Chitkara University’s National Symposium 2023 discusses industry buzzwords Skilling and Sustainability

The Indian government, in its efforts towards making India a global supply chain hub, has ensured that the human resource and sustainability aspects are always in the backdrop of action plans. Taking a hint, the Chitkara University’s National Symposium 2023 was themed on ‘Future of Work, Skilling and Mobility for a Sustainable Supply Chain’. The first leg of the two day event was a big success among the students, and the Symposium is being organised on the University campus in Rajpura (Punjab).

Dr. Sandhir Sharma (Pro Vice Chancellor, Chitkara Business School) shared a presentation on Chitkara University to all the distinguished panelists, after which, Dr. Neeraj Anand (Dean SCM and General Management, Chitkara University) addressed the students with a generic overview of the supply chain industry, and set the context of the Symposium. His presentation included the present day features as well as challenges of the supply chain industry.

Next, with a presentation and a short video, Mr. Ashwani Khanna (Executive Director, AeroTech Support Services) talked about many interesting air cargo facts during his Keynote Address. He started with a presentation on how technology like Artificial Intelligence and Geofencing are transforming the way everyday operations take place at airports around the world. He also entertained the students with a brief history of how taxibots came into existence and the role they play in the present day as instruments of increasing sustainability and cost efficiency. He also talked about the importance of air cargo by giving anecdotes from his professional experience.

There were two panel discussions scheduled for the first day. Details follow.

Moderator – Dr. Neeraj Anand
Speakers – Mr. Ashwani Khanna, Mr. Rahul Pinjarkar (Director of Human Resources, Trent Hypermarket (STAR)), and Dr. Rajat Aggarwal (Professor at IIT Roorkee)

The panel talked extensively about technology at the workplace, and how it makes operations more efficient, driving the future for supply chains. The first few minutes were dedicated to new ways of workforce management that eventually help in seamless supply chains. The points of discussion also included the supply chains becoming increasingly circular from being conventionally linear. The panelists also talked about handling supply chains in a VUCA world and the increasing impact of geopolitical situations on global supply chains.

Moderator – Dr. Neeraj Anand
Speakers – Mr. Balraj Dhull (Associate Director FC & RC Operations, Flipkart), Mr. Arun Thapiyal (COO, Celebi Delhi Cargo Terminal Management) and Mr. Deepak Jain (Managing Principal, Argon & Co.)

The second panel of the day themed on ‘Transforming logistics and supply chain for sustainable business solutions’ was a kind of resonance on the larger viewpoint of the industry. The panelists talked about how important it is to communicate and collaborate with each other for the industry to thrive. Another point was the role that traceability plays in seamless supply chain operations. Apart from that, talking about ‘sustainability’ as a concept, it came forth that not just ecological sustainability, but being sustainable in terms of cost and human resource is equally important for the holistic growth of any organisation. Challenges like supply chain links operating in silos and the present geopolitical tensions were also discussed.

Apart from the panel discussions, the Symposium also saw a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) being signed between the Chitkara University and AeroTech Support Services. The MoU brings in AeroTech as an industry partner for Chitkara Business School’s Bachelor’s Degree in Aviation Management. Last year in November, CBS also signed an MoU to bring IATA (Montreal) to the course as an industry partner. Not only will the students receive lectures from industry experts, but will also receive various certifications as well as internship opportunities with AeroTech.

To end day one of the Symposium, the formal Vote of Thanks was presented by Dr. Dhiresh Kulshrestha (Dean, Faculty of Economics, CBS).

With zest and zeal, the Symposium continued on the second day with the keynote address by Mr. Balraj Dhull (Associate Director FC & RC Operations, Flipkart), where he shared his practical experiences with the students along with the kind of skill set required by the industries in today’s technological environment.

Further he discussed on the continual progress as per the industry demand specially giving importance to the three key factors i.e. Intention, Mechanism and External factors which future work force should inculcate in them.

Innovation will continue to drive supply chain sustainability in the years to come. But the payback for getting it right is priceless, delivering on the three P’s of the bottom line i.e. People, Profits and the Planet. The symposium has definitely added value to all the stakeholders and the collaborators which will make students industry ready for future needs. The participants learned about how they can ‘Go Green’ throughout their end-to-end operations, from procurement, operations and communication considering the environmental and human impact of their products from cradle to grave.

The symposium concluded with a comprehensive vote of thanks by Dr. Jashandeep Singh, Co-Convenor.

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