Monday 30 November 2020

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Infrastructure | InfoTech

India's top industrialists sit in Goa's classroom

 

The top brass of Indian industry is down in Goa, not simply to wine and dine but to learn. They call it a ‘corporate retreat’, perhaps because they are re-treating their traditional mindset of trade and marketing.

They are away from the routine corporate exercise in their posh offices situated in the cosmopolitan environment, where they are used to deliver lectures to their subordinates and make them listen to you. Here, they sit down and listen like the obedient students sit in the classroom.

Purpose ? Obviously business ! To lower the cost of marketing, generate more profits out of it and serve the customer with much more ease. Teachers are the management consultants and the topic is a hot one – the Information Technology !

It’s a third consecutive exercise initiated by the FICCI, the Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry, to get self-acquainted with the new challenges thrown up by globalisation. To face the global market confidently, they know, the only solution is to learn the benefits of Information Technology – from INTERNET to E-Commerce.

‘Lecturers’ include US-based management consultant Prof Bala V Balchandran, Dr Shumeet Banerji of Booz Allan & Hamilton, Rohit Bhagat of Boston Consulting Group, Adit Jain of Delhi’s Economist Intelligence Unit, Dr C Srinivasan of A T Kearney and even media personalities like R Jagannathan of Financial Express and Tony Joseph of Business World.

Whether it is Duncans of Goenkas, ESSAR Ltd, Modi Enterprises, Britania Industries, Apollo Tyres, Asian Paints, DCM Shriram Industries, Atlas Cycles, Fedders Lloyd Corp, ABC India, Ansals, GTN Textiles, Usha India or even Dempos and Salgaoncars of Goa, CEOs of almost 35 top business houses in the country are presently involved in the exercise at Fort Aguada Beach Resort.

"It is a learning for the new millenium", says Sudhir Jalan, president of the FICCI. With the response from the corporate world for such retreats, risen from seven families to 35 today in last 18 months, he now wants to make it an annual feature, possibly in Goa itself.

Instead of keeping it as in-camera affairs, the FICCI intends to convert it into open sessions, also involving the media and maximum participation possible from the trade and industry. "We want to convert the challenge thrown up with globalisation into an opportunity and face it competently", he says.

Throwing more light upon the basic concept of such retreats, Amit Mitra, the secretary general, says the sessions provide fresh ideas and perspectives, making them realise what they were not doing all this while.

"We are leaders of India who can restructure the Indian industry radically to meet the global competition", he says, while also saying proudly that the last session held in Kathmandu in March increased the profitability of delegates by around Rs 30 crore.

As competition is inevitable, the Indian industry is gearing up to face it by adopting the method of co-operation – between the industrial houses as well as with the consultants in the IT field.

Top bureaucrats like defence secretary T R Prasad, PMO secretary N K Singh, industrial development secretary Dr S Narayan and special secretary (Banking) Devi Dayal are also the invitees. But the FICCI plans to even invite down government representatives and CEOs from other countries to guide them.

The retreat would end on 30 August, which began yesterday afternoon at Fort Aguada Beach Resort. But Goa may be a permanent destination now for the Indian industry to introspect and learn to face the World, if the FICCI’s plans to make it an annual feature in Goa comes true.


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