Sapience

Sapience 2022
Sustainability: Balancing the 3E's Economy, Environment & Ethics

Great Lakes Institute of Management, Gurgaon held its annual management conclave, SAPIENCE 2022, on September 6th and 7th, 2022. The theme for this year’s conclave was ‘Sustainability: Balancing the 3 E's Economy, Environment & Ethics’. The opening keynote address at the event was delivered by Padma Bhushan awardee Dr. Mrityunjay Athreya.

1

Keynote Address

6

Panels

22

Panelists

As global perceptions change, sustainability is turning into a must for businesses. It is more important than ever for companies to adopt sustainable strategies to close the knowledge-action gap. To meet the requirements of the present without sacrificing the needs of future generations is to practice sustainability.

Businesses need to act as change makers and adopt measures that will ensure the protection of the environment as well as the stability of the economy. With this in mind, the theme for Sapience this year was based on balancing three core aspects of Sustainability - Economy, Environment, and Ethics.

The deliberations for Sapience covered these aspects through the lens of managing resources and studying financial, organizational, and market-related challenges that confront businesses.

Discussions were held across six domain panels that they examined how each function contributes toward achieving sustainability.

Keynote Address

“We have no option except to be very serious about sustainability, if we don’t do that, we will end up in Pralayam!” - Dr. Mrityunjay Athreya, Author, Educationist, and Management Advisor.

The Keynote Address for Sapience 2022 was delivered by Padma Bhushan awardee Dr. Mrityunjay Athreya. He discussed how companies may maximize sustainability by using a straightforward approach that identifies five crucial areas for consideration. He discussed the ‘Imperative of Sustainability’, where he advocated prioritizing environmental protection and promoting green economic development to help India live up to the high standards that the rest of the world holds us to. In addition, Dr. Athreya urged companies to establish an early net zero date and work towards a healthy environment to halt further erosion and repair previous harm by adopting remedial measures to restore the ecosystem. He also discussed how a growing economy can be attained by highly inclusive growth, which is accomplished by rescuing our people from poverty and concentrating only on sustainable growth.

Entrepreneurship Panel

The Entrepreneurship Panel was moderated by Prof. SK Palhan - Professor, Business Ethics & Corporate Governance. Panelists discussed their paths to becoming entrepreneurs, the challenges they faced and how they overcame them to become what they are today. They suggested that important factors included exposure, love of people and internal motivation. They also emphasized the need to develop strong mind-management abilities, the ability to produce value, and succeed by drawing lessons from mistakes. The panel advocated that choosing the best green product is our responsibility if we aim to attain long-term sustainability.

Key Takeaways

“Glue your intention with your imagination and outside put a board of Do Not Disturb” - Ms. Monica Gupta, Founder & Director, Interactive Bees

“Necessity is the mother of invention, human value is the mother of necessity”- Ms. Saurabh Singh, Co-Founder & CEO, Desmania

“Any idea you have & want to implement can be done, but to make a profit is another story”- Mr. Chand Seth, Chairman, Pearl Polymer

HR & OB Panel

The HR & OB Panel was moderated by Dr. Poornima Gupta - Professor, Organization Behaviour. The panel concentrated on the importance of human resources and organizational behaviour by balancing three key dimensions of Sustainability - Economy, Environment, and Ethics. The panel discussed the current HR trend and informed the audience of the shifting organizational tendencies. The panel examined the shift to digital hiring processes and how fostering employees' emotional, financial, and social welfare promotes sustainable management. The panel covered how innovation and technology are critical to creating sustainability. They also analyzed the transition from operational HR to strategic HR in the past and from strategic HR to sustainable HR in the modern environment.

Key Takeaways

"Ability to deal with ambiguity, learning agility, accepting failure and networking capabilities are key skills one should have” - Ms. Vineeta Kukreti, Senior HR Director, FinServ

"Organisations are becoming more emotionally sensitive and are moving towards the flat structure with a clear boundary between work and life " - Mr. Alvin David, Head Campus Hiring, Newgen Software

“Interest in company, right kind of skill set, willingness to learn and proactive ideas make a difference” - Ms. Neeti Kumar, VP & Head HR, Adda 247

Finance Panel

The Finance Panel was moderated by Dr. Vikas Prakash Singh - Program Director, PGDM program. The panel facilitated the discussion on sustainability, growth, and ethics; and the challenges faced by businesses while implementing the same. As organizations are aiming to grow and produce more, they are also polluting more. The discussion revolved around answering questions- What should be done? Solutions are many but how many of them are fit for the market? Whether the consumers are willing to adopt such solutions in this economy, where prices are increasing- is yet to be seen. Is the market ready to buy the idea of growth with sustainability? Are we - the generator, distributor, government, or consumer, even ready to pay that price?

