The Virtual Team Revolution – It’s here to stay!

With the current pandemic situation across the globe, every organization is affected. But has the work stopped? The answer is – No! For the majority of organizations who have successfully established a strong digital culture, it is ‘Business as Usual’. Virtual teams are no more the future. They are here to stay.

Remote Teams – An Old or New Phenomenon?   

A virtual team is one whose members are geographically scattered in different locations communicating and collaborating through technology. Are geographically scattered remote teams a recent concept? If you think it is a new phenomenon, you are right but only partly. While technological advances, the Internet and the global workforce have created better conditions for remote teams in recent times, but they have been around for centuries. All kings and emperors such as Ashoka and Akbar and many others in the western world whose empires spread over large areas managed geographically dispersed remote teams. They created efficient and effective processes for communication and implementation to manage their empires through these remote teams, however, some teams worked efficiently while others struggled.

‘Work From Home’ (WFH) has become a buzz work in recent times. But the fact is that even the concept of working from home is not new. Historically speaking, for most of the trades, work from home was the common way of working. If we look at traditional occupations such as farmers, bakers, tailors, shoemakers, potters, weavers and blacksmiths etc., – they have always worked from homes.

The first Industrial Revolution extricated workers from their homes and pushed them into factories. With the introduction of electricity and public transport systems in the early 20th century, workers were further separated from their home as they began working in offices equipped with telephones, telegraphs, and the typewriter. But this concept soon faced a reverse wave in the 1970s because of the OPEC oil crisis that resulted in very high fuel costs and made commuting exorbitantly expensive.

People began looking for solutions for work to go on without workers having to commute. Jack Nilles, sometimes called “The Father of Teleworking” conducted the first formal tests of telecommuting and it soon saw rapid growth. In the 1980s, J.C. Penney began hiring home-based call center agents with the Clean Air Act leading many large businesses to offer telecommuting. The National Telecommuting Initiative created in 1996 in the US, soon flowed to other parts of the world.

20th century was the era of great technological advances that resulted in increase in telework and virtual teams. Personal Computers, cellular phones, voicemail, and then the internet explosion were factors that paved the way for the virtual workplace as we understand it today. In the year 2020, when organizations are globally affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, working virtually has come to the rescue of many organizations and businesses because they were able to continue their businesses and curtail losses.

The Bright and Dark Sides of Virtual Teams

Several studies have found that virtual collaboration is more difficult than in a collocated environment. The disadvantages include difficulties in communication and coordination, reduced trust, and an increased inability to establish a common ground. Physical teams, on the other hand, have proximity that promotes frequent communication and the development of closer and more positive interpersonal relationships. Regular physical presence of team members helps in strengthening social ties that helps to reduce conflict while the distance in virtual teams decreases closeness and affinity, which can result in increased incidence of conflict. Some other issues of remote teams spread across different geographical locations can be that they have to negotiate multiple time zones that require them to reorganize their workdays to accommodate others’ schedules which may lead to frustration and confusion, especially if coworkers are regularly unavailable for discussion or clarification of task-related issues.

Do Virtual teams have any advantages? Yes, Virtual teams have many advantages too.   Remote teams are attractive for companies looking to hire for roles that are hard to fill. They can use remote working as a perk to attract applications for “location independent” positions. These organizations have the added advantage of being able to hire from a larger, more diverse pool of applicants. Then there is cost effective in terms of salaries as they ca hire people at lower salaries when compensation is not connected to living in a big, expensive city.

Other positives of remote virtual teams are that they are less career restrictive for employers and employees with many companies adopting remote as part of their company culture with a work from home option.

Uberization of Jobs

With the pandemic situation looming large across the world and in India, many organizations are actively adopting the work-from-home (WFH) model, and it can be predicted that many jobs could go the Uber way. Uberization of work means that employees can decide which hours of the day they will log in. This is more applicable for tasks that are homogeneous, like that of call centre employees where technological developments are making it easier to monitor remotely.

In India, Axis Bank had been preparing for a WFH model even before the pandemic struck, which made it possible to keep 700 of its call centre executives active even after the lockdown was announced. SBI chairman Rajnish Kumar said in a recent interview that the bank was planning to move to a Work-From-Anywhere model rather than just work-from-home. In the early weeks of the lockdown, HDFC Bank MD and CEO Aditya Puri had said that the bank was going to shift permanently to a WFH model for a third of its employees.

Tech companies, financial services and many other industries are moving towards virtual teams where they will play a large part in the new normal making it imperative for current and aspiring managers and leaders to equip themselves with a  new skill  –  the skill of Managing Virtual Teams. IILM, in step with the current trend, is offering a specially designed course called ‘Managing Virtual Teams’ for its management students and working executives who would like to upgrade their skill. This course discusses how to manage virtual teams so that they can outperform physical or collocated teams. Learning this skill is not an option but a necessity for managers and business leaders today to keep pace with the current world scenario.

To know more about the innovative and industry benchmarked courses, please write to me at

IILM’s Top 20 Fiction Books for Students in 2020

Don’t you feel you are in a situation you had never expected? Whether you are an undergraduate student doing BBA or some other course or you are a post graduate students enrolled in the best B-School pursuing a PGDM or MBA, you must be feeling overwhelmed by this current scenario, unsure about what the future holds in terms of your education and career. It is completely understandable to dwell upon questions such as:

When will schools and Colleges resume face to face classes?

Will I have to miss a year if I am planning to study abroad?

What impact will the lockdown have on my career?

Will I get good a placement after I complete my PGDM or MBA?

How long will the economy take to recover and the job market to open?

At this moment there are no clear answers for any of these questions. There is not much you can do about what’s happening in the outside world, but you can do something about what’s happening to you. You can use this time for self-improvement, upskilling and getting ready to face a future that is uncertain, and you can have a positive and happy attitude to stay mentally and emotionally healthy.

It is a well-known fact that reading is an important skill to be cultivated. It not only improves your spoken and written communication skills, but it also expands your horizons as you read about new cultures and people.

Earlier, I had shared a list of non-fiction books that you all could read for self -improvement and now I am sharing a list of some evergreen fiction books that I would like to recommend for you.

Why Read Fiction

We have all grown up listening to stories from our grandparents and parents, reading fairy tales, tales of adventure, stories from history and from the epics. Storytelling is an important art. A story must be told in a compelling and interesting manner to hold the listener’s attention. The art of storytelling is also important in our professional lives. If we tell a compelling story, we are better able to convince and influence people.

So how does one learn the art of storytelling? If you read some of the best stories written in the world, you will learn how a good story is told. You will learn how to build a plot, structure a story and conclude it satisfactorily. You will learn how to add humour or mystery to get attention. While you learn about storytelling and holding other people’s attention, you will also improve your written and spoken vocabulary and will find that you are able to better express yourself as you read more and more books. And the best thing about reading fiction is that they are entertaining and will keep you occupied and happy.

IILM encourages students to read and has a plethora of books in its library for students to read besides textbooks and subject specific books. I would like to suggest 10 books in the Classic Fiction category and 10 in the Modern Fiction category. A classic is a book that is accepted as being exemplary or noteworthy by being listed in a list of great books, or through a reader’s opinion. So, this list of books is a combination of being in noteworthy lists as well as in my opinion as a reader and a writer. I have stated the genre of the books so that you can also learn how books are categorized by genres and find your favourite genre.

You can pick up any book that grabs your interest but pick up a book you must.

Happy reading!

