As global growth starts to ease, and with India due for general elections, IMA's 2018 CEO Roundtable in Colombo, Sri Lanka will review growth prospects and business opportunities in a period marked by technological change, geopolitical tensions, political flux, and the imperative of continuous - often radical - transformation.
- Day 1Thursday, December 6th, 2018
- Day 2Friday, December 7th, 2018
- Day 3Saturday, December 8th, 2018
- Day 4Sunday, December 9th, 2018
- A Global Economic Review
Over the past few months, the global environment has both challenged and comforted. In 2017, the world economy grew by 3.8%, its fastest since 2011. The IMF forecasts similar growth this year and 3.9% in 2019. However, economies move in cycles and the current upswing has already lasted a long time. It will take just a trigger or two for the cycle to turn again and currently, there are several such triggers. These include rising nationalism, geopolitical tensions and a reversing dollar carry-trade led by US monetary tightening. However, there are a few threats more worrying than the prospect of a breakdown in the global trade architecture.
The Annual CEO Roundtable will open with Adit Jain, IMA India’s Editorial Director, providing an over-arching outlook for the global economy in the context of trade and security tensions. Adit has authored over a thousand articles over the years on issues relating to the global and Indian economy, politics and business best practices. In the past, he has been called upon to depose at Parliamentary Committee deliberations provide inputs towards policy formulation. In addition to his editorial responsibilities, Adit speaks at business forums across India and Asia as well as Board meetings and strategy discussions.
- Discussion Break
- 2019: Election Strategies and Dynamics
The BJP’s electoral successes of Lok Sabha 2014 and several state assemblies thereafter have put the spotlight on the role of data and analytics combined with marketing and communication capabilities. The victory in Assam in 2016 was particularly important as the state had been dominated by the Congress for decades and the BJP barely had a presence. Thanks to its superior data analysis and electoral capabilities, the party swept to power with an overwhelming majority – 86 of the 126 seats – eventually paving the way for larger inroads in the North East.
Rajat Sethi, a public policy graduate from Harvard and an engineer from IIT, was instrumental in this process. Rajat and his team, through innovative approaches and the use of new-age analytical tools, took the election management game to the next level. The idea of establishing a unique citizen engagement series to initiate a dialogue with people and reflect on their aspirations became the basis of a ‘vision document’ for the BJP instead of a conventional manifesto. Intensive mining of data, for each constituency, on socio-economic indicators such as health and education lent valuable insights. Engage with Rajat as he shares an insider’s perspective on the mechanics of modern-day electoral battles with a specific reference to some of the recent encounters he has been involved in.
- Cocktails and Dinner
- Geopolitics and National security
Defence and national security at one end and trade at the other, form the plinth of any country’s strategic priorities in today’s world. In India’s case, a hostile neighbourhood is an added layer that defines its priorities and alliances. On the one hand, China’s behaviour has become increasingly aggressive and, on the other, there is Pakistan which remains unstable and unpredictable. The election of the new Imran Khan Government brings a new set of imponderables into the equation. Engage with one of India’s most authoritative minds on national security and geo-politics to arrive at a fresh assessment of the immediate geopolitical context.
Anand Arni was formerly Special Secretary in the Research & Analysis Wing (R&AW) for 37 years. In the R&AW, he spent over 25 years in dealing with issues related to Pakistan and Afghanistan. He has also dealt with counter-insurgency in the Northeast and was a part of the team sent to Kandahar to negotiate with the hostage takers of IC 814.
- Championing a Turnaround
In today’s uncertain environment, teams are constantly under pressure to do more with less. With limited resources, turning around a struggling team is harder than ever, requiring managers to identify and optimise individual capabilities. However, behind every great underdog story is a leader who brings the best in individuals to propel the team to victory.
Venky Mysore joined Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in 2010 when the team was regarded as an underdog. He was quick to take some tough decisions by letting famous yet poor performers go. He extensively leveraged data analytics to pick new faces to create a winning team from scratch that won its first Indian Premier League title in 2012. Mr Mysore will provide a practitioner’s perspective on building a winning team.
