Club Themes

ILS 2013 Central Theme:  BREAKING THE MYTH

About Club Conclaves @ ISB

The professional clubs at Indian School of Business (ISB) give the students a unique opportunity to hone their leadership skills, connect with other students, alumni and professionals in their field of interest and provide a platform to apply their classroom learning. They help to develop career interest and goals and build formal and informal networks.

ILS 2013: Club Conclaves Themes
Business Technology ConclaveIs India riding the innovation wave?

Over the last 15 years, the IT Industry in India has evolved to be a major contributor in the nation’s GDP and is also a critical source of employment. But interestingly, India’s spend on R&D is 1% of its GDP with just one third of this investment coming from the IT industry and the remaining investments from the government. At the same time, countries like Israel, Japan and South Korea are marching down the innovation lane with investments in R&D of more than 3% of their respective GDPs and more than 50% share of these investments are from their respective IT industry. This raises a big question for the Indian IT multinationals to ponder over. They need to introspect and analyze their key strengths to understand if India is getting its IT business owing to its ability to provide high quality technology innovation, or is it just India’s ability to deliver low-cost IT products and services at a huge scale, which is forcing a majority of the decisions to take IT businesses away from India. 

In short, is the Indian IT industry really riding the innovation tide? If yes, then how far can the industry go from here? If not, then can the industry sustain this dearth of innovation in the long term?
Consulting ConclaveIs Implementation the Real Deal- Breaking the Myth about Consulting’

The general myth about consulting is that it is all about advising the CXO on what to do through a presentation deck. Is that still true?
Increasingly, emphasis is now being given to handholding, implementing and delivering outcomes. This changing trend is applicable across the board. In fact clients now are not just lured by the ‘messenger’ but by the value that is created on ground.
The Consulting Club, through this discussion, aims to break this myth;‘ Can consulting bring the next level of change in solving complex problems for companies?’

Emerging Markets Conclave: ‘Time to Redefine Emerging Markets?’

Emerging markets came to the forefront by leading economic recovery post the global downturn of 2008. Five years down the line, with most of these countries undergoing political turmoil and policy paralysis, their ability to lead the change and drive growth are in question yet again. The time is ripe to step back and question ingrained myths about the fabled emerging markets’ economic prowess. The Emerging Markets Club’s Panel Discussions focus on pressing questions that business leaders and policy makers are grappling with; Are these economies still attractive to invest in? Can global companies harness the tremendous business opportunities and tap into the hitherto untouched consumer masses in emerging economies? What kind of reforms and policy shifts would enable that?

Energy Conclave: ‘Natural Gas & Renewable Energy: Economically feasible?’
The common argument cited as the reason for the miniscule composition of non-conventional energy sources in the energy mix, has been the cost of production/generation of these sources. However, today, the world stands at the cusp of a new energy revolution - a transition from coal and oil & gas to renewable energy sources and natural gas. 
Has there been a renewed interest in this space only because of supportive policies and energy subsidies? Or, is there something more to this? 
The Energy Club, through this panel discussion, aims to understand on “whether natural gas and renewable energy have reached cost parity with the conventional energy sources and what their future outlook is.”

Entrepreneurship & VC ConclaveIt is all about the idea

At ILS, EVC will focus on breaking the myth that entrepreneurship is all about the idea. The conclave will discuss the growing importance of executing an idea well (especially in the Indian context) and the challenges associated with doing so. Speakers from varied different sectors (social funds, incubators and Venture Capitalists) will get together to share their perspectives and experiences on the issue.

Finance ConclaveBad Economy = Bad Returns?

Is an economy with slow growth, high inflation and a wildly fluctuating currency good or bad for investors? Judging by the popular discourse in the media, one may be led to believe that in such an economy, it would be impossible for a firm to perform well. But dig a little deeper and a bad economy might be the perfect time to invest.  It gives rise to opportunities to an array of businesses from export and commodity based industries to financing capital starved sectors. 
The Finance Club brings breaks the myth; ’A bad economy necessarily results in poor returns by identifying winning opportunities in such an environment’.

General Management Conclave: ‘India – Opening Up the Global Frontiers’

Indian multinationals are opening new frontiers globally. They are not only competing in low-technology developing markets, but are also upping the ante in developed markets. Indian multinationals have managed reasonable success in expanding operations globally through subsidiaries as well as through mergers and acquisitions.
However, the performance of these companies in integrating the acquisitions is still an open question. It will be interesting to see if they can overcome the existing challenges and compete in the developed markets successfully. Also, the first wave of the global investments seems to be slowing down.
The General Management Club focuses the discussion on the second wave of global investments.

Healthcare Conclave: ‘Low Cost and Quality Healthcare: Are they Mutually Exclusive?

