Indian Institute of Management, Amritsar successfully conducted the Fifth edition of their annual Finance and Marketing Conclave, Pariprekshya’21, on October 30 & 31, 2021 in Video Conference mode.
Pariprekshya’21 provided a dais where the veterans from the industry interacted and reflected with the budding managers on the recent trends and developments in the domain of Finance and Marketing. The event went on for 2 days- the 30th and 31st of October 2021.
During the conclave, Prof. Nagarajan Ramamoorthy, Director, IIM Amritsar, shed light on the recent changes happening in the industry, and quoting Darwin in the present context, said that it is not the strongest or companies which will flourish; but the ones who have the willingness and ability to adapt. He also said that tomorrow’s illiterate would not be those who do not know to read, but those who have not learned how to learn. Prof. Udayan Sharma, faculty anchor, Finance and Economics Club IIM Amritsar, talked about the present scenario in this post-pandemic world and emphasized the need for new strategies to emerge. Prof. Chetan Chitre, Co-Chair, Students’ Affairs, delivered the closing remarks, briefing about the topics, and thanked the esteemed panellists for gracing the event with their presence.
Brief on Panel-1, Finance
The theme for the first panel was Rebuilding and Expanding M&A Deals in the Post-Pandemic World. Introducing the theme for discussion, IIM Amritsar students delivered a presentation on the theme. Students of the MBA-07 batch, Mr. Vaishakh M S and Ms. Sumedha Malhotra, flagged their presentation off, stating the pandemic’s impact across regions and discussed the valuations of different M&A deals during Covid-19. The presentation proceeded with them discussing the various strategies post pandemic. They concluded their presentation stating the different action plans, like embracing non-traditional M&As, adding new lenses to diligence, bringing expertise into the process early, et al.
The panel was ennobled with the presence of Mr. Sambasivan G, CFO, Tata Sky Ltd.; Mr. Vikas Ralhan, CFO, LocoNav; Mr. Nitin Parekh, CFO, Zydus Group, Mr. Venkatraman G S, Senior VP & CFO, Subex; Mr.Raghupati Mishra, Group CFO, Liberty House Group India, and the keynote speaker – Ms. PRAVEENA KALA, Ex banker, Independent Director, Senior strategic Advisor with Salesforce.
The panel’s keynote speaker, Ms Praveena Kala, commenced her address by enlightening the audience with a brief history of M&A deals. Ms Kala said that M&A deals can fast-track growth by adding complementary businesses to companies’ value chains. She addressed the importance of compliance and regulatory scrutiny in the present times and said that the Right to Privacy and Non-Discrimination has to be looked upon seriously. She also addressed the need to get experts early and concluded by stating the importance of divestment and reinvention.
Mr. Sambasivan, who also took up the mantle of the moderator for the event, commenced his address by commending Mrs Kala for having given a complete “Pariprekshya” on the topic. He enlightened the audience about how different companies have different ways of acquiring another company and engaged the panellists by asking them relevant and to-the-point questions regarding the topic.
Mr Vikas Ralhan commenced his address by stating the importance of backward feedback during any M&A deal. He said that M&A deals should ideally benefit the evaluation of the company and customer experience and bring happiness to the management. Responding to the question of what makes a deal successful, he stated the necessity of due diligence, finding the right price etc., and completed the statement saying one cannot anticipate where failures come from. Enunciating the importance of having a mission statement and reverse-engineering the process from there, he capped his address off by shedding light on how people values are different and culture fitment important.
Mr. Venkatraman GS commended the institute to give such a relevant name ‘Pariprekshya’ to this conclave. He started his address off stating how M&A deals help in faster growth and faster access to specific markets, and bridging the portfolio gaps. Extracting examples from his experience, he talked about how such deals help address the adjacent markets’ problems. Answering the question on finding the perfect value of a deal, he said that the value lies in the eye of the beholder, and if only one side wins the negotiation, a deal on the table is impossible to occur. Diligence shouldn’t be left due was a humorous way of him putting across the table the importance of due diligence, and concluded by stating that the chemistry between the companies is what makes an M&A deal a success.
Mr.Nitin Parekh’s opening statement signified the fact that strategy of a company in an M&A deal depends on the company’s objectives. He cited examples from his experience and said that the initial objective of M&A for him was to reach a certain size and scale. He emboldened the importance of prudence and not just the target, and he subsequently shed light on how communication on integration is of utmost importance. According to him, it is the synergy of the companies that makes a deal a success, and overestimation/underestimation of valuation leads to the failure of deals.
