Oct 24, 2016

Tips from Top - Emerging trends and advancements in the healthcare industry, Mr Biten Kathrani, Director, R&D, Boston Scientific

Mr Biten Kishore Kathrani, Director, R&D department for Asia, Middle East and Africa (AME
A) at Boston Scientific, visited IME department for a talk on “Emerging trends and advancements in the healthcare industry.” The session turned out to be extremely insightful and the audience got a lot of valuable inputs about the field of healthcare as well as the nuances of how business is done in the industry, the opportunities and the challenges that were pertinent in the industry.
Mr Kathrani began the seminar with an introduction of Boston Scientific as a company, its core values and the massive range of medical technologies that it offered. He discussed about the Indian office of Boston Scientific, its full-fledged facility with R&D along with an Advanced Science institute for surgeons training on the cutting edge technology.
There was also a brief discussion on the changing nature of healthcare industry from being a patient centric model to a transaction centric model, and with the advancement in technology, again a shift in trend to becoming patient centric. But with it arises plethora of issues to be addressed, one of them being the lack of understanding of people upon the monetization of digital services and their reluctance to pay for it.
Mr Kathrani also talked about 4As– Affordability, Awareness, Accessibility and Adaptability, which are indispensable for the industry. Out of these, the focus on Affordability – with a skewed perspective meaning “being cheap”, has led to neglect of the remaining three A’s, which in turn led to a loss of affordability as well.
There are two major shifts happening in the healthcare industry currently: decentralization – shift of delivering healthcare in hospitals to the patient’s home; and reduction in invasiveness of every relevant procedure – from making massive openings to lacerations to the use of nanotechnology for targeted delivery of medicine.
Talking of the trends in India, Mr Kathrani said that the industry is at around $90 billion with a CAGR of 15%, and it holds major potential. He related this to the growing middle class world over, and that is where the real opportunities lies as these are the people who want value based innovation to address their needs.
There was also a brief discussion about the 5 stage process followed for a successful company in healthcare sector. The stages are - Identify, Innovate, Design, Manufacture, and Deliver. The role of customer segmentation is pivotal in all the stages. Following the steps of these stages, a successful methodology for Biodesign process would be- Identify, Invent and Implement. 
Talking of challenges, Mr Kathrani said growing number of diseases, low hospital bed to patient ratio and physician to patient ratio, less prevalence of insurance cover, and the patient’s reluctance to access healthcare services were major challenges; while the key issues were cost, adapting to the market, digital innovation, and regulations & compliance.
The session ended after some discussion on the nitty-gritties of the healthcare industry and some issues it faced.



Oct 12, 2016

"People: Plug and Play?" - An article by Saikat Chatterjee (Student 2015-17 Batch)


We often talk about Motivation, Engagement, Stress and Conflict Management. These are trending issues in HR today and if we look closely most of them have a negative origin. People are frustrated at work, switching jobs, actively disengaged, not motivated, not satisfied, highly stressed and the list continues. But why? Is it a new trend in the global workforce or is it something else? Is it really an individual issue or it has its root somewhere else? Why we don't look at the human inventory management practices at organizational,social and national level and critically analyze if the problem is with the parts or its usage? People are more flexible to fit in situations compared to assembly hardware but how far? Can our education system and training workshops really convert iron ores to pure gold? It is time to think about it. We talk about stepping outside of comfort zone and taking up new challenges. But we often ignore the fact that the motivation to take up new challenges (achievement need) and the commitment thereafter come from within (Intrinsic motivation) not from what the external environment wants out of us. Why don't we look again closely and find the great use of iron ores in a different set of activities (perhaps more useful than gold in some context).Why don't we stop making random experiments with our precious inventory and properly catalog them according to their best usage? Why don't we scan the seed and put it in right kind of soils to help it grow organically? We don't want the terms like stress, frustration, disengagement and conflict to be the trends in HR practices, HR starts with human and it will come first, always and every-time.

