Global Business Forum: An Innovation Conclave by IITBAA

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The Global Business Forum (GBF), an ambitious initiative of IIT Bombay Alumni Association (IITBAA), has been scheduled in Goa from the 16th of October. The 3 day event will offer an opportunity for the foremost technology innovators from the IIT Bombay community to engage with India’s top political decision-makers as well as influential players in national and international businesses. The first of its many prospective editions, the annual ‘by-invitation-only’ event expects to attract around 1,500 investors, representatives from IITB’s faculty, students and alumni demarcations, and many business-political honchos.

The event will offer an opportunity for the foremost technology innovators from the IITB community to engage with India’s top political decision-makers as well as influential players in national and international businesses.

The brainchild of Mr. Deepak Patil, a ’97 IITB alumnus, he adds, “GBF isn’t just a knowledge conclave but an innovation conclave for businesses to unlock the real potential of India. The event shall bring together on a common platform the entire IIT Bombay community on one hand with governments, companies, business associations, investors, academia, public authorities and policy-makers on the other.” Numerous alumni including Ajit Ranade (Chief Economist, Aditya Birla Group) and Bharath Desai (Founder, Syntel) have given their patronage to the event through funding and possibilities of investment in research projects. The event will help innovators and researchers gain assured access through direct meetings with the top leadership of government, businesses and investors. “Our stakeholders include faculty members, students, alumni from IITB as well as central government, state government, industry professionals, investors, collaborators, all of whom are extremely interested in making the most out of this rich pool of innovations. At a broad level, we can say that our forum would mainly comprise of Business-To-Business, Business-To-Government and Business-To-Individual agencies. For students, it shall be a place to gain exposure and find novel careers, role models, investors with early stage funds, entrepreneurs who can tell them about what to expect, initiatives of interest by other like-minded alumni, and new perspectives,” suggests Mr. Patil.

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The forum plans to concentrate on issues that are being perceived as major challenges in India’s road to development. The event shall focus on issues relevant to the eight Special Interest Groups namely Infrastructure, Healthcare, Energy, Education and Skills, Information and Communication Technology, Smart Cities, Make in India and Environment, especially Water. At present, a total of around 180 projects, including 80 from the campus community are likely to be on display over the 3 day event with more to be added in the coming few days. “In order to elaborate more about each project, we have around 20 guides per SIG and 110 exhibitors who will be exclusively explaining about their projects at the GBF exhibition centre.”

The event shall focus on issues relevant to the 8 SIGs viz. Infrastructure, Healthcare, Energy, Education and Skills, Information and Communication Technology, Smart Cities, Make in India and Environment.

While numerous panel discussions and lectures have been arranged on SIG-relevant topics, lectures from RBI Governor Raghuram Rajan on financial issues and HRD Minister Smriti Irani on education remain the highlights of the Forum. Over 200 industry professionals, consisting of 50+ global experts, have been invited to the forum.

Mr. Patil concludes, “GBF has been specially planned taking the IITB ecosystem into consideration to enhance IIT Bombay’s relations with the industry. The innovations and research from IITB would receive a tremendous boost due to interaction with industry and investors. At GBF, we believe each citizen can help build a better nation by engineering change. The SIGs have been purposely designed according to themes which represent current needs of our country. Traditionally, India has been known for developing extraordinary talent which in turn provides solution for foreign countries. This forum will display all the high impact innovations developed at IIT Bombay, which can be then taken up by the government and can be accordingly used for the welfare of the nation. In the end, I would like to thank the 50+ alumni from all over India and abroad who have taken our precious time and worked hard for organizing the event for their extraordinary commitment.”