Monday, August 27, 2012

SOM@ GLOGIFT Conference 2012- University of Vienna

I had an opportunity to present my work on the theme business flexibility at GLOGIFT 2012 Conference hosted by University of Vienna during July –August 2012.The Twelfth global conference on flexible system management was co-hosted by Austrian Computer Society(OCG)  and International Federation for Systems Research(IFSR). The conference is an effort to provide a global forum for practitioners, policy makers, teachers, researchers, and students to share their practical experiences, knowledge and insight in the evolution, formulation and implementation of strategies and models for flexible enterprises to meet the changing requirements of global business. The various sub themes had their focus on areas such as risk management, service management, business excellence, flexible supply chains, Information Systems Flexibility etc. The papers selected for the conference would be published in Global Journal of Flexible Systems Management (Springer) as well as in the form of the book by Springer Journal.

The abstracts of the research paper were accepted till April 15 and final paper had to be uploaded by May 31, 2012. The authors were intimated about the acceptance of their paper by June 30 2012. Hemangi and I had worked on the topic Bottom of the Pyramid: Defining business excellence. The central Idea of our paper was to demonstrate the successful penetrating strategies to enter and profit from BOP market which is currently valued at $13 trillion. We also integrated rural innovation commercialization concept in our work to show BOP on the producer side. Our work finally established that BOP is defining business excellence and flexibility through private sector participation, innovation and collaboration by having BOP population as both consumer and producer tapping onto frugal innovation. We had consulted business executives from AMUL, DesiCrew, Aravind Eye Hospital, Tata group, Godrej and Boyce, Hindustan Unilever, ITC etc. to understand their business practises and also to validate our findings. We also undertook the case study of organisations and initiatives such as BOP Learning Lab(Argentina), Casas Bahia, Cemex Patrimonio Hoy, Global Alliance for Improved Nutrition (GAIN), Gilead Sciences, M-Pesa, Novartis(“Arogya Parivar” Healthy family), Hollard Group, Life spring Hospitals, Voxiva etc. have to arrive at our final business model and strategies to enter BOP segment.
 I had also explored Vienna, Munich and Zurich during my visit for the conference. Few notable tourist attractions that I visited at Vienna were Schönbrunn Palace, St. Stephens´s Cathedral, Belvedere palace, Hundertwasserhaus and Museum of Art History - Kunsthistorisches Museum. I also went to a musical concert by Madonna as well as a German Opera during my stay. I was also impressed by the public transport system of Vienna. Every place of the city was very well connected by the bus, the train or underground tram providing ubiquitous connectivity. One can travel about 20 kilometres in 15 minutes. Compare this to traffic we experience at Mumbai! I had also visited ETH Zurich, which is ranked as among the world’s top ten universities.  ETH Zurich regularly appears at the top of international rankings as one of the best universities in the world. 21 Nobel Laureates have studied, taught or conducted research at ETH Zurich, underlining the excellent reputation of the institute. ETH Zurich has more than 17,000 students from approximately 80 countries, 3,700 of whom are doctoral candidates. More than 400 professors teach and conduct research in the areas of engineering, architecture, mathematics, natural sciences, system-oriented sciences, and management and social sciences. The experience of visiting a world class university, their research scope, facilities and astonishing number of Nobel Laureates associated with the university so far left a lasting impression on my mind. Zurich Lake and Zurich lake side areas were also equally impressive in terms of the scenic beauty. Zurich is indeed a heaven on earth. 
 I had a wonderful experience visiting these amazing places and I feel we need to improvise a lot in terms of our work ethics and attitude to attain the level of efficiency and efficacy that the developed countries of Europe have.

Vishal Gohel
Class of 2013


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