Making an Impact

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Contributing to the community... (from left) Mr Piyush Gupta, Mr Sanjiv Aiyar, Mr Tharman, Mr Balwant Jain and Mr Vinod Martin with the cheque donated by Optimum Solutions to SINDA.

SINGAPORE - The Pan IIM Alumni Association of Singapore (PIIMA) held its annual global alumni event at the Raffles City Convention Centre on Aug 22 and 23. The IIMPACT event showcased inspiring real-life stories of global business leaders and political figures who have brought about change by creating, transforming and defying norms.

With the broad theme of "I'M THE CHANGE", IIMPACT 2014 presented and analysed innovative and emerging business ideas and trends through a series of gatherings in multiple engagement formats, TED-style themed speaker sessions, panel discussions and interactive conferences.

More than 1,000 participants attended the two-day event, which was aimed at facilitating collaboration and partnerships, by highlighting areas of opportunity not only in Singapore but also across the region.

They included local and overseas alumni, corporate leaders and government representatives. The recently launched initiatives on community engagement, mentoring of SMEs by alumni leaders and showcasing how families of IIM alumni have integrated in Singapore were all part of the event, aimed at making a long-lasting contribution to Singapore.

The guest of honour for the gala dinner on Aug 22 was Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong. PM Lee delivered the opening address and engaged in a dialogue session with DBS Bank's chief executive Piyush Gupta, the president of PAN IIM Alumni Association's advisory council.

The hour-long session saw PM Lee answer questions on a wide range of topics like better cooperation and working together with the new governments in India and Indonesia, managing harmony in a multi-racial country like Singapore and the impact of social media in our lives.

Deputy Prime Minister of Singapore and Minister for Finance Tharman Shanmugaratnam attended the gala dinner on Aug 23 as the guest of honour. Mr Tharman presented the Distinguished Alumnus Award 2014 to two illustrious IIM alumni, Mr Sunny Verghese and Ms Anjali Mulatti, for their outstanding work and contributions to society.

One of the focus areas for IIMPACT is on community engagement and social initiatives. Acknowledging the importance of community engagement and outreach programmes, Mr Tharman - who is also chairman of the Singapore Indian Development Association (SINDA) - was also presented with a cheque of $100,000 for SINDA from IIMPACT 2014's philanthropy partner, Optimum Solutions.

The cheque was presented by Mr Balwant Jain, the IT company's CEO, and Mr Vinod Martin, its COO, in the presence of Mr Gupta and Mr Sanjiv Aiyar, president of the Pan IIM Alumni Association.

Speaking about Optimum Solutions' contribution to SINDA, Mr Jain and Mr Martin emphasised that they have identified education as one of the focus areas for their corporate social initiatives. Their company will initiate its collaboration with SINDA in supporting and stressing its education-related programmes.

Talking about their future plans, Mr Jain said: "Optimum will be instituting scholarships to the needy students and will also encourage its employees to commit to volunteering in some of the coaching, training and mentorship programmes implemented by SINDA."

Mr Aiyar noted: "Mr Balwant Jain is one of our fellow alumni, and when we learnt about his plans on corporate social initiatives, we thought using IIMPACT 2014 as a platform to support SINDA's education programme would be a great way to raise awareness and inspire others to follow."

tabla@sph.com.sg

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