“Business leaders of the future must go local and sustainable instead of aping Western business practices”

Representatives from the Government, private and not-for-profit sectors take part in panel discussion on Sustainability hosted by IIMB’s Centre for Management Communication

01 August, 2022, Bengaluru: The Centre for Management Communication at IIM Bangalore held an online panel discussion, the first as part of its Sustainability Speaker Series, on July 30 (Saturday), 2022. The discussion, titled: ‘How do future business leaders negotiate Sustainability’, saw more than 200 participants.

The panel addressed key aspects on Sustainability - for future business leaders to understand and communicate, and emphasized the need for young leaders to actively get involved in the business of finding sustainable solutions. The panelists represented the Government, private and not-for-profit sectors, and included Dr. Sumitra Chowdhury, Director (Financial Stability) in the Department of Economic Affairs, Ministry of Finance, Government of India, Namrata Rana, Director - Strategy and Brand at Futurescape and Prerna Wadikar, CEO at Action for India. The moderator of the discussion was Dr. Deepti Ganapathy, Chairperson, Centre for Management Communication, IIMB.

Watch here: https://youtu.be/KSMIxtpWmPk

The panel was a pre-requisite for the participants and semi-finalists of this year’s Vista International Sustainability Challenge, which saw participation from over 3000 candidates, including those from 20 foreign universities.  

Some of the issues discussed during the session included what the climate-related risks were and how these risks could impact the financial sector; if any assessment of the same has been made; if there was any difference between how men and women approached sustainability in business; how ESG impacted the financial performance of a company; how traditional companies which have deployed huge capital in traditional sources of energy needed to respond to ever-changing norms; what business leaders needed to do to strike a balance between achieving high financial growth and achieving high sustainability goals, and how a change in mindset needed to be brought about.

Profile of the panelists: Dr. Sumitra Chowdhury engages with the financial sector regulators in India and with the international Financial Stability Board to coordinate global and domestic financial sector reforms, prevent financial instability and to work towards achieving the goals of the development of the financial sector. Her diverse experience includes engaging with foreign governments and multilateral institutions as well as with the grassroots level institutions and people of India. 

Namrata Rana helps companies and institutions build sustainable experiences. Rana's work focuses on building ESG strategy and transformation through sustainability journey mapping. She has worked in the areas of retail, healthcare, mobility, food, hospitality, green jobs and infrastructure. She also writes extensively in various publications.

Prerna Wadikar’s experience spans over a decade across multinational, government and social enterprises. She is a Weidenfeld, Oxford, Hoffmann, Lincoln and Said scholar and recipient of the Vice Chancellor's impact award at the University of Oxford. Prerna holds a Master’s in Public Policy from IIM Bangalore and MBA from the University of Oxford. 


It was a great discussion. learned a lot, specially for someone like me who is not from India.

Jacob Barbosa, from the Asian Institute of Management, Philippines, whose team emerged the winners of the International Case Study Challenge, VISTA 2022.

Very insightful talk,

Hrushikesh Joshi

Thank you for organizing such an informative session

Abhishek Gawande

Thank you all for the valuable insights

Rachana Rayala

Really informative and nicely presented

Ridham Shah