Continuing its rich legacy of bringing together global leaders under one roof, Industry Interaction Cell of IIM Lucknow successfully conducted Samvit – The Annual Leadership Summit on 11th February. The theme for this year’s Samvit was “Classroom to Boardroom,” which focussed on bridging the gap between industry and academia. The event saw participation from students and faculty members of IIM Lucknow and various other colleges in and around the city.

Having previously hosted MDs and CXOs from companies like Mercedes-Benz, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan, Disney, HDFC Bank and many others, this year’s Samvit did not disappoint the audience. The event began with an address from Mr. R. Gopalakrishnan, former Executive Director, Tata Sons. With over 50 years of experience in leadership positions at Tata and Unilever, Mr. Gopalkrishnan spoke about the qualities that an aspiring leader must possess. Referring to his book, ‘The Case of The Bonsai Manager,’ he said, “one must learn from the experiences that life offers, and that is the only way to eliminate your chances of being caged like a bonsai manager.” Mr. Gopalakrishnan ended his speech by listing the four ‘As’ for success which according to him were accomplishment, affability, advocacy and authenticity!

The second speaker for the event Mr. CVL Srinivas, CEO, GroupM, South Asia narrated his incredible journey to the students. Having started out as a mechanical engineer in his early days, he highlighted how the choices that he had made shaped his career. From rejecting a job offer from Infosys to quitting his high-profile job, his anecdotes had a deep impact on the students. Mr. Srinivas also spoke of his journey in the advertising industry and how GroupM had successfully led the disruption in the advertising space.

And last but not the least, Mr. Tarun Tripathi, Head Solutions and Awareness, TVF took the stage. An alumnus from IIM Lucknow itself he brought with him immense energy and enthusiasm. Speaking of the business of ideas, he said, “an idea sells only if it can touch the viewer’s heart.” Working in an unconventional industry, he spoke of the success that TVF Pitchers had and the lessons he learned from it. He ended his speech by motivating students to follow their dreams and putting all their heart in everything they ever did in life. The event concluded with students raising some interesting questions on ethics, sustainability and the future of advertising.

This post has been written by Samaksha Vaish, Class of 2018, who is a member of the Industry Interaction Cell, IIM Lucknow.

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