Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Learning Adventures – Indian Merchants Chamber Events

The national headquarters of the Indian Merchants Chamber, near the Churchgate station in Mumbai. The college I was studying at in 2013, was situated a five minute walk away from the chamber. One day I decided to walk into this institute.

I then found out that the chamber often organized interesting events
1)  Lectures on Business, Investing and Finance
2)  Guest Speaker Series with prominent professionals
3)  Panel Discussions

The organization as mentioned on their website advocates the cause of Indian Businesses and society at large by linkages and interactions with regulators, ministers, authorities, leaders and opinion makers. All you had to do, to attend these events was send them a confirmation email, as many of the events were open to the public. I attended as many of these events as I could.

There were seminars on mutual funds, investing abroad, share market investing, ethical business practices and finance. The crowd was often filled with corporates at these events. Most of the time I was only young person in my colored clothing and backpack. I may have not had any actual relation to the content being discussed. But I was in live with the process of learning. I just wanted to expose myself to as many fields as possible. Knowledge of these subjects may help me some time in the future. The speakers at these events were CEO’s, bank managers, hedge fund managers among others.

The Chamber also had a Ladies Wing that would organize lots of regular events. Influential and inspiring women leaders, entrepreneurs, writers and working professionals would deliver some excellent talks at these gatherings.

Learning from Social Workers

One talk that remains fresh in my memory was by a lady by the Mrs. Mariam Batliwala. She had lost her vision as a child, but never let this stop her from achieving her dreams. She shared with us how she traveled around the world as young women working various jobs, started an N.G.O and inspired so many young women around India to live their dreams.

Learning from Ministers

Panel discussions involving ministers, government officials, environmentalists, activists were also organized often. Arun Shourie and Sam Pitroda had given talks there during my time in Mumbai.

Lectures by the Youth Wing

But I enjoyed the events organized by the Youth Wing of the Chamber the most. There was a Guest Speaker series for young college students, where they would invite working professionals to speak about their careers and life projects. These included journalists, chefs, fashion designers, branding experts, astrologers and other professionals. Though I knew nothing about these fields before the talk, I would go home and research as much as I could about the field and the speaker’s contribution to it after the lectures

These events helped me expand my thinking. One day I would think from the perspective of a fashion designer. The next day I would look at the world from the perspective of a hedge fund manager.

Learning from Best Selling Authors

Talks by the best selling Indian authors Amish Tripathi and Ashwin Sanghi, at the IMC helped me learn more about the writing process and about getting your work published.

Interacting with Industry Leaders

Each meeting at the Indian Merchants Chamber would go on for an hour or two. I would have attended at least 15 such events in first year of college. It was such a great learning experience listening and networking with inspiring thought leaders and industry professionals there.

Many members of the IMC were CEO’s of multinational companies, editors of national newspapers, successful entrepreneurs and more. These people were open to having conversations with you at these events.

There was so much you could learn from just listening and asking them the right questions. I attended over 50 events at the Chamber between 2012 to 2013 and highly recommend their events to other students staying in Mumbai.

Let us Learn Together

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