07 Sep 2018 19:45 IST

AI&ML, big data in focus at IMI Kolkata’s ‘Converse 2018’

(From left) Amitabh Chakraborty, MD & CIO, Kitara Capital; Prof Arindam Banik, Director, IMI Kolkata; Kamal Agarwal, Partner, Ernst & Young; Sunil Bhandari ,Executive Director–Corporate, RP-Sanjiv Goenka Group; Prof Mohua Banerjee, Professor Marketing, IMI Kolkata

Speakers at management conclave discuss disruption and unlocking technology for business growth

IMI Kolkata organised its first Annual Management Conclave “Converse 2018” on September 1, 2018. The venue was Dr RP Goenka Auditorium, IMI Kolkata, Alipore campus. The theme for Converse 2018 was “Competitive Advantage in Today’s Business Ecosystem: Disruption with Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning”.

The one-day event ignited insightful discussions among the speakers. In his welcome address, Prof Arindam Banik, Director, IMI Kolkata, spoke of the idea of Converse 2018. The keynote address was delivered by Amitabh Chakraborty, MD & Chief Investment Officer, Kitara Capital Pvt. Ltd. He spoke of a few disruptive trends, such as solid-state batteries, anti-ageing medicines, health care and big data.

In his speech, Kamal Agarwal (Partner, Ernst & Young) highlighted that, more than obtaining a competitive advantage, innovation is essential for beating the existential crisis. Sunil Bhandari (Executive Director – Corporate, RP-Sanjiv Goenka Group) stated on an introspective note that disrupting oneself is where true disruption begins.

AI roadmap

The first panel, that included Prasun Nandy (Partner, PwC), Rakesh Gupta (Director, ISPL), Atanu Ghosh (Founder & CEO, Bluebeaks and Salt ‘n’ Soap), Avijit Ghosh (Director, LearningMate), and Debasish Guha (Delivery Head, Tata Consultancy Services) discussed the process of “Creating your Artificial Intelligence Roadmap – where to start and where to go next.” By 2030, they agreed, there would be a 14 per cent increase in world GDP because of artificial intelligence (AI), and the sectors most impacted would be health, education, retail and manufacturing. Thus there is a pressing need to reconsider the structure and architecture of organisations for optimum utilisation of AI resources at their disposal.

The concept note address by Mohit Kampani (CEO, Aditya Birla Retail Ltd.) posed a pertinent question “If humans created machines, why can’t humans teach machines to learn like humans?” He pointed out that adding analytics to digitalisation adds a different dimension. These analytics are helping asset-light companies such as Uber, Facebook, Airbnb, Netflix, Skype and Google change the world with their disruptive business models.

The second panel spoke on “Unlocking Technology to create Meaningful Business Metrics”. Sanjay Banerjee (Partner, AMROP India), Jyotirmoy Bhattacharya (Country Group Head – Mahindra & Mahindra Financial Services, Benjamin Mathew (Partner, MART), Partho Dasgupta (Chief Mentor, RIL – Textiles), and Sourav Daspatnaik (CEO, Swach Environment Private Limited, a SREI Initiative) were part of the panel.

Tech and HR practices

The speakers stressed the importance of AI in the health sector — on health outcomes, guidance to medical practitioners, insurance policy making, insurance claims and revenue; government schemes; better living standards and sustainable development of the nation.

The final panel discussion on “Using technology for HR practices” explored the connection between technology and human relations. Saptarshi Bhattacharaya (Head, Employee Relations, Bajaj Allianz General Insurance), Jigar Avlani (Associate Director, Human Capital, PwC) and Subroto Basu Chaudhury (Cluster HR Head, South Asia, The Linde Group) spoke of the role of AI in redefining jobs rather than replacing them, thus bringing in new engagement. Judhajit Das (Chief, Human Resource, ICICI Prudential Life Insurance), Ajanta Chatterjee (Vice-President, Human Resources, JSW Steel) and Dr Soni Agrawal (Associate Professor, OB &HR, IMI Kolkata) discussed the transitioning nature of HR jobs and the emerging opportunities.