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IIM B Vista 2008 draws big speakers, participation; NITIE Mumbai wins trophy

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The Indian Institute of Management Bangalore (IIM B) kicked off its three-day business festival Vista '08 on October 10.

With top notch speakers like management guru Gurucharan Das and media newsmaker Rajat Sharma and Shekhar Gupta, and series of exciting management games, Vista proved yet again why it is one of the top management fests in the country. Official Management Portal of festival, MBAUniverse.com presents highlights from IIM Vista 2008.

Day 1 Highlights:

The day was packed with events that thronged with over participation from Business School students across the country.

Mr. Shekhar Gupta, the Editor-in-Chief of the Indian Express, inaugurated the event with the keynote address on the theme of Vista 2008 -- Emerging economies, Emerging Realities. He talked about how there was a shift in the emerging economies in general – how a large number of talented people from ethnically and linguistically diverse backgrounds were emerging, and drew an analogy to the same in the larger scheme of things. He also talked about how the United States, the previous leader of the pack was nursing a bruised ankle, and it is up to the so-called emerging economies, and specifically India to fill a good part of this void before the resilient Americans bounce back. Mr. Gupta said every contender here has its strengths and weaknesses, but the one player who grabs the need of the hour would emerge the next big player.

One of the big events of the day was the media conclave which saw bigwigs from the newspaper industry debating it out on the topic – "The Great Indian Media Circus – Just who is watching whom?" It was an interesting discussion with the panelists discussing whether in the name of free markets and competition, the quality of the news and responsibility of the media as a news transmitter was deteriorating. The idea of there being many different kinds of news and different kinds of people who actually find different things interesting was brought up. Another thought that arose from the discussion was that the media in a confident young India is growing and is in a transition period – and it is maturing – which according to Gurcharan Das is something to celebrate.

The flagship event of IIMB Vista, Numero Uno, the hunt for the next CEO, started off with the icebreaker rounds. This year, Numero Uno has turned truly international with students representing McGill University, Yale and Lahore University of Management studies joining in. The first round involved the contestants devising a market entry strategy for a product starting with some initial product specifications and seed capital.

Another event of IIMB Vista, the Bzzwings B-plan competition was contested by over three hundred and twenty teams all over India. The day was filled with interesting ideas ranging from tourism companies to health and fitness drives. But the pick of the day were the winners and runners up, both from IIM Bangalore. Pritam Sarkar and Smriti Khullar bagged the first prize with their venture - Professional Trainers is firm that intends to bring the world of wellness right at the door steps on every big condominium. The runners up, Anshul Gupta, Radhika Tandon and Adithya M.R. were also from IIM Bangalore with their social entrepreneurship venture that was based on Seed Distribution in rural areas.

Mr. Ramesh Kumar, VP Strategic Planning, Ogilvy shared his views on good ad-making through an advertising workshop that ended up overflowing with people. The seminar was followed by a competition that asked people to come up with advertising ideas for one of three concepts. The winning team proposed a combination of radio and print medium to convey the importance of insurance safety, with a healthy dose of humor.

Day 2 Highlights

 The second day of VISTA recorded a large increase in participation and competition as well.

Gurcharan Das, the author of India Unbound and former CEO of P&G India, spoke to a very interested audience on where India is positioned right now, how it got that way and where it can go in the future. His views on the present positions in the India-China economic race kept the room spellbound and the informal Q&A session continued at the local café for an hour after the talk.

The finals of debating competition Dhrishtikone played to a packed auditorium, with even the aisles filled with members of the audience. A team from IIM-Bangalore bagged the first prize in the close race, beating out the team from XLRI Jamshedpur. Finesse, the flagship event of the finance club had 250 people participating in the elimination round, showing just how attractive private equity is today.

Every sector of the industry was represented today – while Hire Wise challenged participants to solve the HR problems of a company, Retailorfocused on marketing through pricing and operations. Baadshahsearched for the savviest individual in advertising, a distinction that was vied for by over 200 contestants. The second round of Trojan Horse had 6 teams being tested on strategy – pitting them against each other in a simulated retail market.

The highlight of the morning was the final round of a new event, Sparsh. In the previous rounds, teams had visited two NGOs in Bangalore to get a feel of the problems faced by each. Today's final round involved each team presenting their list of solutions to representatives from the NGOs. The event was a grand success, with the NGOs grateful for the suggestions and also very eager to continue this association. The participants themselves relished the chance to give back to society.

In the major event Numero Uno, which will run on all three days of VISTA, participants were tasked today with tests of leadership, teamwork and ingenuity. In the morning session, participants were divided into teams and given certain physical and mental tasks to complete. The next round saw each participant being given a certain amount of seed capital – and asked to go anywhere in Bangalore and generate profits. At the time of writing, the contestants were just returning, profits in hand.

The panel discussion on "Strategic Co-operation among Emerging Economies" saw eminent personalities like Professor Jayanta Roy (CII), Mr. Narayan Ramachandran (Global Head, Emerging Markets Division, Morgan Stanley), Prof. Saikat Sinha Roy of Jadhavpur University, Mr.Chris Oberoi (Managing Director, Goldman Sachs), Prof. P G Apte of IIM Bangalore and Sanjay Mansabdar, Allegro Capital Entrepreneur debate on the topic.

The day rounded off with the traditional Post Meridian dinner, where all the participants and students could meet and build contacts with representatives from the industry. For the corporate people themselves, it also serves as a great place to meet the best in the business.

 

Day 3 Highlights

The energy and enthusiasm that defined IIMB's B-fest Vista on the first 2 days built up to a crescendo on the third and final day.

The day began with the finals of Finesse – the flagship finance event at Vista, in Private Equity, taking participants through the entire cycle of PE investments. Baadshah, the major marketing event, also had its final round at the same time. The participants had to indulge in creative activities like drawing storyboards for ads, design the marketing campaign for a product, and analyse a video case.

With market conditions being so turbulent, "investment" seems to have become a swear word. But the workshop on the topic dispelled several fears and discussed hedging techniques suited for the day. The other workshop of the day was targeted at CAT 2008 aspirants, with IIMB CAT toppers giving guidance to aspirants.

This year, Vista promised many events for corporate participation. Software Czars and HrWise are a couple of them, which had role plays on cases related to the IT industry and HR issues respectively.

The afternoon began with the grand finale of Numero Uno – the biggest event at Vista. Having had more than two days of gruelling physical and mental tests, this round tested the participants on their ability to think on their feet and handle sticky situations, with hundreds of people watching. In the end, Roberto – an exchange student at IIMB – was crowned Numero Uno. He will take back Rs. 150,000/- and three days of experiences of a lifetime.

The special talk for the day was on virtual networking, by Mr Gopi Gopinath (Chairman and CEO, AT&T Global Network Services Pvt Ltd). His hour-long presentation shed light on how the concept of working has changed over the years with the advent of the internet, and how it will turn in the future.

The last event of the day was Bizarre – the ultimate quiz-a-thon. This open business quiz saw a phenomenal number of 400 teams participating in the prelims, of which the top 6 moved on to the finals round. Quiz master Barry O'Brien hosted the show and kept the audience rapt in attention in his own inimitable entertaining style.

One of the major attractions at Vista 2008 was the introduction of a rolling trophy – Altar Vista – that would go to the college (other than IIMB) that wins maximum number of points, as decided by a comprehensive points mechanism. While IIMB topped the charts for the year, the trophy – the first of its kind in B-fests in India – went to NITIE Mumbai.

India's leading management portal MBAUniverse.com was the Official Management Portal of IIM B Vista 08. Stay tuned from the best coverage from India's leading management events, only on MBAUniverse.com. 

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