infused exhilaration across. Next Morning PP Gupta saw enthusiasts trickling in deeply engrossed in left over conversation from last night’s discussion. Some seeking extra few minutes from the speakers, some eager to discuss their business models and some looking forward to domains not covered so far. Today’s discourse was to cover Healthcare, manufacturing and finance. The first panel commenced post small knowledge paper presentation by students and grew on Telemedicine, preventive healthcare, non-communicable and chronic diseases. Panelist explained ingenious technology for reaching patients in remotest corners and providers reaching the last mile.

Afternoon and evening session deliberated on Financial sector integration for a compelling Indian growth story. Students contributed with knowledge papers created under the able guidance of IIMA professors.

Prof Sunil Sharma (Chairperson PGPX) officially announced event closure post a thank you note to all panelists.

When Steve Jobs connected the dots, his picture became clear. As experienced professionals we host such events to find our position in the web of connected world. As MBA graduates we do not believe in hope but only in concrete strategy that will create a brighter and a clearer picture for the next generations to come.

– Rashmi Tiwari, PGPX, Class of 2017

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