Xavier University


In the last two decades, the social and economic environment has evolved immensely, giving rise to an enhanced understanding of rurality. Keeping cognizance of the same, Xavier School of Rural Management (XSRM), whose MBA in Rural Management is one of the highest ranked courses in the domain, concluded successfully its first International Conference on Rural Management (ICRM), at the Xavier University, Bhubaneswar campus, spanning over 23rd and 24th November 2017.

The conference was inaugurated by the chief guest, Shri Amarjeet Sinha, Secretary, Ministry of Rural Development. “Poverty challenge is multi-dimensional. We lose sight of our objective when we focus only on our specialized sector”, were his wise words. He was joined in this august gathering by Shri Saurabh Garg, Principal Secretary, Department of Agriculture & Farmers’ Empowerment, Government of Odisha. Shree Garg further emphasized on the challenges faced within the spectrum. “There is a high degree of variability in rural sector; coping with which is a major challenge for rural managers”. He substantiated this by highlighting the four major roadblocks in the rural sector, viz “insufficient penetration of formal financial system”, “need for high capital investment in agriculture and allied sectors”, “need for more focus on supply aspect of farmer produce”, and “more penetration of technology for development and business purpose”.

The conference was inaugurated by the chief guest, Shri Amarjeet Sinha, Secretary, Ministry of Rural Development.
The conference was inaugurated by the chief guest, Shri Amarjeet Sinha, Secretary, Ministry of Rural Development.

Father Dr. Paul Fernandes (Vice Chancellor, XUB), Father E.A. Augustine, SJ (Registrar, XUB), Professor Kajri Misra (Dean, XSRM, XUB), Professor T. Kumar (Coordinator, ICRM), and Professor Kushankur Dey (co-Coordinator, ICRM) also graced the podium for the inauguration.
The conference was attended by eminent industry stalwarts and respected government office-holders, who led various panel discussions, which also saw papers being presented on diverse topics.
On Day 1, the first panel discussed on “Rural Management Education and Professions”, chaired by Shri Durgaprasad Duvvuri (OD&C, Chairman, GREX Governing Council). The panel consisted of luminaries like Shri Sanjay Panigrahi (President – Rurban & Special Projects, Pidilite Industries), Shri Sankar Dutta (Development Consultant), Mr. Ajit Choudhuri (GM – Community Services, Tata Sustainability Group), Professor Debiprasad Mishra (IRMA & Gram Vikas), Professor Kajri Misra (Dean, XSRM, XUB), and Mr. G. Murlidhar (Mentor, Akshara for Development). The panel discussion was followed by the presentation of papers on veritable topics anchored on “Social & Economic Perspectives in Development”, “Capabilities and HR for Development”, “Development Policy and Strategy”, “Rural Marketing & Market Development” (where the theme was illustrated by Professor Sridhar Guda of IIMK on “Psychic distance in ‘International Marketing”), and “Agribusiness Management”. These technical sessions were chaired by illustrious professors of Xavier School of Rural Management.

Panel discussions wee followed by question and answer sessions.
Panel discussions were followed by question and answer sessions.

The Second Day of the conference started with a special address on “Veritable Rural Transformation” by Shri Tripathy  (Commissioner, Rural Development, Government of Jharkhand), followed by a memorable address by Shri Jugal Kishore Mohapatra (IAS; former Secretary, Ministry of Rural Development) on “HR support to the Panchayats for effective programme delivery”. Day 2 also saw the presentation of papers on “Organizational Forms for Development”, “Rural and Development Finance” (where the theme was illustrated by Mr. Ramana, erstwhile CEO, Basix), “Livelihoods Promotion for Development”, and “ICT and e-Governance for Development” (theme presented by Mr. K C Mishra, eKutir).

The Second Day of the conference started with a special address on “Veritable Rural Transformation” by Shri Tripathy, Commissioner, Rural Development.
The Second Day of the conference started with a special address on “Veritable Rural Transformation” by Shri Tripathy, Commissioner, Rural Development.

The pioneering International Conference on Rural Management brought down its grand curtains by a Valedictory Session, wherein the report of the conference was given by Professor T. Kumar. Father E.A. Augustine, SJ (Registrar, XUB) gave the valedictory address and distributed the honorary certificates to the distinguished participants of the conference. Professor Kushankur Dey brought the event to a close; of a conference which was built on the ethos of the revitalization of the valuable field of Rural Management, which needs to demonstrate a concerted effort towards consolidation and institutionalization, particularly as the task of rural development which it needs to address remains vital, and needs to be expanded to include additional issues such as environment and climate change.

Xavier Institute of Management celebrated 30 years of distinguished service in the field of academics and business and society. This celebration was aimed at bringing together alumni from diversified realms of business in the hope of creating an insightful blend of ideas, to make the next leg of the journey even more fulfilling.

In this pursuit, the institute inaugurated the Business Excellence Summit on the 22nd of September at Xavier Institute of Management, Bhubaneswar, in the presence of twenty six distinguished alumni of the college spanning across the 30 years. This was done to initiate an opportunity to interact, celebrate, discuss, reflect, and collaborate. The central theme of the event was, ‘Building the vision for XIMB at 40 in accordance with the VUCA world’. Reflecting the glorious history of XIMB, it was evident that this milestone was possible due to the collaborative efforts of the management, faculty, students, and the entire Xavier fraternity.

