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August - September 2009

Business Forum


by Harsh Ondhia

An Indian Educational sector follow in the footsteps of many Indian multinational companies in the United Kingdom.

26th May 2009 was a red letter day in the annals of Vidya Prasarak Mandal Thane. Dr. Vijay V. Bedekar, Chairman, VPM (Thane) and also the Director of VPM’s London Academy of Education and Research launched the said academy at the BRUNEI Hall in the SOAS, London , UK .

Immediately after this announcement the workshop on ‘Global Meltdown-Lessons to be Learnt” organized in association with Lall-Ondhia,a firm of accountants based in London started its proceedings.

Dr. Guruprasad Murthy, Director-General of Dr. V. N. Bedekar Institute of Management Studies Thane, explained the rationale of the newly launched London Academy . He also identified the different courses which the academy would offer in addition to studying the local needs of students of Indian and Foreign origin. This will enable the academy to customise and tailor the products and services to suit the needs of potential customers in the UK . Further, Dr. Murthy said that the London Academy signifies VPM’s vision in forging itself with the demands of a knowledge society in the context of globalization and cross-border transfer of knowledge assets.

In the Inaugural Address, Dr. Vijay V. Bedekar said that this was a historic movement for VPM and that the Mandal has travelled a long way since 1935 from a classroom in a stable to an international environment-

A workshop on a universally important topic viz. Global Meltdown-The Lessons to be Learnt to an international audience in the city of London.

In the same vein, Dr. Bedekar said that India has travelled a long way since 1600. Indians in the serfdom to the British, India as a Jewel in The Crown of the British Empire and successive Kings/ Queens of England perceiving and positioning themselves as Emperors and Empresses of the subcontinent- India, to a situation where in the 21st century India is perceived as a force to reckon with as a superpower keeping in mind its role in the World as a contributor to the progress of Science & Technology. Dr. Bedekar declared VPM’s London Academy of Education and Research as inaugurated.

The inaugural address of Dr. Vijay V. Bedekar was followed by the Workshop, which included a Keynote Address by Dr. Guruprasad Murthy followed by three presentations viz. Dr. Vishnu Kanhere on Banking and Financial Dimensions, Dr. S. Siddhan on Manufacturing Dimensions and Dr. P. M. Kelkar on the Marketing Dimensions. The keynote address laid the foundation for the workshop by tracing the history of global crisis to the events in the USA . Dr. Murthy also stressed on the role of society in evolving an appropriate ‘ism’ by whatever name called which could meet the needs of the human race. He emphasized that the Money is a good servant but a bad master and that money is meant for man and not man for money. The second presentation by Dr. Vishnu V. Kanhere was incisive and highlighted how banking system particularly in the US and UK had thrown financial prudence and due diligence to the winds. He suggested several ways and means of overcoming the problems faced by the World which included proper planning, savings habit, and charitable approach to managing business and life. He also stressed the fact that though India was affected by the global meltdown, there were several saving factors like Sixth Pay Commission Bonanza, the Dance of the World’s largest democracy and the concomitant physical and financial activity of general elections expenditure. According to Dr. Murthy, Dr. Kanhere and Dr. Bedekar, relatively the low Indian banking sector, compared to the countries of the West, was better managed because of the control over Non Performing Assets (NPA’s) and the abundant caution of the RBI- the successive governors and their administration of the monetary economy of India .

Dr. Siddhan stressed on the manufacturing dimensions and the need to be lean. He attached great importance to cash- ‘Cash is King’. If the cash flow of the organization is managed, the production lines will not be clogged and working capital management will be easy. He also emphasized the need to reduce the obesity of organization in terms of inventory levels, delinquent receivables and overall management of the physical activities in the organization with least time, money and effort. He enunciated some principals of lean thinking which gives the customer value for money.

Dr. P. M. Kelkar’s presentation on the Marketing Dimensions had many lessons to offer. He started by enunciating the role of 4 Ps of Marketing viz. products, prices, promotion and position. In the context of global meltdown, Dr. Kelkar recommended new games and new rules during and for the post meltdown period. He emphasized on the alliteration- Ideate, Innovate and Improvise. Other dimensions of the presentation on marketing were Innovation and Product Differentiation. He gave several examples to show how innovation and differentiation helps to create new products/ services with unique, special and exclusive features. He identified several mantras for marketing. One of the mantras was ‘Don’t buy the hype. Plenty of businesses survive and thrive in down markets’.

The workshop was followed by the interactive session. The 95 plus audience which included a cross-section of citizens of London city (UK) raised very pertinent questions viz. the role of corporate social responsibility in the global meltdown, employment opportunities in India, role of disruptive innovation, protectionism in the banking sector-India vis-à-vis the West, the fate and future of IT sector et al.

The audience was listening to the speakers spell bound and the workshop which was fully appreciated by one and all brought home the point that the Indian Institution can develop and deliver intellectually stimulating products and knowledge meeting and set benchmark standards. While the quiet message was delivered very loudly and clearly that we can, VPM can hold global forts through its knowledge assets. What a journey from 1935 to 26th May 2009 !!

Krishan Ralleigh, Chief Editor of India Link International Magazine published from London proposed vote of thanks. He appreciated and welcomed the efforts of VPM to start an educational academy in London and also thanked Lall-Ondhia, London based firm of accountants for hosting this workshop in London . Delegates left the hall with a sense of appreciation and satisfaction.

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