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

University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI

Conference Details

Greetings from Ann Arbor! The 6th annual Indian Business Conference will be held at the Ross School of Business on Friday, September 26, 2014.

The Indian Business Conference is a platform that shares insights about India from a broad range of business leaders, renowned academics, policy makers, authors, humanitarians and others who together portray a vast and unique story about India’s challenges and opportunities. India’s impact on the world can be felt in all industries and by all people, even those that do not deal directly with Indian organizations.

Hearing speakers with such diverse backgrounds and experiences is valuable for not only attendees who have substantial familiarity with India’s culture and business environment, but also those who have no prior experience or connection to India. The conference aims to foster meaningful discussion about the global economy, in addition to providing tools and strategies to address future challenges. Ross is home to extraordinary research and programs focused on India and other emerging market nations. Ross’s focus on the Indian market started with the late professor CK Prahalad’s extensive research on the Indian business environment. The India Business Conference and India Initiatives Center at Ross continue the strong relationship between the University of Michigan and India.

Last year’s theme was “Dream. Lead. Inspire.” and was based on the entrepreneurial landscape developing in India and its impact on the broader political, economic and social institutions. Through panel discussions and enlightening speeches from speakers such as Ford COO Mark Fields, Miss America 2014 Nina Davuluri, venture capitalists Gururaj Deshpande and Prasad Potluri, author and journalist Tulika Mehrotra, and several others, attendees benefited with new knowledge applicable to their careers and personal growth.

The new theme and speakers will be listed soon!

Suneil Bhambri

Shreyas Sirsi



Theme....Coming Soon....

Today, India is undergoing a metamorphosis. While it is experiencing tremendous growth, there remain opportunities to explore and issues to be improved. Fortunately, we see more and more youth taking the initiative to dream of a better tomorrow. They are taking the reins of leadership from the visionaries of today and successfully proving to be the leaders of tomorrow. The increasing number of young Indian leaders is inspiring many more to help steer the nation to a prosperous, happier and brighter future. Today India needs this young generation to step up and help transform potential into performance, projections into results and hopes into reality.

To honor the visionaries of today and to celebrate the young leaders of tomorrow, the theme of the 5th India Business Conference is “DREAM. LEAD. INSPIRE.” IBC is a platform for those who have been a part of the transformation and beyond to inspire the youth of India to lead the country in building the India of our dreams.

Join us in a day of engaging panel discussions, inspiring and thought provoking speakers and have the unique opportunity of networking with distinguished professionals, policy makers, academia and students all passionate about the India's shining future.

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
  • Now in its fifth year, India Business Conference has continued to grow at a rapid pace, boasting an impressive line of speakers, as well as notable connections with domestic and international organizations. Additionally, the conference been supported by several partners such as Confederation of Indian Industries, the US Indian Business Council, MIIndia, TiE and the William Davidson Institute.

    Past Conferences

    5th India Business Conference, 2013

    In its 5th year, the theme "Dream. Lead. Inspire." 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.

    The conference featured notable speakers including,

  • Mr. Mark Fields, Chief Operating Officer, Ford Motor Company
  • Ms. Nini Davuluri, Miss America 2014
  • Mr. John Hieftje, Mayor of Ann Arbor
  • Mr. Gururaj Deshpande, Chairman, Sycamore Networks
  • Mr. Bill Mayer, Director, Business Accelerator Spark, Ann Arbor
  • Prof. Tarun Khanna, Director of the South Asia Institute, Harvard University
  • Ms. Tulika Mehrotra, Bestselling Author (Delhi Stopover), Journalist
  • Ms. Aparna Reddy Social Worker, Humanitarian
  • Ms. Mamatha Chamarthi CIO, Consumers Energy
  • Mr. Sanjay Reddy Vice-Chairman, GVK Group
  • Mr. Bharathan Kandaswamy, Executive Director, Kavithalayaa Productions, Visiting Faculty of IIM-A
  • Mr. Raj Vattikuti President, Vattikuti Ventures
  • 4th India Business Conference, 2012

    In its 4th year, the theme "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.

    The conference featured notable speakers including,

  • Mr. Shivraj Singh Chouhan, Chief Minister of Madhya Pradesh
  • Ms. Diane Farrell, Executive Vice President, U.S.-India Business Council (USIBC)
  • Mr. Ravi Saligram, CEO OfficeMax
  • Mr. Manoj Bhargava, CEO 5-hour Energy
  • Mr. Toos N. Daruvala, Director (Senior Partner), McKinsey &Co
  • 3rd India Business Conference, 2011

    IBC 2012 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.

    Some of the keynote speakers included -

  • Michigan Governor Rick Snyder
  • Mrs.Vasundhara Raje Scindia, Chief Minister of Rajasthan
  • Indian Ambassador to the U.S. Nirupama Rao
  • Mr.Fritz Henderson, President and Chief Executive Officer of General Motor
  • 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.

