Webinar on “Leadership During Uncertain Times” by Mr. Kamal Bali, President & Managing Director, Volvo Group, India

Webinar on “Leadership During Uncertain Times” by Mr. Kamal Bali, President & Managing Director, Volvo Group, India and “Changes, Challenges and opportunities in the current scenario” by Prof. Ajay Kapoor, Professor & Vice- Chancellor, Swinburne University, Austrailia


Date(s) - 25/07/2020
11:00 am - 1:00 pm


A WEBINAR ONChanges, Challenges and opportunities in the current scenario”  by Prof. Ajay Kapoor, Professor & Vice- Chancellor, Swinburne University,

An incredible webinar was organized by Sona School of Management on the topic “Changes, Challenges & Opportunities in the Current Scenario”. The resource person for the webinar was Prof. Ajay Kapoor, Pro Vice-Chancellor, Swinburne University. The webinar concentrated on the best-practices adopted by Swinburne University during the Pandemic Covid-19.

The Pandemic has undoubtedly disturbed the long-term business plans. At the present time, there is much uncertainty and many unknows like end of lock down, allowing of travels and so on. During this time the University made the system Pragmatic and Agile for business continuity. The University formed a COVID-19 Task Force that met regularly and as required for making the required decisions to support the students and also the faculties. The Task Force started its work in the month of January in order to combat the situation. Tailored study plans were developed for students. In the month of February, video message of support was created and sent to students and staff who were unable to travel to Australia regarding information on how to stay healthy and support services. During March, Web based hub was created to support the students on various matters. The staff were given time to prepare for online teachings which were due to commence from 23rd march.

The faculties preparing for online teachings ensured that their teaching approaches were completely student-friendly. All the learning materials were recorded and published and there was no live streaming class conducted. This was to ease pressure on the staff and the students to attend the class at particular times. Various work delivery options were made phone-friendly. Familiar teaching and learning tools were used to make the learning process simple. Numerous staff and student support services were provided though Canvas (a Learning Management System).

All formal end-of-semester exams have been replaced by alternative assessment tasks i.e., final exam period is now final assessment period. All the alternative assessments have been reconfigured for online assessment methods in accordance with university policy and regulations. The assessments were based on four major criteria – Knowledge, Comprehension, Application and Evaluation/Analysis/Synthesis. The online assessment methods include multiple choice, short answers, quizzes, games, essay, project, simulation, virtual labs, case studies, presentation, etc.

Post COVID protocols that have been developed by the task force are –

  1. Adapting to social distancing regulations within campus
  2. Mandatory and random temperature taking
  3. Daily monitoring and reporting of COVID-19 cases
  4. Flow charts for “what to do”, if symptoms are spotted
  5. Quarantine after travel of infection

All the incidences are reported to COVID-19 task force for further actions.

All these matters were addressed and discussed by Prof. Kapoor in detail. The webinar ended on the note that all the institutions across the globe should follow the best practices for ensuring the continuity of business by adapting to the new normalcy of online services and explore new opportunities in the current scenario.


A webinar on the most needed topic of the hour, “Leadership during uncertain times”, was organized by Sona School of Management on the 25th of July, 2020. Mr. Thyagu Valliappa, Vice-Chairman, Sona Group of Institutions and CEO, Playfactory, Bengaluru, introduced our eminent speaker, Mr. Kamal Bali, President and Managing Director, Volvo Group, India, highlighting all the previous achievements of our distinguished speaker for the day. Following the introduction, Mr. Kamal Bali proceeded with his delivery. The following are the key insights from the webinar.

He started off by illustrating statistics on health, education, food security and livelihood in the current scenario, which stated that approximately 650 million workers from the informal sector are estimated to be driven into relative poverty due to COVID-19. This whooping count possess a great threat. He also presented the comparative analysis of the economical pattern prevailing in the affected nations, with respect to the Gross Domestic Product, before and during the crisis, along with a forecasted view, post the crisis.

It was told that it is time for us to embrace the 7Cs’ during such critical times. The 7Cs’ are:

  • Calm
  • Confidence
  • Communication
  • Collaboration
  • Community
  • Compassion
  • Cash and cost

Also, he stated that the impact of this pandemic has been reflected in various sectors of the economy. The automobile sector is no exception. The supply chain has been immensely affected. The supply side Auto Component Manufacturers, Original Equipment Manufacturers, Sales and After Market dealers and demand side entities are highly affected due to the consequences of Corona virus.

He also mentioned that the automobile sector has always bounced back stronger, by carrying forward the lessons from the past unprecedented cycles. One such important lesson is, “manage the present without mortgaging the future times”. An encouraging tone was put forth when it was told that India continues to be a land of billion opportunities, despite the uncertainty.

Various sectors have been forecasted to have innate potential to develop India to a 5 trillion dollar economy by 2027, from the current 2.7 trillion dollar economy. Few of the sectors are automobiles, construction, textiles, food processing, biotech, pharmaceutical, chemicals, IT and BPM. The automotive sector will have a chance to quadruple itself. India is in a better time to grab global opportunities in geo-political terms, utilizing all the resources. However, a lot of catching up is needed for India in terms of bridging the skill gaps.

These considerations are very important because India had a monumental miss in pre-Covid era, amidst the other nations, despite the favourable demographics and low labour costs existing in India. Youth population is yet another added gem to the economic crown of India.

He mentioned that six mega trends will have to bring about a paradigm. They are:

  • Digitalization and Disruptive Technology
  • Urban-Rural Migration, Rapid Urbanization and Changing Demographics
  • Shifting Consumer Preferences and Behaviours
  • Need for Collaborations and Partnerships
  • Clarion call for Holistic Sustainability
  • Changing Job skills

In this VUCA world, in order to build India, we need to assemble the government, academia, industry, financial sector and the youth through the ten lenses:

  • Protecting lives and livelihood
  • Prioritization of health, education and future skilling
  • Protecting Mother Nature
  • Balancing between fiscal deficit and financial stability
  • Distribution of economic pain
  • What do digital and physical systems mean to us?
  • Future of jobs and social security
  • Rural-urban rebalancing
  • Four levers of growth: investment, consumption, net exports and government expenditure
  • Getting growth back is non-negotiable

He concluded by saying that behaviours, attitude and skills set an individual apart. We must all dare to get into action and it is high time to realise this. We must learn benchmarking from highly successful and people-driven companies. He also stressed the importance of emotional intelligence at these times. The concluding quote was, “a crisis does not make a leader it only unveils the true ones”.

On the whole, Mr. Kamal Bali’s talk pumped up the minds of more than 300 attendees of the webinar across the world. The session unveiled various opportunities despite the critical times. Sona School of Management deem it a

great privilege to have ignited hundreds of minds by remotely connecting all of them, via technology.

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