‘Making Indian Cities Global Centers of Excellence’ with Vanitha Narayanan, Managing Director, IBM

Excerpt from an insightful speech by Vanitha Narayanan, Managing Director, IBM India on “Making Indian Cities Global Centers of Excellence” at AIMA’s National Leadership Conclave 2015 held on 29th & 30th April 2015 at Hotel Le Meridien, New Delhi.

Vanitha Narayanan, Managing Director, IBM India addressing AIMA's NLC 2015

Vanitha Narayanan, Managing Director, IBM India addressing AIMA’s NLC 2015

“I feel honored and privileged to be on the same panel with Minister Naidu on a topic that has been close to my company’s beliefs and heart for a very long time. We coined the phrase smarter planet almost a decade ago and the smarter cities were a subset of the smarter planet and we didn’t at that point say it was going to be a smart planet, it was going to be a journey, it was going to be a continuous journey because a big part of a smarter planet or a smarter city is a sustainable model. A sustainable model that is ecological, financial, based on physical resources that can rejuvenate and also the human model. So we have talked about it a lot, we have heard about it a lot and I think the need for having a smart or smarter infrastructure is a given.

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Women making it big in extreme sports

Skydiving is known as an extreme sport and we enjoy it to the max. I remember one journalist who was literally dying to ask me: Are you normal? To him and all others who wanted me to comment on why women are getting into this bizarre phenomenon of adventurous extreme sport , I want to say “Take Wings my friends and fly and you will discover the magic called life.”

The lady who is No. 1 in competitive skydiving is almost 50 years old and there’s nobody to take away her number one spot in competitive skydiving. In skydiving, like is relevant in every other field, one has to take that first step, that first plunge into thin air, the first step to do something.  That’s when you find yourself sooner than later that you are really being reckoned in an elite group of path breakers like how I am standing out here in front of you. I have had a very short journey. I started skydiving in 2009. But October 8th 2011 was a big day for us because on the 79th anniversary of Indian Air Force we were launched as the first ever official women skydiving team of the Indian Air Force.

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Brand Leadership in Volatile Times – K. Ramakrishnan, President Marketing, Cafe Coffee Day

“Someone once said, that coffee is a serious man’s drink.”

We, at Café Coffee Day believe that the café culture is inherent and so is the need for people to connect. We saw the opportunity to humanise the affair and that’s why we went ahead and added a smile to it. Talking about challenging conventional methods, we often hear people stating, “I have 25 years of experience”.

One needs to understand that what matters more is wisdom and not the number of years, unless things are done differently.

Talking about challenging conventional methods, Social Media has been a great revolution and we as a brand have adopted it in a big way. It has been the cause, catalyst and outcome of challenging convention. The core of this medium is that it catalyzes change and that’s the first step in challenging convention!

We believe that simplicity is of utmost importance and it is critical to ignore the noise around you. Further, it’s not necessary to re-invent the wheel all the time.

I would like to share some examples from our own experience back in 1996, when Café Coffee Day started its first CCD in Bangalore. People, at that time couldn’t imagine paying more than 3 rupees for a cup of coffee. When we launched, we started with a cup of coffee for 25 rupees and with the concept of providing cyber cafes where people can manage to carry on their work using free Internet while enjoying a cup of coffee.

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Future of Indian Management – Ratan Tata, Chairman of Tata Group

Ratan N Tata is the Chairman of Tata Group

On an evening like this one tends to be overwhelmed when you, if you might rendered a bit naked in terms of your past and even more embarrassing when what one has to say is nice and flowery so as I set listening to this my mind went back to the late eighties where we had all come to believe that JRD Tata who I love and adore like a father was immortal, one didn’t think what the Tata group would be without him and then one day all of that changed and he called me & told that he would like to step down. He was 90 years old and I would take over. I had the same sense of being lost when I was 17 years old and started flying.  Continue reading

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It’s the Age of Women – Sangeeta Talwar, Managing Director, NDDB Dairy services & Former Executive Director, Tata Tea India

Sangeeta Talwar is the Managing Director at NDDB Dairy services & Former Executive Director at Tata Tea India – Tata Global Beverages

To move up the corporate ladder, you must be someone who’s “recognized and trusted”, than just being “the busy bee sitting in the corner room”.

