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TechTatva’20—The Manipal Conclave

The crowning glory of Techtatva, The Manipal Conclave 2020, featured a spectrum of bright, talented, and celebrated faces across India. This year the Conclave platform embraced 19 speakers pioneering in different fields—from the industrial sector to digital media. Hosted on Zoom and live-streamed on YouTube, the event struck a chord with its vast audience from 4th to 8th November 2020.

Day 0

Leeza Mangaldas, Muskan Ranka, Tarini Shah, Apoorva Mujhija, Karan Sircar, and Yajat Dhingra, Content Creators
Ramya Nadig | Staff Writer

The audience met day 0 of Conclave with much excitement as the panel showcased the trending influencers of today’s generation. The meeting, hosted by Leeza Mangaldas, consisted of Instagrammers of various content-domains coming together to discuss their experiences with the social media frenzy and how to distinguish the reel life from real life. “Social media has been instrumental in providing a sense of community and visibility to those with suppressed voices,” remarked Leeza Mangaldas. Being an influencer provides the opportunity to connect with a wide-ranging audience in one click. The hour-long talk featured multiple anecdotes and passionate discussions about these individuals’ ups and downs while trying to share their content with their audiences.

“Influencers portray the happy aspects of their life, as I feel. By looking at someone feeling happy, you feel happy as well. However, there should be a mix of emotions to connect with their audience,” said Tarini Shah. However, with a greater sense of freedom and online reach, their rise to stardom was not a cakewalk but rather a hard-earned one. The panellists discussed how some of their followers and viewers hide behind the anonymity of their virtual personas to say whatever they want, with scant regard for others’ feelings. The speakers could relate to each other by sharing their troubles of dealing with various issues such as hate comments and Instagram being able to better a target audience only with paid promotion. Through this talk, the audience could gain advice on how to become influencers if they tried and how not to be discouraged by setbacks.

Day 1

Satish Ray, Actor, Writer, and Youtuber
Shrijani Manna | Staff Writer

A prominent content creator in the digital field, Satish Ray hosted a content writing workshop on the first day of Conclave. For all the aspiring writers, he spoke in depth about his journey and shared some insight into drafting quality screenplays. Elaborating on the tricks of the trade, he encouraged the audience to inculcate the habit of reading. To provide profundity to the storyline, he emphasized the need for compelling character arcs, aesthetic settings, impactful dialogues, and much more. Referencing popular movies like 3 idiots and Munna Bhai M.B.B.S, Satish also outlined the framework of different types of plots.

He advised the attendees to focus on the relevance of each element in the story. By quoting the legendary Japanese film director, Akira Kurosawa’s words, “Writing is Re-writing,” Satish elucidated the importance of keeping a flexible and receptive attitude when revising a draft. He addressed the attendees’ questions on how to deal with clashes in ideas while co-writing, how to start working on an unfamiliar genre, and so forth. “Don’t work for your company, work for yourself!” he remarked, on dealing with imperious external agencies. With the enaction of his famous internet persona, Imaandar Sharma, the event wrapped up. The participants enjoyed this enlightening event and gained a new perspective on content writing.

Day 2

Pulkit Kochar, Content Creator
Devangshi Debraj | Staff Writer

The Manipal Conclave’s newest initiativea podcast ‘The Road Less Travelled’, in association with Social Nation Campus—witnesses a talk between the hosts and people who have diverted from the path of conventional careers and excelled in a creative field of their own. The first episode of the podcast starred Pulkit Kochar, content creator with Pocket Aces’ Dice. His fun and interactive sketch videos have made him a known face in the digital world. From starting his YouTube channel, HollyShit, to creating memes, Pulkit has successfully created a niche for himself. He has even tried his hand at stand-up comedy, performing at thirty to forty open mics in a span of two months.

He spoke about his journey from being a designer and social media manager at East India Comedy, to becoming a content creator. Pulkit elaborated on adapting to the new feature, Reels, saying that it now required him to put up content every day. With the lockdown due to the pandemic closing in, he even took to acting. His talent at mimicry and drawing from different aspects of life for his comedy sketches has helped him garner a large fan following on Instagram. The session was an enriching one, exploring the perspectives of a persona who has carved a path for himself and excelled in his own creative field.

Shashank Udupa, Abhinav Arora, and Varun Mayya, founders of Avalon Meta
Devanghsi Debraj | Staff Writer

With the vision to make multifaceted knowledge available to eager learners under one roof, three young entrepreneurs—Varun Mayya, Abhinav Arora, and Shashank Udupa created Avalon Meta, a first of its kind ed-tech start-up. Over a hundred attendees at the Manipal Conclave’20 listened as they shared tips and tricks of the trade with aspiring entrepreneurs. Speaking of what they look for in recruits, Shashank said, “Society always puts us in a box. In Avalon, it is encouraged to question the box and find a path of your own.”

