Indian Institute of Management, Amritsar successfully conducted the annual edition of
Operations and Strategy Conclave, Sankshetra 3.0 on December 15, 2018. The event was
graced by the presence of renowned industry experts from firms like Nestle, Raymond, Paytm,
Tech Mahindra, Karvy Fintech etc. There were two panels, one for Operations and one for
Strategy under Sankshetra 3.0.
Sankshetra 3.0 witnessed the stalwarts from the industry discussing and providing various
thoughtful and factual insights about “Retail 3.0: Operational Efficiency in Modern Retail” and
“Business Strategies in the Face of Protectionism”. The students and panellists alike used the
platform to discuss their views and learnings about the aforementioned themes.
The eminent panellists for the Operations Panel included Mr. Amantran Ghosh, Head –
Category Operations (Food BU-Maggi), Nestle, Mr. Dhaval Raja, Head Retail Operations,
Raymond, Mr. Gourav Agarwal, Head Business Operation – North India, Paytm, Mr. Subhas C
Basu, Head Business Operation – North India, Paytm and the discussion was moderated by Mr.
Dharmender Matai, CEO Alisha Retail.
The Operations panel discussion began with Operazeal, the Operations Club of IIM Amritsar
playing a video made with the help of Prof. Neeraj Bhanot, Assistant Professor (Operations)
before the panelists. For the Operations Panel, the dignitaries discussed the operational
efficiency in retail market. The panel discussed that technological intervention in certain in
aspects of businesses paly key role in improving operational efficiency and the case of retail
even though the e-commerce industry is growing at an unprecedented rate, various domains of
operations are yet to be integrated with technology.
The moderator of the discussion, Mr. Dharmender Matai began by sharing his personal
experiences about how operations management links directly to our daily life from brushing our
teeth and helps to improve the operational efficiency in day-to-day operations. The discussion
was emphasized on data and how analytics give an edge in planning, maintaining inventory etc.
There is a lot of scope in modern retail due to gap between penetration and actual purpose.
The good news is that technology is bridging the gap between offline and online. The floor
opened for the panelists and they implied how Retail 3.0 is the convergence of online and
offline. Omnichannel is bridging the gap between the online and offline. The sales and
marketing on Facebook and Instagram play a vital role in Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities.
The eminent panelists for the Strategy Panel included Mr. Mohit Agrawal, Vice President – Risk
Strategy, Barclays, Mr. Narinder Sethi, Global Head – Business Excellence, Tech Mahindra, Ms.
Smita Negi, Global Senior Director, Stryker and the discussion was moderated by Mr. Rajeev
Singh, Chief Operating Officer – Global Business Services, Karvy Fintech.
The panelists began by discussing about how different countries and multinational companies
have been doing trade amongst each other for many centuries. Protectionism refers to
government actions and policies that restrict or restrain initial trade, often with the intent of
protecting local businesses and jobs from foreign competition. There are various methods of
putting protectionism into place- through tariff in import, stringent trade policies by the
government quotas and subsidies by the government, for local organizations etc.
The panellists talked whether Indian Pharma should their focus on other markets since the US
is pushing the pharma market. They talked in detail about different companies and trade wars.
From the last 20 years, the trade has changed from goods to services and then to data. Today
digital surpasses the thought process of merchants. The organizations need to hire local talent
for better competitive market and for protectionism. In addition to this, subsidies should be
provided to gain market share. In short term this may be costly but it is sustainable in the
long term because of cost advantage.
The discussion was primarily focused on looking into the most practical and tangible solutions
to concurrent issue of protectionism. The panel discussed on how these protectionist policies
are changing the game and impacting businesses and global trades, particular to digital
protectionism. The changes in the government policy is not effective. Protectionist
environment makes an organization lose out on competitiveness and impacts the innovation of
the country. The biggest commodity today is data. The storage of the data is important because
of security and privacy issues.
Both the panels interacted with the students of IIM Amritsar through Q&A session after the
panel discussions. The event concluded with high tea.