University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI

September 26, 2014 at the Stephen M. Ross School of Business

Conference Details

The 6th annual India Business Conference will be held on September 26, 2014 at the Ross School of Business. Each year, speakers from around the world attend this conference and discuss topics relevant for all students with an interest in global business. IBC is part of the India Initiatives Center, which was founded to honor the legacy of the late Dr. C.K. Prahalad.

This year, panels composed of renowned leaders from global organizations, government, and academia will address the
Four Trends Impacting Global Business that Every Leader Needs to Know. Following are the four panel discussions planned.

1. Digital Education in Emerging Markets: University of Michigan as a pioneer in online education

2. HealthCare in India

3. Creating the Next Generation of Global Leaders

4. Businesses Entering New Markets: Context Matters

About Us

India Business Conference is a platform that brings together the student community, business leaders, University faculty, policy makers and renowned management thinkers to engage in a thought provoking discussion about various aspects of India and its relationship with the United States as well as with the global economy. Over the years, IBC has developed into a forum that not only provides hundreds of students from various nationalities and leaders from different streams with answers about the challenges facing India, the United States and the world, but also creates meaningful discussion on the tools and strategies to address them.

Ross’s focus on the Indian market started with the late professor CK Prahalad’s extensive research on the Indian business environment. As a member of the Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) and a mentor to many prominent Indian business leaders, Professor Prahalad assisted several Indian organizations in successfully making the transition from a closed to open market economy in 1991. Although initially hesitant at the thought of facing foreign competition, many of these firms continue to prosper today as strong players in the global market, and of late, have made the leap to develop into true multinational organizations.

IBC at Ross was envisioned around the same time by Professor M.S. Krishnan and Mr. Ritesh Bawri (MBA 2001) with the hope that the University of Michigan, a world-renowned academic institution could function as a bridge between businesses and the fast globalizing Indian markets. The vision was converted into a reality in the year 2009 when with the support of late Professor CK Prahalad and Professor Krishnan, the first IBC was held at Ross, receiving wide media coverage and fanfare.

Over the years, the conference continues to provide an excellent platform to

  • Interact and learn from reputed leaders from business, political and educational fields
  • Network and partner with executives from the corporate world
  • Access and intermingle with the world-class student community of University of Michigan and other top universities

  • Past Conferences

    5th India Business Conference, 2013

    The theme of the conference last year was: "Dream. Lead. Inspire." The conference focused on the economic, social, technological, and political changes India was undergoing. Eminent speakers from diverse fields such as business, politics, entertainment, and education graced IBC with their presence and shared their knowledge.

    4th India Business Conference, 2012

    In its 4th year, the theme of the conference "Inside the Transformation" focused on the economic, social, technological, and political change India was undergoing, and fostered discussions to find answers about how leaders in various arenas anticipate, manage and benefit from transformation.

    3rd India Business Conference, 2011

    IBC 2011 provided a forum for leaders in business, politics and academia to engage in spirited debate with each other, students and the media about the many changes that have impacted India, both domestically and internationally. The year’s theme, “Dissolving the Boundaries”, was an exploratory dialogue on India’s rapid ascent as both a socio-political and economic force in the international arena.

    2nd India Business Conference, 2010

    The second India Business Conference provided a platform to debate the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead as India surged forward to achieve the “India@75 vision”. As a dedication to CK Prahalad, the conference also featured a round table to discuss the continuing relevance of his vision.

    1st India Business Conference, 2009

    In its inaugural edition, the India Business Conference, focused on the theme "One Billion and Counting" focused on the emerging opportunities and existing challenges for corporations doing business in India. India's burgeoning middle class and the seismic wave of income growth offer exciting prospects for companies looking for top line growth.

    2014 Speakers

    We are privileged to have eminent speakers from diverse fields such as business, politics, entertainment, and education to grace IBC with their presence and share their knowledge. This year, we proudly host these distinguished individuals at IBC 2014.

