Ever so often, people talk of the need to revive our country’s economy. But not always do we realise that for that to happen, change has to be effected at the grassroots level.
Journalist and author Benedict Paramanand conceived the idea of the Bangalore Business Literature Festival (BBLF) to curate meaningful and deep conversations on ideas that influence business decisions, people’s career choices, technology, and start-up trends.
The idea behind a business lit fest
“The primary motive of the festival is to make more people read and write about business. India needs more business writers and readers in order to build a vibrant economy in the future. We have to build an ecosystem for that,” says Paramanand.
He conceived the festival in 2015 along with co-founders Prof V Raghunathan (former IIM Ahmedabad professor), Shankar P (former journalist), and authors Shinie Antony and Sangeeth Varghese.
He adds, “People with more knowledge have better insights and become good decision-makers. They make better managers and leaders. Right now in India, there is no business reading culture. Even MBA graduates and business executives don’t read enough. So, our attempt here is to make people read more.”
Getting bigger every year
As the team gears up for the ninth edition of the festival, to be held on 9 September, the focus is going to be on the “Future of Work, Technology, Social Entrepreneurship, and Start-ups”.
This year, BBLF has lined up engrossing fireside chats involving prominent authors, CEOs, start-up founders, and thought leaders.
Prominent speakers at the event include Padma Vibhushan Dr R A Mashelkar, Kris Gopalakrishnan (Co-founder, Infosys), BVR Mohan Reddy (founder of Cyient), Naga Prakasam (mentor at IIMB NSRCEL), TN Hari (serial entrepreneur), Kavitha Rao (MD, Accenture), Harini Nagendra (faculty at Azim Premji University), Prof Rishikesha Krishnan (Director IIMB), Dr G Raghuram (former Director at IIMB), Sameer Dhanrajani (President 3AI), Sudhakar Rao (Director ICFAI Group), among others.
Shedding light on the future of work
The ninth edition’s themes include the future of work under AI, social entrepreneurship trends, global tech trends, Shark Tank stories, and how to fix the Indian economy, among others.
The event will also focus on topics that will test India’s ability to emerge as an inclusive economic superpower before 2030.
“Based on the talking points, every year, the guest list is curated. The highlight, this time, is that we are focusing heavily on technology and careers. There is one interesting session on AI’s impact on work, social entrepreneurship, and also how India’s IT sector is growing exponentially. We also look at what the future holds for India. We have top leaders in the industry taking part in these sessions,” says Paramananad.
Growing slowly by steadily
Having hosted more than 200 speakers and thousands of readers, BBLF has already built a strong community of authors and readers over the past eight editions.
Paramananad shares, “From its first edition to its ninth, the festival has grown. We started out with just 150 attendees and, since then, we have grown 50 percent every year. Right now, this is the only established business lit fest in the country.”
He adds that the crowd usually comprises a mix of executives, entrepreneurs, and students.
“We had our doubts when we started out because it’s a very niche festival. We knew it would be difficult in the beginning but we also realised that the room for growth is much more. Now, every year, we see more number of people attend,” shares Paramanand.
He adds that in the coming years, the team team plans to take the lit festival to other cities.
Following the 10 sessions scheduled to take place on Saturday, the event will conclude with the 2023 BBLF CK Prahalad Best Business Book Award ceremony.
Those interested in attending the festival can register here.
Venue: WeWork Galaxy, Residency Road, Bengaluru
Date: Saturday, 9 September 2023
Time: 9 am to 6 pm