Ahmedabad – January 17, 2019: The 22ndNirma International Conference on Management (NICOM), organized by the Institute of Management, Nirma University (IMNU), commenced at 10 am on 17th January, 2019. NICOM has been an annual event at IMNU providing a platform for an interactive discussion between academicians and industry veterans on a plethora of topics under a common theme. The conference will have academicians and practitioners from India and abroad, presenting their research in as many as 60 sub themes viz, Transforming Business Institution into an Integrated Development Institution, Business: Fostering Stakeholder Value Creation, Economy: Current & Future Challenges, The New Paradigm of the Knowledge Economy, etc.,in four track sessions (with 4 sections in each session) spread across the three days Conference. Three plenary sessions are also arranged, during which the prominent personalities from the industry will be addressing the audience on various topics.
The conference commenced with a Pre-Conference Workshop on ‘Competition Law & Business Management’, in collaboration with the Competition Commission of India, New Delhi. It was conducted by Ms. Jyotsna Yadav & Mr. Pranav Satyam of CCI. As the session began, Ms. Yadav set a precedent for the session by quoting Brian Tracy- “The true measure of the value of any business leader & manager is performance.” According to her, compliance management is one of the if not the most important parameter of measuring performance, as compliance with regulations and the law is a prerequisite to a company’s existence in the market. Ms. Yadav discussed the guidelines involved in the Competition Compliance Programme (CCP), like price fixing, proper conduct of the meetings with their competitors and confidentiality of commercial information. In the interactive session, Ms. Yadav, Mr. Satyam & the audience exchanged their interpretations of the laws that come under the purview of The Competition Act, 2002.
The chief guest for the inaugural session was Shri Sunil Parekh, Senior Strategy Advisor, Zydus Cadila Healthcare Group. The president of Nirma University, Dr.Karsanbhai Patel and Vice President of Nirma University, Mr. K.K. Patel were also present for the inaugural session. Dr. Anup Singh, Director General, Nirma University was also a part of the function. The chairpersons for NICOM, 2019 wereProf. Parag Rijwani, Prof. Deepak Danak and Prof. SamikShome, professors of the Institute of Management, Nirma University (IMNU). Dr. M. Mallikarjun, Director In-charge, IMNU delivered the welcome address.
Mr. Sunil Parekh began the session by explaining how the beginning of Communist theories in ‘The Manifesto’ of Karl Marx consists of theories similar to those of Capitalist theories. According to him, we have gradually learnt that totally Capitalist economies do not result in social development. Mr. Parekh said that it is now important to focus on three things. The first is the Goal- which helps the company in deciding what their final destination is. Then, he moved on to focusing on what is forcing companies to change. He said that it is important for companies to continuously change, upgrade and innovate. The new motto, Mr. Parekh says, is that the market belongs to the ones who create the market. Here, he shifted to major macroeconomic factors like foreign trade wars, tax regimes, and migration, which has resulted in tougher laws for visas for travellers due to fears of foreign workers taking away jobs in the market. To solve all of these problems, companies have to be more agile and learn to deal with ambiguity. Societal pressure is also a major part, with harassment at workplace, LGBT community unacceptance, and social responsibility. The third reason, he said, is the Present Economic Growth Model & Unresolved Issues. With this, he ended the session on the note that we need to change our economic growth incentives if we wish to help business development result in social development.
The first day ended with the launch of the book “Business, Economy, & Environment: The New Normal”, followed by four track sessions discussing papers like “Payment Banks: Digital Revolution in the Banking Sector”, “The Indian Economy & the Risk of Rising NPAs”, “Human Resources: The Ultimate Weapon in Business”, and many more.
The second day commenced with a Plenary session by Prof. R. Parthasarathy, MEGA Chair Professor & Director, Gujarat Institute of Development Research sharing his views on the “Economic and Social Aspects of Rural Development”, chaired by Prof. P. K. ChuganProf. Parthasarathyexplained how Rural Development is a multidimensional concept, and the difference between development and growth. He showed the evolution of rural development in correlation to the nation’s overall development through the five-year plans. Rural development can be enhanced with the help of various trusts and institutions; such efforts are made by the government majorly after the green revolution. These efforts involve employment and area development programs, infrastructure development, and planned development. He explained the concept of the Eminent Domain principle and also explained the demographic aspects of migration on rural development,while demonstrating how people not only migrate to urban areas from rural areas but also migrate to semi urban areas and towns and how it is necessary to differentiate a village and a town.
The track sessions held on Day 2 included discussions of research papers on topics like “Make in India – Review of the flagship campaign”, “Big Data Hype: The reality of its application in the Indian Context”, “Semiotics: A Paradigm in Marketing”, and many more.
The third day began with track sessions on topics like “Plastic Ban in India: Why and How?”, “Choices that affect the Climate Sustainability”, “Effect of storytelling advertisement on consumer’s perception towards brand”, “Nepotism in Organizations: A Blessing or a Curse?”, “Bridging the rural urban divide – business as a driver for sustainable growth”, and many more.
The first speaker of the final day of NICOM 2019 was Prof. Shailesh Gandhi, Professor & Dean (Programmes), IIM-A, speaking on the theme “Driving Organizational Performance through Innovation, Creativity and Entrepreneurship”. The session was chaired by Prof. Nityesh Bhatt. Prof. Gandhi explained that the evaluation of a company’s performance involves the evaluation of its employees’ individual performances through Performance Management Systems. This largely depends on how the different units are organised within the company, and the overall culture that is being followed. Prof. Gandhi shared the details of designing such a system, and the different ways of implementation of the same. He focussed on some financial measures and also spoke about the triggers that lead to the need of changing the system that is being followed. According to him, the strategies that are to be implemented are largely reliant on the leaders who formulate them. The need for aligning the organisational structures and internal business processes was also highlighted.
The post lunch session began by Prof. SamikShome presenting a conference report, and an expression of gratitude to all the delegates, speakers, faculties and the students who were a part of NICOM 2019.
The valedictory session speech of NICOM 2019 was delivered by Shri DilipChenoy, Secretary General, Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), on the theme “Future of Jobs from Indian and Global Perspective”. He started the session by explaininga quote by Mahatma Gandhi about motivation which said that nothing is stagnant, and that an individual’s performance defines the country’s performance. According to him, Emotional Intelligence and Cognitive Flexibility are emerging skill-sets for the evolved job industry. He added to it by saying that digitization has caused a disruption in the world, and being a part of it by development is to be done in order to grow. Globally there is a lot of advancement in terms of utilization of Big Data. He explains its evolution by stating that previously one couldn’t event imagine services like OYO Rooms, Swiggy and Zomato etc. The future, he said, will deal with the interaction of humans with robots. He further shared how digitization has brought in changing demands for jobs, and that loss of jobs shouldn’t be big concern as new jobs dealing with technology are constantly being created. He ended the session with the quote, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step” by Lao Tzu.
The guest of honour was Dr. Samir Shah, Associate Clinical Professor, Drexel University, USA. He talked about customer relations and engagement. He explained how customers are an important aspect of an organization. As it is the tendency of customers to trust other customers more than the company, it is important to focus on that aspect. Dr. Shah said that customers evolve as does the customer base, and companies need to evolve according to these changing needs.