- Discussion Break
- Shaping the Future of Work
Intelligent automation has been on an exponential rise for the past decade. Current yet evolving technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, robotic automation and Machine Learning are shaping how businesses operate, and have the potential to improve a company’s efficiency in anything from HR to marketing, data analysis to customer service. The potential is huge. That is why software vendors are investing heavily in new-age technologies and in creating innovative solutions. One such example of a global software company is UiPath which is bringing automation to repetitive processes inside large organisations. The company is part of the growing field of robotic process automation or RPA. Founded in 2015, UiPath went from USD 1 million to USD 100 million in annual recurring revenue in under 21 months, and is currently valued at USD 3 billion. Engage in a conversation with Rajeev Mittal, MD of UiPath’s India operations as he decodes the secrets behind the company’s astonishing growth from a Romanian start-up to a global player, and will talk about the technology trends that every company should watch out for.
- The Art of Wellness: Making the Right
The discussions on eating – especially in the media and nutritionist community – often focus on negative eating behaviours such as counting calories, restricting foods and dieting. Similarly, health campaigns typically encourage consumers to trade-off the guilty pleasure of comfort foods for health benefits. However, many studies have established that diets and restrained eating are counterproductive and even have a negative impact on the mind. A promising new perspective entails a shift from looking at ‘food as health’ to ‘food as well-being’ by making the right food choices.
Anuroop (Tony) Singh is on the IMA advisory board and was regional CEO and non-executive director for a number of prominent companies. Presently, he is leading an intentional community of seekers of a holistic and integrated approach to wellbeing. The community has assimilated a lot of knowledge about food and nutrition and its deep connection with human well-being. In a 30- minute presentation, he will share his learnings relating to sensible food choices we need to make in the present times. He will explain the special menu for a healthy lunch which follows the presentation.
- Wellness Luncheon
- Technology Disruption: Changing
the Rules of the Game
Every once in a while, a companys entry into a market will change industry dynamics in a manner unforeseen, with supply creating demand or strategy disrupting competition dramatically. Sometimes it is about innovation or a new business model; at other times, about sheer scale. Over the last few years, such changes have become increasingly frequent and have emanated from unexpected quarters. Is there a pattern that can be gleaned from these phenomena?
Vikas Choudhury, an alumnus of the University of Pittsburgh and Harvard Business School, will provide a view on how some businesses are disrupting existing paradigm and creating new avenues for competitive advantage. Previously, Mr Choudhury was the Managing Director of Aimia Inc, a world leader in data-driven marketing and consumer analytics, where he successfully built an e-commerce aggregator and sold to Reliance. He has also led businesses in retail and investment banking after being Founder CEO of a global analytics company. He started his career in Management Consulting with CSC and Arthur Andersen in USA. He has been named Asia's Top 50 Retail Professionals, and is a national award-winning photographer.
- Leisurely Visit to Mount Lavinia
- Cocktails and dinner
- Politics and India's Morphing Society
The BJPs decisive victory in 2014 elections coupled with an impressive string of wins in multiple states over the past four years represents a critical juncture for the Indian political system. Today, the BJP is the main pole in Indian politics. This is unlikely to change significantly even if the BJP loses the elections of 2019. On the downside, job creation and economic performance are serious handicaps for the current government, as it has not delivered on these fronts. However, the opposition’s plan of cornering the NDA on corruption and bank frauds will not have much of an electoral impact. The unsavoury theme of caste dynamics could be played by the opposition in various states, especially in the battleground states of UP and Bihar. All this will have implications for policy making in the immediate term and the society at large.
S Prasannarajan is Editor of Open magazine, a flagship brand of Open Media Network – the venture of the RP-Sanjiv Goenka Group. Before this, he was the Managing Editor of India Today. His understanding of the Indian political fabric and the subtler behind-the-scenes nuances that often influence outcomes is extensive. He will provide his perspective on evolving political dynamics in India in the wake of a morphing society.
- Excellence in Efficiency: The Dabbawala
Dressed in white outfits and traditional Gandhi caps, an army of 5,000 dabbawalas fulfil the hunger of almost 200,000 Mumbaikars with home-cooked food, daily, on time with an accuracy rate of 99.99% with 100% customer satisfaction. Amazingly, the dabbawalas – with semiliterate workers – have achieved this level of performance at very low cost, in an eco-friendly way and without the use of any IT system or even cell phones. Six Sigma, ISO and many other certifications awarded to this organisation by external organisations only confirm its excellent supply chain and logistics management capabilities. Dr Pawan Agarwal, who earned his doctorate studying how the dabbawalas operate, will share the lessons that make the 118-year old organisation successful and elaborate on the ideals of passion, teamwork, dedication and hard work
- Discussion Break
- Workplaces of the Future
Ashish Vohra, CEO, Reliance Nippon Life Insurance
In a digital age, organisational structures are shifting from the old model of complex hierarchies designed for efficiency and effectiveness to flexible team-based models designed for speed, agility and collaboration. Technology solutions such as collaborative tools and the cloud have enabled smooth remote working for a more balanced and productive workforce. Going forward, new technologies such as AI, VR, AR will enable companies to create a more seamless, automated and collaborative space for everyone.
