Solstice, the annual alumni reunion event at ISB was organised amidst colourful blitz and cheerful gatherings. This year’s event was hosted as a three-day social affair with over a thousand alumni, faculty and students from the current PGP batch participating. It served as a meeting point for reconnecting with fellow alumni and faculty through several professional speaker seminars, networking events, alumni showcases, cultural performances, musical concert and sports activities.
The event kicked off with a fete welcoming the alumni, followed by ISB Emerge where the alumni pitched their novel business ideas to other participants and guests. Dean Rajendra Srivastava addressed the event and presented employee awards to staff at ISB who have shown exemplary performance.
The first invited speaker at Solstice 2019 was former member of Parliament Jyotiraditya Scindia, who spoke on the theme of Politics and Leadership. Reminding the students of his own graduation from Stanford Graduate School of Business, he reassured that a journey in management education is a rewarding experience that allows the students to pause and reflect on their knowledge. “Apart from pedagogy, business schools allow students to introspect and invest in their families and in building relationships. I believe that the monopoly on leadership and change really lies with the youth,” he added.
In the evening, the Theatre and Dance club at ISB held performances for the guests at the amphitheatre. This was followed by a “Meet the stars under the stars” dialogue where Karan Anshuman and Sayani Gupta from the Inside Edge fame spoke with Akshaye Rathi on the business of Over The Top (OTT) platforms.
On the second day, a tree plantation drive was held by the alumni to encourage the protection of green cover for a sustainable living. Weaves of Telangana, an exhibition of the local handlooms was organised to showcase the handicrafts and to promote their use.
To offer a ‘Back to School’ experience to the alumni, two lecture sessions were conducted by the faculty.
Sarang Deo, Associate Professor and Executive Director, Max Institute of Healthcare Management at ISB, spoke about his latest research on healthcare and affiliated industries with the alumni and executives. He presented the findings from his latest research on the price control of Stents in cardiac surgeries and the price control of the GeneXpert test for Tuberculosis. Laying out the intricacies in the healthcare policy space, he pointed out the importance of understanding incentive-compatibility, the cost structure involved and the impact on the multiple stakeholders that are engaged healthcare delivery in the process of policy making.
Professor Madan Pillutla, Professor of Organisational Behaviour at London School of Business and Visiting Faculty at ISB, delivered a session on Negotiations as part of the second ‘Back to School’ talk. The audience were introduced to the new studies in negotiations on influencing behaviours of clients and consumers. He alerted executives against common marketing misconceptions such as “more is always better”. Professor Pillutla drew attention to the recent observations on seven important psychological concepts of negotiations— commitment and consistency, loss aversion, mere exposure, decoys, argument dilution, egocentric advocacy and cognitive dissonance.
Bhagwan Chowdhry, Professor of Finance at ISB held a conversation with Romain Wacziarg, Professor of Economics at UCLA, Anderson, as part of The Global ISB Forum’s monthly conversation series. The session this month has been held in association with Solstice 2019 on ‘What prevents countries from attaining prosperity?’ and what can India do to better attain prosperity. Professor Wacziarg outlined the different socio–historical determinants that lead to the differences in prosperity amongst different countries— diffusion of ideas, movement of people, spread of goods through trade, flow of capital and the creation of institutions.
The afternoon of the second day was also filled with sport events where alumni played basketball, frizbee and football. A session on Zumba was also conducted. A new cricket ground on ISB’s Hyderabad campus was inaugurated.
In the evening, a special talk was delivered by Sanjiv Mehta, Chairman and Managing Director, Hindustan Uniliver Limited (HUL) and Board member of ISB, on Transformational Leadership. Bringing in lessons from his long experience at HUL and from working in various industries, Mehta put forward three ways in which brands and companies can have a transformational impact on the society. He urged the audience to understand the need to build brands with purpose to impact a positive change. He put forth HUL’s motto, “do well by doing good”, to bring the company’s motivations in line with the changing needs of the society. He stressed on the importance of bringing together people with an intent of inclusivity, equality and purpose. Finally, he emphasised on the urgent need for students at ISB to focus on developing environment-friendly and sustainable models of business to thrive in a growing market.
The evening concluded with a live concert by singer Armaan Malik who sang tunes from different Indian languages. The concert was followed by a Jukebox session where various participants from ISB sang songs by their favourite artists.
Solstice concluded with a panel session titled Men behind ‘Family Man’ where Akshaye Rathi had a conversation with the director-duo Raj and Krishna DK who created the Amazon Original Series, The Family Man. The speakers narrated their journey as filmmakers and spoke about the work that went into the making of the web series.
About the Writer:
Ram Mohan Chitta is a Research Editor for ISBInsight at Centre for Learning and Management Practice, ISB.