 Classic Fiction

Moby Dick by Herman Melville: Moby-Dick or The Whale is an 1851 novel which is the sailor Ishmael’s narrative of the obsessive quest of Ahab, captain of the whaling ship Pequod, for revenge on Moby Dick, the giant white sperm whale that on the ship’s previous voyage bit off Ahab’s leg at the knee. This is a very popular book over the years and has been part of many notable lists. Certainly a classic! Genre – Adventure Fiction





Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte: This is a story of love triangles, scandalous passion, and the supernatural. The story follows Catherine and Heathcliff’s fraught love. They both marry other people, and their own children suffer their own melancholy fates. An all-time classic. Genre – gothic novel with romance, coming-of-age narrative and revenge tragedy



To Kill a Mocking Bird by Harper Lee: The unforgettable novel of a childhood in a sleepy Southern town in the USA and the crisis of conscience that rocked it, To Kill A Mockingbird became both an instant bestseller and a critical success when it was first published in 1960. It went on to win the Pulitzer Prize in 1961 and was later made into an Academy Award-winning film, also a classic. Genre – Social drama



Malgudi Days by RK Narayan: This collection of short stories offers the reader a wonderful chance to experience the ordinariness and pleasant magic of life in India. Meant to be tongue-in-cheek commentaries or light-hearted reflections on the social and political realities of India, Narayan captures and relays a truly authentic feel. The stories hold a universal appeal. Genre – Short story collection



Frankenstein by Mary Shelly: Frankenstein tells the story of gifted scientist Victor Frankenstein who succeeds in giving life to a being of his own creation. However, this is not the perfect specimen of a living being that he had  imagined it to be, but rather a hideous creature who is rejected by Victor and mankind in general. A gripping read for those interested in science fiction.  Genre – Science Fiction




Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell: This novel is an epic American Civil War drama that focuses on the life of petulant southern belle Scarlett O’Hara. Starting with her idyllic on a sprawling plantation, the book traces her survival through the tragic history of the South during the Civil War and Reconstruction, and her tangled love affairs with Ashley Wilkes and Rhett Butler. One of the bestselling novels of all times, this has been made into a famous movie. Genre – Historical Fiction



The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson: First published in 1886, this nouvella (short novel), is about a London legal practitioner named Gabriel John Utterson who investigates strange occurrences between his old friend, Dr Henry Jekyll and the evil Edward Hyde. Dealing with personality disorder or dual personality, this book has had such impact that it has become a part of the language, with the phrase “Jekyll and Hyde” entering the vernacular to refer to people with an unpredictably dual nature – usually very good, but sometimes shockingly evil. Genre – Psychological Thriller


My Family and Other Animals by Gerald Durrell: This is an autobiographical work by British naturalist Gerald Durrell which tells in an exaggerated and sometimes fictionalized way of the years that he lived as a child with his siblings and widowed mother on the Greek island of Corfu between 1935 and 1939. It describes the life of the Durrell family in a humorous manner and explores the fauna of the island. It is the first and most well-known of Durrell’s ‘Corfu trilogy’. Genre – Autobiographical Fiction



Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger: The book originally intended for adults is often read by adolescents for its themes of angst and alienation, and as a critique on superficiality in society. It has become a modern classic or cult classic because of its popular and rebellious tone. This well-written and memorable book was considered so controversial that many American schools banned it because of its “crude language”. For the generation this book came out in, it became a classic. Genre – Young Adult Fiction, Coming of Age 



 Little Women by Louisa May Alcott: A delightful story about four young women this is a book that is popular and enduring for generations of readers young and old, male and female. The readers have fallen in love with the March sisters – the  talented tomboy and author-to-be Jo, tragically frail Beth, beautiful Meg, and romantic, spoiled Amy, united in their devotion to each other and their struggles to survive in New England during the Civil War. Genre – Historical Fiction



Modern Fiction

 Palace of Illusions by Chitra Banerjee Devakurni: Relevant in today’s war-torn world, The Palace of Illusions takes us back to a time that is half history, half myth, and wholly magical. Narrated by Draupadi or Panchaali, the wife of the legendary Pandava brothers in the Mahabharat, the novel gives us a new interpretation of this ancient tale where the fiery Panchaali redefines for us a world of warriors, gods, and the ever-manipulating hands of fate. Genre -Mythology, Fantasy



Fountainhead by Ayn Rand: This is a cult book by Russian-American writer Ayn Rand whose theme is individualism versus collectivism, not in politics but in men’s souls. She tells this through the story of Howard Roark, an individualistic young architect who designs modernist buildings and refuses to compromise with an architectural establishment unwilling to accept innovation. The book is about the conflict between those who think for themselves and those who allow others to dominate their lives. More than 6.5 million copies of The Fountainhead have been sold worldwide and it has been translated into more than 20 languages. Genre – Philosophical Fiction, Romance


God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy: This debut novel of Arundhati Roy is a story about the childhood experiences of fraternal twins whose lives are destroyed by the Love Laws that lay down who should be loved, and how. And how much. The book explores how the small things affect people’s behavior and their lives. It won the Booker Prize in 1997.

Genre – Autobiographical Fiction, Social Drama



Chanakya’s Chant by Ashwin Sanghi:  In this novel Sanghi takes Chanakya, the greatest strategist of Indian History and makes us question – “What if Chanakya were alive today?”; “What if he were a player in today’s politics?”; “Would his brilliance and principles be relevant in today’s murky politics?” And then, he provides a brilliant answer in the form of Pandit Gangasagar Mishra, a current day politician and kingmaker. Genre – Historical Fiction 





The Shiva Trilogy by Amish: The Shiva Trilogy is the tale of the extraordinary man whose adventures 4000 years ago are remembered today as the myths of the Mahadev, the God of Gods. It is chronicled through three books, The Immortals of Meluha, The Secret of the Nagas & The Oath of the Vayuputras. 1900 BC. Fascinating book for those who are interested in history and mythology. Genre – Historical Fantasy



Harry Potter Series by J K Rowling: Harry Potter is a series of 7 fantasy novels written by British author J. K. Rowling. The novels chronicle the lives of a young wizard, Harry Potter, and his friends Hermione Granger and Ron Weasley, all of whom are students at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. These books are an important read for this generations of youngsters as they have permeated the culture across the world.

Genre – Fantasy


 Dollar Bahu by Sudha Murthy: Written in simple and easy language by Sudha Murthy, this is the story of how money corrupts the way people look at one another and how it can almost tear a family apart. An honest tale of how family members going abroad and earning in dollars are more appreciated than those who stay back and look after parents, Dollar Bahu talks about an understanding that mere dollars cannot buy the love and respect. Genre – Social Drama



A 100 years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquis: This brilliant, bestselling, landmark novel that tells the story of the Buendia family, and chronicles the irreconcilable conflict between the desire for solitude and the need for love—in rich, imaginative prose that has come to define an entire genre known as “magical realism” is a very relevant book in these times of social distancing. The book sold millions of copies; and he inspired a host of writers including Salman Rushdie and Toni Morrison. Genre – Magical Realism



The Kiterunner by Khaled Hussaini: The Kite Runner is the first novel by Afghan-American author Khaled Hosseini published in 2003. It tells the story of Amir, a young boy from the Wazir Akbar Khan district of Kabul, whose closest friend is Hassan. The story is set against a backdrop of tumultuous events, from the fall of Afghanistan’s monarchy through the Soviet military intervention, the exodus of refugees to Pakistan and the United States, and the rise of the Taliban regime. The Kite Runner became a bestseller and was a number one New York Times bestseller with over seven million copies sold in the United States. Genre – Historical Fiction, Drama


Interpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa Lahiri: Interpreter of Maladies is a collection of nine short stories by American author of Indian origin Jhumpa Lahiri published in 1999. It won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction and the Hemingway Foundation/PEN Award in the year 2000 and has sold over 15 million copies worldwide. Social and emotional maladjustment is an overarching theme in Interpreter of Maladies. Genre – Anthology/Collection of Stories



This is a long list of books to choose from. I do hope you pick up a book or two to read from this list of some of my favourite fiction. I’m sure you will all enjoy reading them and will also expand your horizons
If you have read any of these, please share your view on them or you can email me at

About the Author:  Professor Atima Mankotia

Books by Atima Mankotia

The author Atima Mankotia has written two books about social issues in India many of which she feels strongly about and hopes to raise awareness about through her writings.

