“Club of Knowledge Hunters”

IIM K holds Horizons 2008; focuses on Real Estate, Retail and Media sectors

Posted by superstar23 on October 24, 2008

The Industry Interaction Cell of Indian Institute of Management, Kozhikode organized Horizons 2008 – its annual management conclave Horizon’s 2008 on October 10-12, 2008. The conclave revolved around the theme – ‘Looking East – Redefining Global Dynamics’. The primary focus of this three day event was on the Real Estate, Retail and Media & Entertainment Sectors.

“The event saw a record number of twenty five speakers across three industries come together – the highest to congregate for any event across all B-schools”, shared IIM K.

Mr. K Thiagarajan, CEO, Maytas Properties was the Chief Guest at the conclave, delivered the inaugural address on emerging real estate opportunities. Starting with a brief history of the realty sector in India, Mr. Thiagarajan spoke about the current scenario and emerging trends and formats of realty products. He lamented about the talent dearth in the industry and opportunities in terms of career in the realty sector.

Ms. Sathya Saran Editor, DNA-ME, former editor of Femina 1993-2005, a women’s journalist since 1979, shared her experiences on the various phases of change of the Indian women and the role of media in the same. Citing numerous examples from her long career, she related the success and failure of many international luxury brands in India with their media partnerships. Ms. Sathya also emphasized on important factors as distribution channel, customer service and understanding the buying patterns of Indian consumers which, according to her, many reputed international brands failed to understand making them unsuccessful.

Day 1 highlights

The first day of Horizons had an entertaining panel discussion as a part of the media summit. The participants of the panel discussion Mr Dinesh Jain ( CEO, Zee Turner Ltd), Mr Deepak Chaurasia (Editor, Star News), Mr Pradeep Gupta (CMD, CyberMedia), Ms Sathya Saran (Editor, DNA – ME) and Ms Nisha Narayanan (Project Head, India, 93.5 S FM) discussed extensively on the topic of “New Media and Next Generation”. The panelists brought about the good and bad influence of media on the new generation and talked about the bad effects of news sensasilization done by various news channels.

Deepak Chaurasiya quoted the story of Drauapadi’s Swayamvara in Mahabharata while comparing the present-day consumers’ minds to the rotating fish that Arjun aims at, to win the bride. Deepak maintained that it has become very difficult to understand the changing face of Indian consumers primarily because of the pace at which it is happening. He also stressed on the fact that although the average Indian consumer has become global, there is still a large section of population (the bottom of pyramid) which has not yet been addressed by many media companies.

“If my left leg is on fire and the other is on ice, then on an average I am normal” quipped Dinesh Jain in jest while emphasising that analytical skills alone do not go into making a good media professional. With more than 300 channels, the industry has become cluttered and hence it is the people who have become the most important assets to any firm. Citing talent sourcing and retention as major issues impeding the fast growth of industry, he added that the right media professional is the one who is a fast learner, can adapt to change quickly, a risk taker and uses both – his left and right brain in good measure.

The last session of the day had Mr. Ashoka Holla of Giraffe Entertainment, who gave an interesting peek into the world of cinema. Ashok took the audience through the entire business side of the film industry talking about the entire movie-making process right from pre-production to the release of the movie. He said that film business is in critical need of a professional approach, which can be used to solve several problems which plague the industry.

Day 2 highlights

The second day of the event concentrated on the Retail and the Real Estate sector with talks from a host of speakers from the industry giving insights regarding the sectors and its development.

Mr. TV Thyagharajon, VP, Reliance Retail spoke on ‘Understanding the Concept of Private Labels’.  India being in the primitive stage of development in retail, Mr. Thyagharajon explained on how organized retail will change the industry in coming years.  Identifying how the role of brand changes as markets evolve, he noted that from being unbranded the consumers view brand as a personality and then view brands as icons. He viewed that local and foreign tie-ups and rural opportunities as the next big trends for retail development in the country.

There were two panel discussions that were held in the later part of the day. The first panel discussion had Prof. Anirban Sengupta Mr. Susil Dungarwal, Colonel Upendra Sachdev and Mr. TV Thyagharajon discussing the topic “How healthy are different retail formats?” The panelists aired their view on the current scenario of the ‘mall concept’ and scope for improvements.The second panel discussion on “Pricing wars in real estate” was lively with speakers coming up with suggestions of improved interaction among builders, pricing models for real estate and the importance of low debt in the long term.

The day continued with many more speakers addressing the students about the different aspects of retail and realty sector. Mr. Sandeep Agarwal, VP-Acquisitions, Kotak RE PE, spoke about the transaction cycle that is involved in the site development process. Sandeep spoke on how the industry has to overcome several obstacles brought about the global economic crisis, like decline in property prices, retreat by foreign funds and lower demand in commercial real estate.



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