The London Launchpad event
London, WeWork Office – Moorgate
6.00 AM – 8:30 PM Wed 15 Aug 2018
On Independence Day this year the IIMA Alumni London chapter organized the “The London Launchpad”, an event showcasing startups by IIM Ahmedabad alumni in UK, attended by 50 people including alumni and friends from batches across the years. The London Launchpad was one of the most anticipated events in the London chapter’s annual calendar this year for many reasons.
Firstly, it was the first event of the chapter aligned with the Entrepreneurial Ecosystem Special Interest Group (“SIG”) that targeted entrepreneurs who could use this platform to showcase their startups, network with other like-minded entrepreneurs and at the same time leverage the IIMA community for prospective clientele, mentorship, communication channels or even fundraising.
The 4 startups who presented in this event were all from different market sectors, started by alumni in different stages of their life with a different story & motivation to come up with the idea, and each startup had a unique ask of the audience specific to the stage it was in its lifecycle. Auro, an audio fitness app providing trainer led classes with curated music for the gym, outdoors or at home, was looking for additional acquisition channels, and to announce an impending fundraising. Rentbiddr, a countdown auction platform for the private rental sector, that ensures properties are filled quickly at the best price with vetted tenants in London, was looking for a technical partner. VT FinTech offers its technology platform Parity One to manage systematic investment strategies in the form of portfolios and bespoke benchmarks and would like to connect with alumni in similar field for guidance, mentoring, potential partnerships and funding. And Vyn SmartVideoNotes, a digital productivity platform for accelerating high value data into business systems such as Salesforce, was looking for referrals to drive further growth.
At the event, IIMA Alumni London also announced its partnership with the High Commission of India (represented by Ms Vishakha Yaduvanshi) and FICCI UK (represented by Param Shah, FICCI UK Director) for techXchange 2018. TechXchange will showcase 20 select Indian startups in a week-long immersion in the to explore the UK market for growth and funding. In FICCI’s Param Shah’s own words, “the idea is to bring together an ecosystem of Angel Investors, VCs, Funds and IIM alumnus and give an opportunity to these startups to source mentorship, funding and global access. CIIE (IIMA), which is one of the oldest and largest incubation centers for startups, is the knowledge partner for this partnership and helps close an important loop of FICCI-HCI-IIMA relationship by curating these startups for TechXchange.” The first TechXchange event will be held at the High Commission of India, London on 20th September.
And lastly but most importantly, this day marked the official launch of the IIMA Angel Network, a platform that will help provide mentorship, and assist with growing startups by leveraging the skills of the community. Swastik Nigam (Chair, IIMA Alumni London) announced that the network will be led Balram Pal and Somil Goyal, both PGP 1997 alumni. A charter for the IIMA Angels will shortly be released to the community.
IIMA Alumni at the UK India Leadership Week
Buckinghamshire, Latimer House
9.00 AM – 6:00 PM Thu 21 Jun 2018
The IIMA Alumni London Chapter was invited to participate at the UK-India Leadership Conclave held at the tranquil location of Latimer House in Buckinghamshire on the outskirts of London on the 20-21st of June 2018. At the venue were the who’s who from finance, industry and the legal industry from the UK and India, including ministers and members of Parliament. The conclave had significant participation from alumni from the UK and India in their professional capacities.
The Chapter organized a Breakfast session with the Vice Chairman of the Niti Aayog, Dr. Rajiv Kumar on the 21st of June, on the sidelines of the main conference. It was hosted by the Chair, Swastik Nigam (PGP ’08) and Treasurer, Ravi Topno (PGP ’03), and was attended by a few distinguished guests as well, such as Mr. Bahram Vakil, Founding Partner – AZB Partners, Mr. Ashank Desai, Founder of Mastek and Majesco and Dr Mohan Kaul, former Dean, IIMA in a select gathering of approximately 15 people.
Dr Kumar advised that under the current leadership, the attitude within the government’s think tank has changed. Moving away from an echo chamber, it now actively sources ways to affect change from a bottoms-up approach, by taking the initiatives back to the state level. It has created a flexible pool of advisors to assist with the PMO’s agenda. Additionally, it aims to charge the startup ecosystem through initiatives supporting Startup India and the Atal Incubation Centers.
IIM A @House of Lords
London, House of Lords
6:00PM – 8:00PM Wed 06 Jun 2018
The IIMA Alumni London Chapter was delighted to welcome the Director, Prof. Errol D’Souza and Dean-AER, Prof. Rakesh Basant of IIM-A, in the first week of June. We at IIMA Alumni London chapter focused on building, the brand, strengthening the relationship with the patrons and creative ways to contribute to the institute.
The interaction in House of Lords was hosted by Lord Jitesh Gadhia. The attendees included a cross-section of illustrious supporters of the IIMA community including Dr. Mohan Kaul, Mehmood Khan, Salil Shetty – Secretary General, Amnesty International, Vikas Nanda, Sidin Vadukut,, Sudhir Dole, Manish Tiwari and Saikat Sen Sharma of the High Commission of India. The session focused on priorities of the institute and how the chapter & London patron community can help with the vision & priorities of the institute.
