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FORE International Business Conference: Future of Business in the New Global Realities

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Fore business

“India and Russia are connected with long standing relations that are based on a firm foundation of long-term friendship and mutual sympathy of our nations”, saidDr. Alexander L. Rybas, Trade Commissioner of the Russian Federation to India. He was delivering the inaugural address as Chief Guest of the FORE International Business Conference (FIBC) 2020 on the “Future of Business in the New Global Realities” organized by FORE School of Management, New Delhi, India, on November 27-28, 2020 in virtual mode.

FIBC 2020 brought together eminent scholars and diplomats to deliberate on the new global realities, and to decipher a pragmatic roadmap relevant to global business and policy-making efforts. More than thirty research papers were presented in six technical sessions spread across the two days.The technical sessions included those on International Trade and WTO Issues; Technology, Strategy and the New Realities; International Finance and the Financial Systems; Global Marketing and Consumer Research; Cross-cultural Contexts and Organisational Studies; and, Geo-economics and the Geopolitical Architecture. Besides, there was a dedicated plenary session on Discourse on New Global Realities that examined the geopolitical discourse and strategic realities in the Indo-Pacific region. Also, there was another plenary session dedicated to Africa and titled as India-Africa Business Forum, which was organised under the aegis of FIBC 2020 by FORE School of Management in collaboration with The Diplomatist. The conference ended with a valedictory session.

In his inaugural address, Dr. Rybas, who also served as the State Secretary and Deputy Chairman of the Federal Environmental, Industrial and Nuclear Supervision Service (Rostechnadzor) in the Russian Federation, emphasised on India-Russia bilateral trade potential. He asserted that the long-term goal of the India-Russia trade relations is to achieve a bilateral trade of $30 billion by 2025, coupled with a growth in mutual investment flows to at least $50 billion. He said that in order to achieve these goals, it is necessary to focus on updating the bilateral legal framework e.g. signing of the free trade agreement between Eurasian Economic Union and India. He emphasised that such integration efforts will help remove tariff barriers, reduce quantitative restrictions, simplify rules for import licensing and the use of anti-dumping measures, while also bringing Sanitary and Phytosanitary (SPS) measures in line with the World Trade Organisation (WTO) regulations. He emphasised that there is immense potential for cooperation between Russia and India and mentioned that in sectors such as information and communication technology, fin-tech, space exploration, environmental protection, engineering services, educational services, quantum technologies, and data security, such prospects are being actively discussed. Moreover, he also mentioned about the growing interest of the Indian side on Arctic research.

The conference began with an opening remark by Dr. Faisal Ahmed, Conference Convenor, FIBC 2020. Dr. Ahmed, who is an Associate Professor of International Business at FORE School of Management pointed out key issues that can help comprehend a pandemic-induced global order. Referring to the United States-China rivalry, he called for geopolitical isostasy that can establish an equilibrium among key factors viz. indispensability of economic partnership, response to humanitarian needs, and pro-active security cooperation. He also discussed about mega-regionalism in international trade citing examples of Trans-Pacific Partnership and Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, and maintained that they are destined to play a larger role in the post-pandemic world. He also emphasised on climate change related vulnerabilities citing examples of challenges faced by the Small Island Developing States (SIDS), and argued that these challenges should be factored in managerial decision-making.

Dr. Jitendra Das, Director, FORE School of Management, New Delhi delivered the welcome address. Dr. Das maintained that in the past few decades, there have been a series of trade agreements to essentially ease flow of goods and services among the partnering countries. However, because of the changing geopolitics in the recent past, he said that, the United States’ ‘America First’ and India’s ‘Atma Nirbhar Bharat’ are attempting to focus on local production, thereby diluting cross-border trade. He emphasised that India and the United States’ banning certain products from across the border paints a very different picture as far as cross-border trade is concerned. Such actions, he argued, are primarily a result of reported cost parity disruptions. Dr. Das, who has also served as a Professor of Marketing and as Founder Dean of Noida Campus of Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Lucknow, maintained that undue state control on the cost of production, and predatory pricing,are unfair for trade competitiveness.

Hon’ble Dr. Shekhar Dutt, Former Governor of Chhattisgarh, and Ex-Defence Secretary, Government of India delivered the Distinguished Keynote Address of the conference. He began by giving a historical overview of the defence and industrial capabilities of Russia. Dr. Dutt, who also served as Deputy National Security Advisor in the Government of India said that the Soviet Union brought in a massive amount of change from the First World War to the Second World War and depicted huge capabilities in their defense technologies and also in certain other industrial technologies. Talking in context of emerging realities in the domain of business, he called for organizations and people who are able to anticipate changes and convert them into opportunities for developing organizational competitiveness. He also emphasised on the increasing role of technology in the global business environment. Dr. Dutt maintained that in the new global realities, it is pertinent for organisations to revisit their business models accordingly.