    Mr. Paul Clyde President William Davidson Institute,University of Michigan
    Tom Lantos Professor of Business Administration, Ross School of Business
    Mr. Gautam Kaul John C. and Sally S. Morley Professor of Finance, Ross School of Business
    Mr. Gaurav Sikka Managing Director, Arbor Brewing Company, India
    Ms. Dhivya Ramasamy Faculty Associate, Lions Aravind Institute of Community Ophthalmology,India
    Dr. Vishwesh (Vish) Palekar Chief Executive Officer, Mahindra GenZe
    Mr. Ganesh R Shermon Partner - Business Developmen for North America, KPMG LLP
    Mr. M. M. Pallam Raju Former Cabinet Minister (Human Resource Development), India
    Mr. Ken Silverman Head North America, Sannam S4 Consulting Pvt Ltd,India
    Mr. Murali Prahalad President & CEO at Epic Sciences

    2014 Agenda

    When: Friday, September 26, 2014

    Where: Ross Colloquium, 6th Floor (Lunch is included)

    9:00 am - 9:45 am Registration
    9:45 am - 9:55 am Welcome: IBC Chairs
    9:55 am - 10:30 am Digital Education in Emerging Markets: University of Michigan as a pioneer in online education
    Gautam Kaul (John C. and Sally S. Morley Professor of Finance)
    MS Krishnan(Associate Dean, Global Initiatives)
    10:35 am - 12:00 pm HealthCare in India
    Dr. Murali Prahalad (President & CEO, EPIC Life Sciences)
    Paul Clyde (President, William Davidson Institute)
    Dhivya Ramaswamy (Aravind Eye Care System)
    12:00 pm - 1:00 pm Lunch
    1:00 pm - 1:10 pm Remarks by Dean Alison Davis-Blake
    1:15 pm - 1:45 pm Creating the Next Generation of Global Leaders
    Pallam Raju (Former Union Minister, HR & Development, India)
    1:45 pm - 3:00 pm Businesses Entering New Markets: Context Matters
    Vish Palekar (CEO, Mahindra GenZe, US)
    Gaurav Sikka (Managing Director, Arbor Brewing Company India)
    Ken Silverman (Head of North America, SannamS4 Consulting)
    3:05 pm - 3:40 pm Going Global: HR Strategies
    NS Rajan (Group Executive Council, Tata Sons)
    3:45 pm Closing Remarks and Case Competition Announcement
    3:50 pm Networking Reception

    Case Competition


    The C.K. Prahalad Case Competition gives students the opportunity to compete and showcase their business knowledge and innovation acumen by analyzing a case study in the Social Impact field. The competition honors the legacy of the late C.K. Prahalad and his vision of how innovation can balance the relationship between profit generation and social value creation for the base of the pyramid.


    This competition is open to all graduate business schools, international and domestic.

    Five teams will be invited to compete in the final round in Ann Arbor, MI. Final presentations will be delivered to a panel of judges and 2014 UM India Business Conference attendees, speakers, and other participants.


    First Place: $2000
    Second Place: $1000
    All finalists will receive a copy of C.K. Prahalad's critically acclaimed book, "The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid."


    The case competition is part of the annual U-M India Business Conference. Last year's conference featured keynotes by several notable speakers, including entrepreneur and philanthropist, Mr. Gururaj Deshpande, Mr. Mark Fields, COO of Ford, and Professor Tarun Khanna from Harvard Business School. The winners of the case competition were announced at the conference. All finalists received free entry to the conference.


    India Business Conference 2014 will be held at:

    Stephen M. Ross School of Business

    701 Tappan St

    Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA


    Nearest Airport: Detroit(DTW)

    Nearest Amtrak Station: Ann Arbor

    Nearest Parking: Forest Avenue Parking Structure located at 650 S. Forest Avenue, Ann Arbor

    Organizing Team

    Advisory Committee

    Dr. M. S. Krishnan

    Dr. M. S. Krishnan (“Krishnan”) is the Accenture Professor of Computer Information Systems and Professor of Technology and Operations at the Ross School of Business, University of Michigan. He is also the Faculty Director for India Initiatives at the Ross School of Business. He has co-authored the book “The New Age of Innovation: Driving Co-Created Value with Global Networks” with Professor C. K. Prahalad (late). The Economist and BusinessWeek magazine named this book as one of the Best Books on Innovation in 2008. Dr. Krishnan received his degrees in Mathematics and Computer Applications from the University of Delhi, India and Ph.D. in Information Systems from Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, USA. He was awarded the ICIS Best Dissertation Prize for his Doctoral Thesis on “Cost and Quality Considerations in Software Product Management”. His research interest includes Business Innovation, Corporate IT Strategy, Business Value of IT investments, Metrics and Measures for Business Process and Software Quality, Productivity and Customer satisfaction.