The first book ‘Staring at the Square Moon’ was released in 2017 and featured in the Jaipur Literature Festival 2018.

Watch this video of her session at Jaipur Literature Festival 2018.

The second book ‘Better than Sex’ was released in early 2020 at the Bhopal Literature Festival.

Atima Mankotia also curates the annual CSOI Literature Festival and is invited regularly as a panelist and moderator to prominent events and literary festivals across the country.











Staring at the Square Moon

This book tells the story of four women whose lives come together in early childhood. They develop special bonds that always connect them even when their lives get disassociated as each follows her own destiny. Each one of them grapples with her past, sometimes thriving, sometimes floundering, always confronting and struggling with the aftermath and consequences of abuse that lurk just beneath the surface threatening to overwhelm and destroy their lives. A peek into the world of abuse that comes in many guises from blatantly brazen sexual and physical abuse to furtively sneaky psychological and emotional abuse that leave agonising scars that are indelible, forever haunting and influencing a woman’s mind. Genre: Social drama



Better than Sex: This recently published novel by Atima Mankotia,  Professor of OB-HR and Communications at IILM, is a delightful social satire. It is a  fun read that takes a peek into the minds ordinary Indians through the story of a middle class Punjabi family from Delhi. It’s  a story that deals with complex relationships, love, passion, romance, family ties and bonds of sisterhood. A social satire and a social commentary, while it is a racy read, it raises many pertinent questions about Indian social norms.  Genre – Social Satire, Drama   


The author is a columnist and writes regularly on social issues.

Articles by the Author

Daily O

Huffington Post

Th Quint

International Education – Can the Dream Come True?

Many Indian students were dreaming of an international education after completing school in 2020. They were geared up for a foreign degree at an international university for a BBA or any other undergraduate degree. However, the academic plans of CBSE Class 12 Students have been delayed and they are concerned about what the future holds. Can these students still aspire for an international education? What are the ways in which their dream can still be fulfilled?

The COVID-19 lockdown has come with a new set of concerns for class 12 students whose board exams were postponed midway. Their future education plans have been put on hold. The latest announcement by Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) on May 18, 2020 releasing dates for the pending board exams between July 1- 15, may have ended some uncertainty for students but this is only the tip of the iceberg of the much larger picture of uncertainty that surrounds their future education plans.  This situation is more acute for students who were planning to study abroad after their 12th board exams and had already taken admission in foreign universities or were in the midst of applying to foreign universities at the undergraduate level. These students are stuck between a rock and a hard place unable to decide how to fulfil their dreams or plan ahead.

Steep Increase in Students going Abroad in the last Decade

According to the statistics released by the Indian Ministry of External Affairs, the Indian students studying in universities abroad in 2019 is 753,000. This number was expected to soar in 2020. Till about a decade ago, the number of students studying abroad was only 66, 736 and  the steep rise in numbers can be attributed to several factors  which would largely include India’s population of 1.26 billion with an average age of 25 years.

After the global pandemic Indian students have little choice but to cancel their plans of studying abroad due to shutdown of college campuses across the world and uncertainty related to resumption of physical classes. Currently, almost 1 million Indian students are estimated to be studying across universities in US, UK, Europe, Australia, and parts of South-East Asia across undergraduate and postgraduate programs. The fear of COVID-19 infection has halted new plans of pursuing education abroad as foreign universities themselves are in a ‘wait-and-watch’ mode. According to Overseas Education Consultants intake for educational institutions in US, UK, Canada, and Europe is very unlikely to happen in September and physical intake of campus will only begin from January 2021.

International Education Dream   

Under such circumstances, what do students who aspire and dream of studying abroad after their class 12th board exams do?  There are many options open but to decide what to do is not easy. Students can take a gap year and risk wasting a year hoping for the situation to improve next year in 2021 and pursue their dream of International education from next year or they could still fulfill their dreams of an international education without a gap year.  Many private universities and Business Schools such as IILM offer an innovative plan for students keen on a foreign degree. Students can take admission in the undergraduate program and study here for a year and take a transfer to an international partner university next year to complete their education abroad. This is the 1 + 2 program offered at IILM.

IILM also offers a 2 + 1 program where students can study at their campus for 2 years and take a transfer to any of their partner universities for one year to complete their education and get an international degree.

Transfer Back to India

IILM also extends support to students in the current scenario of uncertainty where many of them are enrolled in foreign universities and do not want to return to their campuses. IILM offers a lateral entry in its second and third year to students who want to transfer back to India. In the times of the pandemic and even post pandemic, this may be something many parents and students may be exploring and IILM is ready to offer lateral entries to students who do not want to return to their foreign universities.

While times are challenging and uncertain, a good decision now can stand the students in good stead in their future education and career plans.  IILM’s strategy, keeping in view the increased global student mobility, is based on internationalization to help students fulfil their dreams and support them in times of crisis by offering an education that is both globally and locally relevant

For more information:

IILM’s Top Ten Non-fiction Books for Students Under Lockdown

World Book Day was recently celebrated on April 23, 2020 to reiterate the importance of books and reading in our lives, something that IILM believes in and inculcates in its students. The first World Book Day was celebrated on 23 April in 1995 and continues to be celebrated on that day. The original idea to celebrate this day was of the Spanish writer Vicente Clavel Andrés to honour author Miguel de Cervantes who died on 23 April. In 1995, UNESCO too decided that the World Book and Copyright Day would be celebrated on 23 April as the date is anniversary of the death of not just Cervantes but also of William Shakespeare and Inca Garcilaso de la Vega, a historical coincidence.

IILM encourages its students to read by stocking the library with interesting books that are not text books and by Book Clubs and Societies. During, the lockdown, students are at home with ample time on their hands so IILM has decided to share a list of books with students to guide them about what to read.


Why is reading so important and why does IILM emphases and focuses on reading? Reading expands one’s horizons, improves one’s written and spoken communication and language and most, importantly, reading allows one to think critically and form opinions. Reading, by increasing a people’s knowledge of the world, opens their minds to a plethora of information, that not only allows them to gather more knowledge but also allows them to think on their own and be able to analyze and justify those thoughts.

With so many benefits of reading, please IILM urges to use this time to cultivate the habit of reading.

IILM has put together a list of top ten non-fiction and fiction books that IILM recommend for students to read under lockdown. Today we share with you the list of non-fiction books, i.e, books that are informative or factual rather than fictional.You can choose books that interest you. Most of them are available on kindle and soft copies of some are even available free online. You can even choose them as audio books and hear them.

You do not have to read all. Even if you read one book it is a beginning.

Happy reading!

Top Ten Non-Fiction Books by IILM

IILMBlog_IILMs-Top-Ten-Non-fiction-Books_Book11. Jonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach: A simple and easy book to read with depth of life’s philosophy, Jonathan Livingston Seagull is an ode to self-determination through transcendence of the body and discovery of the limitless nature of the mind and the spirit. The story is told through Jonathan, a seagull, who longs to be in control of his own life and govern himself independently of his dominating, small-minded Flock and how he achieves it.

IILMBlog_IILMs-Top-Ten-Non-fiction-Books_Book22. Who Moved My Cheese by Dr Spencer Johnson:
An easy read with text interspersed with illustrations, this is a self help book where ‘Cheese’ is a metaphor for what you want to have in life – it could be a good job, loving relationship, money or health. The very core message of the book is that things constantly change so we must adapt. The quicker we adapt a change the more satisfied we will be.

