Shailesh J. Mehta School of Management
Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay
Shailesh J. Mehta, School of Management
IIT Bombay

AVENUES 2009 organized by SJMSOM, IIT Bombay on 31st Oct-1st Nov was an exciting bouquet of events, games, seminars, and much more. The event was graced by luminaries like Mr. Ness Wadia, Mr. Rahul Bose, Mr. Prahlad Kakkar, Mr. Ajit Balakrishnan, Mr. M.Damodaran, Mr. Pramod Chaudhari and others. The event also saw participation from students of more than 150 B-Schools across India as well as leading corporate houses and working professionals.

Avenues 2009, annual business festival of Shailesh J Mehta School Of Management, IIT Bombay was inaugurated by Mr. Ajit Balakrishnan, founder and CEO, and Prof. Karuna Jain, Head, SJMSOM, IIT Bombay.

 As part of the lecture series, ALANKAR, Mr. Balakrishnan addressed the audience on the digital revolution and the threats and opportunities it represents for India.

He further went on to say that to ensure India is able to catch up with the rest of the world, we need to begin by improving our broadband rates and penetration through policies such as network neutrality which removes restrictions on sites, attaching equipments. He said that it is time for the government to take a hand in this. The infrastructure must be improved first, and then begins the wait for the demand to pick up.

The next speech of ALANKAR, was by Mr. Pramod Chaudhuri who spoke on the theme of AVENUES, “people, planet and profit”. He spoke about the triple bottom line principle which considers that besides economic aspects, businesses should look toward the environmental and social aspects to ensure true sustainability. He spoke about climate change, the green house effect and other environmental issues that the world is now facing. He also spoke about the poverty that certain social classes face and that, if nothing is done about this, the world would not be able to prosper, or even sustain itself.

AVENUES 2009 had a wonderful time in store for everyone on the evening of 31st Oct when Mr. Prahlad Kakkar, the Ad-Guru, addressed a packed auditorium. Mr. Kakkar had the entire audience laughing with humorous anecdotes taken from his own experiences.  Mr. Kakkar  used various incidents in his life to explain the principles by which he lived. He said that for most people, the greatest motivation in their lives is fear and that fears have to be confronted, not shelved away.

Mr. Kakkar then went on to speak of the issue of global climate change and how it affects unrelated victims even more than perpetrators. He said that, the issue of climate change should be solved by every nation resolving to clean up its own house first and then seeking responsible behaviour from others.

AVENUES 2009 saw the launch of an HR event – “HRiday”. The event witnessed a participation of more than 100 teams across the best B-schools in India. OPERA, the operations club of SJMSOM conducted YOJNA- a case study based Operations event.

Mudra is the flagship Finance Event of Avenues 2009. This year’s event was structured as a combination of equity analysis and live commodities trading. The idea behind the event was to test the participant's portfolio management skills and their understanding of various asset classes. The event was sponsored by LIC India.

The event was conducted in three phases. The task for the first phase was to prepare equity analysis reports. The second phase was a commodity trading round in which each team was provided with starting capital of Rs. 1 crore. The third phase was a report presentation round in which the 5 shortlisted teams had to present their research reports.

After being immensely successful at Stanford, MIT and AVENUES 08, Imagine it! Project was back at Avenues 2009- bigger and stronger in a bid to cultivate imagination. It featured global creativity challenges and multi-platform media content, including the Imagine It!® ‘Documentary Film Series’. The event saw participation from educational as well as heavy corporate participation from industry giants.

Pragyaan, the Business Quiz at Avenues 2009 was an event which had huge expectations to meet. The event was sponsored by Union Bank of India. The arrival of the quiz master made the atmosphere inside the auditorium euphoric as he is the well known, Mr. Avinash Mudaliar, the CEO of 3XUS.

There were around 100 teams which participated in the preliminary round. Teams were represented from both the corporate such as IBM, Sun, Deutsche Bank, TCS as well as colleges like IIMs, SP Jain, etc.

AVENUES 2009 was also graced by the presence of Mr. Ness Wadia, who was the distinguished judge at the flagship consulting event SAMVAAD, held at the SJMSOM. Mr Wadia, interacted with the students and enthralled everyone with his very real take on Corporate Social Responsibility and the lack of it in the Indian Corporate domain. He also addressed current issues of social development and the need for public private partnership in various fields.   

AVENUES 2009 was a scintillating event on the first of November. The evening saw two truly great speakers and an overflowing auditorium. First, Mr. M. Damodaran, former SEBI chief, gave an insightful talk about regulation and his views on this. He said that as long as fear and greed define human conduct, there will always be a need for an external body to list what is fair and unfair, right and wrong and this is what makes up a regulator. Mr. Damodaran spoke of the situation in America and how the present methods to combat the recession might not really be helpful in the long run. He spoke of India’s own method to use regulation to solve problems and said that this could not really work.

Mr. Damodaran was followed by Mr. Rahul Bose, the well known actor and social activist. Mr. Bose conducted a very interactive and though provoking session which was truly very enriching for the students.

He spoke about how to be 100% happy. First, we should find out who we are, by finding out the values that we hold dear. Next, one should determine what it is that we are born to do and then find a way to do it.  Then, we should take away or reduce the things that make us unhappy by giving our time, skill or money but not to such an extent that it hurts. Finally, he said, if we have the capacity for it, then we should act like the lightning conductor of pain. The event concluded with thunderous applause for both the speakers.