From taking up a good cause in order to establish a legacy company to being prepared for rejection when asking for funds, every aspect of initialising a start-up was covered. They stressed the importance of creating an environment conducive to encouraging entrepreneurs. Furthermore, they elucidated that it is often inadvisable to found a company that caters to a small niche—something both investors and customers will have difficulty relating to. The trio mentioned that it is often the various student clubs that help one develop the necessary skills required to bring their visions to fruition. In order to make a difference in the world, Varun asserted, “The world is not changed by your opinion. It is changed by your example.” At Avalon Meta’s online campus, students are taught the basics of business, finance, digital marketing, and web development. In Abhinav’s words, “Ignorance might be bliss, but with knowledge comes power.” The session was an incredibly enriching experience.

Day 3

Amandeep Singh Khayal, Hindi Poet, and Storyteller
Shrijani Manna | Staff Writer

A soul-stirring Hindi poet, and storyteller, Amandeep Singh Khayal was invited for the second episode of the Conclave’s official podcast. Amandeep’s fervent way with words has garnered an unwavering group of admirers on his Instagram account and various YouTube channels. His open mics, too, have received showers of praise. Over the course of an hour-long interview session,  this engineer-turned-poet answered questions about the things that inspire him, the distinctions between normal and slam-poetry, and how his formative years shaped his creative side. In a more opinion-based segment, he responded to questions regarding his preference for reading or writing poems, the widening gap between today’s youth and Hindi literature, his favourite poet, and so on. When inquired about his plans for the future, he replied, “I still see a very long road ahead of me, where I have no clue what to do, where to go, and I don’t even have any footprints to follow. So, I’m just searching, I’m just confused, and I’m happy that I’m confused.”  With these thought-provoking words, the inspiring session rolled to an end.

Mr Banmali Agrawala, Ex-Executive Director of the Board of Tata Power, Ex-President and CEO of GE, South Asia, and President of Infrastructure, Defence, and Aerospace at Tata Sons Private Limited
Ramya Nadig | Staff Writer

A man experienced with fields ranging from healthcare to aerospace, Mr Agrawala shared some insight from his several years of leadership in these leading industries. To add to the various achievements celebrated by the conglomerate, Mr Agrawala mentioned, “One of the most important things is how do you inspire people. At the end of the day, it’s all about the people. Money is available, resources are available, but how you deal with and inspire people makes the difference!”

After a brief talk about the TATA group and the various ongoing projects, the session involved answering questions regarding various aspects of the professional field. A much-highlighted query focused on what are the most important elements a recruiter looks for in an applicant. “I think in today’s time and age qualifications aren’t the main thing. The first most important thing is being humble—a person shouldn’t feel a sense of arrogance about you. And the second most important thing is the willingness and ability to learn. Because even if you haven’t done much, but you have the curiosity in you, most organisations will find methods of training you and teaching you,” replied Mr Agrawala. Through this session, a small and eager audience was able to realise lessons that would help them not only with their future career path but also to help develop themselves as a person.

Ahsaas Channa, Actress
Shrijani manna | Staff Writer

On the third day, an excited audience thronged the online Conclave platform as the accomplished actress, Ahsaas Channa graced it. A booming name across major digital media platforms, Ahsaas relayed her experience of working for different productions. Flashing a radiant smile throughout, she opened up about her childhood stardom and its impact on her daily life. Moving on, she humbly answered questions regarding her success on different web series and movies, the versatility of her roles, and prospective projects. Further, she described the amicable nature of her colleagues and the distinct working environments.

On dealing with the mental strain that ensues with her line of work, she said, “It is so important to rest and take a break. This is something that I’ve learned very recently, and I’ve learnt it the hard way.”  In the last segment, she moved through a series of rapid-fire questions that were quite quirky. The attendees beamed at the jovial charm Ahsaas exuded. Even with the trivial network snags, the event mirrored her liveliness.

Day 4

Tanmay Bhatt, Ankush Bahuguna, Larissa D’sa, Viraj Gehlani, Kumar Varun, Sudeep Lahiri, Content Creators
Devangshi Debraj | Staff Writer

The zeal of TechTatva’20 reached its zenith on the final day, with the headliner panel of the Manipal Conclave sparking excitement among viewers. Hosted by Sudeep Lahiri, the panel of content creators spoke about how content marketing is making a difference in the digital space.

The star-cast of the panel summoned over 2,000 viewers to the TechTatva YouTube channel. All of them have created an identity for themselves in the world of content creation. Tanmay Bhat, the former CEO of AIB, advocates the need to seek creative satisfaction. An architect-turned-writer, Ankush Bahuguna, having received MensXP fame, is changing the norms of digital media. Larissa D’Sa, a YouTuber, fashion and travel blogger, believes that confidence and consistency are the keys. Viraj Gehlani, a content creator for FilterCopy, has been the epitome of perseverance in the field of digital content creation. Kumar Varun, an actor, comedian, and writer, believes in going big or going home. With Sudeep Lahiri, India’s Digital Chef, these notable personas served up a delectable session for their virtual audience.

The panel spoke about the importance of having a stable source of incomebeing a content creator may be what one enjoys doing, but it comes with a high risk. It might not be enough to provide for the basic needs of life. They also elaborated on how Instagram is a popular form of social media to build a platform due to the availability of various formats for publishing content. The panel discussion touched upon how to create content, various platforms that are currently trending, and the change in consumption patterns. The session ended with a surprise guest appearance of the pop-rock band Sanam.


Featured Image Credits: Social Media and Graphics, TechTatva’20

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