IILMBlog_IILMs-Top-Ten-Non-fiction-Books_Book33. The Monk who Sold his Ferrari by Robin Sharma:
An inspiration book, The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari tells the extraordinary story of Julian Mantle, a lawyer forced to confront the spiritual crisis of his out-of-balance life, and the subsequent wisdom that he gains on a life-changing odyssey that enables him to create a life of passion, purpose and peace. What readers all over the globe appreciate about this book is its deft amalgam of the philosophies from both western and eastern worlds.

IILMBlog_IILMs-Top-Ten-Non-fiction-Books_Book44. The Prophet by Khalil Gibran: The Prophet provides timeless spiritual wisdom on a range of subjects, including giving, eating and drinking, clothes, buying and selling, crime and punishment, laws, teaching, time, pleasure, religion, death, beauty and friendship. A book of 26 prose poetry fables written in English by the Lebanese-American poet and writer Kahlil Gibran, corresponding to each chapter are evocative drawings by Gibran himself. This book, written in beautiful verse, is a guide to many situations in life.

IILMBlog_IILMs-Top-Ten-Non-fiction-Books_Book55. How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie: This self-help book published in 1936 has sold over 30 million copies worldwide, making it one of the best-selling books of all time. Carnegie shares 12 ways to improve. These include the ability to make friends quickly, increase popularity, boost influence, win clients, raise your salary, make you a better salesperson, and help you inspire coworkers to increase their excitement and productivity. The simple concepts put forward by Carnegie are timeless and continue to be relevant.

IILMBlog_IILMs-Top-Ten-Non-fiction-Books_Book66. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change by Stephen R. Covey: This book hit the business and self-help book list like a hurricane in the early 1990s. Drawing on aspects of the philosophies of ancient thinkers like Aristotle, Benedict, and Cicero, Covey repackages some of the foundational precepts into easily understood lesson for the current audience. The author’s tone is positive, pushing readers to believe that anything is possible with a can-do attitude and solid determination. It is a book that reminds that we are always in a constant state of improving ourselves both in our personal lives and professional careers.

IILMBlog_IILMs-Top-Ten-Non-fiction-Books_Book77. First, Break all the Rules: What the World’s Greatest Managers Do Differently by Marcus Buckingham and Curt Coffman’s: This is an interesting read for Management students because the main premise of the book is that despite differences of backgrounds, educations, cultures, and leadership styles, successful managers share one key component – the tenacity to break every rule held sacred by conventional business leadership. The concepts delivered are not specific to any one type of organization or manager providing specific ways a manager can improve her leadership and make her organization more effective.

IILMBlog_IILMs-Top-Ten-Non-fiction-Books_Book88. Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman: This international bestseller goes beyond self-help philosophies to unveil where success begins – in the mind. Kahneman introduces and explains two systems that drive the way we think – System One and System Two. The first system contains emotional, intuitive, and fast-paced thinking. The second system is described as logical, more deliberate, and slower. The author argues that understanding these two systems is imperative to know how to make the right decisions in the professional and personal realms in which we exist.

IILMBlog_IILMs-Top-Ten-Non-fiction-Books_Book99. Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind by Noah Harari: For those interested in the history of the humans this is the author’s account of how the humans conquered the Earth. Some of his theories astonish with their scope and imagination. Yuval Noah Harari’s Sapiens avoids simplistic explanations of the evolution of the sapiens and offers an exceptional retelling of the human story seasoned with many personal reflections on man’s tenancy of the planet.

IILMBlog_IILMs-Top-Ten-Non-fiction-Books_Book1010. The 5 am Club by Robin Sharma:
The 5 am Club is a trailblazing and astonishing story of two everyday human beings seeking greater productivity, prosperity and serenity in this age of digital distraction and overwhelming complexity who meet a most weird and wonderful tycoon. The book that talks about how great geniuses, business titans and the world’s wisest people start their mornings; the formula to wake up early feeling inspired, focused with a fiery drive; and a method to protect the quietest hours of daybreak, unfolds a neuroscience-based practice proven to make it easy to rise while most people are sleeping.

Rising Above the Challenge

IILM Adapts and Innovates

Human Resource professionals, consultants and HR specialists have always maintained that the flexibility of ‘Working from Home’ is an HR best practice that has been adopted by some of the top, most innovative and forward-thinking organizations.

Rising-Above-the-Challenge_1According to several studies, flexible work arrangements can improve recruitment and retention, augment organizational diversity, encourage ethical behavior, and help the organization’s efforts to be socially responsible. Employers can experience cost savings, improved attendance and productivity, and an increase in employee engagement. Other identified benefits are reduction in costs in terms of travel by using Conferencing technology; upgraded technology making the company competitive; reduction in space requirements; Work- life balance; and increase in sustainability by decreasing harmful impact on global ecology by reducing carbon emissions and footprints.

Many Millennials consider work-life balance and flexibility to be the most important factors while considering job offers. Infact,64 percent of Millennials said they would like to work from home occasionally and 66 percent of non-Millennials said they would prefer to sometimes shift their work hours to the house according to a recent Price water house Coopers (PwC) study. Most employees long for workplace flexibility, and those showing up for work on time every day often end up resenting employees who worked from home.

Rising-Above-the-Challenge_2However, teaching was always considered one job that could not be done from home. A brick and mortar classroom, a campus life and face to face student-teacher interactions was always considered to be the best way for education. IILM Institute for Higher Education has always believed in the importance of faculty and student interaction, not only inside classrooms but outside them as well. The faculty constantly mentors’ students, guiding them personally and professionally at all stages of their time at IILM and even beyond. So, it was not an easy task for IILM Institute for Higher Education to adapt to the new and challenging situation faced by the world.

The fear of the spread of the covid-19 virus forced people to stay at home. Business needed to be conducted online with employees overnight becoming adept at online forums such as zoom, skype, emails, conference calls and many mores. Webinars and online meetings are now the order of the day.

Rising-Above-the-Challenge_3IILM Institute for Higher Education had to quickly restructure it way of working and it adapt to the new ‘Work From Home’ scenario where the students and teachers stayed at home. Classes are now conducted efficiently and regularly over zoom, with assignments being sent on mail and the teacher-student interaction continuing steadfast. Students continue interacting with faculty mentors over zoom meetings, or even video chats or audio calls.

The work culture at IILM Institute for Higher Education is one that believes in adaptability and flexibility. Student interests are always put first at IILM Institute for Higher Education that has devised new and innovative ways of reaching out to students and keeping them informed and motivated. There are classroom sessions for teaching and there are fun sessions where teachers hang out with students for a chat to find out how they are coping with the new system. IILM Institute for Higher Education also believes in intervention to help students who may need help or are lagging behind due to any reason. The faculty are always alert to the needs of the students.

While these theories and mindsets about working from home being a best work practice crumbled for many Millennials and Non-Millennials within days of the forced lockdown when they were compelled to work from home, the faculty and Management at IILM Institute for Higher Education made the best of a challenging situation creating many innovative ways of working and not getting overwhelmed by the situation.

This is not a dream come true scenario for even the strong supporters of working from home because working from home under the current circumstances is difficult. One must work much harder to get even simple things done without the office infrastructure and interaction and the comfort of the brick and mortar offices, especially in academic in institutes.

IILM Institute for Higher Education has adapted and innovated to create an uninterrupted continuation of the academic process ensuring a comfortable and efficient experience for its students.