This was followed by a special address by Prof. Vinayshil Gautam, an internationally acclaimed management thinker and practitioner. He emphasised on how the new global realities are shaping the world. He explained about investments in healthcare with a particular emphasis on Covid19vaccines. Further, Prof. Gautam also discussed about the Bay of Bengal Initiative for Multi-Sectoral Technical and Economic Cooperation (BIMSTEC) and highlighted its immense potential and growth prospects. He also asserted that businesses will come to countries and conglomerates with strong financial sectors. He substantiated it by taking example of China’s booming exports and how it was the only country which benefited even in the times of Covid19. Prof. Gautam, who is also Vice Chairman of FORE School of Management, and earlier held prestigious positions including being Founder Director of IIM Kozhikode and Emeritus Chair Professor at Indian Institute of Technology Delhi, explained the importance of technological development by taking examples of the United States,Russia and BIMSTEC,and emphasised on manufacturing and regional trade prospects.

Prof. Arpita Mukherjee, Professor, Indian Council for Research on International Economic Relations (ICRIER), New Delhi, also delivered a special address. She emphasised on Industrial Revolution 4.0 and highlighted the potential and prospects. She also discussed about the impact of Covid19 and argued that it is important for organizations to adapt to the disruptions. She complimented the ‘Atma Nirbhar Bharat’ program and localization in manufacturing, while also highlighting the challenges it faced especially related to supply chains. She emphasised upon new business opportunities in technology particularly in finance, health, artificial intelligence (AI), IT and other areas. She also discussed about the lack of patents and copyrights in the field of green technology which are required in order to compete with other countries. Prof. Mukherjee, a leading economic and trade policy researcher, also suggested that businesses should engage in a constructive dialogue with the government on digital financial inclusion. In addition, she also called upon the businesses to seek WTO approved subsidies and support to enhance their global competiveness.          

Finally, Dr. B.B.L. Madhukar, Chairman, FORE School of Management delivered the vote of thanks. In his speech, he also emphasised on developing India’s potential in key sectors like IT. Dr. Madhukar, who also serves as Director General of the BRICS Chamber of Commerce and Industry in New Delhi maintained that Indian businesses should focus on research-based outcomes and should be able to compete with China and other countries. He further emphasised on India’s immense potential emanating from its workforce and stressed on the need for enhanced training and skill development to foster the potential of youth in the country. Comparing India with China in decision-making systems, he elaborated on how India works on inclusive and a consensus-based system.

The inaugural session of FIBC 2020 set the tone for the successive technical and plenary sessions. The 2-day international conference was supported by the Association of Management Development Institutions in South Asia (AMDISA). The Diplomatist, a leading foreign affairs publication, was the media partner of the conference. The conference included participation by distinguished scholars and diplomats from various countries including the United States, the United Kingdom, Switzerland, Poland, Turkey, Thailand, the United Arab Emirates, Uganda, and from other countries in Africa and Central Asia. The Rapporteuring of the inaugural session was done by Mr. Shashank S. Natarajan,Ms. Ritika Dobhal, and Mr. Pranav Arora, the participants of International Managers’ Group (IMG) program of the FORE School of Management.

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Reasons for Choosing Temporary and Permanent Industrial Buildings

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Professional temporary solution providers have become very innovative in designing industrial buildings. While temporary industrial structures are made of lighter materials such as aluminum and fabric or PVC covers, permanent solutions are made of steel or metal frames and sheets. All of them require good preparation of the ground, pre-fabrication of the frames and sheets, and proper installation to serve their purpose well.

Most beneficiaries of these structures are processing factories, manufacturing plants, sports clubs, schools, and many other organizations and companies. Choosing temporary and permanent industrial buildings from a reputable supplier has many perks.

So, let us dive into the reasons for choosing temporary and permanent industrial buildings to understand this topic better.

Amazing Speed of Constructions

Bye-bye brick and mortar industrial buildings that are time-consuming. Temporary and permanent industrial buildings are the way to go because they are fast and easy to fabricate and install using modern technology.

According to experts, these structures save a lot of time, especially if the frames and panels are already fabricated in the factory. Companies that need to set up new companies or expand the current ones will have everything ready in a matter of a few weeks.

Excellent Cost Saving

The economy is hard enough and the investor needs to save on capital when setting up companies or doing expansions. The good news is that temporary and permanent industrial buildings save costs by up to 30% when done by a professional company.

Smart-Space is not only innovative in their technology but they save you a lot of money when setting up your industrial structures. You can rent these structures if you only need them for a short time to save more money.

Absolute Flexibility and Versatility

If you are looking for structures that can be moved after a few years, then temporary and permanent industrial buildings are the way to go. As mentioned, they are made of frames and panels that are fastened together using bolts. Hence, they are easy to dismantle and move to a different location.

However, this work should be done by professionals to reduce damage and ensure the safety of the structures at all times.

High Level of Customization

If you are looking for functional sizes and unique designs that will maintain the theme of your company or organization, the temporary and permanent industrial buildings done by experts will be best. After a discussion of what will serve your business well, the solution provider will take a few days to do the designs with your preferred sizes and colors.

Customization also applies during the extension of an existing factory where everything is done to your preference or in the best possible way. To achieve a high level of customization, you should consider experienced solution providers.

