Conference Overview: A Celebration of Project Management
Panchalee Thakur

Inspiring talks, lessons on project excellence, cultural presentations, and entertainment mark Project Management National Conference 2019

The project management community came together for the 11th Project Management National Conference (PMNC19) to listen to experts from diverse fields on their experiences of running projects at a time of digital disruption. The annual conference in Hyderabad on 20 and 21 September also provided an occasion to commemorate PMI’s 50th anniversary, which is being celebrated through the year across the globe.

To go with the celebratory mood, the professional development forum took on a new flavor this time, with cultural segments that showcased local artistic talent, a rock concert, and a party in which delegates took a break from the learning and let their hair down.

The learning opportunities were rich and diverse as leaders from the government, large corporations, PMI, and the startup community delved into the conference theme – Adapt. Transform. Accelerate. Made possible by a project manager.

A highlight of the conference was a keynote address by Vice President of India M. Venkaiah Naidu on day two. He outlined some of the large programs launched by the Government of India and the project management challenges and lessons to draw from those. “The prime minister of the country is a project manager, who is overseeing the project of transforming India,” he said.

A number of other distinguished speakers addressed the twoday conference. They were Randall Black, chair, 2019 PMI Board of Directors; Manish Bhatia, chief technology officer, Amazon Pay; Nalla Venkateshwarlu, engineer-in-chief, Kaleshwaram Lift Irrigation Project, Government of Telangana; Meher Afroz, general manager, Microsoft India; General (retd.) Ved Prakash Malik, former chief of army staff, Indian Army; Sudhanshu Mani, former project director, Train 18, Integral Coach Factory, Indian Railways; Dr. V. R. Lalithambika, distinguished scientist, Indian Space Research Organisation; Srikanth Mopidevi, executive director and head of consumer banking and big data analytics, DBS Asia Hub; Dr. Archana Sharma, principal scientist, CERN (European Organisation for Nuclear Research), Geneva; and Satyarup Siddhanta, mountaineer and motivational speaker.

PMI India presented the annual Best Project of the Year awards. Larsen and Toubro won the award in the large projects category for the Statue of Unity in Gujarat. The Public Works Department, Dehradun, won in the medium category for the Uttarakhand Emergency Assistance Project (Road and Bridge). RITES Ltd., Robert Bosch Engineering and Business Solutions Private Limited, and Powergrid Corporation of India Limited, bagged the awards in small, micro, and contribution to the community categories, respectively.

Mr. Naidu released the Braille edition of a book on project management. The book is the work of a team of volunteers from the PMI Pearl City Chapter, and was led by a visually impaired project manager. The other release was a series of white papers on the role of project management at a time of digital disruption. The series has been authored by a team of PMI India’s Excellence Enablers’ Forum.

The first day of the conference had a special track on startups which featured a guest speaker, a panel discussion of experts from the startup ecosystem, and pitch presentations by five startups. The other three tracks were digital transformation, infrastructure, and leadership.

A new addition this time was the inclusion of TED Talks. Five speakers delivered inspiring talks on topics such as women empowerment, reforestation, and social activism.

Over 800 delegates from across the country attended the conference, which was the outcome of hundreds of hours of meticulous planning and execution. It was yet another occasion to showcase the volunteering spirit in the PMI community. PMI honored around 20 volunteers from PMI Pearl City Chapter who organized the conference and 12 longstanding members of the chapter. PMI Pearl City Chapter has passed on the baton to PMI Bangalore India Chapter for PMNC 2020.