Atima Mankotia
Professor HR-OB & Communication

Words in the Garden

The second edition of “Words in the Garden” co hosted by IILM Institute was held on 24 th and 25 th February, 2018, at India International Centre, New Delhi. The festival, based on the theme “Ghalib ki Dilli“, was organized to commemorate the 220th birth anniversary of the poet, Mirza Ghalib. The two day festival was a convergence of some of the most brilliant and inspiring artists in the fields of literature, art, social sciences and public spheres. The session names were interestingly borrowed from famous words of the poet. The inaugural session called “Zahraab Ugata Hai Mujhe” was a discussion featuring poet, Shri Shamsur Rahman Faruq; poet, Shri Ashok Vajpeyi ji ; author, Pavan K Varma and Mrs. Malvika Rai. This was followed by a delicious dinner representative of 19 th century Delhi cuisine curated by Salma Yusuf Hussain, a food curator. The festival began with the screening of the movie “Mirza Ghalib (1954)” depicting the life and times of of the poet. It told the story of Mirza Ghalib’s tragic, ill-fated love for a beautiful courtesan, Chaudvin and his triumphs and failures ultimately resulting in his descent from a wealthy poet and nobleman to a life of poverty and penury. The next highlight was a play named “Ghalib ki New Delhi”, a satire on society exhibited through a series of interesting difficulties that Ghalib would have faced had he been born in the present era. Thereafter, Mr. Bishwajit Bhattacharrya with his group of musicians took the audience on a musical journey through time with old Bollywood songs that correlated with the themes of Ghalib’s poetry: Shahar-e-Aarzoo; Tamasha Mere Aagey; Ajab Waqt and Gham-e-Hasti. All the programmes were well received by the audience.



The next day brought a series of workshops on Calligraphy and Photography. Naqsh-e-Ghalib was a workshop where a renowned Delhi-based calligraphy artist, Ms Shipra Dutta, Words-in-the-Garden3demonstrated and taught the participants some nuances of this art from. The photography workshop by Ms Shoba Jolly that revolved around travel, landscape, street and fine art photography, discussed some classic rules of great photography. These vibrant and interactive sessions had participants actively participating in discussions and learning new and unique techniques of both the art forms. This was followed by a piano recital by Sahil Vasudeva, a young and talented young classical musician who is credited with bringing the piano out of conventional spaces into the arena of performance art.


Words-in-the-Garden5Mehfil-e-Shayari had the audience spell bound with the soulful recitation of Mirza Ghalib’s poetry with English translations by Murad Ali, the mesmerizing timbre of sarangi proving completely captivating William Dalrymple, Mridula Garg, Anurag Batra and Vikram Lall discussed the interpretation and definition of Ghalib’s concept of Delhi “Shahar-e-Aarzoo” or “The City of Desire” in the current times. Their interesting points of views meandered and wove around the fact that despite Delhi having changed over the years, it has managed to retain its basic essence justifying it still being labelled “The City of Desire“. The session “Gham-e-Hasti” had Om Thanvi, editor of the prestigious Hindi daily in conversation with Adhik Kadam, cofounder of an NGO working in Kashmir’s hostile environment during the course of which they shared the pain of common people, a poignant reminder of the pathetic living conditions at the grass root levels. In “Aakhir is dard kee dawa kya hai


Mr. Adhik Kadam spoke about his social work in many remote areas of Jammu and Kashmir highlighting the role of his NGO “Borderless World Foundation” towards welfare activities. At the end of this well attended session, Mr Kadam was flooded with questions that he answered drawing in the audience into discussions. The next session was appropriately called “Sukhan Gustaraana Baat” from Ghalib’s verse “maqt-e mein aa pari hai sukhan gustaraana baat” which translates to “I wrote something in the ‘sher which became popular“. During this event Vaishali Mathur gave a glimpse into the world of publishing, and discussed the intricacies of decision making involved in identifying writing styles. The last event was “Ghalib Baithak” where Team Parwaz, in a scintillating evening, traversed through Ghalib’s life, times and his poetry giving the audience a peek into the poet’s personality by interspersing the session with anecdotes about the poet’s wit and humour. “Mehfil-e-Ghalib” with Radhika Chopra singing Mirza Ghalib’s ghazals in her crisp and clear voice with an impeccable Hindi and Urdu dictation was a fitting grand finale for the festival.


The Second edition of “Words in the Garden” was an endeavor to defuse literature along with art and ideas. The event proved that art and literature have no geographical boundaries and all walls crumble where art, music and literature are concerned. It was a unique opportunity for the audience to witness and take part in stimulating discussions, invigorating sessions, meet their favorite authors, poets, musicians and influencers. With this the next edition of our festival “Bapuji ki Dilli” was also announced.

Hon’ble Vice President of India,Shri M Venkaiah Naidu inaugurates IILM University.

IILM University has been set up under the Haryana Private Universities (Amendment) Act 2018, and the University will open its doors to the students from the current academic year starting from July 2018. Mr. S.Y. Quraishi, Former Chief Election Commissioner, is the Chancellor Designate of IILM University and Dr. Sujata Shahi is the Vice Chancellor Designate. IILM University, Gurugram, was inaugurated by Honorable Vice President of India, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu, on 20 th April 2018. IILM University, Gurugram, has been established on the principles of being Global, Inclusive and Responsible. Anchored around the concept of liberal education with technology focus, the University is benchmarked with the best of liberal education universities in the world. The University, having international collaborations with the best global and national institutions, will be inclusive, reaching out to all sections of society. The focus of the new University will be on Skills, Innovation and Entrepreneurship, and Technology. Located on the DLF Golf Course Road, Sector 53, Gurugram, the University has an environment friendly, world-class infrastructure, and a safe and secure campus for the students and faculty members.


The inauguration event, held at IILM campus in Lodhi Road, witnessed eminent personalities, Dr. S.Y. Quraishi, Former Chief Election Commissioner and Chancellor Designate of IILM University and Shri Raj Nehru, Vice Chancellor, Haryana Vishwakarma Skill University, among many others. The evening began with Chairperson IILM Group, Mrs. Malvika Rai and Mr. Anil Rai, welcoming the Honourable Vice President of India, along with Dr. Quraishi and Dr. Sujata Shahi. Mr. Anil Rai shared with the Vice President the vision behind the University and the Centres of Excellence.


The inauguration event started with Dr. Sujata Shahi, Vice Chancellor Designate, welcoming the Hon’ble Vice President of India, Shri Venkaiah Naidu; Chancellor Designate, Dr. Quraishi; Shri Raj Nehru, Vice Chancellor, Haryana Vishwakarma Skill University; Mrs. Malvika Rai; Mr. Anil Rai, and other distinguished guests, colleagues and the students.
IILM-University-inauguration3In her welcome address she said, “It is our privilege to welcome Hon’ble Vice President of India, Shri Venkaiah Naidu Ji. Sir, we are deeply honored to have you with us on this very special and momentous occasion for the IILM family. Today we remember our founder, Dr. Kulwant Rai. In some measure, this is the fulfillment of his dream. Dr. Kulwant Rai’s abiding passion was to make education available to all. His focus on education is best described in the words of Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba,” The process of education is to render the individual a happier and more useful person; it must also make him a better citizen, able and willing to further the progress of the nation to which he belongs & Sir, in December 2013, Mr. Anil Rai and Mrs. Malvika Rai met Shri Narendra Modi in Ahmedabad. Modi ji asked them to set up a liberal arts university because, in his words, “We do not want to create robots.” Our University is an off shoot of that vision to create this world class liberal arts university in Gurugram. IILM University will deliver an academic experience that fosters intellectual curiosity, a critical thought process, self-reflection, leadership and a heightened sensitivity to one’s socio-cultural environment. Sir, our University is committed to shape a better future, create a higher quality of life, and give wings to a million dreams and aspirations with confidence, energy and passion for a greater India.” She thereafter invited the Chancellor Designate, Dr. Quraishi, to deliver his address and welcome the Honorable Vice President of India .

