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 (5 pm) and going through Saturday, March 25, 2017.

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.


Register for the conference View the brochure


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
Dheeraj JainManaging Director, Redcliffe Capital
Raj NairExecutive vice president, Product Development AND chief technical officer (CTO), Ford Motor Company
Dr P. Raghu RamMS, 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)
Harinee SampathFounder, South Asian Flavors
Andrea Sreshta Founder, LUMINAID
Parul Soni Global Managing Partner and Co-Founder, TTC-Thinkthrough Consulting
Arvind Nagarajan Investment Director, Pearson Affordable Learning Fund
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




"India is emerging as one of the fastest growing economies with more than one billion consumers. India Business Conference at the Ross School stimulates discussions around business opportunities and challenges in India. The topics will be of interest to business executives, entrepreneurs, policy makers, academics and students aspiring to be global business leaders"
-- Professor M S Krishnan


When: Friday, March 25, 2016

Where: Robertson Auditorium, Ross School of Business

5:00 pm - 5:05 pm IBC Opening Remarks by M.S. Krishnan
5:05 pm - 6:00 pm CEO Session with the Head of India's Most Valuable Company
Natarajan Chandrasekaran (Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director, Tata Consultancy Services)
Q&A moderated by M.S. Krishnan (Associate Dean of Global Initiatives, Accenture Professor of Computer Information Systems, Technology & Operations)
6:00 pm - 6:45 pm Make in India
Mukesh Aghi (President, U.S.-India Business Council)
Q&A moderated by Jagadeesh Sivadasan (Associate Professor of Business Economics)
6:45 pm - 7:30 pm Networking Reception


When: Saturday, March 26, 2016

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

9:00 am - 9:30 am Registration
9:30 am - 9:40 am Welcome Remarks by Gautam Ahuja
9:40 am - 10:30 am Fireside Chat with a Prominent Internet Entrepreneur
Sachin Bansal (Executive Chairman and Co-Founder, Flipkart)
Moderated by Gautam Ahuja (Harvey C. Freuhauf Professor of Business Administration and Professor of Strategy)
10:30 pm - 10:45 pm Break
10:45 am - 11:35 pm Building Brands in India
Niren Chaudhary (Global President of KFC, Yum! Brands)
Q&A moderated by Aradhna Krishna (Dwight F. Benton Professor of Marketing)
11:35 pm - 11:50 pm Break
11:50 am - 12:35 pm CEO Session: Consumer Behavior and India as a Hub for Textiles & Fashion
Ananth Narayanan (Chief Executive Officer, Myntra)
Q&A moderated by M.S. Krishnan
12:35 pm - 1:35 pm Lunch
1:35 pm - 2:25 pm Issues in the Indian Economy (From Vajpayee rule to the Present Day)
Yashwant Sinha (Former Minister of External Affairs and Former Minister of Finance, Government of India)
Q&A moderated by Anu Nagarajan (Faculty of Corporate Strategy and International Business)
2:25 pm - 2:40 pm Break
2:40 pm - 2:55 pm Announcement of C.K. Prahalad Grand Challenge Winners
Gayatri Prahalad and Deepa Prahalad
2:55 pm - 3:50 pm Technology Entrepreneurship in India
Sunil Bhargava (Founder and Managing Partner, Tandem Capital)
Lil Mohan (Entrepreneur and Academician at Chicago Booth)
Moderated by Puneet Manchanda (Isadore and Leon Winkelman Professor of Marketing, Chair of Marketing)
3:50 pm - 4:40 pm Managing in India's Institutional & Legal Environment
Rajan Nagarajan (Senior Vice President, CTI Foods, LLC)
Vikramaditya S. Khanna (William W. Cook Professor of Law, University of Michigan)
Moderated by M.S. Krishnan
4:40 pm Closing Remarks



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

"Students cannot graduate from business school today without a clear understanding of the role and importance of India. That's why we have this conference" -- Dean Alison Davis-Blake


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

When: Friday, March 25, 2016

Where: R1230, Ross School of Business

1:30 pm - 3:30 pm 2016 C.K. Prahalad Grand Challenge Finals
Finalist Teams Present to Panel of Judges
3:30 pm - 4:30 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: 884 million people in the world do not have access to safe drinking water. Between 50 and 100 liters of water per person per day are needed to ensure most basic needs. Build a business plan for a product or service that would bring clean water to people in India. Be innovative and think beyond the bounds of “traditional” business practices to pushing the frontier further. The Human Right to Water and Sanitation

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:
* Purifying water, eg. Chlorine tablets
* Access to water, eg. Water ATM’s, Water Wells
* Targeting specific scope, eg. BoP (entire BoP could be superset of the BoP in India), Rural (all villages in India or small ones or specific villages in India), and Urban (all major metros or smaller cities or specific cities in India)


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

Sundar Balu Kunal Malhotra Anand Markande Vijay Ramanavarapu
Erica Dancik Rohan Karkhanis Elisha Gada Sriram Kannan
Saaim Khan    

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.