How necessary is it to look back in order to move forward? BIM's flagship event, Crescita offered many professional insights for management students.

Meaning ‘looking back to move forward' in Sanskrit, ‘Praachamanyu', the theme of Crescita '11, the flagship event of Bharathidasan Institute of Management (BIM), said it all. Future managers gained rich business and management perspectives from the vast experiences of top-notch executives of front-ranking companies and organisations they interacted with for two days in Chennai, recently.

The event started off with Anup K Pujari, Director General of Foreign Trade, Ministry of Commerce and Industry, delivering an insightful speech about the Human Development Index and the kind of support any first time trader would get in today's environment. While S. Krishnan, Chairman, Petroleum and Natural Gas Regulatory Board, spoke about the present scenario of Labour Market, Y. Rama Rao, Managing Director and CEO, Spark Capital, stressed the need for giving up on short-term benefits and having long-term focus in mind, while elucidating on the topic General Management. Raghuvir Srinivasan, Deputy Editor, Business line, while tracing the evolution of media, emphasised that all through the objective of media has been to “Report to the world about the world.” He explained why web media was fast becoming the new face of media.

The first day's highlight was the Corporate Quiz conducted by Barry O'Brien, one of the country's leading quiz masters. Of the 34 teams representing various corporate houses, six were shortlisted for the finals comprising eight rounds. Team ‘Broke and Brokers' emerged the winner and was awarded Rs. 25,000, while the Infosys team took the second spot winning a cash prize of Rs. 15,000. On the second day, there was an economic panel discussion on the recent economic crisis, inflationary problems and inclusive growth.

Eminent speakers constituted Venkatesh Athreya from MS Swaminathan Research foundation; M. Ramachandran, Head Department of Economics, Pondicherry University; and Manas Ranjan Das, AGM (Economist), State Bank of India Staff College, Hyderabad. Ramakrishnan K, President - Marketing, Cafe Coffee Day, felt that it was essential to look back in order to challenge old conventions. It was a must for selling any product in today's market, he said, stressing the need to question the conventional wisdom and take one's learning from the answers it gives. He explained how CCD challenged the conventions by selling coffee in a market where tea outperforms coffee in terms of consumer preference. CCD used to expand beyond the conventional markets through customer engagement based on the principle “Talk with consumers and not at the customers,” he said.

A. Balasubramanian, Senior Director – Project Finance, IDFC, elaborated on the investment strategy of India, the issues in India and the cushioning that India enjoys in times of global financial meltdowns. He attributed persistence of chaos all round the world to the violent stock market reaction, the weak consumer demands and the U.S. double dip recession.

The HR panel discussion on the second day had the participation of K. SaiPrasanna, CFO of Mafoi Randstad; Gerard Selvam Augustine, Associate Director - Human Resouces, Computer Science Corporation; R Kumar, an Independent Consultant; and M. Nagarani, Visiting Faculty, BIM. The theme was ‘What ails HR?' The discussion captured the HR perspectives from various industries.