IILM-University-inauguration4Dr. Quraishi highlighted that IILM University envisages becoming a leading Liberal Arts University in Asia with a focus on Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Technology and then he unfolded the IILM University vision. In his address he said: “The vision of IILM University is – Global, Inclusive, Responsible. The University has 4 Schools – Liberal Arts, Management, Technology, Design and Fashion. We have 5 Centers of Excellence: Skills, Entrepreneurship & Business, Technology, Innovation & Sustainability, and Teaching, Research & Learning. IILM University envisages becoming a leading Liberal Arts University in Asia with a focus on Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Technology. This century needs youth who are capable of navigating cultural differences, have a sense of groundedness and are able to lead in an increasingly interdependent global world. Liberal education develops these qualities. It encourages students to explore and develop their interests,to think critically about issues from multiple perspectives, to communicate effectively and become responsible leaders with a commitment to society. Our university shall focus on Liberal Education – an education that provides students with flexibility and space to explore and pursue a wide range of courses instead of focusing solely on one field of study. Our students will have the option of a flexible degree that won’t preclude a variety of job prospects across disciplines.We will provide an integrated approach to undergraduate and post graduate education with a global outlook, supported by over thirty academic collaborations. IILM University will therefore be a responsible and inclusive center of learning. Hon’ble Vice President in one of his recent speeches had said, “It is important for every education institution to create an atmosphere which encourages innovation, new ideas and tap the talent of the young minds.” We have at IILM Uniersity a 40,000sq ft. Incubation Center to promote entrepreneurship and inspire innovation amongst our students. The IILM Incubation Center proposes to provide mentorship and access to funds to enable our students to start up their own businesses and not depend only on jobs. Our University will also focus on next generation technologies in break through areas such as Artificial Intelligence, Robotics, the Internet of Things, Autonomous Vehicles and Quantum Computing. The University shall provide linkages with Industry and work very closely with them to help delivery of this new age curriculum. This will equip our students to face the challenges of a globalized world. The University’s Center of Excellence in Sustainability and Innovation is being aligned to promoting the United Nations Sustainable Development goals. IILM has been a UN Principles for Responsible Management Education (PRME) Signatory since 2008 and works closely with the UN Global Compact in India to promote CSR and sustainability.To cater to the ever-growing requirement of teachers, both for schools and for higher education, IILM’s Centre for Teaching, Research and Learning will be a special platform for the exchange of pedagogical ideas. It will provide training to school and college faculty which is a critical need for the students of tomorrow. It will focus on evolving best practices of teaching and learning, redefining the role of a teacher so that the use of technology can be leveraged to facilitate learning that is relevant in the current context. We shall train teachers from K-12 schools to university, keeping in mind the vacuum that exists presently in India and around the world.” He requested the Vice President of India to inaugurate the University and release the University. The Vice President of India was delighted to be presented with a caricature of himself. The Vice President of India, Shri M. Venkaiah Naidu said that education should not only prepare our youth to face challenges of a technologically-driven knowledge society, but also make them analyze critically and come out with innovative solutions to the problems faced by people.

IILM-University-inauguration5In his address to the gathering after inaugurating the IILM University Gurugram Campus from IILM Lodhi Road Campus, he said: “I am extremely delighted to inaugurate IILM University. My best wishes to everyone associated with this institution. I am also glad to know that the University’s mission is in sync with the vision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to create a new India on the basis of inclusive economic development through education and skill development among students. I am sure that IILM University is going to make an important contribution in realizing the dream of an educated and skilled India. However, it should be remembered that the education of an individual does not end by merely acquiring degrees or employable skills. Education is meant to develop a holistic personality with qualities of head and heart. As Swami Vivekananda had said, “Education is the manifestation of the perfection already in man”.


Education should not only prepare our youth to face challenges of a technologically driven knowledge society but also make them analyze critically and come out with innovative solutions to the problems faced by people. They should be confident of dreaming big and exploring uncharted territories. At the same time, students should remain rooted to our culture, traditions, customs and history. They should never neglect their parents, mother tongue, motherland and native village. They should always believe in co-existing harmoniously with nature for a better future. There is a need to revamp and reorient the higher education system in the country to equip students with the demands of knowledge driven world.
IILM-University-inauguration7While, there are more than 800 universities in the country, it is a matter of concern that none of them figures in the top ranked global institutes. Merely expanding infrastructure with sleek looking buildings will not make an institution excellent unless it imparts education of highest standards without compromising on quality. Our universities should move in that direction by making necessary changes in the methods of pedagogy. I am glad to learn that the Vision of this University is to be Global, Inclusive and Responsible. Indian civilization has always considered the world as its family (Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam). Our commitment to the cause of climate change, solar energy and conserving nature, will hopefully, get reflected in educating students and making them globally responsible citizens. Mahatma Gandhi was the foremost proponent of this philosophy of being responsible. His seven sins -Wealth without Work, Pleasure without Conscience, Knowledge without Character, Commerce without Morality, Science without Humanity, Religion without Sacrifice and Politics without Principle – are guiding principles for shaping the ethical ethos of individuals, society, country and the world. I hope the University will try to inculcate such values. The University has to be inclusive given India’s diversity and inequality. While diversity is our strength, the huge inequality poses lots of challenges. Focus on entrepreneurship, technology and skill development will help develop an inclusive, just and equal society. sciplinary education is must. I am glad to know that University intends to pursue this objective with vigor. Education in silos will not equip students for future. Liberal Education with focus on Technology, Skill Development and Entrepreneurship will serve well the students, industry and the society. Information technology coupled with various scientific advances is changing our lives like never before. Therefore, the focus should be on futuristic technologies and students need to be prepared for jobs which do not exist. I am happy to know that students doing a major in fashion or design or economics can also study Artificial Intelligence or robotics at IILM University. We need more and more such multi-disciplinary and multi-skilled youngsters to meet future challenges.

I am happy that you already started an Incubation Center. Entrepreneurship is the need of the hour. Students must be motivated to start their own businesses and not depend on jobs alone. India is a land of entrepreneurs and given the right opportunity our youngsters can excel and create global businesses. With about 65 percent of our population aged below 35 years, we need to take full advantage of this demographic dividend in building a prosperous and inclusive New India and educational institutions like IILM have a pivotal role to play in achieving that goal. I am pleased to note that IILM has been part of the United Nations Principles for Responsible Management Education initiative since its inception in 2008. The University’s focus on the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals (a universal call to action to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure that all people enjoy peace and prosperity), and working closely with the UN Global Compact India will allow it to be a responsible provider of higher education Dr. Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, India’s first Vice President, famously said, “The true teachers are those who help us think for ourselves”. I hope the University will have such teachers and researchers and it will also create such future teachers which we need in vast numbers. I wish the University well and may it rise to greater heights in achieving academic excellence. JAI HIND!” The Vice President congratulated the University and the entire team and said that students should be confident of dreaming big and exploring uncharted territories and remain rooted to our culture, traditions, customs and history. In his view Liberal Education with focus on Technology, Skill Development and Entrepreneurship will serve well the students, industry and the society. The address of the Vice President was met by a thunderous applause and palpable excitement amongst the University faculty, students and dignitaries for the new education hub in the heart of Gurgaon. Mr. Raj Nehru, Vice Chancellor, Haryana Vishwakarma Skill University offered a vote of thanks and endorsed the IILM University vision.
IILM-University-inauguration8In his address he said, “It is a great pleasure and honor to be part of this august audience and this event where the University is going to focus on the Liberal Arts having its inauguration today with the hands of person who has deep passion for education. India is at the cusp of change, the world is also at the cusp of change. The amount of change that’s happening around the world, and the amount of innovation and disruption that’s happening all around, is triggering a lot of technological advancements. And these technological advancements are compelling and propelling growth. There is a big void happening between the values, the character, which has been entrained in our text, our books, for last many millennials. An education which proposes itself in the area of Liberal Arts can manifest as an anchor by joining technology and the values together and making the wholesome development of the individual, combing physical, mental, emotional and spiritual elements, which is the need of the time.
IILM-University-inauguration9There is need not only to develop the physical comfort, but also to develop the emotional and spiritual comfort, because unless there is no internal comfort, unless the fears are not taken away, unless the doubts and suspicions are not taken away, there won’t be a wholesome development of an individual. Here, the opportunity that comes through liberal arts education is where you give opportunities to individuals not only to excel in the area of technology, but at the same time pick up the subjects which can align the person with philosophy, psychology and with subjects that can integrate both. I am glad, to tell you that Haryana Vishwakarma Skill University, which is the first skill university in India which also tells you about changing frames around the skilling and integrating vocational education has also signed an MOU with IILM University very recently and both the universities will be partnering together to take education to more meaningful way. Where today the educator, the educatee and the employer, all three are living in different worlds, this model of education will be integrating them together. On behalf of IILM University, I thank Honorable Vice President for giving his time and inaugurating this University and the stamp. I also thank all other guest, dignitaries to be part of this program” The day ended in vibrant excitement and enthusiasm and dignitaries exchanged ideas over high tea on initiatives to be taken towards making IILM University, an exceptional institution of higher education and research. The University unique in itself will help make Gurugram an education hub of pan India with a focus to collaborate with academic institutions, companies and entrepreneurs to make an impact through creation and dissemination of application oriented knowledge.