    Prof. M.S. Krishnan

    Ritesh Bawri

    Ritesh is the founder of Quantta Analytics, based out of India. He is currently the President of the University of Michigan Indian Alumni Association ( Ritesh was the founder and Managing Director of Calcom Cement in East India till December 2012. Previous to this, he was the founder of Cijen Inc. an analytics company based out of California. He is the co-founder of Think India Research, a think tank that focuses on policy issues that concern India. He has served on the Board of Entrepreneurs Organization Kolkata for the last few years. He is a Past President of the Rotary Club of Kolkata Metropolitan East. Ritesh is also on the steering committee of India Business Conference, an India focused conference organized by the University of Michigan. He holds an MBA from the University of Michigan, USA, and a Bachelors degree in Economics, from St. Xavier's College, Mumbai.

    Ritesh Bawri

    Gayatri Penmetsa

    Gayatri Penmetsa is the India Initiatives Program Manager since 2012. Prior to that, she was the Director of Prospect Research and Management at the Eastern Michigan Foundation. She is responsible for developing strategic direction and providing administrative management of the India Initiatives.

    Gayatri Penmetsa

    2014 Board Of Directors

    Suneil Bhambri     Co-Chair

    Suneil Bhambri is currently a second year MBA student. After graduating college, Suneil completed three month internship in New Delhi with Maitri India, a nonprofit organization. The internship developed his passion for base of the pyramid theory and opportunities to learn more about emerging markets. While at the Ross School of Business, Suneil is participating in clubs to further explore this interest through participation in emerging markets clubs and courses. Outside of school, Suneil enjoys playing the guitar, watching sports, and going to concerts (especially those of Indian musicians). Suneil is honored to be a part of this committee and is looking forward to welcome you to the 2014 Indian Business Conference.

    Shreyas Sirsi     Co-Chair

    Shreyas Sirsi, an evening MBA, has spent a decade in the US, primarily the midwest. Working as a engineering consultant in the automotive industry, he's worked on everything ranging from cars to semi-trucks. Having been away for India for so long, he is keen to engage in Indian affairs and gain a perspective of the Indian business landscape. Shreyas has traveled extensively across the US, South America and India and is passionate about travel, music and landscape photography. He also loves driving and finds driving long distances with some good music playing both relaxing and de-stressing.

    Harinee Sampath     Vice-Chair

    Harinee Sampath is an evening MBA, set to graduate in the coming year. She have lived in the US for almost 15 years and brings with her a variety of experiences in technology and consulting. As a vice-chair, her responsibilities for the conference are to manage the fundraising process and hold the co-chairs of the conference accountable. She lives with her husband and almost two year old son in Novi, Michigan, and in her spare time loves hiking and watching old episodes of star trek. She decompresses by singing Indian classical music.

    Erica Rose     

    Erica Rose is a dual degree student at the Ross School of Business and the School of Public Health. She is focusing on global health and recently completed a two-month internship at the Aravind Eye Care System in Madurai, India, where she focused on an in-depth cost analysis of Aravind's vision centers. Prior to graduate school, she worked for the University of Michigan Athletic Department's fundraising team. She completed her undergraduate degree at Northwestern University with a major in psychology.

    Swetha Salunke     

    Swetha Salunke has worked with Accenture for the past five years as an IT Consultant. Her interests include playing basketball, swimming, painting and acting. She loves animals and is an passionate about defending their rights. As an undergraduate student, Swetha worked as a master of ceremonies and captained her state in a national basketball tournament. She loves working in teams and is looking forward to getting to know the exceptional individuals at Ross and making the most of this experience.


    Ankitha is a sophomore BBA student studying in the Ross School of Business. Her passion for India and business arrived from both learning about and experiencing the economic climate of India first hand. She hopes to pursue her academic interest in finance and international business. Outside of academics, she likes to play tennis, skydive and cook. She is excited for help put together and welcome you to the 2014 Indian Business Conference.

    Rishi Chandra     

    Rishi is an Evening MBA student looking forward to graduate this December. He has worked with Blue Cross Blue Shield, MI for last ten years. His interest includes Indian mystisicm, trekking and meditation. He is excited to provide IBC digital media support and help put together and welcome you to the 2014 Indian Business Conference.