PMI Bangalore India Chapter conducted its 13th Project Management Practitioners’ Conference (PMPC) on 12-14 July 2018 at the NIMHANS Convention Centre, Bangalore. More than 700 delegates attended the conference, with an additional 130 or more members joining the live webcast.

This time PMPC saw the coming together of the chapter’s industry symposiums and annual conference. The industry symposium held on the first day had two parallel tracks – on engineering and construction (E&C), and defense and aeronautical public sector units (DAPSU). The rest of the two days brought a variety of speakers who expounded on the annual conference theme, Architecting Project Management for Value Creation

The three-day event was organized by chapter volunteers.

During his welcome address for the E&C track, T.V. Sesha Sai, chair, E&C Forum, PMI Bangalore India Chapter, spoke about providing learning opportunities to E&C project managers by integrating the industry symposium with PMPC. M R Jayashankar, chairman and managing director, Brigade Group, was the chief guest.

Keynote speaker, Mike Holland, CEO, Embassy Office Parks, highlighted the need for project efficiency in India. This was followed by a panel discussion in which experts deliberated on “Value creation in construction projects.” Dr. B R Srinivasa Murthy, retired professor of civil engineering, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, delivered the valedictory address on “case studies on failures of structures.”

In the second track, Col. (Retd.) L Shri Harsha, secretary and treasurer, PMI Bangalore India Chapter, welcomed the delegates. The chief guest was M V Gowtama, chairman and managing director, Bharat Electronics Ltd (BEL). The other dignitary who was part of the inaugural event was I V Sharma, former director - R&D, BEL, and the chapter’s DAPSU chair.

Gowtama highlighted the contributions of BEL to India’s defense supplies and preparedness. The other speakers were Damodaran Subramanian, managing director, SAFRAN Engineering Services; Dr. Abburi Vidyasagar, chairman and managing director, Avantel Ltd. and founder, WikiKids Ltd.; G Raghavendra Rao, former executive director, BEL; and Col. H S Shankar, chairman and managing director, Alpha Design Technologies, who is a Vishisht Seva Medal (VSM) awardee of the Indian armed forces.

There were two workshops for delegates of both the tracks. Bindu Bhatia, managing director, Neucode Talent Academy, conducted a workshop on “Leadership in the Times of Change,” followed by a technical workshop on artificial intelligence and machine learning by Dr. Srinivas Padmanabhuni, chief mentor, Tarah Technologies. The symposium ended with Raj Kalady talking about his experience of scuba diving and coming out of a life- threatening situation, which can happen in any project or in real life.

On day two, conference PMO leader Balakrishna Kasibatla kicked off the event with an introduction to PMPC 2018, the chapter’s journey of over 20 years, and the conference theme. The conference chief guest was Suresh Narayan, chairman and managing director, Nestle India Ltd. The other dignitaries at the inauguration were Air Commodore C R Mohan, VSM, commandant, Airforce Technical College, Bangalore; Raj Kalady; Basu Dutta, president, PMI Bangalore India Chapter; and Col (Retd.) L Shri Harsha.

Narayan spoke about a crisis that faced its brand of instant noodles, Maggi, in 2015, and how Nestle re-created value during the crisis by managing both the external and internal environment. Air Commodore Mohan talked about making the nation’s defense preparedness a matter of collective responsibility and managing defense projects with a focus on manufacturing and export. Dr. Dheepa Srinivasan, consultant, additive technologies, adjunct faculty, Indian Institute of Technology, Ropar, delivered a keynote on additive manufacturing and 3D printing. Brian McMurray, vice president – engineering & operations, GM Technical Centre India, spoke about millennials in the workforce and the need for innovation. Dr. Arun Hampapur, director of development, IBM Services, presented several applications of data analytics to solve real-life challenges including in policing and water and sewage management.

There was also a panel discussion on digital transformation by experts from different industries.

On the third day, Srikanth Nadhamuni, CEO, Khosla Labs, and board member, HDFC Bank, stressed on the need for flawless planning to achieve project excellence. Chandramouli Srinivasan gave a motivational talk based on his book, Catalyst, in which he delved on career success and leadership.

The conference ended with a valedictory speech by Dr. Shailesh Nayak, director, National Institute of Advanced Sciences, and former minister, earth sciences, in which he spoke about advanced technologies at India’s disposal to meet natural calamities.

(Chapter news contributor: Balakrishna Kasibatla, conference PMO leader, PMPC 2018).

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