MICA, Ahmedabad concluded its three-day virtual 7th International Communication  Management Conference (ICMC) 2021 with a valedictory  ceremony rewarding the academicians, scholars, and researchers who presented their research work and papers at the conference. The chief guest for the concluding event was Mr. Ronnie Screwvala, Entrepreneur, Chairman and Founder, upGrad and Swades Foundation.

The theme for this year's ICMC was 'Creativity & Culture for Management in a Changing World.' The conference saw 140 paper presentations by over 179 presenters, 6-panel discussions, two workshops, and two expert talk sessions with over 30  eminent guests from the industry, social, and culture sectors.

The conference that saw over  400  participants looked at changing narratives in the newer world.  Day  1  and  Day  2  of  ICMC  also saw  a  spellbinding performance by  Ms. Shabnam Virmani, Ms. Bindhumalini Narayanaswamy, and Mr. Vedanth Bharadwaj as part of the cultural night.

At the valedictory and award ceremony, chief guest Mr. Ronnie Screwvala in conversation with MICA faculty Dr. Anita Basalingappa, said, "I think if you have not failed enough, you are not going to taste success. One needs to accept the 8:2 ratio (eight failures to two successes) if one is working on startups.

Urging everyone to focus on soft skills, he said, "I am a product of soft skills. People do not spend a lot of time on soft skills as they are busy pursuing diplomas, degrees, and formal knowledge, which is important. You can have five times the impact if you can marry your soft skills."

Concluding the award ceremony, Dr. Shailendra Raj Mehta, President & Director, MICA, brought out the importance of having such congregations of researchers, academics, and industry and unveiled the theme for ICMC 2022 on 'Data narratives in a Digital World: Analytics and Storytelling.'

The three power-packed days of the conference brought in experts from the industry to discuss various topics like 'The future of Consumption,' Creativity: Theory vs. Practice,' 'Cultural Repositories in Future' and many more.

Day 2 saw an insightful teach-in-speaker session by Prof. Shailendra Raj Mehta, President, and Director, MICA on 'Arthaparibhusana: Aesthetics and Business,' followed by panel discussions with eminent speakers from academia, industry, and the University of Southampton.

Day 3 saw another session on 'Applying Mythology to Management and Creativity' by Mythologist and author Mr. Devdutt Pattanaik. In his session, Mr. Pattanaik spoke about using myth to understand the Culture and shared applicable lessons from mythology in management. He further explained the concept of conversation as an exchange through mythological stories.

He said, "Mythology does not seek the truth, but knowledge. One of the critical elements of mythology is that you are constantly focussing on other people's truth rather than a predefined truth. The essence of a mythological approach is to be nourished with each other's knowledge."

As part of a panel on 'The Future of Consumption' moderated by MICA Prof. Pooja Thomas, panelist Mr. Abhay Mangaldas, Founder & Director, House of MG, said, "It is time that people understand the biggest thing driving everything is technology. As craft is about producing by hand, it is important to make the craftsperson techno-savvy when it comes to education. Along with us, craftsmen have every right to become a globalist, which will make them a multi-layer person with diversities to survive in a marketplace."

Apart from Mr. Mangaldas, other panelists included Dr. Russel Belk, Professor of Marketing, York University, Toronto, and Ms. Laila Tyabji.

On the issues faced by the artists and producers, Ms. Laila Tyabji said, "Despite India having millions of practitioners comprising the second largest sector of the economy, they are still marginalized, underpaid, and have a minimal social status. But, this sector has a curious paradox that although the numbers of practitioners are leaving the sector,  it still manages to increase its contribution to the GDP every year. You can take tradition, and make it trendy, which is essentially the challenge for us today."

Speaking on 'Creativity - Theory vs. Practice, Prof. Pradip Khandwalla, Professor of Organizational Behaviour and former IIMA Director, said, "Every college student in this country must be asked to take five courses outside his area of specialization. That is how you build an interdisciplinary, holistic mindset that will help in the cross-fertilization of ideas, a source of Creativity."

Other panelists of the panel included Ms. Guneet Monga, Film Producer, CEO and Founder, Sikhya Entertainment, Ms. Arundhati Ghosh, Executive Director, India Foundation for the Arts, and Mr. Vaibhav Chauhan, Founding Secretary, Sahapedia. Dr. Preeti Shroff, Dean, MICA, moderated the panel.

Delving on  'Creativity  &  Culture',  Ms.  Anuradha   Aggarwal,  Former   Cluster  Head, Disney-Star  India,  said,  "Organisations that take a  more significant risk during tough times benefit in the long run. As much as 2020 was the most unprecedented year, it was also an   opportunity to do things differently and make more significant impacts. Creativity  &  Culture are for the long run,  and leaders that believe such make hard investments to their bottom lines. "Only when you innovate and allow the culture and system to take the risk, success happens," she added.

Sharing his insights on cultural strategy for innovation, Mr. Ayush Chauhan, Managing Partner, and Co-founder, Quicksand, Co-founder, UnBox, said, "Any successful innovation would always bear testimony to a sound understanding of Culture. But it fascinates me how wrong policy and development programs get Culture, even though much of the intervention is not a transaction, but is a lot of engagement with communities, and which is what nonprofits could do all the time."

Continuing, he said, "Robust systems and meaningful design interventions have to be built on a foundation of Culture. We have to make way for deeper engagement with the past, present, and future of these communities."

As part of the panel 'Cultural Repositories in Future,' Mr. Subodh Kerker, Founding Director, Museum of Goa, said, "Connecting with arts is very important because I  believe that cultures are born in the wombs of art. Arts make us different from animals. The most important function of artists is to tell you that nothing is black and white,  there are many views, and there are many interpretations. So art is the great equalizer. Art is a universal language of humankind, which is why it is crucial to take art to everyone and democratize art."

ICMC 2021 awardees:

The paper 'Does online dating promotion vary across cultures? Analyzing the homepage advertisements of online dating services in 51 countries across Europe, North America, and South America' by Prof. Aditi Paul (Pace University, US) and Prof. Saifuddin Ahmed (Nanyang Technological University, Singapore) won the best award and prize money Rs. 3,75,000 ($5000).

MICA Prof. Suresh Malodia's paper 'Use of voice assistants and a theory of consumption value perspective' bagged the second award and prize money of Rs 1,87,500 ($2500).

IIM Kozhikode Prof. Anita Kerai bagged the third award and prize money of Rs. 75,000 ($1000)  for  her  paper   on  'Does  work  from  home  arrangement   deinstitutionalizes traditional office spaces: A conceptual perspective.'

The paper  'Using historical narratives in organizational storytelling:  Case of an  Indian state' by IIM Kozhikode Prof. Nivedita Bhanja and MICA Prof. Niyati Bhanja bagged the first consolation prize of Rs. 52,500 ($750).

IRMA Profs Vivek Pandey and Pratik Modi received the second consolation prize for their paper 'Innovation orientation, R&D intensity, and firm's resilience to macroeconomic shocks: Evidence from a natural experiment.'

Stay informed, Stay ahead and stay inspired with MBA Rendezvous