Oct 5, 2016

Prabandhan (Pragyan) - Analytics in todays world, Ms Sridevi Vadapalli, Senior Practice Lead, Infosys

Pragyan- the guest lecture series of the IME Department, IIT Kanpur, organised under the umbrella of Prabandhan’16, witnessed an array of informative seminars delivered by some of the greatest personalities from all over India. One of the guest lectures on ‘Analytics in today’s world’ was delivered by Ms. Sridevi Vadapalli, an M.Sc in Statistics from the University of Hyderabad and having around 15 years of experience in analytics across industries like BFSI, Retail / CPG and manufacturing. Her experience includes indulgence in industries like Text mining, Market basket analysis, Cross sell, Upsell, Churn model, Web analytics etc. She presently heads customer and marketing analytics and operational analytics for FSI clients.

Ms. Sridevi commenced the lecture by explaining the importance of historical data via a real life example. Our present-day decisions become biased based on the already existing data with us. All in all, analytics is about analyzing the historical data, finding patterns in it and making use of those insights for future references. Analytics has had a roller coaster journey throughout its inception. It is about mining the data and then theorizing upon the insights, i.e. letting the data speak for itself!
Analytics has evolved from the descriptive model (reacting post occurrence of an incident) to analyzing previous data to a diagnostic model (questioning the occurrences to make arrangements for future consequences) - this is how the predictive model evolved- which is used by majority of the industries. Ms. Sridevi’s initial focus was on predictive analysis only. She also talked about how real time analysis in possible today due to the discovery and present-day-boom of big data. For example, pattern discovery and web analysis is done to evaluate the time spent on the internet by users around the globe.

Ms. Sridevi’s next part of the lecture threw light on what Infosys has in its bag to offer in the field of analytics. She talked about customer insights (web-based segmentation), customer profitability (providing differentiated services to the customers), attrition analysis (customers that leave you), transnational behavior analysis, loyalty analysis, campaign analysis, marketing promotion and social & web analysis. She also explained as to why attrition is a crucial factor, reason being that making a new customer is costlier than regaining or retaining an old one. On the importance of campaign analysis, she explained about the expenditure on campaigns for different loyalty levels of customers.
Ms. Sridevi discussed about uplift modeling, also known as incremental modeling, which is a predictive modelling technique that directly models the incremental impact of a treatment (such as a direct marketing action) on an individual's behavior.

She covered topics like operational analytics, risk and compliance analytics, customer life cycle, web analytics, predicting web path (market basket analysis algorithm). She also introduced us to the newer methods used nowadays- uplift modelling, machine learning, Markov’s chain (which tells us that our current position decides our next position), continuous learning, factorial design and survival analysis.

Lastly she talked about the latest telematics techniques namely social media, real time analysis, image analytics (for frauds), drone data analytics, electronic gadgets data.

Ms. Sridevi kept the lecture an enthusiastic two-way interaction introduced us to a whole new world of analytics with several dimensions which couldn’t have been possible otherwise.

Oct 4, 2016

Prabandhan - 2016 ('Pragyan') - 'Trends in Private Wealth Management - Banking' by Mr. Anshul Garg (Director and V.P., Centrum Capital)

Mr. Anshul Garg, an alumnus of IIT Kanpur (MBA batch of 2005-07), currently the Director and V.P. at Centrum Capital Ltd, delivered a seminar on Banking and Finance as a part of ‘Pragyan’ during 'Prabandhan - 2016' . The following are the excerpts from this interactive session.
The discussion spanned across banking scenario in India, technology in banking and future scope in finance. As told by him, the motivation behind a career in banking is the fact that presently out of $5600 billion wealth in India; only $250 billion is actually in investment which he told implied a huge scope for wealth management and investment. However, building up mathematical and quantitative skills remains vital to work in this area.

