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Pan India Retreat in Mumbai

December 19, 2013

Nearly 130 alumni gathered for the second Pan India Booth Alumni Retreat (PIBAR) on November 16-17 sponsored by the Chicago Booth Alumni Club of India.

The two-day retreat was designed to promote professional and personal networking. In addition to panel discussions and breakout sessions, there were keynote addresses by dean Sunil Kumar; Andrew M. Alper, AB ’80, MBA ’81, chairman of the University of Chicago board of trustees; Mohandas Pai, chairman of Manipal Global Education and former member of the board of directors of Infosys; and Aditya Puri, managing director of HDFC Bank. Raghuram G. Rajan, Eric J. Gleacher Distinguished Service Professor of Finance and governor of the Reserve Bank of India, attended the event.

Following a successful 2012 retreat in Delhi, which was attended by 80 alumni, the club resolved to make the gathering an annual event. Invitations to the 2013 retreat at Novotel Juhu in Mumbai were extended to all alumni from the Asia Pacific region. Representation from throughout Asia contributed to the event’s success, said Akshay Sethi, ’07, president of the Alumni Club of India and managing director of the Stellar Children’s Museum in Gurgaon, India, who developed the idea for PIBAR.

“We brought diverse alumni together and provided an opportunity for them to reflect and make sense of what is happening around them,” he said.

Working sessions focused on how alumni can help support Booth’s initiatives in Executive Education, Career Services, and technology, as well as the new Executive MBA Program in Hong Kong.

“Alumni brought forward ideas and potential solutions to raise Booth’s visibility in India and throughout Asia and identified opportunities where the school’s capabilities align with market demand for programs and for job candidates,” said Tracy McCabe, executive director of alumni relations. Also attending was William Kooser, ’81, associate dean for global outreach based in Hong Kong.

One breakout session focused on the University of Chicago’s new academic center in Delhi, which, when it opens in 2014, will serve as a home for research and education for university faculty and students working in India and throughout Southeast Asia.

Luis Miranda, ’89, chairman of the board of advisors for the nonprofit Centre for Civil Society in New Delhi, led a spontaneous fundraising challenge to support the Delhi Center that, in less than 24 hours, resulted in more than $350,000 in pledges from more than 90 attendees.