The KCM Nepal Management Symposium (NMS) has concluded on a high note in Kathmandu on Friday, July 20. The KCM Student Council, an autonomous body of Kathmandu College of Management, organised the seventh edition of the symposium with the theme “Where Managers of Today and Tomorrow Converge”. The event was held in the capital on July 19 and 20. An event that originated in 2011, the KCM NMS is a programme that helps students develop a network with different professionals and also serves as a platform that aids interaction and discussion on emerging issues.
Dr Rewat Bahadur Karki, chairman of the Securities Board of Nepal (SEBON) inaugurated the event. Speaking on the occasion, Karki said "KCM, being one of the leading management colleges, has been playing a vital role in management education in Nepal. And organising such a programme is a good initiative for the development of the management sector."
“The event was organised with an aim to provide a platform to develop a link between Nepali students and entrepreneurs,” expressed Richa Tandukar, president of the council at KCM. The event entailed four primary sessions; Leadership and Organisations, Marketing and Branding, Financial Economy, Entrepreneurship. Panel discussions were held for each session with keynotes delivered by four speakers for each of the respective segments. The first session, on Financial Economics, cast light on the science of academia and highlighted its importance for those who need to be at the forefront of developments in financial markets, economy and financial technology around the globe. AR Bhattarai, founder of Nepal Rating Agency, Dr Manoj Shahi, a partner of Active Allocator, Dr Posh Raj Pandey, chairman of South Asia Watch on Trade Economics and Environment (SAWTEE) and Akash Shrestha, research coordinator at Samriddhi Foundation spoke about business, financial technology and trending economic affairs. The points considered in the session included; shaping Nepali banking industry, FinTech and financial inclusion, the fourth industrial revolution and the investment climate in Nepal.
The second session, Marketing and Branding, touched upon the various styles and emerging concepts of marketing which have a direct impact on the world today. It helped participants understand the various forces of marketing that create synergy, how to effectively reinforce brand image and strategize to market the brand. Bharat Avalani, CEO at Connecting the Dots, Malaysia, Dave McCaughan, chief strategy officer at AI Agency, Thailand, JP Nair, country manager at Qatar Airways, and Puneet Varshney, managing director of Bottlers Nepal Limited expressed their views in the session on different topics including; the power of empathy, artificial intelligence, marketing narratives, building brand value and its influence in the airlines industry and brand activation, respectively.
The Leadership and Organisation session focused on specific leadership topics and skills in relation to organisational management. R. Gopala Krishnan, former executive director at Tata Sons Ltd, India, Radhesh Pant, CEO at VRock and Company and Upaul Majumdar, general manager at Soaltee Crowne Plaza were the speakers of the session. The session explored emerging and evolving challenges in a constantly changing world and helped potential leaders consider different perspectives and strategies to enhance effectiveness and efficiency at the organisational and individual level.
The Entrepreneurship session aimed to hone the entrepreneurial spirits of the participants through knowledge shared by different entrepreneurs. Sixit Bhatta, founder and CEO of Tootle, Amit Agrawal, CEO of Janaki Tech, Siddhant Raj Pandey, founder of Business Oxygen Pvt Ltd and Ayushi KC, CEO of Khalisisi, discussed different aspects of management and challenges of entrepreneurship on local and global scales.
“Financial infrastructure should be started with technology.”
Dr Posh Raj Pandey, Chairman
South Asia Watch on Trade Economics and Environment (SAWTEE)Technological innovations such as a digital payment system have made transactions faster, more cost-effective and have led to increased productivity. Cyber-physical systems, cloud computing, big data analytics, machine learning, 3-D printing and robotics are some key technology enablers today. New infrastructures bring with it challenges such as data privacy, security and fraud. Therefore, financial infrastructure should be started with technology. Entrepreneurs seeking ideas have a lot of room for growth. Digital finance technology can create a valve for the financial eco-system. Technology is integrated into our daily lives and is the future of our economy, society and government. The fourth industrial revolution blurs the lines between the physical and the digital.
“FinTech will play an important role in improving access to financial services.”
Dr Manoj Shahi,
Partner, Active Allocator
FinTech is not a new concept. FinTech, or Financial Technology, uses technology for financial transactions, making life easier and more efficient for service providers and customers. The Worldwide Web (WWW) has changed the financial landscape. We now have an environment where anyone can access banking and financial services from anywhere. A systematic payment system and a peer-to-peer (P2P) lending system will save a lot of time. Since P2P collects lots of information of both lender and borrower, it is reliable for a lending transaction. FinTech will play an important role in improving access to financial services. But any new technology is accompanied by a new set of challenges which might require an additional layer of technology to manage and mitigate them.
“Innovation drives policy change”
Founder and CEO, Tootle Service
Innovation drives policy change. We need to seek innovative ideas ourselves. Self-learning is critical, it goes beyond what the traditional teaching method offers. We need to seek the model of education that is relevant today. Social media itself is one of the educational models today.
“Digital collaboration is crucial today”
CEO, Khalisisi Management
Innovation can transcend. Technology is constantly evolving. Therefore, we must stay updated on the present scenario. We have to move ahead with digital collaboration and bank on our potential to provide a solution to any issue. Therefore, the ability to collaborate with digital technology is crucial to customise the solution to the problem. We can no longer rely on traditional education.
“Technology is a tool, not the solution”
Amit Agrawal, CEO, Janaki Tech
A deep understanding of one's timeline, team capacity, potential and business model is vital for the growth of any business. Technology is not the solution, it is only a tool; it needs to be utilised in the right manner. Identifying the problem is the first step to finding the solution.
“Nepal still lacking research on financial knowledge and ecosystem”
Siddhant Raj Pandey
CEO, Business Oxygen Pvt Ltd
Small and medium scale industries are the backbone of any nation; primarily regarding development. Capital is not everything, research is crucial for sustainable growth.
Nepal is still practising traditional technologies, it's lacking research in terms of financial knowledge and a stable ecosystem for investors. Concepts like capital, value addition, and climate change are to be understood by the investor and are essential for running their business with technology.
“Opportunity for entrepreneurs despite policy disharmony,”
A complex tax regime, impractical standards guidelines, restrictive labour laws and policy disharmony are a few of the major challenges faced by medium-scale industries in Nepal.
Aspiring young entrepreneurs face hurdles right from the initial stage of registering their companies; the environment is far from ideal for them to flourish. However, our infrastructure projects are moving forward and several policies are being reformed which will be helpful for developing entrepreneurship in Nepal.
“Stop marketing to the people, start focusing on them”
Bharat Avalani, CEO
Connecting the Dots, Malaysia
Stereotypes are prevalent in our advertising and it's time we abolish the practice.
A brand has a huge responsibility to the community and the world and today the market is not only limited to the product made, it’s also about the stories they make. Stop marketing to the people, start focusing on them instead.