According to popular study, it is believed that corporates with women have better profitability. But what is most important is how to recruit women talent, train them and most of all retain them!

Looking at how women are perceived in the corporate world today, we must first look at stereotypes. Pretty? Yes, also a mother. Proud? Don’t know, but should be perhaps. Accept some of the things about yourself. Yes, you do look pretty, presentable and value some of those good things that you bring to life. It’s even worse to try and do reverse on stereotypes, don’t try to be a super human being, you are not a super man or woman. However, there are certain irrational biases that exist about women. May be women are not good at reading maps and doing mechanical things, but they are wonderful team makers! They are better sniffers than men, that’s why they can prepare for the uncertainties of tomorrow. Continue reading

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Technology leading to Good Governance – Nandan Nilekani, Chairman of the new Unique Identification Authority of India

Nandan Nilekani is Chairman of the new Unique Identification Authority of India

Before I start talking about technology and intrusive growth, we need to understand that the challenge is very clear. We need to address the need for aspiration as we are a high aspiration society and we must address the challenge of migration for social welfare.

It’s critical to understand why technology is so strategic in solving the problem! I would like to cite five key trends in technology that will pave the path for improved public governance.

1. Ubiquitous spread of communication – millions of people with mobile phones
2. Communication revolution will get newer and faster technologies like broadband, 3G, national fiber network
3. Everybody in some sense will be connected
4. More apps on the cloud

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New Age of Management – Shri Kamal Nath, Union Minister for Urban Development

Kamal Nath is Hon’ble Union Minister for Urban Development, Government of India

AIMA’s Foundation Day is also celebrated as the Management Day of the country. How much management has changed from the first foundation day and even from the 46th Management Day that happened 10 years ago?

The relevance of management education needs to be looked at. This is a question that is discussed in top B schools. Not only should management change, but management education should change. So here we have got to reappraise what should management be. Management doesn’t only effect balance sheet or the company but all stakeholders and the society at large. Continue reading

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What I did right – Sanjeev Kapoor, World Renowned Chef

Sanjeev Kapoor is a world renowned Indian Chef.

What I want to share with you may be things which I have done right in my life, may be you can pick up some threads and you can do things which will probably make or give people a perception of being successful. Why I said perception because no matter what you earn, you would also be the same person and success failure, good bad ugly they are just perceptions. There is nothing but what people think of what you are and who you are. Normally at the core at the heart you would always be the same person. You try and make yourself better for yourself and when you do that, more often than not, people around you also start seeing you in a better way.

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Indian Music – Ustad Amjad Ali Khan, Renowed Sarod Maestro

Ustad Amjad Ali Khan is famous sarod maestro

Namaskar!

One lady journalist met me just now and asked me, “What are you talking on, what is your subject?” I said, like my music, when I come on the stage I am absolutely blank, I don’t know what I am going to perform. What raag, what taal – everything happens on the stage, unlike the European musicians compositions written by Beethoven, Bach etc. In western classical, the orchestra rehearses it a 100 times; that is their culture. I admire the discipline of their music, their way of life. They write music, they read music, they prepare and they maintain discipline which we lack unfortunately. Continue reading
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The Indian Democracy – B J Panda, Former Member of Parliament

Mr BJ Panda, Then member of Parliament.

I have been in Parliament for 6 years now and in the first 6 months that I was in Parliament I often was tempted to quit as the frustration gets to you because the things do not change as quickly as you would wanted to. That’s a reality, that’s part of democracy that we live in. I will touch a little bit more about democracy as I will go along but the reality is things don’t change. But one decision I made then was either I could be a wishful thinker or to decide to deal with the reality of the situation which is that things don’t change easily and in politics to bring about change is not easy and to try to make difference from within the system and that’s what I have tried to do.

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