When we took the flight early last week for Mumbai, the only thought that was lurking in our minds was, whether this year too, we would exceed expectations. After all, it was the year of “mother of all recessions” , as Mr Narayana Murthy would remark much later. As we boarded the flight with trepidation, there was also a sense of relief. Finally we would get to see workdays somewhere in the vicinity of less than 18 grueling hours and re connect with family members who had given up on us. However, little did we realize how wrong we would be and the void it would leave in our lives, when it was all over
Tuesday 10th February, 11.59 PM, on the eve of midnight, the NASSCOM control room was buzzing with activity. Colleagues resembled “battle ready” soldiers who were gearing up for the next three days ahead. The kind of enthusiasm and bonhomie being exuded was a sight to see. The never ending doc packs were being assembled with a vengeance. The hubbub of activity resembled a Red Cross amnesty makeshift and we were like doctors, armed with scalpel and hope. This went till the wee hours of the morning as we finally ushered in D-Day.
Most of us had not slept a wink but our energy levels were just about peaking; after all it is not every day that you host over 1200 people, amongst which were thought leaders of International repute whose opinions and ideas make every daily headlines across the globe. The Registration Process was technology enabled via 2D enabled bar code reader et al, which meant faster turnaround time and customer delight. This also gave the delegates adequate time to network before the actual sessions started. The hotel lobby was throbbing with activity as people meted and greeted each other. Truly, a lot of expectations were pinned on the NILF 2009, to offer a probable solution to help them out of the woods. And, NASSCOM took charge…..
The next three days we saw a host of subjects being dissected, including recession – the why’s, how’s and the when’s, emerging verticals & markets, change management, Innovation, Green IT amongst others. We have enough blog posts on each session, so as to make the Chamber’s Dictionary look like a comic book. At times it was very heavy, sometimes it was number oriented but at all times, provided a deep and varied insight into the subject. Some of the sessions were so captivating that we actually experienced occasions where people were standing, inspite of the fact that the hall capacity was over 1000. Did someone mention “recession”?
The evenings were truly for the connoisseur. The spread both in terms of hospitality and content, left everyone clapping and gaping for more. It was also a time when all barriers broke down and people became a lot more approachable. Deals were struck and new relations established and before we could realize, we were already into Day 3. Next day, the erstwhile Undersecretary General of the U.N., Shashi Tharoor, set the motion by delivering a presentation which left a room full of ooh’s and aah’s coupled with instaneous clapping. By late afternoon, as we drew in for the grand finale, a tinge of sadness had crept in all of us. When again would we all be together again, addressing the same issues? When again would all of us reassemble , to save the earth from possible degradation? When again would all of us unify, to weed out the old and bring in a new economic order? The answer came soon enough. Next year’s tryst with destiny was already announced. The 18th version would be held between 9th – 11th Feb 2010.
It was time to bid goodbye to the friends we had made at the summit; time to thank all those who made this grand event successful, namely all delegates, speakers, sponsors, bloggers, friends from the media, the entire NASSCOM Team and all hotel staff who supported us relentlessly. It was time to feel rejuvenated and gear up for implementing the rich ideas that we had assimilated in the last three days. It was time for ACTION!
Best Regards from the NILF Team