IIM Shillong student attends Harvard US India Initiative Conference 2015

Roshan Farhan, a student of first year MBA at IIM Shillong and an elected member of the Students’ Council of IIM Shillong (the apex student’s body of IIM Shillong) attended roshan1the Harvard US India Initiative Conference 2015 which was held on January 9 and 10, 2015 at New Delhi. It was a prestigious event that witnessed the participation from the brightest brains across the globe.


Farhan, who hails from Guwahati, Assam said, “I was selected to be a delegate at the conference after a rigorous selection process and had the honour of representing IIM Shillong for the conference. I was also incidentally the only delegate studying in the North East to be a part of the same.”


The conference was indeed stellar in the aspect that it delivered unparalleled exposure to leaders, defining the narrative of the country be it from the sphere of Government, industry, social sector or academia. The experience of connecting and exchanging ideas with peers for investing in India’s future was also a great experience. There were students from across the world, from 6 different nationalities, and eminent universities/colleges like Harvard University, Boston University, LSE, IIMs, IITs, NITs, LSR, Miranda House and the other top colleges/universities in the country.


“This conference was a great experience for me. I got the opportunity to interact with the brightest minds across the globe and had a great peer learning experience. The opportunity to interact with leaders from public life like Piyush Goyal (Union Minister), Jayant Sinha (Union Minister) and Jairam Ramesh (former Union Minister) helped me gain perspectives on how we can foster a more conducive atmosphere for business in the country and how the youth can be part of such a radical change,” adds Farhan.


Farhan talks of his experience. “I also got the opportunity to interact with eminent thought leaders from across the industry and academia includingSunil Rao, (Country Head, Developer Relations &Startup Ecosystem, Google India); Debasish Mitter, (Country Head of Michael and Susan Dell Foundation); Pramath Sinha (Founding Dean of ISB, Hyderabad); Dr. Shailaja Fennel (Professor at Cambridge University); Jacqueline Bhabha (Professor at Harvard University) and so on. These experiences were invaluable for me as a young MBA student as they helped me gauge the actual realities in the business world and how we can make an impact to ensure sustainable development for our country. They also stressed on the fact that youth from eminent colleges like IIMs and IITs should be thought leaders and strive for driving positive change in the country.”


He was a member of 6 panels at the conference as the conference:

  • Quitting College to become a Billionaire(on fostering innovation and entrepreneurship in India, creating a conducive atmosphere for business in India, we also discussed on how premier management institutions like IIMs have a greater role to play in ensuring this).


  • Profiting from Non-Profits(on social entrepreneurship and how non-profits are making a tangible impact in the country, on promoting sustainable development in the country, How can better supply chains, physical infrastructure and financial institutions improve life in rural India? What can the government do to incentivise development and improvement in rural regions? Can agriculture be modernized and developed, or does India’s economic future lie in other sectors of the economy?)


  • More Artists or More Dentists(on the importance of a liberal arts education and the need to branch out traditional fields of engineering and medicine)


  • Economics of Rural India(on how rural India is changing the economic landscape of the country, the economics of the bottom of the pyramid, how rural India is the emerging market where companies are venturing out to)


  • One Country Two Choices(the political current political of the country and the need for good governance and for youth to make a difference in policy making in the country)


  • Jumping Ahead (Which sector of the economy shows the most promise in India?
    India is widely considered to have sprung from an agricultural economy to a service-based one, whereas many other countries such as South Korea and China have placed significant emphasis on their manufacturing sector. Has India’s jump hurt its economic prospects? Going forward, what can India do to develop all three of its sectors, and which one should government policy choose to emphasize?)


“These panels were very intellectually stimulating experiences for me. We talked at length on topics ranging from economics, finance, and public policy to how students from elite institutions like the IIMs have a greater role to foster an environment of growth and development in the country. They urged us to be thought leaders,” added Farhan.