Odyssey‘20- The confluence of thoughts

Every legacy is built on trust and quality and we at SCMHRD, in our 26th year of rising to prominence, are continuing our journey as one of the best business schools in the country. The Guest Lecture Team brings the corporate frontier to SCMHRD and provides the opportunity to the students to learn directly from the stalwarts of the industry. The valuable insights from the guest lectures complement the classroom learning and help in making the student learn about the practical implementation of classroom learning.

2020 marked the second edition of “Odyssey- Confluence of Thoughts”. Panel discussions were conducted among the industry experts as part of the event. The theme of the event was “Unveiling rising India’s journey towards Innovation and Sustainability”. There were three-panel discussions aligning with the specialization of Human Resources, Marketing, Operations and Infrastructure development.

28th August, Day 1, saw the HR Panel discussing about “Nurturing workforce to enable organisations succeed by blending global practices with local traditions”.

The eminent guest speakers who graced the event with their presence were Ms. Manmeet Sandhu, Chief People Officer, PhonePe, Mr. Shourya K. Chakravarty, CHRO, Aptech, Mr. Colin Mendes, Head HR, VoltasBeko, Ms. Ankita Singh, Head HR, Field Fresh and Mr. Deepak Deshpande, SME HR, TATA Business Excellence Group. Moderator for the session was Dr. Philip Coelho, Faculty, SCMHRD.

The panellists were of the opinion that “There is a need to adopt global practices using localization and personalization. Government’s policy to include 85% of local employees challenges the entire principle of meritocracy but employees are highly trainable and it will be a good community service. Covid-19 made organizations implement some of the Global leadership practices. Laying off would be the last measure for any organization during such tough times. Engagement and Capability Building by infusion of Technology are some of the global practices that the panellists considered adopting in their organisations. Importance should be given to purpose driven individuals and not just purpose driven organizations i.e. giving time and resources to employees and to raise the quality of the workforce. Individual development, Accountability, Employee Engagement, Mental Health, Team Bonding are some of the areas that need to be focused upon.”

On 29th August, the second day of the event had the marketing panel discussing on “Survive, Sustain and Thrive through effective brand communications strategies”.

The esteemed speakers were Mr. Amit Sethiya, CMO, SYSKA, Ms. Eashwari Deshpande, Head of Commercial Marketing, Intel India, Mr. Sanjeev Balachandran, Global Marketing Director, Novartis, Mr. Krunal Desai, Head – Marketing, Zee5 Global, Mr. Janardhan Singh, COO, ClassKlap. Dr. Gurudas Nulkar, Faculty, SCMHRD was the moderator for the session. 

The panellists opined that “Digital Transformation and Content Creation will play an important role in brand communication in the coming time. Being rallied by a single purpose and compassion would help brands emerge stronger and better. Diversification and Lateral Expansion have helped brands in the wake of Covid-19 pandemic. Agility to unlearn and learn new things will matter a lot as there is a paradigm shift in every sector. Looking at the consumers as partners and co-creating a product with them will help brands. A lot has changed between the Pre-Jio and Post-Jio eras and brands should focus on digital media keeping in mind this transformation. Creating customer support channels through social media would help the brands address the consumer needs better. Sentiment Analysis and Trend Analysis are absolutely necessary as Data is the new Oil. Social listening helps in making business strategies. Pickup social media chatters, positive and negative responses.” 

Day 2 also saw Operations/IDM panel discussing about “Designing a sustainable and circular economy for future projects”. The illustrious speakers of this session were Mr. Praveen Verma, Consultant – Product Management, Mckinsey & Co., Mr. Sanjay Labh, Vice President, Prestige Constructions, Mr. Rakesh Soni, Operations Head, BigBasket and Mr. Rakesh Sharma, Dy. Head – Retail Operations, Dalmia Bharat. Prof. Sameer Gujar, faculty, SCMHRD acted as the moderator the discussion. 

The panellists suggested that there is a need to develop an ecosystem having a 360-degree approach from government as well as private sectors in order to make sustainable and circular economy practically feasible. Strong guidelines and frameworks need to be enforced by the government to promote the concept of sustainable and circular economy. The recycling industry is a highly fragmented market. In order to drive positive change, the industry needs to move towards an organised market. Tremendous opportunities exist in the recycling industry sector. Technology will be a key enabler for driving a change towards a sustainable and circular economy by giving organisations a competitive advantage over others. New categories of consumer segments have emerged that have high spending capability. In such a scenario, a well-developed pricing strategy would go a long way to retain and attract more consumers.

 Emphasis was laid on some of the sustainable practices being adopted in the construction industry such as using Fly Ash to replace ordinary Portland cement. The use of Rainwater Harvesting Techniques is being continuously scaled up in order to optimize the use of water resources. In the Retail Industry, organizations are focusing on limited products, marketing simplicity, product assortment and packaging to make the industry more sustainable.

The Guest Lecture Team is dedicated towards providing the required exposure to the students at SCMHRD and will continue to toil to bring esteemed personalities and industry experts to complement the learning of the students.

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