Contributed By: Debleena Mondal
The students of Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore hosted and witnessed yet another successful year of their three-day annual international business summit Vista, from 26th to 28th July 2019. In its 17th year, Vista 2019, themed ‘Command, Conquer, Captivate’ featured a wide array of speakers from Nestle India Chairman & MD Suresh Narayanan to Akshaya Patra Foundation CEO Shridhar Venkat.
This year’s theme focused on the value of visionary leadership to the success of businesses around the globe and how a leader must strategize and innovate new methods that would strengthen the existing businesses.
Staying true to its legacy, Vista this year as well provided glimpses of varied fields in management which included consulting, finance, marketing, and operations. The summit had six-speaker sessions, over twenty plus events, eight workshops and panel discussions spanning over the three days. More than 20,000 people came from 100+ institutions and had a wonderful experience, taking away key practical skills and knowledge to succeed as a contemporary business leader.
Vista’19 was inaugurated by Mrs. Padmini Srinivasan, PGP chair, IIMB and the guests of honor Mr. Kamalesh Kumar Sharma, VP and Chief Communication Officer, HCCB and Mr. Indrajeet Sengupta, Chief Human Resources Officer, HCCB and Mr. Suresh Narayanan, Chairman and MD of Nestlé India Limited. Various events and speaker sessions were lined up for the rest of the day, starting with a panel discussion with Mr.Kamlesh Sharma and Mr.Indrajeet Sengupta of HCCB. Valuable insights were put forth by the gentlemen’s regarding the growth of their company and how it has always provided since its inception a wide variety of choices to its customers. Other notable speakers like Mr.Nitin Bawankule, Country Director, Google Cloud India and also an alumnus of IIMB spoke about the disruptions in the industry caused by the advent of the internet; Mr.Suresh Narayanan, of Nestle, India stressed the importance of leadership traits like humility, the right attitude, and how these qualities enabled him to successfully handle the Maggi crisis in India.
The speakers for the next two days were eminent personalities as well. Acclaimed author and bestseller Devdutt Pattanaik. Mr. Pattanaik quoted examples from Indian mythology and related it to the right business practice for India and the world. He also proposed an alternative model for business called Rangbhoomi, stating, “(Practice) Rangbhoomi instead of a Ranbhoomi. Perform so well that you captivate your audience (your consumer). Mr. Richard Lobo, Head of the HR department at Infosys spoke on the human quotient and stated, “Heart of the employee should be linked to the organization for the best use of the human resource.” Mr. Shridhar Venkat, CEO of The Akshay Patra Foundation, talked about hunger and education in India. He said that the Akshay Patra Foundation is a confluence of the visionary statement and professionalism, “No child in India shall be deprived of education because of hunger.” In another session, Ms. Kim Sharma, Vice-President of ITW PlayWorx and a former model and actress, talked about the future of the entertainment industry with a strong focus on OTT platforms. Ajay Datta, Head of Product, LinkedIn, India, talked about changing dynamics of social networks and emphasized that “You can earn trust every day, but you can lose it in one day.”
Another captivating panel discussion was the FICCI Young Leaders panel discussion, conducted on the topic “Business Models: Innovations and Implications”. The discussions highlighted the journey of startups and how they pivoted the products and models with changing times and consumer behavior.
Apart from speaker sessions and panel discussions, several workshops were also organized. These included Blockchain; “HCCB Route to market,” which provided its participants an exposure to the workings of the sales functions of HCCB; Art of self – realization conducted by Aravani Art Project, a trans-women art collective; a writing workshop conducted by Mr. Anuj Gosalia, Founder and CEO of Terribly Tiny Tales (TTT) and Effective Communication facilitated by Ms. Anusha Khurana.
Flagship events like Data and Beyond, a three-level elimination round to sharpen one’s analytical skills; Optimus, a real-time simulation game where participants run their own company; Numero Uno, tested the participants on various managerial fronts to bring out the future leaders in them; MarkGuru, a marketing competition; Trojan Horse, the consulting competition, where participants had to make business strategy decisions were also held.
Apart from all the serious, challenging business stuff, each day of Vista’19 ended with engaging performances by notable artists like stand-up comedian Zakir Khan and Agnee, one of India’s leading rock bands.
Debleena is a student of PGP 2019-2021 batch of IIM Bangalore and JC, Student Media Cell.