According to Mr. Raghupati, the organisation’s growth strategy would be the main reason for M&A deals. The decision of a deal comes down to which market they should be in and which products they would be making. He enlightened the audience on how valuation is done in practice. Adding a novel point on the company’s hidden value, sharing an anecdote, he concluded his address by how a PPTO approach- People, Process, Technology, and Organization- is necessary while going through a deal.
Brief on Panel-2, Marketing
The discussion on day 2 of the conclave revolved around “Omnichannel Presence; Driving Business Towards Success.” Introducing the theme of the discussion to the audience, students of MBA-07, Mr.Tejas Soni and Ms. Akshaya Srivastava delivered a presentation. They started by stating the differences between Single, Multi, and Omnichannel systems and further discussed the benefits of Omnichannel presence. They displayed various statistics on customer preferences and cited various examples, enunciating the need for an omnichannel presence across domains. They capped their presentation off by discussing how to achieve omnichannel success and implement the same. The presentation was followed by playing a short video created by Markophilic- the Marketing Club of IIM Amritsar.
The eminent panellists for the discussion were; Mr. Amit Shah, Chief Marketing Officer, Zycus; Mr. Ritesh Ghosal, Start-Up Adventurer and Ex-Chief Marketing Officer; Ms.Ruchika Gupta, Chief Marketing Officer, Luminous Power Technologies (P) Ltd; Mr. Deb Gooha, Chief Marketing Officer, MPAy global payment tech; Mr. Alok Saraogi, SVP and Head of Marketing, TVS Automobile Solutions Ltd; and the Keynote speaker – Mr. Parveen Kumar Gupta, Chairman, Utkarsh Small Finance Bank and Former MD, SBI.
The keynote speaker of the day Mr. Parveen Kumar Gupta gave a brief history of omnichannel systems and how it evolved from catalogue sales in the west. He shed light on various omnichannel models and how customers adapt/do not adapt to changes. He further clarified how an omnichannel presence should bring satisfaction and a delight to the customers. He cited examples from his extensive work experience during his address. He concluded by stating that there are a lot more exciting things to come with the advancement of technology.
Mr Deb Gooha, who was also the moderator for the day, commenced his address stating how Omnichannel presence is all about experience. It is all about doing businesses the Omni-way and bringing Omni-experience to the customers. He went on to say that creating an omnichannel, creating an ecosystem about it, and deriving value around it is the biggest challenge faced. He also kept the panellists and the audience lively by asking relevant questions.
Mr. Alok Saraogi, deriving from his unique experience, started his address off by how they built a large online and offline centre for multi-brand omnichannel aftermarket service. Responding to Mr. Gooha as to what the level of change was in the past 5 years, he said that change is rampant, and companies have to deal with the laziness, apathy, and brand indifference of customers. How one delivers value in the consumers’ mind was the biggest challenge, according to him. He concluded by stating how the internet is a scary reality for all marketers, and bringing a B2C DNA in a B2B business model is a considerable challenge.
How one strings together the different marketing channels was the biggest catch, according to Mr. Ritesh Ghosal, and he further stated that the experiences from all channels should be equally good. He further talked about the importance of creating a catalogue, loyalty, privilege program and thereby driving people into the store using an effective omnichannel strategy.
According to Mr. Amit Shah, the business continuity depended on how purchases happened in a timely manner. He signified the importance of having a sophisticated yet subtle platform. He expanded on how purchasing inside a company is complex and further said that partly because of the pandemic, B2B sellers started wanting more, like less purchase time, less clunky software etc. The highlight of his address was the statement regarding how the salesperson is a Demi-God in the industry. The biggest challenge is empowering the salesperson in this current scenario rather than making them feel threatened.
Ms. Ruchika Gupta talked about how Omnichannel presence must ensure consistent customer experience across channels. She spoke on how customers nowadays walk to the store having done significant research online. Drawing from her experience, she talked about how a paradigm shift from conversation-oriented sales to an omnichannel approach is a big challenge. She concluded that the importance of a company is to move faster than the customer to attain omnichannel success.
The day ended on a lighter note with the members of the Industry Interaction Cell of IIM Amritsar playing a game of Rapid Fire with the panellists. Words like BOPUS, channel-centric, etc. were thrown at the panellists, and they had to come up with whatever came to their minds immediately.
The students of IIM Amritsar showed great enthusiasm during the panel discussion. The discussions were made highly interactive through a healthy Q&A session between the panellists and students. A video that showed IIM Amritsar’s journey was played on both the days, created by the Media and PR Cell of IIM Amritsar.
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