He further threw some light on the tasks of wealth managers. One of the key tasks included assessing the product mix of companies and striking an ideal balance. He also explained some of the risks involved in working in the niche banking roles by providing the example of 2007-08 financial melt down. This also brought about the discussion of ethics and fraud currently prevailing in the industry.
Moving on to technology he talked about the new trend: ‘Fin tech’, which he predicted to be still in an emerging stage and purported that its impacts would be observed sometime in the future. Currently what can be seen is the emergence of account-less banking system brought about by ‘Paytm‘ and the likes of it. He stated that he perceives them as a threat to the conventional banking system. Further in the area of credit worthiness, technology is helping out in quick assessment by taking aid of S.M.S. information. Over the years technology acquisition has become cheaper. Banks are now utilizing this to reach out to a wider audience. He also predicted that bio-metrics and other identity verification systems would rope in rural masses as they make processes simpler.
Mr. Garg went on to answer further questions posed on revenue models of payment banks, competition regulation by government in banking and the importance of analytics in finance. He closed the seminar by providing insights on how cash flow is becoming the tool for credit rating and the fact that we are currently the beta testers for the technology which will eventually be aiding the rural population and the masses in the long run.

Prabandhan (Pragyan) - Start ups and Digital Marketing by Mr Sheraz Saeed(Cofounder, Websters)

Prabandhan 2016 organized Pragyan, the guest lecture series of IME Department, IIT Kanpur. The series was kick-started by Mr. Sheraz Saeed, Founder of Websters. Websters is a Dubai based social media company started in 2011 and specialized in web designing and digital marketing. It is a part of SoftAge Information Technology Ltd.

Mr. Saeed gave a seminar on “Start ups and Digital Marketing”. Giving a brief overview about himself Mr. Saeed mentioned how during his final year at BITS Pilani, Dubai campus he saw a requirement for web services in the Dubai market and from initially beginning as a freelancer he founded Websters, which offers a range of dedicated social media services along with other digital assistance in web development, app development, social media management, analytics, digital marketing etc.

Mr Saeed engaged the audience by probing about some start-up ideas. To the passionate budding entrepreneurs who had such ideas and the audience in general, he gave an interesting trivia, of discussing an idea with a group of friends on whom you could rely on for feedback before converting it into a business plan. He also encouraged some of the students to proceed with their ideas and work towards bringing it to the light of the day. Further he advised those keen to have their start-ups to always keep founders with different skill sets and at the same time have an eagle’s view of the entire initiative.


Dwelling further on the topic of start-ups, he mentioned an exorbitant number of start-ups do not recognize ‘need’ and sweat relentlessly on solving a problem that does not exist. He also cited this as being one of the reasons behind the failure of many start-ups after a small stint.  Mr. Saeed also emphasized on the pioneer versus follower strategy in marketing, by providing an example from the e-commerce sector in Dubai. The small and new entrants learned from the mistakes of giant players like Cobone and Groupon and differentiated themselves to become stiff competitors. Thus it is important to push forward the right and required needs into the market.

Moving onto the topic of digital marketing, which also happens to be Mr. Saeed’s area of expertise, evident from his clientele of big names like Zee, Dubai government etc, he shared with us exciting examples where digital marketing was instrumental in garnering millions of eyeballs. He gave examples like the post of one of the Zomato’s co-founder, Oreo’s post after a few seconds of power cut at Super Bowl XLVII etc. Mr Saeed also insisted on not entirely focusing on search engine optimization, but evaluating the investment in paid apps and likes , and also imperative is the creativity in digital marketing, thinking different and utilizing unseen opportunities to stay ahead in game.


The session was a lesson on introspection before jumping on the start-up bandwagon and how digital marketing is changing the marketing landscape with its vitality felt in the sustenance of any company worth its salt.

Prabandhan(Pragyan) - A talk by Mr Sourav Shah, Head Digital Marketing & CRM, Jubilant food works

