Third Annual Conference of the Indo-German Centre held in Hyderabad
Research & Advisory / 6 November 2023
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Director Corporate Development
Dr. Matthias Catón is Frankfurt School's Director of Corporate Development. He and his team are responsible for developing and implementing the school’s overall strategy. He runs the Indo-German Centre for Business Excellence as its Deputy Chairman and Executive Director, and leads our Office of Learning Innovation. A political scientist by training, he has held international positions in various organizations, including academia, an intergovernmental organization, and the World Economic Forum.

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The 3rd Annual Conference of the Indo-German Centre for Business Excellence took place on 13 October 2023. Its overarching topic was manufacturing under the theme Rethinking Manufacturing in India and Germany: Technology and Innovation for Sustainable Growth.

Bringing the Annual Conference to India

It was a first for us: after two instalments that we ran at Frankfurt School in Germany, we now took the conference to India. We were truly fortunate to have excellent hosts with our founding member, Mahindra University. The Dean of the School of Management, Prof. Rama Velamuri, has been a crucial supporter of our Centre from the very beginning. He and his team, led by Prof. Debopam Chakrabarthi, worked with the team at our headquarters in Frankfurt to put together an excellent programme. They showed great Indian hospitality in Hyderabad, making us feel at home on their campus.

The group of student volunteers, mostly from their inaugural MBA cohort, also impressed me. They worked tirelessly to ensure a successful event, and their level of enthusiasm was highly contagious.

The topic, manufacturing, was a timely one, given the importance of the sector for both India and Germany. Throughout the day, in all sessions, there was a big emphasis on areas for cross-country cooperation and mutual learning.

A day packed with insightful conversations

Following the Lighting of the Lamp and opening remarks by Vice-Chancellor Yaj Medury, we heard the opening keynote by Georg Enzweiler. He has just recently arrived at this post in India, and we feel honoured that attending our conference was his first official trip in the country. His inspiring remarks were an excellent start to the official programme. Afterwards, I had a pleasant conversation on stage with Anandi Iyer, Director of the Fraunhofer Office in India, about inclusive innovation and the role of women in male-dominated sectors like manufacturing.

The rest of the day was filled with an engaging mix of panels and speeches covering different topics related to the overall conference theme, with interesting perspectives brought to the convention centre. Panelists included representatives from academia and business, including well-known Indian and German companies like Bayer, Tech Mahindra, Mahindra Logistics, Bosch, Voith and ZF.

There were more than a hundred participants in the auditorium, actively engaging in discussions and exchanges, making it challenging for moderators to end certain sessions. Luckily, we had provided ample time for networking during coffee breaks, lunch and an evening reception for people to continue the conversations and get to meet new people.

Mahindra University gave us the opportunity to tour their impressive campus during lunch break. The dynamism and speed of expansion are remarkable and very noticeable through the many construction projects going on.

Thank you, Mahindra University, for your hospitality! I genuinely enjoyed being your guest. I also look forward to our next Annual Conference, which will take place on 23 September 2024 in Frankfurt, Germany. Save the date!


Keynote Address: The Power of Collaboration

Georg Enzweiler, Deputy Head of Mission, German Embassy New Delhi

In Conversation: Inclusive Innovation

Anandi Iyer, Director, Fraunhofer India

Dr. Matthias Catón, Director of Corporate Development, Frankfurt School; Deputy Chairman and Executive Director, Indo-German Centre

Panel: Bridging Indo-German Advancements: Inclusive Innovation and Emerging Technologies

Prof. Sanjay Mansabdar, Professor, Mahindra University

Reshma Pendse, Director Abas Force India

Sarita Bahl, Country Group CSR Head, Bayer South Asia; Director, Bayer Foundation India

Venkat Gajjala, Senior Vice President, Global Head, Engineering Services, Tech Mahindra

Panel: Sustainable Manufacturing: Indo-German Collaborations Towards ‘Green Growth’

Anirban Ghosh, Chief Sustainability Officer, Mahindra Group

Ramesh Ramaswamy, APAC Head, Bosch

Vijay Kalra, Former Director, Mahindra Institute of Quality

Dr. Nithyanandan Devaraaj, CEO, Voith

Keynote Address: Challenges for Indian companies in Germany (and vice-versa)

Ramesh T K, Managing Director, Ace Micromatic Group

Panel: Reshaping the Workforce: Indo-German Strategies for Skill Development & a Human-Centric Industry 5.0

Prof. Ramakrishna Velamuri, Dean, Mahindra School of Management

Srikanth Mohan Kethu, General Manager, ZF Group

Dr. Jagadeesh Gandla, COO, Federation of Asian Biotech Associations; Mentor, German Entrepreneurship

Dr. VCM Rao, Vice President, HR & Admin, Voith Turbo

Panel: Start-Up Ecosystem: Driving Growth

Prof. Rajkumar Phatate, Professor and Lead, E-Hub, Mahindra University

Amrita Gandikota, Founder, PrimedinFabrik

Tanya Singh, Director, India, Eurasia Group

Rohith Pallerla, Founder and CEO, Zodhya Technologies

Keynote Address: Overcoming Challenges and Nurturing Collaboration

Kannan Chakravarthy, CEO of Mobility, Mahindra Logistics