Surprising Durability

Both temporary and permanent industrial buildings are surprisingly durable. Take steel industrial structures for example. They provide service for many years without the need for complicated maintenance. Since steel does not rust, the structure will withstand harsh weather conditions including moisture.

Structures made of metal frames and fabric are equally durable, especially when used as recommended. They also require low maintenance with no paintwork needed after every few years.

Manufacturer’s Warranty

The buyers of temporary and permanent industrial buildings enjoy different manufacturer’s warranty benefits. This could be the bought structures or the materials used to make them. What’s more is that many reputable service providers also give warranties on the workmanship, which will save cost when there is a problem.

Conclusion

To enjoy all of these benefits, it is good to buy or lease your temporary and permanent industrial buildings from a reliable and trusted supplier. Well, there are even more benefits that you will realize once you start using these structures. So, make the right choice now.

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New ways of thinking and working are necessary to reap blockchain benefits in capital markets

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The World Economic Forum today released Digital Assets, Distributed Ledger Technology, and the Future of Capital Markets. Across the capital markets ecosystem, institutions are facing a combination of intensified competitive dynamics and accelerating technology advancements, presenting opportunities and challenges both to incumbents and new entrants. Although DLT is not a panacea, the report underlines how it can positively impact costs, market liquidity and balance sheet capacity while reducing the complexity, opacity and fragmentation of capital markets.

Written in partnership with the Boston Consulting Group (BCG), the report is based on nearly 200 interviews and eight global workshops with capital market incumbent players, new entrants, regulators and governments. It presents use cases from equity markets, debt markets, securitized products, derivatives, securities financing and asset management.

DLT can address real challenges and inefficiencies in some markets by providing a trusted, shared source of truth between market participants. However, the future is uncertain as there is no agreed path for market-wide adoption. What’s more, as institutions still decide where to invest, varying strategies create tensions.

The report calls for a balance between innovation and market safeguards through standardization, the breaking down of silos and regulatory engagement. According to the authors, fundamentally transforming markets will require new ways of thinking and working across the industry.

“Following several years of intense hype, examples of use cases where inefficiencies and challenges are being solved with blockchain are starting to emerge across capital markets,” said Matthew Blake, Head of the Future of Financial Services, World Economic Forum. “With the future for blockchain in financial services still being defined, a nuanced look at the opportunities this technology offers right now is particularly important for the financial services industry.”

“Distributed ledger technology has come of age as it begins to enhance efficiencies, reduce operating costs and create new business models in capital markets, but the use cases and solutions are respective to each asset class,” said Kaj Burchardi, Managing Director, BCG Platinion. “Whilst this makes sense from a commercial perspective, it has led to a complex patchwork of initiatives. For capital markets to unilaterally adopt DLT, they will require cross-institutional alignment to realize the game-changing market opportunities it can offer.”

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Russian Nornickel signed a deal with UK chemicals giant Johnson Matthey

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Russian Nornickel, the world’s largest metal producer has signed a deal with Johnson Matthey (JM) on long-term supply of critical metals for their battery materials production in Finland.

The Finnish government is actively developing production sites for battery components. Finnish budget for 2021 includes additional funding of EUR 300 million for Finnish Minerals Group to promote investments for the production of precursor and cathode active materials used in lithium-ion batteries in Finland.

Earlier in April Nornickel announced plans to ramp up sustainable nickel and cobalt production at its refinery in Finland — NN Harjavalta — in response to the growing European demand for high quality and responsibly sourced metals for the EV industry. NN Harjavalta’s product range will be playing an important role in satisfying Johnson Matthey’s requirements for its precursor and cathode active materials production in Finland as well as for its existing factory in Poland.

Johnson Matthey announced the development in Finland of its second commercial plant with a nameplate capacity of 30 kt of ultra-high energy density cathode materials required by EV producers. The factory will be powered solely by renewable energy and incorporate an innovative effluent treatment solution.

Nornickel and Johnson Matthey have also signed a memorandum of understanding to explore options to further extend metal supply in the future. The parties also intend to collaborate in other important parts of the battery materials value chain, including new metal dissolution technology, circular economy opportunities, and tokenization of the supply chain using blockchain technology. Implementation of token-based smart contracts allows combining metal deliveries with complete provenance as well as ESG credentials including carbon footprint to ensure the unprecedented level of responsible sourcing.

The deal will allow the Russian and British company to define joint sustainable development initiatives.

“We are delighted for this opportunity to develop our business together with Johnson Matthey — a new important player in the Finnish battery materials ecosystem — and help the company expand on the European EV market. Our memorandum should enable us to identify mutually beneficial sustainability initiatives that support the ambition of achieving the most sustainable battery materials value chain in Europe,” commented Vladimir Potanin, President of Norilsk Nickel.

Earlier, Norilsk Nickel signed a letter of intent to establish a battery recycling cluster in Harjavalta, Finland, to serve the electric vehicle market in partnership with Finnish energy company Fortum and German world’s leading chemical company BASF. This will successfully complete the “closed loop” recycling cycle for critical metals present in used batteries.

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