University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI

March 24-25, 2017 at the Stephen M. Ross School of Business

Conference Details

India Business Conference (IBC) is one of the largest conferences hosted at the University of Michigan's Ross School of Business. Each year, IBC brings together leaders from business and a variety of other fields, Michigan's world-class faculty, and its diverse student body. The 8th IBC will be held at the Ross School of Business, starting on Friday, March 24 (10 am) and going through Saturday, March 25, 2017. View the brochure.

This year's event is exciting in terms of the unique combination of speakers that we have. We have leaders from large corporations and from fast growing new economy businesses. We have leaders who have expanded brands in India, and leaders from government and academia. This event presents a chance to learn lessons from them on what it takes to do business in India and with India. Speakers will also be shedding light on new and enduring challenges and opportunities.


2017 Speakers

Jayant Sinha Minister of State for Civil Aviation, Government of India
Raja KrishnamoorthiUnited States Congressman for Illinois
Ann MukherjeeChief Marketing Officer, SC Johnson
Ramesh Mangaleswaran Senior Partner-Infrastructure, Operations, Social Sector, McKinsey & Co
Gopal Srinivasan Chairman, TVS Capital Funds
Raghu Mendu General Partner, VenturEast Capital
Raj NairExecutive vice president, Product Development AND chief technical officer (CTO), Ford Motor Company
Dr P. Raghu Ram MS. President, The Association of Breast Surgeons of India; CEO & Director, Ushalakshmi Breast Cancer Foundation
Priyanka Komala Technology Director, The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine
Shaily Baranwal Founder-CEO, Edblox (formerly Elevate Learning)
Vishal Gupta CEO & Founder, Seclore
Anand Mecheri CEO & Founder, Invicara
Harinee SampathFounder, South Asian Flavors
Andrea Sreshta Founder, LUMINAID
Rachna Govani CEO & Co-founder FOODSTAND
Parul Soni Global Managing Partner and Co-Founder, TTC-Thinkthrough Consulting
Vishnu Swaminathan Global Partnerships Lead, Ashoka Innovators for the Public
Kavya Vayyasi Co-founder & CTO, Cheruvu
Anil Gupta Michael Dingman Chair in Strategy, Globalization & Entrepreneurship, Smith School of Business, University of Maryland
Dr. Syagnik Banerjee Associate Professor of Marketing, University of Michigan-Flint


Thursday, March 23, 2017

Location: Ross Classroom R0210

3:30 pm - 6:30 pm 2017 C.K Prahalad Case Challenge Finals
6:30 pm - 7:30 pm Post-Challenge Reception


Friday, March 24, 2017

Location: Robertson Auditorium

10:00 am - 10:05 am Welcome
10:05 am - 10:15 am Opening Remarks
Professor M.S. Krishnan and Dean Scott DeRue
10:15 am - 11:05 am Opening Keynote (video conference)
Jayant Sinha moderated by Prof. Gautam Ahuja
11:05 am - 11:15 am Break
11:15 am - 12:05 pm Being Phenomenal!
Ann Mukherjee moderated by Prof. Rajeev Batra
12:10 pm - 1:25 pm VC in India - Getting Funded & Growing Companies across Geographies (Panel)
Gopal Srinivasan, Vishal Gupta, Anand Mecheri moderated by Raghu Mendu
1:30 pm - 2:30 pm Lunch
2:30 pm - 3:15 pm Emerging Opportunities through Innovations (sponsored by Auto Club)
Raj Nair moderated by Prof. Amitabh Sinha
3:15 pm - 3:30 pm C.K Prahalad Grand Challenge Winners Announced
Gayatri Prahalad & Deepa Prahalad
3:30 pm - 4:45 pm Fireside Chat (sponsored by Energy Club)
Prof. Anil Gupta & Ramesh Mangaleswaran moderated by Prof. Gautam Ahuja
4:50 pm - 5:55 pm Role of Businesses in Social Impact (Panel)
Kavya Vayyasi, Parul Soni, and Vishnu Swaminathan moderated by Prof. Jagadeesh Sivadasan
6:00 pm - 6:45 pm Start Your Business While in College: Risk it, Focus it, Plan it…. Just Do It!
Shaily Baranwal moderated by Prof. Rashmi Menon
6:50 pm - 7:00 pm Closing
7:00 pm - 8:00 pm Networking Reception
Location: Robertson Lobby
8:00 pm - 9:30 pm India initiatives closed door dinner for speakers, committee members and faculty