IILM University has designed the pedagogical experience through innovation and experiential learning opportunities both inside and outside the classroom, whereby providing a holistic development to the students. At the same time, the pedagogical experience empowers the students to deal with diversity, change and complexity, bringing them closer to their personal & professional goals. The University will follow the blended learning process where theory and real world practices are weaved into the curriculum to make the students ready for employability. Teaching methods will include case studies, simulation, role plays, seminars and presentation. IILM University’s international partnerships will aid in enhancing students’ ability to relate to global markets giving them an opportunity to draw informed deductions and comparisons between developed and fast developing economies. All faculty at IILM University have a Ph.D and come from myriad backgrounds. This wide mix of experience combined with extensive research and industry experience adds an exceptional learning experience for the creative minds. Faculty also acts as mentors to the students which fosters a strong bond between the students and the teacher guiding the disciples to achieve their goals and aspirations in life. The full amenity residential campus ensures plenty of opportunity to the students to compete and collaborate on various activities. The IILM residences allow students to focus on personal, academic and professional development during their study.


IILM University also offers merit and needs based scholarship to all deserving candidates thus attracting the brightest of the minds. The scholarships are also offered for all round excellence in areas other than academics, for girl students, for wards of defense personnel, for wards of martyrs and scholarships are also considered favorably for students in cases of emergency. With great optimism, the Industry at large, eminent luminaries and students across Gurugram have all welcomed this news of IILM offering different programs through IILM University Gurugram. The academic fraternity at IILM is eagerly looking towards making the entire experience enriching where students are taken through a learning journey which is Global, Responsible and Inclusive.

International Conference : Sustainability Practices in Industry and Education

IILM Institute of Higher Education organised its most coveted and flagship event: The Fifth International Conference on Sustainability from February 15th – 17th 2018. The theme of the conference was “Resolution to Resolve: Sustainability Practices in Industry and Education”. Being a lifetime member of the UN Global Compact’s PRME India Chapter and one of its champion business schools, IILM takes pride in hosting the event every year in association with UNGC, focussing on specific Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as outlined by UNGC. This year the emphasis was on SDG 4 and SDG 9 and accordingly, the sub-themes of the conference focussed on industry, infrastructure and innovation. The conference saw participation from eminent personalities from the industry, polity and academia. The conference this year coincided with the celebration of 25 years of IILM’s contribution to responsible management education. To mark the silver jubilee year, a compendium of articles on sustainability in the form of an edited book, was released during the first day of the conference. There were total of 5 sessions spread over the three days of the conference.

Day I : Inaugural Session

The conference started with the inaugural session, presided over by the Chief Guest, Prof. Furqan Qamar, Secretary General, Association of Indian Universities; Mr. R. Ramanan, Mission Director, Atal Innovation Mission, Niti Ayog, GOI; Mr. Vinay Kumar, Director Artificial Intelligence, Azure and Search Partnerships, Microsoft; Dr. Bhaskar Chatterjee, Senior Director, IILM, and Dr. Smitha Girija, Director, IILM. The welcome address was delivered by Dr. Bhaskar Chatterjee during which he welcomed the eminent speakers and the audience to this conference. He gave an overview of the three days to come and then invited the speakers to share their thoughts. Mr. Vinay Kumar addressed the gathering and highlighted the impact of Artificial Intelligence (AI) as the fourth industrial revolution. He touched upon the broader issues of job displacements, AI design principles, government policies and AI ethics as areas that need consideration. Mr. R. Ramanan shed light on various initiatives taken by Atal innovation mission at Niti Ayog including “Mentor India Network” and “Mentor of Change”. Further, he stressed on the need for education to create innovative minds and job creators rather than only job seekers in the Indian context. The Chief Guest, Prof. Furqan Qamar, delivered the keynote address. He began his speech by quoting examples of how AI is eliminating repetitive jobsand how many current jobs will be taken up by machines in the near future. He specifically spoke about SDG 4 that focuses on quality education and further highlighted its critical aspects including access, equity, inclusion, quality of higher education and affordability.

This landmark event was set off with the release of IILM’s flagship publication titled “Resolution to Resolve: Sustainability Practices in Industry and Education” (published by Bloomsbury). This book, with contributions from some of our nation’s wellknown and eminent academicians, practitioners, authors and intellectuals, highlights the effective thoughts and ideas related to the SDGs mentioned above. This compilation of thoughtful and well researched contributions is not only a great value add to the gravitas of the event but is also a thought provoking platform for the ensuing discussions. The book has been edited by IILM faculty along with Dr. Bhaskar Chatterjee, Senior Director, IILM.

Sustainability-Practices-in-Industry3Day I: Panel Discussion On The Book : The book release during the inaugural session was followed by a panel discussion on the same topic moderated by Dr. Bhaskar Chatterjee during which Mr. Kamal Singh, Executive Director of UN Global Compact Network India; Dr. Sangeeta Mansur, Founder-Catalyst Bhairavi Business & Consultancy; Prof. Vivek Nagpal, Senior Consultant, MHRD; Mr. Rajeeb Kumar Debnath, Advisor PwC, and Mr. Sudarshan Rodriguez, Senior Programme Coordinator, Director’s Office, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, enlightened the gathering on the subject. Each of them presented their contribution to the book and gave insights on its relevance in the context of current education and industrial set-up.

Day 1 of the conference concluded successfully leaving the audience eager for the forthcoming sessions.

Day II: Plenary Session I: “Laying the Foundation: Alignment of Management Education with Sustainability”

Day 2 of the conference commenced with the first plenary session on the topic “Laying the Foundation: Alignment of Management Education with Sustainability”. Education has always been considered the foundation to bring any kind of reform and it is one of the most powerful and proven vehicles for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The focus of this session was SDG 4, which aims to provide equal access to affordable vocational training, to eliminate gender and wealth disparities, and achieve universal access to quality education. Distinguished panellists for this session included Dr. Manoj Sinha, Principal Aryabhatta College, Delhi University; Mr. Siddharth Sibal, Vice President, Accenture, and Prof. John Varghese, Principal, St. Stephen’s College. They highlighted the purpose of education as the vehicle to raise awareness and consciousness among people. Mr. Sibal also emphasised different innovative interventions such as solar coins, block chain technology, 3D printing to name a few, that are currently changing the way we live and consume.