The institute leadership informed the audience of the academic and strategic priorities of the institute and the vision in engaging with external stakeholders. The discussion included the increased focus on research, the need for specialized streams for the research topics and also on globalization of the programs.
Brexit Britain and India – Challenges & Opportunities
London, High Commission of India
6:00PM – 9:00PM Tue 23 Jan 2018
On the 23rd of January 2018, the IIMA Alumni London Chapter organized a panel discussion titled ‘Brexit Britain and India: Challenges and Opportunities’ in association with the High Commission of India and the Indian Professionals Forum, UK. The distinguished panel consisted of Ambassador Dinesh Patnaik, Deputy High Commissioner of India to the UK, Lord Jitesh Gadhia, Conservative Peer in the House of Lords and Nikhil Rathi, CEO of London Stock Exchange. The panel was moderated by Dr Mohan Kaul, Founder Chairman of the Indian Professionals Forum, and former Dean of IIM-A.
The panel discussed the topic with surprising candour and gave a view of the discussions that don’t make it to the media. All the panellists shared the view that no one knows what Brexit exactly means. In the aftermath of Brexit, India has found itself in a very fortunate position – with both the UK and EU27 finding themselves rushing to brace India and accelerate a free-trade deal, blaming past sluggishness on the other. Nikhil advised that attractiveness of the financial markets in London will subsist through Brexit with the much celebrated ‘Masala Bonds’ gaining favour. Lord Gadhia found himself needing to explain the performance and behaviour of the British government, but also deftly handled queries on immigration and student visas.
The 120-strong crowd which filled the heavily secure and historic India House was delighted by the quality of the event, the candour of the panellists and of course, the networking over the drinks and delicious canapés later.
Fireside Chat with Salil Shetty
London, Amnesty International
6:30PM – 9:30PM Tue 25 July 2017
IIMA Alumnus, Sidin Vadukut, Editor of Livemint.com spoke to Salil Shetty, Secretary General of Amnesty International on one of the most gripping challenges humanity has recently faced. The rise of populist movements which we saw in 2016 involved governments tracking back on human rights commitments and treating whole segments of the population as people we need to be protected against. Part of the appeal of populist leaders comes from their pledges to address people’s real social and economic grievances, but the solutions they offer are simply dangerous.
Sidin quizzed Salil on his personal journey as an IIMA alumnus on a wide range of topics including working on poverty reduction, inequality and human rights across the globe, and on what governments, businesses and civil society must now do to create a more just and equitable world. The event was hosted in the headquarters of Amnesty International & attended by numerous Alumnus & interested connects.
Talk by Dr. S M Quraishi (Former Chief Election Commissioner of India)
London, Bombay Palace
6:30PM – 8:30PM Thu 06 July 2017
IIMA Alumni London, in association with the alumni of St. Stephen’s and Lady Shriram College was delighted to invite delegates to a talk by Dr S.Y. Quraishi (Former Chief Election Commissioner of India) on the 6th of July 2017. Dr. Quraishi elaborated on what he believes is stopping the largest democracy from being the greatest.
Dr. S.Y. Quraishi was the 17th Chief Election Commissioner of India (from July 2010 till June 2012). As the Chief Election Commissioner, he introduced many innovative electoral reforms, established an Expenditure Control Division and a Voter Education Division in the commission.
He is a member of the Board of Advisors of International IDEA (Institute of Democracy and Electoral Assistance) Stockholm. He was also a member of the Advisory Committee to assist and advise the Global Commission on Elections, Democracy and Security, headed by Mr Kofi Annan.
Fireside Chat with Rohan Silva
London, Second Home
6:30PM – 8:30PM Tue 21 June 2016
Further continuing with series of our Fireside Chats, on 21st June 2016, IIMA Alumni London chapter hosted Rohan Silva, co-founder of Second home and former policy advisor to UK Prime Minister.
The event was held at Second Home office – London’s most iconic and innovative workspace and a cultural venue that brings together a global community of thinkers, makers, artists and entrepreneurs. The discussion with Rohan was led by Swastik Nigam, IIMA Alumni London Chapter Co-ordinator.
During the discussion, Rohan shared his journey as how he moved his career from a civil servant to an entrepreneur, the challenges he faced and story behind the ‘creative concept’ of Second Home. Rohan was open and candid about his entrepreneurial spirit and also on his views on how the government could be a facilitator in creation and development of entrepreneurial eco-system.
Fireside Chat with Andrew Fisher
London, Unilever PLC
6:00PM – 9:00PM Mon 23 May 2016
IIMA Alumni London chapter hosted Andrew Fisher and Stuart Sunderland on May 23rd at the beautiful conference hall in Unilever House in the City of London. Andrew Fisher is the Executive Chairman of Shazam. Stuart Sunderland is founder of City Pantry, a B2B catering startup in the UK.
