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Rural India in the limelight at IIMK Conclave

Rural India in the limelight at IIMK Conclave
5th to 7th of October 2007

Horizons, the Annual Management Conclave of the Indian Institute of Management, Kozhikode was held between the 5th and 7th of October 2007, at the institute’s scenic campus in Kozhikode (Calicut), Kerala. The overarching theme for this year was “Bharat ek Khoj” with sub themes of “Rediscovering Rural India”, “Unleashing India Inc.” and “Unlocking the Human Potential”. It was formally inaugurated on the 5th by Dr. A Jayathilak, the district collector of Kozhikode. Dr. Jayathilak was the MD of Kerala Tourism Development Corporation for 5 years and was instrumental in orchestrating the “God’s own country” campaign which catapulted Kerala to its superbrand success. He delivered an insightful opening address on rediscovering Rural India.

What is Real India? Mr. Harish Bijoor, CEO, Harish Bijoor Consults Inc., tried to answer this question while separating truth from hype. He dwelt on the increasing chasm between Rural and Urban India and pointed out that the current pace of growth will not be sustained unless it becomes inclusive. On the subject of growth, Mr. Abheek Singhi, Partner and Director of The Boston Consulting Group cited investor confidence and M&As as the drivers behind India’s growth. Mr. Singhi went on to explain the nuances of M&As and the role consultants play in the same. The CEO of Marico’s Consumer Products Division, Mr. Saugata Gupta, drew upon his experience and shared his secret to becoming a “Winning Manager”.

The conclave dealt extensively with the topic of Rural India and had eminent speakers voice their opinions on the same. Mr. Paresh Chaudhry, Head, Corporate Communications, HUL, and Communications Leader, South Asia for Unilever took the example of HUL’s Project Shakti, which trained rural women to sell HLL products. The project has resulted in an effective distribution channel reaching 100 million rural customers. Mr. P K Kesavan, Director – Ministry of Panchayati Raj said that rural growth can be achieved by unearthing business opportunities in rural areas and generating employment. An excellent example of this was afforded by Mr. Sunil Chainani, Director, Fabindia Overseas Pvt. Ltd. Fabindia with over 20,000 craftsmen across 250 districts working for it, focuses on bridging the urban-rural divide by bringing the best of rural craft to the urban customer.

The conclave ended with the HR Summit in which eminent HR Managers like Mr. Narayanan Nair, VP-HR of Mphasis EDS and Mr. Sheen Sunny Akkara, Director, Resource Management, Deloitte Consulting participated. The panel discussion mainly focused on the strategic role of HR in today’s business environment. The changing expectations of organizations and the impact of globalization on the HR policies of companies were also debated.

In the run up to the conclave, Chanakya, an online quiz was held daily for a week which saw thousands take part in it. Ranniti, a one of a kind online treasure hunt was also organized as part of Horizons. Launched for the first time in India, this quiz drew enthusiastic participation from thousands of excited students. The Contact Singapore Case Study was also launched as part of the event. In a B-Plan Guidance workshop held exclusively for Horizons, Mr. Gururaj Potnis, CEO of Manthan Services gave key pointers to budding entrepreneurs.

Horizons 2007 was sponsored by Citibank, Contact Singapore, Indian Bank and Mohan Choti. Pagalguy was the Knowledge Partner, Businessworld and Rediff Online were the Print and Online media Partners, Taj Residency was the Hospitality Partner and ViaJustGo, the Travel Partner for the event.

We would also like to thank
for their support in conducting Ranniti.

To read a transcript of the sessions, please visit
For more information, please visit
or contact Manandeep at +91 9349532432 or Sunil at +91 9846570865.

Media Cell,
IIM Kozhikode

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