Radix 5.0, a business conclave organized by IIM Ranchi every year, had a great start with Dr Shailendra Singh lighting of the lamp followed by an inspiring address to the audience congratulating the students for their hard work behind putting up the entire show and welcoming the distinguished speakers for the day. He described how he was impressed by the history of the term VUCA and its implications. He further stated that a sailor cannot stop the wind, he has to adjust his sail delineating the fact that we need to be adaptable to the ever-changing environment. He also motivated the students to become agile while citing a quote from Sanskrit. He encouraged the audience to develop out of box thinking and be agile to deal with uncertainties.

His motivating speech was followed by interesting insights by Mr. Anand Sharma, Vice President, Accenture who kickstarted the conversation by getting the views of the audience on the term and then highlighted the background as to how the term was coined relating the ambiguous, volatile and complex scenario of US War to today’s organization environment. He discussed how organizations need to be equipped to face the challenges of the VUCA world as well as how an individual needs to gear up for the challenges ahead. He then elaborated how the most crucial thing for any CXO is change and how to align the organization culture for such change. Additionally, he eluded to some companies that faced disruption owing to their inability to adapt to the changes reinforcing the ever increasing need to remain agile and adaptable.

Mr. Anand Sharma at Radix 5.0

Succeeding his intellectual address was the interesting discourse by Mr Balaji Ranganathan, Vice President, Corporate Audit, Fidelity Investments. He spoke on tactical aspects of VUCA taking the example from Darwin’s theory of Survival of the Fittest. He delineated how data is the new currency of today’s world and how important it is to have control of this data in order to drive the market in our direction. He highlighted how disruption is the latest form of innovation and also talked about recent technologies like AI, Bots and blockchain. Finally, he stressed how asset-light models are the latest mantra for modern day corporates and how it is reshaping the way businesses are operating today. He also advised the students not to shy away from non-glamourous work and focus on learning from every environment they are exposed to.

Mr. Balaji Ranganathan at Radix 5.0

Post this, Ms. Chaitali Moitra, Managing Director HarperCollins Publishers India (Collins Learning), enthralled the audience with her gripping address that demonstrated how a VUCA situation has always been prevalent in our lives and the fact that it is “how” we think rather than “what” we think which determines our place in the corporate hierarchy. She discussed the origin of VUCA term. She also threw light on VUCA 2.0 – Vision, Understanding, Communication and Adaptability emerging as a solution for the persisting problems in the VUCA world. She ended by adding that perspective of an individual is the key to problem-solving.

Chaitali Moitra in Radix 5.0

This was followed by an engrossing panel discussion with all the three speakers mediated by an IIM Ranchi alumnus, Mr Tarun Gupta, National Key Account Manager, E-commerce, RB. The speakers beautifully envisioned the VUCA problems through the lens of one of the most widely-used business tools – the SWOT analysis and how it should be perceived more as an opportunity than as a threat and how it is the way we think that shapes where we go in the corporate journey.

The delectable lunch was followed by an address by another distinguished guest, Mariasundaram Antony General Manager – India GE Power. He highlighted the need to gauge the significance of the challenges of the VUCA world by citing examples from history including the Iraq war, 26/11 attacks as well as the recent Chennai floods. He encouraged the audience to embrace the VUCA world right from the start of their career and have curiosity and a learning attitude throughout their professional as well as personal lives. He also showed an interesting video reinforcing his viewpoints.

Mr Vinay Gupta, CFO of Group CIO, Deutsche Bank Group further added to the intellectual environment with his interesting views on the VUCA world. He cited the example of the Cricket World Cup to testify how even seemingly best strategies can sometimes prove disastrous. He also discussed the pitfalls of the 2008 financial crisis and the lessons that can be drawn from the same. He invigorated the audience to always have a backup plan ready to better deal with the volatilities of the modern world.

This was succeeded by an address by Ms Archana Sahay, CSR Head, Dell EMC. She engaged the audience by giving illustrations as to how MBA aspirants can contribute to the society through their business know how. She also brought forth the point that the biggest experience of the modern world one can have is while dealing with the communities. She also highlighted the importance of purposeful networking and collaboration in today’s world. Additionally, she encouraged the women in the audience not to give up on their dreams by narrating her own challenges and learnings post marriage. She ended by emphasizing on the importance of diversity and inclusion.

The engaging addresses were followed by another panel discussion mediated by Nipun Bansal, an alumnus of IIM Ranchi, currently working at Zapr Media Labs. He asked very thought-provoking questions that led to some great answers.

The evening came to an end with a closing note by one of the first year students of IIM Ranchi thanking the esteemed guests, faculty as well as the students for their active participation and encouraging them to keep up the enthusiasm for the next day as well.

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