Ramesh and his team work closely with organisations to drive the transformation to the workplace of the future. Ramesh is passionate about the role technology can play in connecting the world and driving digital disruption.
Ashish joined Reliance Nippon Life Insurance from Max Life Insurance where he spent 8 years and served as Senior Director and Chief Distribution Officer responsible for building balanced multichannel distribution across the nation, increasing agency productivity, acquiring key partnership and bancassurance tie-ups, and developing new channels of distribution. The session with Ramesh and Ashish aims to decode the trends critical in shaping the workplace of the future and the changes in store for the workplace, the workforce and the work itself.
- Beyond profession: What next?
Achieving personal fulfilment beyond work and business eludes many. The daily grind and work-related pressures often times takes a toll on personal priorities. Many look forward to retirement to renew their focus on personal goals, but health-related issues often act as an impediment. A successful second inning requires clarity, commitment and discipline that come with time and age. Join Ravi Venkatesan, one of India’s most respected CEOs, in an engaging conversation about building a life beyond work.
Ravi Venkatesan is UNICEF’s Special Representative for Young People & Innovation and also the founder of the Global Alliance for Mass Entrepreneurship (GAME), a coalition which aims to create 10m local entrepreneurs in India and Africa by 2030. Mr Venkatesan is a former Chairman of the Bank of Baroda; between 2015-18, he oversaw the turnaround of India’s second largest public sector bank. Prior to this, as Chairman of Microsoft India, Ravi helped build India into Microsoft’s second-largest presence in the world. He has also served as Chairman of Cummins India and Co-Chairman of Infosys. Ravi has served on the boards of Harvard Business School, AB Volvo, Bunge and Thermax and is the author of an acclaimed book ‘Conquering the Chaos: Win in India, Win Everywhere’.
- Discussion Break
- Transforming a Giant
Today, for nearly everyone, including established, successful, and high-tech organisations, ‘digital transformation’ is about much more than just operational issues. Instead, it goes deep into the realm where systems, people and ‘things’ connect digitally. This pervasive approach to digitisation, in turn, opens up new strategic options and opportunities, and demands a call to action internally to create a winning edge for business, and perhaps, industry.
Mukesh Kripalani has been fuelling growth with digital innovation. Previously, at Marico, Mr Kripalani was identified as its digital crusader who created a carefully-curated blueprint for digital transformation at the FMCG major.
- A visit to the Buddhist Temple
- Cocktails and Dinner
- India's Biggest Cover-up
(This will be hosted as a joint session with spouses)
As the Second World War came to an end in Southeast Asia in August 1945, Subhas Chandra Bose boarded a plane to shift the base of India's liberation struggle to a new territory controlled by the Soviet Union. Officially, the story goes that he died on August 18, 1945 as the plane crashed in the small island of Formosa (now Taiwan), but multiple investigations later there is no certainty about his fate.
Anuj Dhar, a former investigative journalist, has devoted nearly two decades to uncover the mystery behind Bose's disappearance and has documented how India's political establishment kept swinging between its belief in Bose's death and apprehension that he might return: all in strict secrecy. The story spanning seven decades is perhaps even more engaging than that of a James Bond or a Jason Bourne. Dhar will delve into this rollercoaster of a political thriller to share his findings. Apart from his 2012 bestseller India's Biggest Cover-up, Dhar has authored several other books on topics such as the CIA's activities in South Asia and the mystery of Lal Bahadur Shastri's death in far away Tashkent.
- Brunch and Close
Children are welcome to join the Partners Programme in the daytime activities (except formal conclave sessions). As indicated at the time of registration, dinner functions are however ‘adults only’ and we would request you to ensure that alternate arrangements have been made– please contact the hotel for baby-sitting facilities if required. The programme mentioned above is intended to provide a holistic set of activities that are both entertaining and interactive. This is however completely optional – partner participants are welcome to plan independent of this programme if desired. Please inform the IMA team of the same if so. Dress Code : Informal/smart casual, also for the evenings.