Xavier School of Rural Management (XSRM) in collaboration with The RM Alumni Committee of Xavier University, Bhubaneshwar (XUB) hosted its first ever leadership summit, XPectRM, on November 14th, 2018. The summit aimed to provide the students of Rural Management (RM) a comprehensive view on the wonders of the world of Rural Management, from rural inclusive finance, development policy and livelihood, rural marketing to social business and entrepreneurship.

Prof. Kajri Mishra, Dean, XSRM, along with Father E. A. Augustine, S.J., Registrar, XUB and Father Donald D. Silva, S.J., Director( Finance), inaugurated the summit by lighting the ceremonial lamp. The speakers for the day were Ratnesh Jha (Ex- Management Specialist, UNDP), Rajendra Narayan Mahapatra (Sr Programme Coordinator, Public Health Resource Network), Jayesh K Jain (Senior Technical Assistance Advisor, Regional Director Asia, Opportunity International), Tanwi Kumari (Principal Specialist – South East Asia and South Asia, Accion), Phaneendra Doddapaneni (National Product Manager, IndusInd Bank), Alok Pattanayak (KGFS Head – Odisha,  IFMR Rural Channels and Services), Charudutta Panigrahi (Mentor, FIDR), Pratyush K Panda (VP and Head-Corporate Citizenship, ACC Ltd), Tapan Kumar Das (Co-Founder VP, Youth4Jobs Foundation), Ramesh C. Jena(Partner, MART), Rajarshi D. Sarkar (Zonal Head of East, Novo Nordisk India), Aditi Nanda (Director, Incture Technologies), Vasudevan Chinnathambi (Co-Founder, Ninjacart) and Lopamudra Mohanty (Business Strategist and Founder, BigBuddyWorld). They were presented with samplings as a token of appreciation


Dravid, Co-Ordinator of RM Alumni Committee set the mood by stressing on the idea and intent that went behind the summit and how it focuses on Rural Management being a multisectoral, multidisciplinary and diverse field. Father E. A. Augustine, Registrar, XUB and Father Donald D. Silva, expressed their euphoria and congratulated the RM Alumni Committee for successfully organizing the first mega-event under XUBAA, Xavier University Bhubaneshwar’s Alumni Association and verbalized the need for such events that aims at extracting more and more knowledge from experiences of industry stalwarts, who are great leaders in their respective fields.

There were many a firsts in the summit with RMAX, Rural Manager’s Association of XSRM, awarding the ‘Scroll of Honour’, as a token of immense admiration to an alumnus who has made a mammoth contribution, recognized internationally and is a pioneer in the field of RM. Mr. Abhinash Sahu, Co-Ordinator of RMAX, quoted, “Since the inception of Rural Management, 21 batches of successful managers have passed out. All the coordinators of Core, functional and interest committees, unanimously decided on the nominations, and the results were finally dictated by the jury”. Mr.  Pratyush Panda (Batch of 1995-96), was conferred the first ‘Scroll of Honour’. He is a jack of all trades, from being a marathoner to a policy advocate to currently being the Vice-President & Head, Corporate Citizenship, ACC Limited.

The first session focused on “Development Policy and Livelihood”, moderated by Prof. Satyendra Nath Mishra. Mr. Rajendra Narayan Mahapatra (Sr. Programme Coordinator, Public Health Resource Network) said, “The technology, the media and the research are the three guiding lights for the future of public sector health policy.” Mr. Ratnesh Jha (Independent Consultant, UNDP), voiced how “Sustainability Development Goals talks about 3P's – People, Planet and Profit in a sustainable manner” and Mr. Jayesh K Jain (Senior Technical Assistance Advisor, Regional Director Asia, Opportunity International) stated “We should take small steps towards sharing the equation of power to improve the outcomes of development.”


The second-panel discussion revolved around the ‘Social Business and Entrepreneurship’, moderated by Prof. Gautam Prateek. Charudutta Panigrahi (Mentor, FIDR) conveyed, "To be an entrepreneur, you've to be childlike". Lopamudra Mohanty (Business Strategist and Founder, BigBuddyWorld) insisted, “For any social enterprise, it is necessary for us to understand their requirements rather than we deciding what they want”. Tapan Kumar Das (Co-Founder VP, Youth4Jobs Foundation), stressed “At any point, we have to understand the ecosystem of our product or else we will lose interest and switch to other products and ultimately end up gaining nothing”. Pratyush K Panda (VP and Head-Corporate Citizenship, ACC Ltd) emphasized, “Today, we need to see an issue not only through the social lens but through multiple lenses before suggesting a solution”.

The third-panel discussion centered on ‘Rural Inclusive Finance’, moderated by Prof. P.K. Mishra. All the panelists were esteemed alumni of XSRM. It had Mrs. Tanwi Kumari (Regional Manager – South East Asia and South Asia, Accion), spoke in lengths about "The need for rural people being educated about risks of keeping cash at home”. Mr. Phaneendra Doddapaneni (National Product Manager, IndusInd Bank) discussed, "How private sector is also putting focus on Microfinance." and Mr. Alok Pattanayak (KGFS Head – Odisha, IFMR Rural Channels and Services) explained, "Access cannot solve the purpose of inclusive finance".

The fourth panel discussion delved on ‘Rural Business Development & Marketing’, moderated by Prof. Indira Indibara. Rajarshi D. Sarkar (Zonal Head of East, Novo Nordisk India) expressed, “How the requirements of rural people are the same. They have money but their accessibility to resources is limited.” Ramesh C. Jena(Partner, MART) stated, “Haats are the nerves of rural economy and the primary producers produce should be marketed at the same level as the others”. Vasudevan Chinnathambi (Co-Founder, Ninjacart) enunciated, “The biggest problem we face today is the information barrier both on supply and demand side.”

All the sessions were followed by an interactive and enriching question - answer round, that helped the students of rural management clear their doubts regarding the intricacies of rural management. This event also marked the release of “Alohomora”, the annual magazine by RM Alumni Committee. All the guest speakers were presented with mementoes, as a token of gratitude. The conclave concluded with a vote of thanks by the coordinator of RM Alumni Committee.


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