The Department of Management, Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham, Kochi will be organizing an International Symposium on Managing Business in a VUCA World - Asthra 2019 on 8th March. Get mesmerized at Kochi’s most happening International Symposium attended by industrialists and academicians. Asthra 2019 aims to cultivate the skills of managers by providing them with a global exposure. The Symposium is constructed in a way that it engages, enlightens, and empowers the budding managers.

Venue: Amriteshwari Hall, AIMS campus, Kochi

About ASTHRA (History)

ASTHRA, the Annual Management Fest of Amrita School of Business, Kochi was started in the year 2012 and has been its flagship event ever since. Over the years, Asthra has had the privilege of being host to a large number of researchers, scholars and academicians from all sectors. Last year we had an international symposium on “Workplace Transformation: A people’s perspective” which aimed at analyzing the functionality of the Human Resources department of organizations. As our flagship event is entering into its 8th edition, we try to address another contemporary issue- Managing Business in a VUCA world that has been in existence in the corporate world for quite some time now.

ASTHRA 8th edition

ASTHRA 8th edition emphasizes on the various impacts of sudden changes in the VUCA world, and their impact on the business front. We are clearly living in a new reality characterized by Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity and Ambiguity, and this new world is here to stay. We at AMRITA, are trying to put forward a small step in understanding these trends, in order to redefine the rightful role of managers in the society.

What is VUCA?

We are a part of environment that is unpredictable and rapidly changing. Plans, which initially were considered to be appropriate, are not being able to stand the test of time. Be it, the Millennial Development Goals or the mere Five Year plans of India. This is not because of the inefficiency of the plans, but due to the swiftly changing business scenario.


Things change continuously. What is true today isn’t true tomorrow. Products that are successful today can be worthless in less than a year’s time.


More than ever, we live with a lack of predictability and a prospect for surprise. It is impossible to predict how markets will evolve.


Simple cause-and-effect chains have been replaced by complex interconnected forces and events. Interconnectedness makes all things increasingly complex.


Old certainties have disappeared in a mist of haziness and misunderstanding. And because of complexity and unpredictability, many leaders avoid taking positions.

Our Keynote Speakers

Dr. Angappa Gunasekaran, PhD
Dean, School of Business & Public Administration, California State University

Dr. Angappa Gunasekaran is Dean and Professor at the School of Business & Public Administration, California State University, Bakersfield. Prior to this, he served as Dean of the Charlton College of Business, Chairperson of the Department of Decision and Information Science and the Director of Business Innovation Research Center (BIRC) from the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. He published 300 articles in peer-reviewed journals and presented about 50 papers, published 50 articles in conferences and given a number of invited talks in many countries. He is on the editorial board of several journals

Mr. Hiren Gandhi
Co- founder & Director, UrbanPod

Mr. Hiren Gandhi is an entrepreneur and a veteran in the hospitality- space over 19-years of expertise in the hospitality & allied- businesses. With the changing global-dynamics & the ever-increasing number of travelers (business& Leisure), Mr. Gandhi, realized the need for Pod Hotels in India, with all its advantages that it will provide an alternate & SMART- accommodation option to the new travelers who are looking to optimize their travels-spends rather wisely, while enriching their travel experience.

Dr. Sanjeev K. Singh
Medical Superintendent, School of Medicine, Kochi

Dr. Sanjeev Singh is a pediatrician by training and did his Masters in Hospital Management. He completed his Ph.D. in Hospital Management and Infection Control in 2013. He worked as a Regional Coordinator at WHO-India in a Disease Eradication Program for a couple of years before joining as Chief Medical Superintendent at a 1350 bed university teaching super specialty hospital - Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences at Kochi. He was awarded, D L Shah Platinum Quality award by Quality Council of India, GOI in Feb 2019. He has 22 fully funded international and national research projects. He has many international and national publications. He is at the editorial committee for Asian Society of Quality Journal, International Journal for Research & Hospital Management and NABH Journal for Quality & Patient Safety.

Dr. Rajkanth Raju
Deputy Manager, Ford Motor Company

Rajkanth Raju, Deputy Manager at Ford Motor Company holds a Masters and PhD in the area of Supply Chain Management & Operations Research from IIT Madras. His work in Ford focuses speciality on providing analytical support to improve the global order to delivery process and to study the impact on overall fitness of the organization. He has worked with Tiger analytics as Data Scientist and as a Product specialist at Ramco Systems before joining Ford.

His research interests are in the area of Manufacturing & Supply Chain, Optimization, Data analytics, Lean and Quality management and has presented & published his works in the international journals and conferences.


The symposium would consist of:

  • Discussions among experts from different fields.
  • Talks by experts from industries and Academics
  • A forum for exchange of ideas.
  • Presenting and implementing new approaches to tackle the changing business scenario.

Instructions for Registration

  1. Participants are required to first make the payment.
  2. Please note down your Reference no/ Transaction id / Payment id whichever is applicable after the payment.
  3. On successful completion of online payment, fill the "Register Online" form and submit. 

Register Online



T. K. Kiran (President)
Sarath Chandran (Vice President)
Department of Management, Kochi

Event Details
2019-03-08 09:00 to 17:00
Department of Management
School of Business