Key Takeaways

"We as individuals have become lazy to do good things in terms of sustainability, so the responsibility has shifted to the corporations." - CA Shailesh Churiwala, Founder, R2i2 Labs

"Ethics in a company is defined by the person at the highest position and shortcuts always result in short circuits" - Mr. Sanjay Sharda, Executive VP & National Partner-Synergy, IndusInd Bank

"If we digitalize, gradually the overall capital outlay of producing sustainable products can decrease" - Mr. Kaushik Acharya, Strategic Leader

"Ethics come from the organization. At the end of the day, they create a tone for the organization and we have to take a stand for it.” - CA Vaibhav Mangal - Associate Director Taxation, Perfetti Van Melle

Marketing Panel

The Marketing Panel was moderated by Dr. Jones Mathew - Professor, Marketing. The panel deliberated on the concept of sustainability in marketing. The panel discussed the ideology of sustainable marketing in general. Marketers respond to consumer needs, and sustainability can be implemented on a large scale when consumers demand it. The common misconception that profitability and sustainability do not go hand in hand was challenged and unequivocally refuted by the panelists. Many companies, such as ITC and Patagonia, have achieved the goal of being sustainable by switching to a hybrid model to reduce energy costs. The panel also emphasized the importance of marketers in raising public awareness about sustainability, as it is difficult to implement this concept in the tech industry, but consumers can be made aware of reusing and recycling.

Key Takeaways

“Sustainability is an investment you reap in the future” - Mr. Abhinav Chamoli, Strategy, Trust and Transformation, Grant Thorton LLP.

“Sustainability may take many sizes and forms – it starts from minor day-to-day changes” - Mr. Sumit Kumar Singh, Product Growth and Gamification, Microsoft

“Trust comes with sustainability” - Mr. Rajeev Sinha, CEO & Co-founder, Only Good

“If we don’t talk about sustainability now, our future discussions will be on survival” - Mr. Kunal Kapoor, VP of Client Engagement and Delivery, Merkle Sokrati

Analytics Panel

The Analytics Panel, moderated by Dr. Bappaditya Mukhopadhyay - Professor of Analytics and Finance, was centered around the integration of 3 Es – Economy, Environment & Ethics – and the role of Artificial Intelligence (AI). The idea was to build a consensus on how AI can be an enabler and an inhibitor in achieving sustainable goals. The panelists discussed how AI could be used as a tool to capture value (ROI) and create value (innovation), increase production efficiencies, how a sustainability index can help track progress, and what role the government needs to play in enabling the said objectives.

Key Takeaways

“AI may act as an enabler for 76% of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). However, 34% may experience inhibition due to its advancements,” Mr. Ajay Davessar, MD, Lavessta Enterprise

“AI is as good as the data we provide to it,Mr. Vibhu Goenka, Vice President, EXL

 “AI is the new economy – and – sustainability is no more a brand campaign. It has to become a part of hygiene for everyone,” Mr. Abhineet Bhutra, Strategy Lead, Comviva

The focus should be on interoperability among data scientists, policymakers, and lawyers for effective implementation of AI,” Mr. Saksham Malik, Programme Manager, The Dialogue

Operations Panel

The Operations Panel, moderated by Prof. Ravindra Ojha, was centered around the integration of the three pillars of 3Es and how operations fit into that. The discussion centerfolds how operations help optimize resources and foster sustainability with the help of technology in the sector of Mobility. The panelists also shed light on how Industry 4.0 and technology may actually help reduce greenhouse gas emissions and the vital role consumers can play in raising awareness about resource usage and promoting a sustainable ecology. The youth should therefore make an impact in achieving the goal with DIKW (Data Information Knowledge Wisdom), which becomes a paradigm that helps transform lives for the better.

Key Takeaways

“Sustainability is maintaining and improving process and ecosystem,” Mr. Avijit Das, Founder & Chairman Premas Biotech Ltd

“I would see sustainability as a way of life rather than preserving resources,” Ms. Shubhra, Puri, Founder, Gurgaon First

“Sustainability is all about living for others” Mr. Rakesh Sharma, Sr Vice President, Tata Teleservices

“Sustainability is the impact I’m creating on depletion of resources, and what am doing to replenish those resources so that there is a continuity in operations” Ms. Shruti Arora, Director Pwc

Closing Address

Dr. Debashis Sanyal - Director, Great Lakes Institute of Management, Gurgaon thanked everyone for their valuable presence at Sapience 2022. He talked about how Great Lakes is working on incorporating sustainability in its curriculum as well as adopting sustainable measures within the campus. Mr. Sanyal urged the students to implement and adapt the learning of sustainability from Sapience 2022 in their lives.

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