The summit commenced with Vice Chancellor and Director of Xavier University, Dr. Fr. Paul Fernandes, delivering an enlightening speech on excellence and universal education. He spoke of “wings of excellence” about which, he quoted, “We need to put on and make sure we are able to have conviction and commitment in the future.” He believed that there is a need to, “think, reflect, inspire, and empower” minds to achieve this excellence.

Day 2 of the summit comprised of panel discussions on topics that aimed to discuss the challenges XIMB would have to surmount in the next ten years. “Without compassion, you cannot become a good leader,” Mr. Sidharth Rath (Group Executive, Axis Bank) quoted as the panel discussed on how management education inculcated leadership capabilities. Moderated by Ms. Sunita Raut (Chief Inspiration Officer at her own consulting practice), the panel consisting of eminent guests like Mr. Sanjib K. Ambasta (Senior VP, Aftermarket Business CV & Vespa 2W, Piaggio), and Mr. Prithwish Mukherjee (Marketing Head, Vodafone, Kolkata) put forward their constructive thoughts and views on leadership. “Leadership is not a part of education system. It is something we develop over time,” Mr. Ashish Pati (COO, Care Hospitals) added.

The summit also witnessed leadership talks by esteemed alumni like Mr. Shreeprakash Hota (Associate Director, HSBC), Mr. Subrat Sarangi (Associate Professor in Marketing, KIIT University), and Mr. Dipankar Das (Business Development Head & APAC Sales Leader, BridgeI2I).

“90 percent of what I learnt was from XIMB,” Mr. Simanta Mohanty (VP HR, Community Empowerment Lab) said in his insightful leadership talk. Mr. Nilanjan Roy (Business Head, Global Health & Group Benefits, Cigna TTK) gave a heartfelt talk about how having a mentor is very important. Ms. Mrinalini Khusape (Head Special Projects – Sales and After Sales, Skoda India), Mr. Lalit Desiraju (Senior Director, Capgemini), Mr. Krishna K. V. (Senior VP, Transactional Banking, Yes Bank), Mr. Vijay Sinha (Senior VP HR, JSW Energy Ltd) and Mr. Sanjay Nayak (Strategic Business Practice Head-Industry Solutions, Infosys BPO) delivered motivational speeches during the session by insisting on using persuasive leadership to get people to contribute. “If you create values, money comes on its own,” said Mr. Chittaranjan Mohanty (Own Venture, Former Executive Director, JP Morgan Chase) while Mr. Ashok Dash (Director-Partner Development (Tier I System Integrators), Microsoft) ended the session with a brilliant sermon on growth mindset.

“Try to help others; if you can’t, at least don’t harm them,” a quote by Mr. Rakesh Kumar (Senior Consultant and Program Director, International Solar Alliance) was the sweet note on which the talks ended.

There were also panel discussions on certain industry relevant topics like that of VUCA, which saw leaders like Mr. Sidharth Rath (Group Executive, Axis Bank) marvelling at how impactful the change in the next thirty years will be; stating that, “India is at the cusp of a big change, the seeds of which are already sown.” The panel discussed strategies which XIMB needs to adopt to surmount these challenges and be an enabler in the VUCA world, with Mr. A.L. Jagannath (Senior Director, Dell-EMC Alliance, VMware) noting, “If we are not prepared to change, we will be VUCA-ed.”

On how management education could foster entrepreneurship, Mr. Chandra Sekhar Chitrala (Managing Director, Catalyst IT Solutions) stated that management education is giving a huge boost to the employment of our country. Mr. Om Prakash Agarwal (CEO, Plastend) believed that entrepreneurship can be taught but a calculative risk is needed while speakers like Mr. Susanta Mishra (CEO, Placidivision Pvt Ltd), Mr. Zafrullah Khan (President HR, Emcure Pharmaceuticals), and Mr. Ashok Singha (Managing Director, CTRAN Consulting Ltd.) discussed the topic further, with Mr. Singha noting, “Being an entrepreneur, we consistently have to be innovative”.

“Be industry fit and industry relevant,” Mr. Sudhansu Sekhar Mishra (Chief Safety Officer, (National President XIMB Alumni), East Coast Railway) said as the panel consisting of Mr. Chandra Sekhar Chitrala (Managing Director, Catalyst IT Solutions) and Ms. Sunita Raut (Chief Inspiration Officer at own consulting practice) discussed on the industry-academy interface and how the industry’s linkage with XIMB would create excellent opportunities. “Use network to get data out of business,” Mr. P C. Joseph (Head – Technology Operations, Wells Fargo) opined.

Mr. Rahul Patnaik, Student Representative of XIMB, thanked the management and the alumni along with the core team, the volunteers and the students of XIMB for making the Business Excellence Summit ’17 an event to cherish for years to come. Mr. Ipsit Bibhudarshi, Student Media & PR Coordinator of XIMB, credited the grand success of the summit to the management and the esteemed alumni who graced the event with their presence. He also extended a round of thanks to all the media partners for their support.


XIMB, a 30-year-old business school of global repute is the Flagship School of Xavier University. Inspired by the Jesuit spirit of ‘Magis’, or excellence, XIMB strives to be a premier institute globally recognized for management education, training, research, and consulting that help build a just and humane society. The Institute today has become widely recognized for its excellence in imparting management education. It is counted among the leading management institutions in the country.

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