The students of FLAME University got a chance to attend Axis Capital’s 20-20 Conference on November 13, 2017. It was an opportunity to interact with Promoters and CEOs of eminent companies who through their keynote speeches and panel discussions shared their business insights and strategies. It was a two day conference.
Some on the speakers on the first day included Mr. Jairam Sridharan, CFO, Axis Bank who opened the conference by talking about the performance of Axis Bank vis-a-vis the overall banking industry and the future prospects for the banking industry. Following him was Mr. Prashant Jain, Joint MD & CEO, JSW Energy who spoke about the power sector. He said, “This sector has a unique position in the country. In this sector, generator cannot decide whom to sell & buyers cannot decide from whom to buy.”
After Mr. Jain, was Mr. Keki Mistry, Vice Chairman & CEO, HDFC who gave an overview of HDFC Ltd, the mortgage business and interest rates. He also spoke about a bright future for the mortgage business due to improved affordability, credit linked subsidy schemes and tax incentives.
Seshagiri Rao, Joint MD & Group CFO, JSW Steel spoke about the huge volatility expected in commodity markets due to gradual rise in interest rates and withdrawal of liquidity. He also spoke about how the focus has shifted from B2B to B2C and how products need to be customised to add value to customers.
R. C. Bhargava , Chairman, Maruti who is a Padma Bhushan awardee spoke about the effects of GST on the economy.
A. Vellayan, Chairman, Murugappa Group said, “any business should aim to become number one nationally or regionally or shouldn’t be in it at all”.
Kishore Biyani, CEO, Future Group said that global retailers have been successful in foreign markets and M&A is the way to go for entry and growth for new players.
On the Real Estate panel were dignitaries like Vinod Rohira, MD & CEO Commercial Real Estate & REIT of K. Raheja Corp; Gautam Chatterjee, Chairman, Maharashtra RERA; Rajeev Piramal, Executive VC & MD, Peninsula Land; Vipul Roongta, MD & CEO of HDFC Capital and Mohit Malhotra, MD & CEO of Godrej Properties. Most panel members agreed that affordable housing has a lot of opportunity. With the government providing industry status to affordable housing, along with a host of subsidies, the market for such housing is only going to rise. A large part of the demand for such homes comes from economically weaker sections and low income groups of people. The trend is also affected by the mass migration of people to urban areas. As the number of migrants rise, the prices of properties will also rise. This demand can be easily fulfilled by affordable housing. The most lucrative locations for such homes is in the suburban areas near big metros as the current government is also heavily promoting infrastructure development in tier-2 and 3 cities, which will significantly reduce the travel times between cities. This will lead to towns being built specifically to meet housing requirements of people working in industrial-based metropolitan cities.
Day two of the conference was covered with speeches by Glenn Saldanha, Chairman & MD, Glenmark Pharma who believes in and emphasized on the importance of innovation in an industry like pharmaceuticals, thus shaping Glenmark Pharmaceuticals into an innovation led business. He also highlighted how over-capacity and too many players in the pharma industry are causing disruption and also how better health quality is impacting the industry.
Next was Mr. Nachiket Pantvaidya, CEO ALT Balaji, Balaji Telefilms who mentioned that although a large portion of Indian entertainment is still dominated by TV (~80%), an emerging trend suggests that Indians will slowly move towards mobile based entertainment. Moreover, with the growth in mobile-based entertainment, the production values of films and web-series designed for mobile-based viewing has started to match the production costs of TV-based serials. This trend has already surfaced in USA.
The BFSI panel consisted of industry experts like Sanjay Agarwal, Promoter & MD, AU Small Finance Bank; Deep Mukherjee, Chief Production Officer, CIBIL; Devang Mody, ED & CEO Reliance Commercial Finance; Samit Ghosh, MD & CEO, Ujjivan; Pirojshaw Sarkari, CEO, Mahindra Logistics and Rohan Suryavanshi, Director Strategy & Planning, Buildcon. The panel discussion started with a discussion on small finance banks having an edge over big brands because of their adaptability and nimbleness. It was also discussed that microfinance is growing rapidly without any negative effect and creating a new customer class.
The Media and Entertainment panel consisted of media professionals like Kapil Bagal, Non-Executive Director, Adlabs Entertainment; Meenakshi Menon, Chairperson & Managing Partner, Spatial Access Group; Nitin Sood, CFO,PVR; and Siddharth Bhardwaj, CMO & National Sales Head, UFO Movies.
The marquee interview was held between Sajjan Jindal, Chairman, JSW Group; and Shikha Sharma, MD & CEO, Axis Bank. Mr. Jindal stated that the implementation of GST has huge benefit to JSW Group as from the cluster of various taxes it has transformed to only one simplified version of tax. Also the contribution to GDP has increased and many informal economies have converted to the formal economy.
FLAME students got to witness and hear all these leaders. They also got the opportunity to interact with them during breaks and have a free exchange of ideas in an informal setting.