Expert session on Impact of Geopolitics in Business

IMT Hyderabad, 26th February 2024: Institute of Management Technology (IMT), Hyderabad successfully organized an expert talk on “Impact of Geopolitics in Business” by Mr. Bharat Ramanan, Group Director, Government Relations & Geopolitics at D P World. He is also a distinguished International Affairs and Political Risk Expert.

The session commenced with Mr. Ramanan expressing his delight at returning to his hometown – Hyderabad. In an initiative to familiarize the audience with the role of Geopolitics in Business and make them understand how policy-making concepts transcend to reality, he asked students to guess the reason behind the ban on TikTok. Revealing the answer to be Geopolitics, he exclaimed that India banned TikTok in June 2020, citing national security concerns after a military clash with China. He also emphasized that while Geopolitics may not be widely recognized, it has emerged as a paramount concern for companies, as government decisions can profoundly affect a company's existence.

Diving deep into the topic, he provided several examples, such as that of Apple, the American multinational technology company that shifted a part of its production unit from China to Vietnam in response to the competitive dynamics between the US and China. Mr. Ramanan also pointed out that we have moved into a time when companies must get used to a world where corporate neutrality is no longer a choice, and taking a stand is imperative. He illustrated this point by highlighting the case of the global energy giant - Shell, which was compelled to break off its trade ties with Russia due to the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war. He proposed that the largest risk for a company is Geopolitical Tension, as it can disrupt a business anytime, and confided that a survey from Oxford Analytical reveals that 68% of companies worldwide have bought political risk insurance.

Further elaborating on the importance of understanding Geopolitical situations, he mentioned that a company can Track, Analyse, and Triangulate their learnings from the Geopolitical situations to formulate insights that will help the stakeholders in the investment decisions. Adding more to the TikTok example, Mr. Ramanan implied – “somebody’s loss is somebody’s gain”, emphasizing how the ban on TikTok in India paved the way for Instagram to gain prominence in the market. He also discussed the impact of the Red Sea Crisis, the Semiconductor battle between Europeans & China, Deglobalization & fragmentation, and how layoffs can result from Geopolitical factors.

Towards the end of the session, Mr. Ramanan enlightened students about the promising career paths available in Geopolitics within the business realm. He encouraged students by emphasizing that they could pursue freelancing opportunities by becoming savvy economists, as every company's CEO seeks advice from economists before making investments in national and international trades.

The session wrapped up with Prof. (Dr.) Sourabh Bhattacharya felicitating the speaker with a memento.

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