Lessons in management in the real world

IIT conclave

Lessons in management in the real world

The Department of Management Studies at Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi, organised an enlightening panel discussion - ‘OP’ERA‘14’ or ‘Operations Conclave 2014’ - recently. Focusing on a very specific subject in management studies – supply chain management – it brought students face to face with top industry leaders and experts. Students got a practical idea of how the complex process of supply chain management works, its challenges and recent groundbreaking innovations. They also formed contacts with heads of leading companies such as Coca Cola, Punj Lloyd, Bajaj Electricals and Sony India.

The Department of Management Studies at IIT(D) has been running a two-year MBA course since 1997. To provide its students an experience that goes beyond the confines of a classroom, it holds annual programmes such as HR Conclave, Finance Conclave, Marketing Conclave etc. The Operations Conclave is of specific interest to those who follow logistics and distribution systems in companies and wish to work there.

At the outset itself, Professor Dr Ravi Shankar of the department explained that the general perception is that the most exciting innovations in a company come from the marketing department. However, the bulk of interesting innovations, these days, are coming from the supply chain management section which plays a huge role in raising revenues.

The first session included industry heads like Arvind Kalra of Perfetti Van Melle, Anand Maithani of Apollo Tyres, Chandar Mohan Gupta of Coca Cola, Gaurav Saxena of Sony India etc. It entailed interesting discussions on efficient supply systems such as Amazon, supposedly, going for drones to home-deliver its products, and companies like Flipkart even allowing return of items in case of customer dissatisfaction. The challenge faced by brands in importing product parts quickly to avoid inconvenience to customers was also examined.
The second half of the session focused on ‘Leveraging Information Technology to achieve excellence in logistics’. Panellists such as D Venkat Rao of Godfrey Phillips, Amit Chahri of Safe Express and Sunil Kapoor of Fortis Healthcare elucidated that through IT, processes these days are automated not only within an organisation but across multiple organisations. This forms a collaborated and robust supply chain.
A student of second year, Akash Nair, remarked, “In the past five years, India has made great strides in the supply management sector. At this session, we got a sound briefing on what these have been.”

His classmate Arpit Goyal added, “Hearing from industry heads themselves was a great opportunity. We hope to follow their examples and come up with our own
innovations once we join the field.”

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