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A Day of Excellence and Innovation: Glimpses from GIBS IRE Conference & Awards 2K24 Featuring Chetan Bhagat

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On the brisk morning of May 18, 2024, the prestigious Hotel Renaissance in Bengaluru buzzed with a special energy. It was the day of the IRE Conference & Awards 2K24, hosted by GIBS Business School under the forward-thinking theme “Innovate X – Fire Your Pitch” This conference brought together students, educators, entrepreneurs, and thought leaders for a day dedicated to celebrating and discussing innovation and excellence.

Inaugural Rituals and Welcoming Words

The conference started off with ceremonial lighting of lamps by dignitaries, followed by an invocation dance which combined cultural reverence with academia’s progressive spirit for an auspicious yet celebratory opening to the day’s proceedings. This solemn yet celebratory beginning set the right atmosphere.

Dr. Jayanta Chakraborti’s Opening Remarks

Dr. Jayanta Chakraborti, Dean and Principal of GIBS Business School, opened the session by emphasizing the significance of innovative thinking in today’s global market. He described GIBS Business School’s role in developing leaders capable of meeting today’s business challenges while calling all attendees to embrace change and continue learning more about lifelong skills development. His words served as an inspiring call to embrace innovation while continuously seeking knowledge.

Mr. Ritesh Goyal’s Visionary Speech

Following Dean, Founder & Managing Director Mr. Ritesh Goyal delivered an insightful keynote address about the global economy and its crucial need for adaptability and lifelong learning. His view on business education demonstrated how committed this institution was to producing graduates not only academically proficient, but also capable of adapting quickly in ever-evolving business environments.

Chetan Bhagat’s Insightful Keynote

The morning’s highlight was the keynote address by Mr. Chetan Bhagat, an illustrious Indian author and motivational speaker. 

Here are the key points from Chetan Bhagat’s insightful keynote address at the IRE Conference & Awards 2K24, titled “Career Journey and Life Lessons: From Childhood to MBA and Beyond”:

  • Reflect on the Pace of Life: Chetan Bhagat emphasized the rapid pace of life and the importance of cherishing every moment. He encouraged the audience to appreciate the present and make the most of their time.
  • Balancing Relationships and Career: He discussed the challenges of balancing personal relationships with a demanding career in the IT sector. Bhagat stressed the importance of maintaining a healthy work-life balance to ensure personal and professional fulfillment.
  • Rare Career Choices: Bhagat shared his experience of becoming a full-time writer, a choice that is rare in India. He mentioned Shobha De as one of the few who have successfully made a living solely from writing, highlighting the uniqueness of his career path.
  • Importance of Becoming a Bestseller: In the context of his literary career, he pointed out that becoming a bestseller is crucial in the business of writing. This achievement not only ensures financial success but also significantly broadens a writer’s impact.
  • Resilience and Determination: Bhagat concluded his speech by focusing on the virtues of resilience and determination. He credited these traits for his lasting impact in the literary world and beyond, encouraging the audience to persist in their endeavors despite challenges.

These bullet points encapsulate the core messages from Chetan Bhagat’s keynote, offering valuable life lessons and career advice to the attendees of the IRE Conference & Awards 2K24.

Click here to watch the full video of Chetan Bhagat’s speech

Expert Panel Discussion on Innovation

The panel discussion on “The Criticality of an Innovative, Research, and Entrepreneurial Mindset in Today’s Business World” was particularly riveting. Moderated by Prof. Hari Prakash Karcherla, the session included:

  • Prof. Bharath Gopalan: He shared insights from his extensive experience in process management, emphasizing the need for structured innovation processes in startups and established businesses alike.
  • Ms. Meena Chabbria: As the founder of Shero Mindset and an ex-vice president of PVR Sales, she discussed the intersection of innovation and user experience, detailing how businesses can thrive by staying closely connected to customer needs.
  • Mr. Girish Nagpal: Known for his appearance on Shark Tank and as the founder of MetroRide, he brought a practical perspective on scaling businesses and the importance of sustainable models in the startup ecosystem.
  • Dr. Shaphali Gupta: Her academic insights into marketing innovations highlighted how businesses could leverage consumer data to drive growth and improve customer satisfaction.