The biggest impediments to achieving universal health access are accessibility, affordability and quality of healthcare. It is a general perception that low cost and good quality healthcare are mutually exclusive.
Is this the hard truth or just a myth that undermines the great work done by various individuals, institutions, companies and the government? The Healthcare Club hopes to have an engaging discussion with expert panelists on this pressing matter. The panel discussion would enlighten students and healthcare enthusiasts, about the burning issues in healthcare and offer insights into developing strategies to tackle problems as ‘Healthcare leaders’ of the future.

Marketing Conclave: ‘Rural Opportunities: An Oasis or Mirage?’

Recently, there has been a lot of conversation around the ‘fortune at the bottom of the pyramid’, especially with several consumer packaged goods companies targeting multiple initiatives towards this demographic. The Marketing Club discussion focuses on the evolution of the opportunity over the last few years, the investments made by companies and the government, the marketing campaigns and tactics used to reach out to consumers, and the overall impact on consumers.  Juxtaposing the discussion against projections made a few years ago will focus the discussion on the role of stakeholders (government and industry participants) and the ‘next steps’ to be taken to realize the growth potential.

Media and Entertainment Conclave: ‘Creatives vs. Suits, The Transformation from One to the Other’

In almost every sphere of the media industry, and business in general, there is a notion that creativity is not compatible with business acumen; that there is a line between the creatives and the suits; that a shift cannot be made from one camp to the other.
The subject of the discussion is whether this notion is true or not. We will look at this and similar biases in the media industry, how it affects companies and whether this is a myth that can be broken. We would also like to glean from you what it entails to be a leader in this industry and also like to look at some examples of successful career transitions from the creative end to the managerial end of companies.

Net Impact ConclaveAttracting Talent to the Social Sector
The notion that the Net Impact club intends to dispel is that a social sector background is a prerequisite for anyone who wants to contribute to this sector. The club wants to drive home the fact that the social sector is abound with people who hail from a plethora of different backgrounds – engineers, doctors, architects, art exponents, etc. These members are leveraging  their expertise, exploiting their potential and are driving meaningful careers in this sector, while solving societal issues. The sector offers both opportunities for career growth and the ability to make an impact. It offers a variety of roles which give ample opportunities for the professionals to dive deep into their skill sets and put them to the best use. What the sector needs is a ‘passion’ to contribute, ‘sensitivity’ to social issues, a ‘burning desire’ to ameliorate people’s lives and a strong ‘inclination’ to work with people.
Operations and Manufacturing Conclave: ‘World-Class Operations Practices: Difficult to Replicate in Indian Industry?’

 With globalization being the buzzword today, we hear about companies implementing their global benchmark practices in India, with varying success. However, we also know of exceptions, where companies adhere to the tenet that local practices work best and customization to meet domestic requirements is key. The Operations and Manufacturing Club solicits expert opinion and insights to dispel this dilemma from the perspective of companies, industry and professional experience.

Retail Conclave: ‘Does India need a Wal-Mart?’

Wal-Mart is no longer just a brand name. It has become the colloquial equivalent of mass retailing of anything and everything under the sun. This explains why indigenous retailers have raised a great hue and cry over its entry in the domestic retail industry. There is some empirical evidence, both from within India and outside, that can help us make an informed decision. However ambiguities still persist. This is why the Retail Club calls upon some distinguished business leaders to break the myths around mass retailing in India. We ask the critical question; ‘Does India need a Wal-Mart?’

SREI Infrastructure Conclave: ‘Public Private Partnership Projects – Challenges in Implementation’

In the past, investments in infrastructure development projects in India have largely been fuelled by the Government. With the evolution of the PPP model, the Government opened up investment avenues for the private sector.
With projects worth nearly $1 trillion planned for infrastructure development in the XIIth five year plan, the Central and the State governments are increasingly relying on the PPP-model.  Some finely executed success stories reinforce faith in the sustainability of this model, while a few controversial ones have raised questions about the practicality of such partnerships.
Clearly, the ride has not been very smooth for all those who jumped on the bandwagon. The SREI Infrastructure Club will take up the discussion on the challenges faced by companies executing PPP projects, their potential resolution and way forward.

Women in Business Conclave: ‘The Glass Ceiling: Exploding Myths and Crashing Stereotypes’
Many women are discouraged from 'rising to the top', owing to myths which imply that women are not suited for senior management positions. These myths work to justify the lack of progress for women. Through this session, the Women in Business Club wishes to highlight how women today are consistently proving themselves and challenging stereotypes about women in business. Women are excelling not only in the big corporates, but in every field and every function, as is also evident by the diversity of speakers coming to the event.