On 13 January, Vikasana, the social impact club of students of the two-year Post Graduate Programme in Management (PGP) at IIM Bangalore organized ‘One Day At IIMB’ and ‘Sahay’.

One Day at IIMB provided a unique opportunity to those interested, to experience the life of an MBA student at India’s premier business school. The event comprised insightful lectures from renowned faculty, case study sessions, interactive sessions with the current PGP students and a tour of the IIM Bangalore campus. This year, the lectures were delivered by Professors Y L R Moorthi from the Marketing area, Padmini Srinivasan from the Finance & Accounting area, and Ramya Ranganathan from the Organizational Behavior & Human Resources Management area. The event saw participation from individuals from different walks of life; engineering students, MBA aspirants as well as corporate employees.

Delivering the session on corporate governance, Prof Padmini Srinivasan said that it was very important for the corporate sector to be accountable to their stakeholders. Listing the unethical practices in the corporate sector, she cited examples where less accountability led to the downfall of several corporate houses around the world. Prof Ramya Ranganathan talked about how strong our mental models were, that even when they were not correct, we were reluctant to question them. She talked about three kinds of polarities – Fun vs Usefulness, Love vs Money and Now vs Future – that have entangled most of us. Talking about life in general, Prof Y L R Murthy said that we are truly happy only when we get what we really deserve.

One Day at IIMB is a social initiative where the funds raised from the event’s registrations are donated to the NGO, Home of Hope. Home of Hope is actively focused on rebuilding the lives of the destitute and dying people on the streets of Bangalore.

Sahay is a networking event organized for enterprises in the social sector. Sahay aims to provide a common platform to various stakeholders in the social space to share best practices and brainstorm on common problems.

The event saw participation from several social enterprises including social initiatives incubated at NSRCEL and Social Alpha, consulting firms, impact investors and academicians in the public policy and social entrepreneurship space. The theme for this year was ‘How can technology and innovation be leveraged to create large-scale impact in social space?’

Sahay comprised speaker sessions by Shekar Prabhakar, Co-founder & MD, Hasiru Dala Innovations Pvt. Ltd. and Nagaraja Prakasam, Partner, Acumen Fund and Founder, Nativelead Foundation. During his talk, Shekar Prabhakar said that as a social entrepreneur, one needs to work as hard as any big organization because the social cause does not discount the level of commitment required. He said that it was completely fine to set up an organization for reasons of seeking a fulfilling life, rather than for any selfless reason. However, for any enterprise to be successful, it was extremely important for the entrepreneur to have clarity about the venture. Nagaraja Prakashan, however, differed and said that only passion for creating significant impact and courage of going deep into the problems in the social space will be the long-term drivers in this sector.

The speaker session was followed by a panel discussion and a co-creation workshop. The panellists included Manisha Dahad, Head, Global Action on Poverty, Dr. Chanakya H N, Chief Research Scientist, Centre for Sustainable Technologies at IISc Bangalore, Muralidhar Pundla, Director, Process Excellence, Akshaya Patra Foundation, Anant Bhagwati, Partner, Bain & Company, and  Parneet Soni of Social Alpha.

Talking about technological innovation to create large-scale impact in the social space, Dr. Chanakya H N asked the audience if we could take lessons from the past, maybe from the age of Chanakya, to build something for tomorrow. Anant Bhagwati said that when we are talking about the social space, it was really important to have government as a stakeholder because only government has the capacity to invest on such a large scale. Manisha Dahad pointed out that technology can play a pivotal role in connecting the NGOs in the social space to different stakeholders who are willing to help them. Parneet Soni stressed on the fact that there was a dire need to make quality technology services available to the underserved and that the technologies developed need to be accessible, affordable and intuitive for the end user.

The day concluded with soulful performances by Taal and Dhwani, the dance and music clubs of IIMB.

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