Atharva 2009-10

The students of TAPMI hosted its Annual International Management Festival ‘Atharva’ from 8
to 10th January, 2010. Over the years, Atharva has been a focussed platform for emerging business leaders to interact and learn together. Students from top 30 Indian B schools (including IIMs, SP Jain, Sydenham, XLRI, NITIE, XIME, etc.) and one international student from Sheffield Hallam University in UK participated in Atharva-2010. The Chief Guest for the inaugural ceremony was Prof. Nandini Vaidyanathan, an alumnus of Delhi School of Economics and London School of Economics. She is India’s leading strategist in crisis management and has been associated with corporations and governments in India and abroad in sensitive negotiations and settlements. Prof. Nandini has spent 20 years in the corporate sector with MNC’S all over the world.

During the inauguration on January 8, 2010, Mr. Ajit Nafde, Convenor of Atharva expressed happiness at the enthusiastic participation of B-Schools and Corporates from all parts of India. Thereafter the Director of TAPMI, Dr. Saji Gopinath drew a parallel between Manipal and Atharva in terms of their uniqueness – providing a platform for broadening the intellect. The Chief Guest emphasized the rapidly growing importance of Social Technology for Business in reaching out to customers.

On the first day, the major event was Sankalp (Business Plan formulation event) to promote entrepreneurial spirit. A Venture Capitalist from Ventureast, Miss Anuradha Ramachandran of Chennai and Mr. N V Darshan (Asst General Manager, Syndicate Institute of Bank Management, Manipal) judged the event. The winning team from SP Jain Institute of Management & Research, Mumbai received prize money worth Rs.50,000. The second prize was bagged by the team from Sydenham College, Mumbai, which received prizes worth Rs.30,000.

On the same day, Atharva’s most prestigious event, TA Pai Memorial Young Business Leader kicked off with participation from 11 top B-Schools including one international participant. For this event, the contestant is nominated by the respective Directors of each participating B- School. Young Business Leader has the most rigorous framework for testing the leadership skills of the contestants. Spread over three days, the event aims to recognize the skills, talents, qualities, abilities and attitudes that are the prerequisites of a Business Leader. For Atharva 2009- 10, Mr. Mayank Khandelwal from NITIE, Mumbai emerged as the winner after trouncing the other contestants from top B schools of India. He received prize money worth Rs. 1 lakh. The day concluded with an cultural evening – music and songs rendered by TAPMI students group of SUR in the TAPMI Greens.

On the second day, the unique flagship event of Atharva, Quiz On the Beach (QPTB) is India’s only quizzing event for Corporates held on a beach. The popularity of Quiz on the Beach is evident from increased participation from corporates year after year. Set against the backdrop of the Lighthouse in Kaup beach (near Udupi), QOTB ensures a unique quizzing experience. For Atharva 09-10, the Quiz Master was Mr. Avinash Mudaliar, popularly known the ‘Infotainer’, a multifaceted personality who enthralled everyone with the range of his questions pertaining to businesses at national and international level. The finalists were Corporates from Yahoo, KPMG, Cognizant Technology Solutions, Dell, Savoir Faire and students from NIT Surathkal and the home team, TAPMI. Mr. Tejaswini Udupa from Yahoo and Mr. Ramakrishnan from KPMG emerged as the winning team. They trounced the team from Cognizant Technology Solutions consisting of Mr. Shubham Roy and Mr. N A Venkatesh. The winning team was presented with prize money of Rs.40,000. The highlight of this year’s event is a sand art on Global warming at the beach to stress upon sustainable development and living in harmony with nature. Hungama.com was the principal sponsor of the event this year.

On final day ie., 10th January, the most awaited event of this year’s Fest was Polemic – a corporate debate on the Telecom industry exceeded the audience’s expectations. This debate was moderated by Mr. Harish Bijoor, Brand Expert and CEO, Harish Bijoor Consults Inc., Bangalore. Eminent personalities who participated in the debate were Mr. N. Chandra Sekhara (General Manager – Marketing, BSNL, Karnataka), Mr. T R Dua (Deputy Director General with Cellular Operators Association of India) and Mr. Saurabh Tiwari, Deputy Director General (Tariff, PSUs and Budget), Department of Telecommunications, GOI, New Delhi.

The topic for the debate was “Is the ongoing price war in the telecom sector an indication of future consolidation?” The debate started with the moderator acknowledging telecom as an integral part of our life next to air, food and water. Mr. T R Dua expressed happiness at the telecom sector being a success story with no parallels with any other sector. Mr Chandrasekhara felt that there is a lot of scope for expansion for the telecom sector with about 550 million subscribers yet to be tapped. Mr. Tiwari remarked that the targets for tele-inclusion under the Eleventh Five Year Plan have been achieved earlier than expected.
The experts aired their views on relevant topics ranging from tele-density, rural telephony, tele- inclusion, price war and number portability. The participants were on a common platform when they acknowledged that the telecom revolution is here to stay. Mr. Harish Bijoor concluded the debate by advising the students to keep a watch on the telecom industry for the next three years and added that its future journey will have interesting dimensions.

One of the new events during Atharva ‘09-10 was Avventura, an event on problem solving. The event presented the participants with a challenging problem currently existing in an SME. The students had to visit the SME as a team of two to understand and analyze the reasons for the problem. Having done the analysis, the teams provided practical solutions to the problem. Depending on the feasibility, their solutions may be actually implemented by the SME.

Other events of Atharva included Global Investor (Portfolio management game), Out Cry (Stock Exchange game) and Chakravyuh (Marketing game). The Chief Guest for the Valedictory ceremony was Mr. Srihari Bhat, General Manager (PSCD), Syndicate Bank, Manipal.

The major corporates that were associated with Atharva this year are Hungama, TVS Motors, Hindustan Unilever Limited, Sony Home Entertainment, Planet M, Reebok, Club Mahindra, Radio Mirchi and Apple. The fun filled and intellectually stimulating fest concluded on a splendid note with the students of participating B-schools acknowledging Atharva as an experience of a lifetime.

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