How often do you see Dr. YV Reddy, Mr.Ravi Kant and Mr. Seshasayee gracing a B school event? How often you think you can see the captains of the industry rubbing shoulders with eminent academicians and engaging in a lip smacking panel discussion much to the delight of an enthralled audience that just doesn’t seem to get enough of the action? If you are a Great Laker, you would have witnessed both. A spectacular array of guests shared deep insights about the current business environment, their outlook and how their organizations are coping with the current crisis. On Dec 20, 2008, as part of L’attitude 13°05′ – the annual B school fest – a CEO conclave was organized by Great Lakes Institute of Management. That morning, despite being in a tearing hurry to receive Dr. Gururaj Deshpande- the key note speaker- and escort him to the venue, one news item caught my eye while flipping through the online edition of The New York Times. The article virtually credited Dr. Y.V Reddy , the ex governor of RBI, with shielding India from the current global financial crisis. Two hours later, I found myself listening to Dr. Reddy deliver a spell binding lecture on the very crisis that he saved us from!
Our ever cheerful uncle Bala set the tone for the rest of the day by welcoming Dr. Gururaj Deshpande , Chairman , Sycamore networks, with a warm hug. Uncle Bala in his welcome address called Dr. Deshpande a “serial entrepreneur”. I doubt whether anyone could have coined a better word for someone who not so long ago was the second richest Indian billionaire. Dr. Deshpande’s key note address touched a chord among the audience when he cited alumni contribution as an important reason why universities like MIT and Harvard stand towering above the rest. He exhorted Great Lakers to emulate them and we couldn’t agree more. Following the eminent entrepreneur’s address was that of an eminent academician. Prof. MS Krishnan , Michael R. and Mary Kay Hallman Fellow & Professor of Business Information Technology; Chair of Business Information Technology at the Ross school of Business , University of Michigan, Ann Arbor delighted the audience with a scintillating address that touched upon the several facets of marketing- services marketing in particular
It was now the turn of the who’s who of Indian companies to hog the limelight. Mr. Ravi Kant, CEO&MD of Tata Motors spoke about the auto industry, strategies to survive the current downturn and of course about the Nano. Mr. R Seshasayee, MD Ashok Leyland echoed Mr. Kant’s views and expressed confidence that the auto industry will successfully negotiate the current rough patch.
The stage was now set for what can be termed the mother of all panel discussions. Moderated by Mr. T.N Seshan, the former Chief Election Commissioner of India and currently a faculty at Great Lakes Institute of Management, Dr. Y.V Reddy, former governor of the Reserve Bank of India,Uncle Bala, J.L. Kellogg Distinguished Professor of Accounting and Information Management, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL. USA and Honorary Dean of Great Lakes Institute of Management, Mr. Sundar Rajan, CMD of Indian Bank and Dr. Ajit Ranade, Chief economist, Aditya Birla group analyzed the sub prime mortgage crisis and the current global economic scenario threadbare.
After food for thought, it was now the stomach’s turn. The CEO conclave ended with a power lunch and the audience feasted on the lavish spread counting the stars they spotted since morning.
– Muralidhar S
Class of 2009