Chase making a sustainable business model, funding will follow: A message from IIM Amritsar Marketing and Finance Conclave, PARIPREKSHYA 2020

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A message from IIM Amritsar Marketing and Finance Conclave, PARIPREKSHYA 2020

Indian Institute of Management, Amritsar, successfully conducted its fourth annual Marketing and Finance Conclave, Pariprekshya'20 on October 3 and October 4, 2020, in VC mode.

Pariprekshya'20 - the Marketing and Finance Conclave, witnessed well-known experts from diverse industries across the country having perceptive discussions. The panelists accentuated the need to move from brick and mortar to IT-enabled organizations to ensure global scalability. The veterans from the industry interacted and reflected with the budding managers on the recent trends and developments in the domains of Finance and Marketing.

The theme for the first-panel discussion corresponding to the Finance domain was the "Future of Venture Capital (VC) Activities." It focussed on technological developments, innovations, and the long-term outlook of venture capital investment in India and around the globe. The second-panel discussion theme corresponding to the Marketing domain was "Marketing in the New Normal” which focussed on the expected post-pandemic changes in consumer behavior, the role of analytics to capture these changes, and the adoption of these changes in new normal.

The Conclave commenced with Prof. Nagarajan Ramamoorthy, Director- IIM Amritsar, welcoming the esteemed panelists. Prof. Nagarajan stated that even though the year 2020 disrupted all the spheres of the economy, it also created a lot of new opportunities and brought innovation to the surface. Prof. Nagarajan emphasized that no business education is complete without industry interaction, and thus, it lies at the crux of bridging the gap between academia and practices. Concluding his address, he said that he expected all the students would make the most out of this opportunity and learn from the industry stalwarts' first-hand experiences.


Brief on Panel 1:

The first panel was ennobled with the presence of Mr. Sanjay Chaturvedi (CFO- Helion Ventures, The Fundamentum Partnership),  Mr. Mitesh Shah (CFO- BookMyShow, Co-Founder -Inflection Point Ventures), Mr. Amitabh Sinha (Co-Founder & CSO-, Mr. Ninad Karpe (Partner- 100X.VC), Mr. Chinnu Senthilkumar (General Partner- Exfinity Venture Partners LLP), Mr. Umesh Kudalkar (Director- Multi-Act Trade and Investments Pvt Ltd.).

Introducing the theme of discussion, IIM Amritsar students delivered a presentation on the finance panel topic. Students of the MBA-06 batch, Ms. Ishika Agarwal and Mr. Harshit Ahuja, stated how the investments are no exceptions to the changing dynamics in the post-pandemic world with the funding falling from $6 bn in Q4-2019 to $3.7 bn in Q1-2020. Building on the theme, they added how selling secondary focussed funds, liquidity stress testing and scenario testing, use of convertible instruments, embracing new behaviors, and investing in business digitization would become essential to cope with the transcendental changes in the post-pandemic world.

Mr. Umesh Kudalkar was the moderator for the first session. He highlighted how digitization, a transformation of workflows, and a move towards paperless and virtual, has become essential to ascertain businesses' scalability and sustainability. Mr. Kudalkar talked about the VC industry's evolution and how the new businesses would be evaluated in the post-pandemic world.

Mr. Sanjay Chaturvedi accentuated the importance of three E's in today's pandemic situation: E-Grocery, Edu-Tech, and E-Pharma. He emphasized how large and attractive market size, growing market coupled with a large profit pool, lesser barriers to entry, and business model inimitability lead to a better deal evaluation. Mr. Chaturvedi also highlighted that a lot of value is created with backward integration.

Mr. Mitesh Shah deemed newer businesses should chase making a good and sustainable business model. To add a tinge of optimism, he enunciated how the momentum is swinging in favor of the companies trying to ride back since mid-April. Thus, getting the right investors with smart capital, proper execution, and operation plan would help the startups sail through these uncertain times.

Mr. Amitabh Sinha started with the thought that "Money has no religion, no region, and only reason." The drive towards risk tasking from risk aversive behavior and the product-driven economy was crucial for our country's future. He suggested that agnosticism in VCs, adding logic to the business for startups, flexibility, and rawness, would help a company differentiate itself in the competitive world.

Mr. Ninad Karpe stated that "Coding has become the new English" and that technology's importance from a broad perspective to a narrow view has increased manifold. Mr. Karpe highlighted the need for a competitive advantage in cost, technology, and mote that needs to be articulated for better evaluation.

Mr. Chinnu Senthilkumar started with the idea that the demarcation between private equity and venture capital has become more prominent post the pandemic. He also put forth a novel concept of how businesses should start looking backward from the exit. Mr. Senthilkumar explicated that passion, subject matter expertise, growth mindset, creative and technology ideas, and strong will coupled with perseverance are the qualities venture capitalists look for when it comes to recruitment.

Brief on Panel 2:

The second panel was graced by the eminent industry stalwarts - Mr. Aishwarya Pratap Singh, Head of Marketing - Snacks, Noodles & Pasta, ITC Ltd., Mr. Harry Jose, Head of Marketing - Syngene International Limited, Mr. Lavdeep Walia, VP, CMO - More Retail Ltd., Mr. Narayan T V, Head of Marketing - PayPal, India, and Mr. Rakesh Misri, Director, Marketing – HPCL. Mr. Abhishek Datta, Executive HR Director - HPCL, and Mr. Sandeep Roy, General Manager, Capacity Building – HPCL, also ennobled the event with their presence as the audience.

Introducing the theme of discussion, IIM Amritsar students delivered a presentation on the topic for the Marketing panel. Students of the MBA-06 batch, Ms. Farheen Kausar and Mr. Lakshay Juneja, stated how there has been a paradigm shift in consumer behavior, change in psychology, and a dip in consumer confidence post the pandemic. Building on the theme, they added how acts and not ads, content-driven marketing, brand perception, uniting people, coupled with experimentation, would emerge crucial in the new marketing normal.

Mr. Narayan T V was the moderator for the second session. He structured the discussion around the pandemic's impact on myriad marketing aspects, including customer behavior, media planning, agile marketing, the paradigm shift in trends owing to work from home, and the emergence of newer marketing mechanisms.

Mr. Rakesh Misri highlighted the positives the pandemic has brought about the augmented adaptability and resilience within the organizations. He accentuated the importance of being empathetic towards customer needs and emphasized coming up with marketing strategies that portray that the organization is working towards a more significant cause than just making profits. 

Mr. Lavdeep Walia enunciated that marketing has changed drastically from demand generation to a service function due to the pandemic. The aggravated need for personalization and focus on core competencies coupled with analytics, was deemed essential for staying relevant in today's times.  

Mr. Aishwarya Pratap Singh started with the thought that running a business predominantly relies on two vectors: mental and physical availability. He indicated that the social distancing norms for a protracted period would act as a business killer. Mr. Singh concluded, stating that even though a drop in consumption has limited marketing avenues, content marketing would help organizations stay relevant for the customers.

Mr. Harry Jose put forth a thought-provoking idea of how integrated marketing and holistic awareness would pave the way ahead in the pandemic times. He added that spot on communication, faster development cycles coupled with cross-functioning teams, and multi-channel marketing would be the trends restoring balance in the now normal.

The students of IIM Amritsar showed great enthusiasm during the panel discussion. The discussions were made highly interactive through a healthy Q&A session between the panelists and students. The Conclave successfully concluded on a high note. The recorded videos of the event have been made live on the official channel of IIM Amritsar and can be watched at any time.

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