As part of the technical sessions, there was an Industry Academia dialogue, a CEOs’ Roundtable and a Talk Show on the future energy options and whether these would actually increase competitiveness and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Some of the speakers who addressed the Conclave were, Shri Partha S Bhattacharyya, Chairman, Coal India Limited; Shri M K De, IAS, Chairman & Managing Director, West Bengal State Electricity Distribution Company Ltd.; Dr. Prodipto Ghosh, Distinguished Fellow, The Energy and Resources Institute (and former Secretary, Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India) and Shri S P Gon Chaudhuri, Managing Director, West Bengal Green Energy Development Corporation Limited.
The CEOs’ Roundtable featured, Mr. Aloke Mookherjea, Chairman, Flakt (India) Limited, Hon. Consul, Sweden, & Past President, BCCI; Mr. Pierre Jonette, CEO, ArcelorMittal Design & Engineering Centre P. Ltd.; Mr. M S Unnikrishnan, Managing Director, Thermax Limited and Mr. Amitabha Mukhopadhyay, President & Chief Financial Officer, Tata AutoComp Systems Limited.
They apart, some of the other speakers included Dr. G D Gautama, IAS, Principal Secretary, Department of Power and Non-Conventional Energy Sources, Government of West Bengal; Dr. N R Banerjea, Chairman, West Bengal Electronics Industry Development Corporation Limited (WEBEL) and Dr. R R Sonde, Chief Technology Officer and Executive Vice President – Research, Technology & Innovation, Thermax Limited.
There were also speakers from Canada (presenting on fuel cell technology) and Germany (speaking on energy management by radio). There were many other topics and senior speakers from all over India addressed the Conclave.
The focus of this Conclave was to create a forum for the best minds in environment and energy to meet and brainstorm on issues that were critical for industrial production and sustenance of business and the economy. Through such deliberations the Chamber endeavoured to create an awareness on global environmental issues, discuss the importance of energy conservation and increase process efficiency as well as minimize the climatic impact of industrial operations while not deviating from the profit motive.
Indeed, the Conclave was a most necessary event for industry, Government and academia in the context of the present realities. The world is in the throes of a recession never before seen since the Great Depression of 1929. To make matters worse, the threat of climate change is very real and its impact would be most severely felt right here in Kolkata, one of the world’s most vulnerable regions. In every crisis there lies an opportunity and the present-day environmental threat too is giving rise to technologies, practices and innovations, which, if applied appropriately, can have an immense impact on increasing the competitive advantage of firms. This year, the event was designed such that delegates would have the greatest takeaways in the areas of environmental / energy management, which would also benefit business operations and organizational strategy in the context of environmental threats and compulsions. Simultaneously, the Chamber also discussed Climate Change, which would be the most dominating issue in the immediate future and threaten the very existence of our children and future generations, unless we do something about it now.
The Conclave enabled participants to brainstorm together and learn from thought leaders how to harness the new opportunities, stay away from the ecological threats and build capabilities within the organization to create competitive advantages.
The Conclave was attended by delegates from manufacturing entities; power utilities; heavy engineering industries; electronics sector companies; infrastructure and real estate companies; consultants; universities, training institutions and business schools; think tanks; leading NGOs and various Government agencies. There were a number of participants from neighbouring States and also from Bangladesh.