Andrew has led the successful growth of a number of technology focused enterprises such as TDLI.com, InfoSpance Inc and Shazam over the last 20 years. Today, the company is valued over $1 billion and has 750 million users in more than 200 countries worldwide.
He took us through his journey in joining Shazam as the CEO is 2005, steering it through challenging conditions and establishing Shazam as a well-known Brand. Through the chat and the Q&A session, Andrew gave us an insight into what it takes to build and run a billion-dollar company, do’s and don’ts for a startup and trending topics in digital startup space.
Fireside Chat with Karun Chandhok
London, Tata Communications
6:00PM – 9:00PM Wed 06 Apr 2016
The first Fireside chat event for 2016 kick-started with an energetic chat with former Formula One Racer Karun Chandhok on Apr 6th. The event happened at the delightful office of Tata Communications located along Thames in Central London. Karun conversed with Rahul Joglekar, former BBC journalist and a famous TV personality.
Karun Chandhok is one of the only two Indian Formula 1 drivers ever. He has worked with F1 teams such as Red Bull, Hispania and Team Lotus and has built up a name for himself as a commentator and analyst of the motorsport. As a motorsport consultant, Karun has also worked closely with Bernie Ecclestone in Formula 1 Management, as well as for the Jaypee Group in the Indian Grand Prix, amongst other names.
Rahul and Karun’s conversation painted a good picture of life and challenges of a Formula one racer. The audience were enthralled with the discussion and used the Q&A session to understand what Karun has brought forward from his Racing experience into the world of business.
Fireside Chat with Dr. Raghuram Rajan
London, London Stock Exchange
6:00PM – 8:00PM Thu 25 Jun 2015
Dr. Raghuram Rajan in conversation with Lord Adair Turner
Raghuram Rajan is the current Governor of the Reserve Bank of India, having taken charge of India’s central banking institution in September 2013. Rajan was chief economic adviser to India’s Ministry of Finance during 2012-13 and chief economist at the International Monetary Fund from 2003 to 2007. He has been a member of the faculty at the graduate business school at the University of Chicago, where he has been since 2011.
Lord Adair Turner has combined careers in business, public policy and academia. He became Chairman of the United Kingdom Financial Services Authority as the financial crisis broke in September 2008, and played a leading role in the redesign of the global banking and shadow banking regulation as Chairman of the International Financial Stability Board’s major policy committee. He is now a Senior Fellow of the Institute for New Economic Thinking, and at the Centre for Financial Studies in Frankfurt.
Fireside Chat with Ivan Menezes
London, Diageo, Plc.
6:00PM – 8:00PM Mon 11 May 2015
The London Chapter organized a sold out fireside chat with Ivan Menezes, chief executive of Diageo and PGP ‘81. The event was held at the Diageo offices in Central London on 11th May. Ivan was in conversation with Nikhil Rathi, Chief of Staff and Director of International Development at the London Stock Exchange Group, who has also previously been a Special Advisor to the Prime Minister of the UK. Ivan braved a barrage of questions in the 55-strong gathering that followed Chatham house rules.
Ivan later took a number of personal questions including his favourite personalities in business and sports.
An Aam Story
London, The India Club
6:00PM – 8:00PM Wed 29 Apr 2015
On 29th April a uniquely diverse group of alumni, featuring members from both the first and 2016 batches of IIMA graduates, attended a lively conversation between Mehmood Khan and Sidin Vadukut. Held at the historic India Club Bar, a stone’s throw from the Indian High Commission’s India House at Aldwych, the event allowed alumni to get unprecedented behind-the-scenes access to the story behind the Aam Aadmi Party’s rise to power in Delhi.
Mehmood Khan, a founding member of the Aam Aadmi Party and an alumnusi from the 1977 batch, gave us a blow by blow account of how the party grew from a small protest in Delhi to a pan-Indian political upheaval unseen in recent Indian history. Mehmood was candid enough to admit the party’s challenges, past mistake and tense future.
While the evening was good-natured throughout, Mehmood was frequently posed with tough questions by Vadukut, an alumnus from the class of 2005 who works as the UK foreign correspondent for the Mint. Later Mehmood answered questions from the audience.
The event also coincided with the visit of the IIMA interns in London and was organized in line with the annual global ritual of Synchrony.
Fireside Chat with Harish Salve
London, Allen and Overy
6:00PM – 8:00PM Wed 25 Mar 2015
A fireside chat with the eminent lawyer, Harish Salve held on 25 March at the offices of Allen & Overy LLP. The 40-strong gathering was given a surprise treat with Vindi Banga, PGP ’77 and one of IIMA’s most illustrious alumni holding the conversation with Harish. The event generated significant interest beyond the IIMA community and many from the broader London legal fraternity attended the intimate but informal discussion. No topic was taboo.
Answers and opinions were sought on the Modi government’s performance, the outlook for India in the near future, its relationship to the world, as well as the hurdles foreign companies face in entering India (and possible solutions). Vindi added a slice of business wisdom to the conversation. As one of the attendees commented, ‘it was like stepping into the drawing rooms of the movers and shakers of India.’