Saturday, March 25, 2017

Location: Robertson Auditorium

9:50 am - 10:00 am Welcome
10:00 am - 10:40 am Fireside Chat
Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi moderated by Prof. M.S Krishnan
10:45 am - 11:15 am Are You Ready to Propel? (Ted Style Talk with BYOP{hones})
(sponsored by Michigan Business Women)
Priyanka Komala
11:15 am - 11:25 am Break
11:25 am - 12:35 pm Transforming Innovation – Paradigm Changes to Breast Healthcare & Digital Future of he Indian Economy
Dr. P. Raghu Ram and Prof. Syagnik Banerjee moderated by Prof. Achyuta Adhvaryu
12:40 pm - 1:40 pm Women in Business (Panel)
Harinee Sampath, Andrea Sreshta, Rachna Govani moderated by Taryn Petryk
1:40 pm - 1:45 pm Closing



The India Business Conference 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

A full listing of Ann Arbor hotels and accommodations to fit every budget can be found by clicking here.


IBC History

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:

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

Past Speakers

In the past, IBC has drawn guests from a variety of fields, including the following speakers:


CK Prahalad Grand Challenge

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Location: Ross Classroom, Ross School of Business

3:30 pm - 6:30 pm 2017 C.K. Prahalad Grand Challenge Finals
Finalist Teams Present to Panel of Judges
6:30 pm - 7:30 pm Post-Challenge Reception with Contestants and Judges


Each year, the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business organizes this competition to honor the legacy of C.K. Prahalad.

“If we stop thinking of the poor as victims or as a burden and start recognizing them as resilient and creative entrepreneurs and value conscious consumers, a whole new world of opportunity will open up.” – C.K. Prahalad


C.K. Prahalad (1941-2010) was one of the world’s most influential business thinkers and management professors. He developed the “base of the pyramid” concept, exploring how business can pursue sustainable growth while playing a role in alleviating poverty

This year over 100 teams from business schools around the world participated. The 4 finalist teams will present to esteemed faculty judges. The event gives students the opportunity to showcase their business knowledge and innovation acumen by analyzing a case study in the social impact field.

The grand challenge prompt this year was as follows: Since 2004, many companies have attempted to serve the BoP but very few have been successful. Please review this article to understand some of the pitfalls of serving the BoP.

Goal: More than 4 Billion people living predominantly in the emerging markets remain unconnected to the internet. A majority of this population lives in rural and remote areas. Building digital infrastructure in rural and remote areas requires massive investments and supportive regulatory environment. For the C.K. Prahalad grand challenge 2017, we want you to build a sustainable business model that would provide access to digital infrastructure for people in rural and remote areas in emerging markets.

Please review the below articles for further information about the state of digital infrastructure in emerging markets:

The State of Broadband: Broadband catalyzing sustainable development
Emerging Markets: Big Challenges, Big Opportunities

Be innovative and think beyond the bounds of “traditional” business practices to pushing the frontier further.

We are open to your definition of the problem but we will use the criteria below to evaluate your business plans. Some examples of how to approach the water problem:

* Economic feasibility
* Logistical feasibility
* Level of positive impact
* Scalability
* Quality of submission


University of Michigan Faculty Advisors

We are privileged to have some of the top minds in the business world and distinguished faculty members supporting us.

Gautaum Ahuja Faculty Director of Ross India Initiatives, Harvey C. Fruehauf Professor of Business Administration, Professor of Strategy
M.S. Krishnan Associate Dean of Ross Global Initiatives, Accenture Professor of Computer and Information Systems, Professor of Technology and Operations

Student Organizing Team

Co-Chairs Marketing/Communications Logistics Registration Sponsorship CKP Grand Challenge
Pranay Lagadapati
Venkat Draksharam
Aishwarya Varma
Kunal Kapoor
Mohit Mehendale
Ali Trachtenberg
Saurav Sahore
Abhijit Kumar
Shreya Wadhwani
Dedeepya Palla
Avinash Akella
Siddhartha Bajaj
Jai Hari Raju Jayakumar
Sathish Jothikumar
Sravya Darse

Sponsors & Partners

Please contact us for details if you are interested in becoming a sponsor of India Business Conference 2016 at the Ross School of Business.