    Some of the keynote speakers included -

  • Mr. Sam Pitroda, Advisor to Prime Minister of India on Public Information, Infrastructure & Innovation
  • Mr. Tarun Das, President , Aspen Institute India and Former Chief Mentor, CII
  • Mr. Jamshyd N. Godrej, Chairman and Managing Director, Godrej & Boyce Mfg. Co. Ltd.
  • Mr. Gopal Srinivasan, Chairman, TVS Capital
  • Mr. Shekhar Gupta, Editor in Chief, Indian Express and host of Walk the Talk, NDTV
  • Mr. Prasad Ram, Director of Engineering, Google
  • 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.

    The key speakers of the Conference included -

  • Mr. Arun Shourie, Former Minister of Communications & IT, India
  • Late. Dr. C K Prahalad, Management Guru and renowned professor, Ross School of Business
  • Mr. Manoj Kohli, CEO Bharati Airtel
  • 2013 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. Last year, we proudly hosted these distinguished individuals at IBC 2013.

    Mr. Mark Fields Chief Operating Officer, Ford Motor Company
    Ms. Nina Davuluri Miss America 2014
    Mr. Gururaj Deshpande VC and Chairman of Sycamore Networks, Life Member of MIT board of Trustees
    Mr. John Hieftje Mayor of Ann Arbor
    Mr. Bill Mayer Director, Business Accelerator, Ann Arbor Spark
    Prof. Tarun Khanna Jorge Paulo Lemann Professor - HBS, Director of the South Asia Institute - Harvard University
    Ms. Tulika Mehrotra Bestselling Author (Delhi Stopover, 2012), Journalist
    Ms. Aparna Reddy Social Worker, Humanitarian
    Ms. Mamatha Chamarthi CIO, Consumers Energy
    Mr. Sanjay Reddy Vice-Chairman, GVK Group
    Mr. Bharathan Kandaswamy Executive Director, Kavithalayaa Productions, Visiting Faculty of IIM-A, Governing Council Member at Indo-Japan Chamber of Commerce and Industry
    Mr. Raj Vattikuti President, Vattikuti Ventures

    2013 Agenda

    Friday, November 1, 2013

    8:30 am - 9:15 am Registration and Breakfast
    9:15 am - 9:20 am Opening Remarks: Conference Co-Chairs
    9:20 am - 9:25 am Welcome Speech: Dean Alison Davis-Blake
    9:30 am - 10:30 am CONFERENCE KEYNOTE
    "Doing Business in India: Turning Challenges Into Opportunities"
    Mark Fields (COO, Ford Motor Company)
    10:30 am - 11:30 am WOMEN'S PANEL
    "Women in the Driver’s Seat: Changing Attitudes"
    Aparna Reddy (Board Member, GVK EMRI and Founder, Aparna Reddy Foundation)
    Tulika Mehrotra (Author and Journalist)
    Mamatha Chamarthi (CIO, Consumers Energy)
    Moderator: Prof. Linda Lim [bio]
    11:30 am - 12:00 pm "A2 is Growing: How Ann Arbor is Attracting Diverse People and Foreign Capital"
    Ann Arbor Mayor John Hieftje, Bill Mayer (Ann Arbor Spark)
    12:00 pm - 1:00 pm Lunch
    1:00 pm - 1:45 pm "Emerging Markets, Social Trends and US-India Opportunities"
    Tarun Khanna (Jorge Paulo Lemann Professor - Harvard Business School & Director, South Asia Institute - Harvard University)
    Moderator: Prof. Gautam Ahuja [bio]
    1:45 pm - 2:30 pm "Beyond Business"
    Sanjay Reddy (Vice Chairman, GVK Group)
    2:30 pm - 3:15 pm "New Frontiers in Diversity: Breaking Stereotypes"
    Nina Davuluri (Miss America 2014)
    Moderator: Chris White [bio]
    3:15 pm - 3:45 pm "Impact of Indian Cinema on the changing economy"
    Bharathan Kandaswami (Executive Director, Kavithalayaa Productions),
    Moderator: Prof. M.S.Krishnan [bio]
    3:45 pm - 4:00 pm Break
    4:00 pm - 4:45 pm "Realizing Dreams: The Journey From Serial Entrepreneurship to Building Social Enterprises"
    Desh Deshpande (Chairman, Sycamore Networks)
    Moderator: Prof. David Brophy [bio]
    4:45 pm - 5:30 pm Featured Speaker: Raj Vattikuti (President, Vattikuti Ventures)
    5:30 pm - 5:45 pm Closing Remarks & Prize distribution of C.K. Prahalad Case Competition winners and Raffle
    Conference Co-Chairs
    5:45 pm - 7:00 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.


    Details to follow soon....


    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


    The registration for 5th Annual IBC ’13 will open soon.

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    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). Shipra is honored to be a part of this committee and is looking forward to welcome you to the 2014 Indian Business Conference.

    Harinee Sampath     

    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.

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