Day II: Plenary Session II: “Infrastructure through the Lens of Sustainability”

The second session on “Infrastructure through the Lens of Sustainability” revolved around the implementation of SDG 9 – to develop quality, reliable, sustainable, and resilient infrastructure, to support economic development and human well-being. This session empanelled Col. Prakash Tewari, Executive Director, CSR, DLF Foundation; Mr. Pranshu Gupta, Manager, Sustainability Services, Accenture Strategy; Mr. Ajay Tyagi, Managing Partner, Lex Terrae. Sustainability-Practices-in-Industry5They underlined the importance of focusing on infrastructure for any of the other SDGs to become a success. They also highlighted the need for culturally and ecologically relevant technological interventions to solve the local infrastructural issues. Mr. Prakash Tiwari spoke about various initiatives by DLF for transforming Gurugram into a Smart City. He concluded with the quote – “the greatest threat to our planet is the belief that someone else will save it”. Mr. Pranshu spoke about Earth Overshoot Day and how infrastructure can help in pushing that further if not eliminating it. He stressed upon 3 main aspects: Economic Prosperity, Quality of Life and Environmental Sustainability and discussed the Accenture – NASSCOM framework which consists of Physical, Social and Environment aspects to achieve true sustainability. Mr. Ajay Tyagi emphasised the importance of achieving sustainable development goals by building infrastructure that caters to the local needs rather than looking at some global initiatives and copying them. The session concluded with the idea that infrastructure must not only be for building smart cities but also for the rural sector.

Day II: Plenary Session III: “Innovation and Sustainable Competitive Advantage”

The third plenary session stressed upon Innovation as an imperative tool to foster sustainable development by solving existing problems and providing a new approach, a new perspective to look at things. The Panel Discussion on the topic “Laying the Foundation: Alignment of Management Education with Sustainability” session saw contributions from Dr. Shalini Lal, Founder Infinity OD, Innovation and Change; Mr. Ravi Chamria, CEO, Block Chain Enthusiast and Fintech Expert; Mr. Ravi Bhatnagar, Head External Affairs & Se Partnerships, Reckitt Benckiser and Sustainability-Practices-in-Industry6Prof. Holger Briel, Dean, Xi’an Jiaotong Liverpool University, China. Dr. Shalini spoke about the difference between Language of Management and Language of Innovation through various examples, highlighting the challenges that the language causes. Mr. Ravi Chamria expressed his views on the history of Blockchain, its types and largely its application as Cryptocurrency. He also stressed on the difference between Information Exchange and Value Exchange and the benefits of Blockchain technology as transparency and trust, immutability, complete authenticity, no intermediary and traceability. Mr. Ravi Bhatnagar expressed his thoughts through two quotes – “Reputation is synonymous to Innovation” and “Purpose first and then Business“. He delved into the concept of Innovation Pipeline. As an advice to budding managers, he mentioned that there is greater learning in one year in a renowned company as compared to spending 2 to 3 years in a normal company that does not focus on innovation. The session ended with Prof. Holger Briel addressing the audience about the living standards, co-working styles, co-working spaces, political potentials in different geographical settings.

DAY II: PLENARY SESSION IV: “Sustainability Practices and Quality Education”

Sustainability-Practices-in-Industry7The fourth session focussed on SDG 4: The quality of education, i.e. to ensure inclusive and quality education to all and promote life-long learning. The first panellist Dr. Onyebuchi Felix Offodile underscored the ability of the Earth to renew itself, provided the right circumstances are created. He urged the audience that it is our responsibility to facilitate the renewal of our Earth and stressed that education plays a vital role in achieving this sustainability goal by inculcating the right values in our youth. Ms. Dilreen Kaur, the director of the renowned non-profit organization “Ritanjli” began her interaction with an energetic engagement that rejuvenated the audience or rather “created a thunder storm” as she called it. Her passion for fighting against gender inequality, domestic violence, misogyny and patriarchal norms was prominently visible when she narrated the story of people whom her organization has helped. Ms. Nidhi Shrivastava began her address by listing the four stakeholders of education – students, teachers, management, and the society. She pointed out the fact that the focus of education should be on creating job producers rather than job-seekers. Dr. Rania Mohy El-Din Nafie focused her discussion on the role of innovation in education. She elaborated the importance of reducing carbon footprints, and increasing transparency in the education system. She also expounded on Albert Einstein’s famous quote “Education is not the learning of facts but the training of minds to think.”

Day III: Plenary Session V: “Sustainability Footprints of Industry”

Day 3, on Feb 17, 2018 commenced with Session 5 on “Sustainability Footprints of Industry” exploring why industries must strive to become sustainable in a true sense by addressing the three pillars of sustainability – economic, social, and environmental – simultaneously. Ms. Jasmine Saini, Head Business Synergy, ITC Hotels and FMCG (Foods) Business; Ms. Sapna Gupta, Solutions Architect , NIIT; Ms. Deepti Rastogi, Director TMF Group; Mr. Gagan Sardana, Super Banker HDFC, all proud alumni of IILM, shared their views on this subject. Ms. Jasmine Saini spoke about sustainability in the industry and briefed the audience about ITC as a company of innovation and sustainability.


Ms. Sapna Gupta stressed the need to give back to the society. She highlighted the initiative “Hole in the Wall” undertaken by NIIT and underlined that sustainable growth comes from long term relationships. Mr. Gagan Sardana began with his journey at IILM. He spoke about how sustainability helps businesses to achieve their objectives and shared various initiatives by HDFC to promote financial literacy in rural areas, including Parivartan” an initiative for rural development focusing on sustainability through CSR. Mr. Rajiv Kumar focussed on sustainability in the FMCG industry. With the words “to sustain is to Innovate” he opined that in FMCG industry, one must understand the culture & other dynamics.

Sustainability-Practices-in-Industry9Day III: Closing Plenary The closing plenary consisted of alumni from the first batch of IILM, Ms. Deepti Rastogi, Director TMF Group and Mr. N. Srikant, HR Partner & Executive VP, IndusInd Bank, who shared their journey from campus to corporate and gave tips to the students to better prepare them for the future. The conference concluded with closing remarks by Dr. Bhaskar Chatterjee, Senior Director, IILM. He summarised the learning from the various sessions on all three days of the conference highlighting simultaneously steps that IILM has taken so far to uphold the message of responsible management education. The 5 th IILM PRME international conference was a great success and provided a platform for industry experts, diplomats and academicians from different parts of the world to interact and debate on aspects of Sustainability and Innovation that are extremely important drivers of responsible management in the current business context.

Editorial : Embracing Liberal Education for Lifelong Learning

In our rapidly changing global economy, with millennials averaging five to seven career changes in a lifetime, one could argue that a Liberal Arts Education may be more valuable than ever before. We are entering a workforce and society where having knowledge in just one field will not suffice. Gaining knowledge in a range of topics not only helps students to be well rounded in their skills, but also in their thinking. Liberal Arts Education provides multiple viewpoints and allows for educational opportunities that cannot be obtained from traditional mode of learning. The essence of Liberal Education is not what you study but the result – gaining the ability to think critically and independently and to write, reason, and communicate clearly – the foundation for all professions. The aim of Liberal Education is to produce people who continue learning after their formal education has ceased. It is to produce people who think and question, and know how to find answers when they need them. A Liberal Education is one that exposes students to a broad range of intellectual approaches and content, and prioritizes critical thinking and problem solving over content acquisition.

At IILM University Liberal Arts Education covers a vast cross section of knowledge – not only can students dominate trivia contests but also be agile enough to thrive in a complex, diverse, and fluid society. Besides major-specific knowledge, we cultivate skills like critical thinking, problem solving, and written communication that transform students into lifelong learners. We back our commitment to students lifelong success by continuously making connections between students’ studies and highly valued real-world skills. IILM promotes the values of excellence in education, free inquiry and expression, social responsibility, ethical behavior, appreciation of differences, and a joy of learning about the world around us. Further it strives to prepare students for a lifetime of personal growth and responsible citizenship in this rapidly changing society by enhancing student’s abilities to reason critically and communicate effectively