The second day of Prabandhan witnessed a seminar by Mr. Sourav Shah (Head Digital
Marketing and CRM,  Jubilant Foodworks) as part of the guest lecture series Pragyan. The prime
emphasis was upon Digital Marketing- A key perspective and future.
The seminar began with some interesting and insightful discussion on the Digital adoption rate
vis a vis the traditional media like TV, print media, telephone etc and it was concluded that
digital media had seen a far greater adoption rate than any other. Sir strongly emphasized that
going digital was the way to go for present and future marketers and it would be the most crucial medium and competition platform for business. Being innovative and proactive in the digital
space would be quintessential for competitive advantage very soon if not already. Sir bolstered
this argument with several examples such as Whats-app, Facebook, smartphones etc each of
which had offered unique value propositions and were being adopted at a rapid pace not just by
people but also by businesses.
Sir cited the case of an insurance company which despite having a relatively lower share in the
conventional agent based insurance market managed to create a niche for itself in the "term
plan" insurance by taking and promoting it online. Within a period of two years the insurer
became the largest insurer in the Indian digital space. This was made possible by exploiting the
reluctance of conventional insurance agents in selling "term plans" & combined with some smart
digital marketing to improve the reach to the customer; and the results had been overwhelming.
Sir extended the discussion into the cost effectiveness of digital marketing over conventional
marketing. The equivalent effect of a traditional TV advertisement costing billions could be
generated by systematic online target marketing in merely one hundredth of the cost. Sir added
however that unlike traditional marketing media, digital marketing worked mostly on the pull
mechanism and thus thrived on creativity and innovation to reach the target audience.
Talking about the scope of digital market in India, he indicated that the number of internet users
in India was 462 million while the internet penetration was only 30 percent. This gave immense
virgin opportunities to companies like Facebook and Google who had also been seen competing
to launch & Internet.Org and & Loon projects in India.
Sir apprised us that the presence in digital space was exceptionally vital for any company. Even
if the selling channel of a company was not online, its presence in the digital space in the form
of reviews, websites, social media etc had become an integral part of its existence. S.E.O.,
S.M.O., S.E.M., YouTube, emails were some of the digital marketing tools discussed with each
one being equally significant.
 In context of Domino's, he updated us that through the use of digital medium Domino's had
been able to increase its target base, reach customers in a much more significant manner,
increase its brand equity and also track and optimize the business through the use of analytics.
The job of digital marketer was about reaching the significant audience. 
Sir concluded the lecture by citing various live examples of smart digital marketing which were
unequivocally applauded by the audience. The seminar was a great learning experience wherein students got various insights on marketing media and channels of digital media and
their roles in brand promotion.

Oct 3, 2016

Pragyan - Prabandhan 2016: Talk on “Digital Marketing and Disruption in Finance” by Mr Manish Agarwal, Senior Vice President – Digital marketing & Innovation, Kotak Mahindra Bank

‘Prabandhan – 2016’ presents ‘Pragyan’, the guest lecture series of IME department, IIT Kanpur.
The second seminar of the series by Mr Manish Agarwal, Senior Vice President – Digital marketing & Innovation, Kotak Mahindra Bank, focused on “Digital Marketing and Disruption in Finance”. In an enlightening seminar, he talked about the changing trend in marketing from traditional to the digital marketing where technology plays the pivotal role. He enlisted three critical dimensions which are driving this paradigm shift, namely: Hyper Adoption, Digital Disruption and Customer Experience. These three dimensions are changing the entire marketing arena which has now become an end to end process. To drive the point home, sir gave the example of Tesla motors, which launched a new model in April 2016 and within 36 hours they received about 400 thousand bookings even before its industrial production had begun. This indicated the power of digital marketing.
He purported that the digital infrastructure in India was growing rapidly and the number of smart phone users in India shall cross the 650 million mark by 2019. He praised the developments in digital arena, relevant to Banking and Finance sector in India, and talked about the IMPS service which he dubbed as the best in the world! He told that ‘presence’ on the digital platform has become the top agenda for incumbents across all sectors, including the Banking and Finance sector. He stressed on the fact that the regulatory changes are continuously becoming more facilitative with inclusion of innovative tools and services like ‘Aadhaar-EKYC’. 
He laid emphasis on the need to continuously re-invent oneself, and talked about how disruption shall be the place where money shall exist in future. The technological developments as told by sir shall involve the masses and cover the majority of population in near future. He said this prediction is based on the increased willingness of the current consumers to adopt new technology and their readiness to switch to ‘pure-play digital banking services’.
He ended this enlightening session by giving a brief about Kotak’s legendary digital journey, and provided useful insights to the audience regarding the current developments and future visions of the company.

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