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Chicago B-school meet to focus on India

By Suman Guha Mozumder in New York
May 02, 2006 19:40 IST
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The entrepreneurial opportunities that India throws up as it tries to integrate with the global economy will be under the spotlight at the Tata India Business Conference 2006, organised by the South Asia Business Group at the University of Chicago's Graduate School of Business.

The two-day annual conference organised by the SABG, on May 5 and 6, for the second year in succession seeks to frame and discuss issues pertaining to growth opportunities in India and the challenges therein.

"Opportunities (in India) are not just for SABG members. Our goal is to create awareness of brand India Inc. So, the conference will celebrate the success of India Inc. and showcase the opportunities for businesses, investors and people who are evaluating India as a career destination," Anshul Gupta, a graduate of the Indian Institute of Technology-Delhi and a second-year MBA student at GSB who is co-chair of marketing for the event, told rediff.com.

"With this broad goal in mind, our conference provides a platform for students, entrepreneurs, investors and other like-minded people to get together, listen to eminent speakers, and also to network."

Last year, SABG, with 'Investing in India' as its theme for the inaugural conference, drew more than 350 professionals and students. As a result, said Sunil Bindal, one of the organisers of the event, where an India-focussed private equity fund, IDFC was a key sponsor, one of Chicago GSB's leading professors is developing a study on private equity in India.

"This will be incorporated into research work and also course work for future MBA students," noted Bindal.

At this year's conference J J Irani, director of Tata Group -- which bought the sponsor's title for this year's conference for $15,000 -- and Gururaj Deshpande, chairman of Sycamore Networks, will deliver keynote addresses, focusing on the theme 'Vibrant India: The Next Wave.'

Panelists at the conference include Jaideep Bajaj, managing director, ZS Associates; David A Carpenter, partner, Mayer, Brown, Rowe &Maw LLP; Udit Batra, head, corporate strategy, Novartis International AG; and Raj Joshi, managing director, Infosys Consulting, among others.

Among the topics to be discussed by the panel are 'Investing in Market'; 'Growth of Healthcare Industry'; 'Energy and India's Future'; "Challenges of doing Business in India'; 'Emerging Entrepreneurial Opportunities' and 'Global Sourcing: The Next Boom.'

The conference, Bindal noted, is geared to anyone interested in understanding the economics of globalisation and growth in India's economy, exploring highly profitable investment opportunities and starting a business in India.

"While Indian economy has been growing on all fronts, the mainstream United States media hasn't looked beyond outsourcing. So, the conference on India at the University of Chicago provides a platform for India to showcase investment opportunities," he said.

This, he pointed out, has led to many practicable outcomes, from American students going to work in India, to research work being initiated to study Indian businesses, and to investors learning more about India and potentially investing in India, as well as overall image building for brand India.

Noting that the University of Chicago's business school that has produced six Nobel laureates has been a thought leader on economic issues, Bindal said that platform at the school would help provide the necessary recognition of India Inc.

SABG, a student-led organisation at the Chicago GSB, was created to host events to strengthen and enhance the understanding of South Asian commerce and society. It hosted Indian finance minister P Chidambram and a high profile CEO panel last year that included Nandan Nilekani of Infosys and Kiran Mazumdar Shaw of Biocon, who spoke with students about business opportunities in India.

Gupta said as result of these efforts Infosys has become an important recruiting partner at the Chicago GSB, with two of his classmates going to Bangalore last year to pursue summer internships.

"Like a lot of my classmates, I am definitely looking at opportunities India has to offer very closely, but in the immediate future I will gain some experience in finance in the US markets," said Gupta.

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Suman Guha Mozumder in New York
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