Hon'ble Union Minister of Road Transport & Highways, Shri Nitin Gadkari ji, delivering Keynote Address on 30/1/2022 in the Annual Business Conclave "Vriddhi" on "The role of infrastructure development for realizing India’s 5 trillion-dollar economy goal"

Indian Institute of Management, Visakhapatnam successfully conducted day two of its annual flagship business conclave Vriddhi 3.0, an innovative and synergistic platform in virtual mode, on January 30th, 2022. The event witnessed well-known experts from diverse industries across the country discussing the theme, “Product first or consumer first-what the future looks like." 

Hon'ble Union Minister, Ministry of Road Transport and Highways, Shri Nitin Gadkari Ji graced the day-2 of the business conclave by giving the keynote session on “The role of infrastructure development for realizing India’s 5 trillion-dollar economy goal”. He emphasized the importance of well-developed infrastructure for enhancing the level of economic activity and creating an inclusive ecosystem. He further spoke on how robust infrastructure can play an important role in fulfilling the vision of India in becoming a $5 trillion economy. He added that India is ready to adopt the world’s best technology without compromising quality, cost-effectiveness, and sustainability. He also emphasized the importance of youngsters working at the grassroots level in developing cost-effective sustainable global solutions that will help in the development of rural and tribal areas.

Covering a wide range of topics, the Hon’ble Minister touched on:
  1. enabling common citizens to invest in infrastructure projects through new models for asset monetization under consideration of the Govt.;
  2. the role of infrastructure development in giving boost to rural economy, thereby empowering the village and tribal populations who are at a disadvantage socially economically and educationally;
  3. policies and plans of biofuel and alternate fuel production to reduce the country’s oil import bill, besides facilitating the greening of the automobile industry;
  4. business prospects of “Flex engines” that can use petrol/electric or biofuels, to reduce the demand for fossil fuels;
  5. expected growth of automobile industry in the country on dimensions such as emission norms, employment generation, exports etc., towards becoming a major manufacturing hub in the world;
  6. active implementation and enforcement of the vehicle scrappage policy, in the light of its potential for reducing the import of metals like aluminum and copper and reducing the cost of components, as a distinct cost-advantage to Indian automobile industry;
  7. New technologies in infrastructure development that the government is investing in, to improve supply chain efficiencies;
  8. Setting up of smart mobility and intelligent transportation systems, given their importance and value to our citizens.
He advised the students to convert problems into opportunities with commercially viable solutions and the need for application of knowledge and skillsets that MBA Graduates possess, in contributing to the planning, implementation and management of infrastructure projects.

The event also witnessed an intriguing panel discussion on ‘prioritizing products or consumers’, which was moderated by Prof. Amit Shankar, Assistant Professor of Marketing, IIM Vishakhapatnam. The first speaker in the panel, Dr. Varun Jain (Associate Director-Marketing at Cipla) discussed the role of semantics in making a consumer product. He further described that the feedback cycle of product development is getting shorter because of technology and innovative techniques and how this is helping companies to come up with products that meet the expectations of the market. Vipul Oberoi (Director Marketing at Dun and Bradstreet, India) emphasized the importance of understanding, articulating, anticipating, and then ultimately presenting the product to the consumer. He added that the market research gives cues and not answers, and the smartest companies are those which anticipate future needs from these cues. Mr. Shobhit Mohan (VP Marketing at PayU), another panel member recommended to keep the product at highest priority. This will enable the company to build most innovative product for the customers and have sustainable competitive advantage. He further added that every company has data but those that interpret these data and integrate it with their product will enjoy the major share of the market. Finally, Mr. Ashok V K (Marketing Head, Oncology & Hospibiz at Dr. Reddy's Laboratories) emphasized having a good product and investing more in product research rather than the customer, as, a good product always results in its purchase by the customers.

With these informative and interesting sessions, IIM Visakhapatnam concluded its 2-day annual business conclave Vriddhi.