Recognition and Awards

The afternoon session of the IRE Conference & Awards 2K24 was dedicated to recognizing outstanding contributions across various fields, with the IRE Excellence Award being conferred to a distinguished group of innovators and leaders:

  1. Divya Raghavendra Rao: Celebrated for her entrepreneurial acumen as the Co-founder and Managing Director of The Rameshwaram Cafe. Divya has successfully blended traditional Indian flavors with modern café culture, creating a unique dining experience that highlights local ingredients and culinary practices. Her leadership in the hospitality industry has set a new benchmark for culturally inspired dining.
  2. Manish Chowdhary: Recognized for his role as the Founder and Co-CEO of WOW Skin Science. Under his direction, WOW Skin Science has quickly become one of the industry leaders for natural cosmetics products using bio-active ingredients and their dedication to sustainable practices and quality have cemented WOW Skin Science’s place within a highly competitive market.
  3. Meena Chabbria: Honored for founding Shero Mindset, an initiative that empowers women entrepreneurs through training and resources to succeed in business. Meena’s background as an Ex-Vice President of PVR Sales adds to her deep understanding of market dynamics, which she leverages to mentor budding entrepreneurs.
  4. Arjun Halappa: Acknowledged for his contributions to sports and youth training as the Joint Director of Lakshya Academy of Sports. Arjun Halappa was former Captain of the Indian Hockey Team and has used his experience to nurture young talent while promoting sports as an integral component of youth development in India.
  5. Amit Kumar Agarwal: Commendated for co-founding NoBroker.com, an innovative real estate platform which facilitates direct property transactions by cutting out intermediaries and making property sales more direct and transparent. His approach has disrupted traditional market mechanisms while offering consumers innovative solutions.
  6. Malini Srikrishna: Lauded for her entrepreneurial spirit as the Founder of Milan Global, which has made significant strides in international trade and commerce. Her leadership has opened new avenues for cross-border trade and has been instrumental in promoting global business relationships.
  7. Dr. Sumit Narula: Recognized for his contributions to education as the Professor and Director of the Amity School of Communication at Amity University Gurgaon. His work in enhancing media and communication studies has shaped the academic careers of countless students aspiring to enter the media industry.
  8. Girish Nagpal, best known as the founder and CEO of MetroRide and featured on Shark Tank to showcase his sustainable mobility solutions that emphasize sustainability and accessibility, has been widely celebrated.
  9. Dr. Shaphali Gupta: Acknowledged for her academic contributions as the Chair Professor of Marketing at MICA, Ahmedabad. Her research and teachings on consumer behavior and marketing strategies have influenced both academic circles and industry practices.
  10. Nikita Singh: Recognized as the Founder and CEO of Fingertips Lifestyle Pvt. Ltd., Nikita has been instrumental in bringing innovative lifestyle solutions to the market that enhance everyday living through technology and design.
  11. Guhesh Ramanathan: Honored for his contributions as Chief Executive Officer at IIM Visakhapatnam Field, where he spearheaded initiatives that bridge academic research with real world business applications.

These awardees have displayed extraordinary leadership, innovation, and commitment in their fields – impacting industries and communities in profound ways. As part of our conference celebration, their accomplishments were celebrated as an inspiration to all attendees while setting high standards for future contributions.

Closing Remarks and Networking

As the event was drawing to a close, Mr. Chetan Bhagat returned to the stage for closing remarks that touched upon perseverance and passion. Following these remarks was a vote of thanks and a performance of the national anthem. Then, a celebratory lunch provided an exciting networking opportunity where attendees discussed what had transpired during the day’s events.

The IRE Conference & Awards 2K24, hosted by the top business school in Bangalore, proved to be a remarkable platform for fostering innovation, recognizing excellence, and providing networking opportunities for leaders of today and tomorrow. As attendees left the venue, they carried with them the motivation and insights to navigate and shape the future of business and innovation.


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