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The Manipal Conclave’19

Every year, the Manipal Conclave brings together speakers from various professional environments to share their stories with students. This year the event held at Fortune Inn Valley View Hotel, witnessed seven speakers, each of which had a unique story to share with the audience. Their stories of passion, determination and perseverance inspired many to achieve greater things. Spread over three days, 8th, 11th, and 12th October, The Manipal Conclave was the highlight of Tech Tatva 2019.

Day 0 

When Chai Met Toast, Band

Day 0 of Tech Tatva saw music lovers gather in the library auditorium as the band When Chai Met Toast graced the stage of The Manipal Conclave. The four artistsAshwin Gopakumar, Achyuth Jaigopal, Palee Francis, Pai Saileshwere welcomed with enthusiasm.

The event began with an on-stage interview. The musicians took their places on the couch and after a short welcome, Riya Subhedar, Core Committee member of The Manipal Conclave, put forth a few interesting questions to the guests. From how the band got its name to how their team was formed, their journey and its prospects were listened to with utmost attentiveness. While the stories, such as that of how the banjo became a part of their music, intrigued the audience, Ashwin’s witty remarks kept the audience giggling throughout the show.

The students also got an opportunity to interact with the artists. Before the event was concluded, the band surprised the gathering with a short performance. The small yet enthusiastic audience witnessed their ‘happy’ genre of music in admiration and gave the artists a standing ovation as they bid farewell.

Day 1

Laxmi Agarwal, Social Activist

An embodiment of endurance, Laxmi Agarwal stood steadfast as she recounted her horrid experience and struggle to the audience on the second day of The Manipal Conclave. An acid attack survivor, Ms Agarwal is a campaigner against the sale of acid in India through her organisation, Stop Sale Acid and an advocate of acid attack victims’ rights. “If the society is ashamed of my face, let them cover their eyes”, said Ms Agarwal highlighting her staunch fight against the societal stigma that she, among many, face every day. Through her resolute yet stirring narrative, she sent home a powerful message of the reformation that Indian society requires.

Hemaasri Rajan, Student Speaker

In a show of remarkable courage, Hemaasri Rajan, a freshman at MIT, took the stage to present a glimpse of her journey as a dyslexic learner. Born in Chennai, Rajan attended numerous schools in her childhood, of which the memory and time in Isha Home School, Coimbatore, is closest to her heart. Through lengthy anecdotes of her school life, she painted a bleak yet promising picture of her childhood struggles and hardships, and a strong yearning for normality. “Dyslexia is like a gift. It allows you to see things a tad bit differently”, concluded Rajan, in an earnest bid for acceptance.


Crisy Vasan
, Founder and CEO, TVAM

An alumnus of MIT, Crisy Vasan is the founder and CEO of TVAM, a natural cosmetics company. Mrs Vasan graduated with her Bachelor’s in Engineering in 1984 and then went on to further study and involve herself in entrepreneurship. In 2007, she founded TVAM, a business venture aimed at providing natural lifestyle products. Being in Manipal had rekindled nostalgia as Mrs Vasan reminisced her days in college, telling the audience little tales, here and there. Sharing some wisdom, she focused on the importance of staying updated on the technological advancements and concluded with immense gratitude for her alma mater.


Dr K Ganesha Raj
, General Manager, RRSC (South), ISRO

With a demonstrated history of working in the research industry and specialising in spatial analysis and strategic planning, Dr K Ganesha Raj who is presently the General Manager of Regional Remote Sensing Centre, South, ISRO, delivered an eye-opening talk at The Manipal Conclave. Starting from the small town of Kasaragod, Dr Raj has achieved tremendous success in the field of Geology. In his informal speech, Dr Raj took the audience through his school days and consequently through the rungs of his corporate ladder. “Never give up on opportunities, and always have a plan B”, said Dr Raj when asked how he found his passion. His talk also outlined the use of satellite and space technology in geospatial niches like water resources, horticulture, and urban forestry.

Day 2

Ramakrishnan K V, CEO, Kotak Private Equity

As the CEO of Kotak Private equity, Ramakrishnan K. V. is a man with no shortage of accolades to his name. He regaled the audience with accounts of his journey from an engineering graduate to working at the forefront of India’s financial sector. His knowledge about the finance sector in India was all-encompassing, and he was swiftly able to answer any questions thrown at him. He cleared all queries that the audience had, regarding the current economic scenario in the country and provided a better picture of it.


Ronit Ranjan
, Ex-Army Cadet, Author, Certified Peer Educator

In the eight grade, Ronit Ranjan decided to join the Indian Army. It took him four years of hard work and dedication to make it to the National Defence Academy. “I am a person who has believed in the blueprint of life. While I was at the NDA I planned everything, but life took a different course”, said Ronit Ranjan. After suffering from a serious injury, he had to terminate his tenure as an army cadet, which seemed like a herculean task. He summed up his feeling and story in his book—The Mighty Mustang.

“In the National Defence Academy (NDA) every squadron—Alpha, Bravo, Charlie and so one, has a soul—Alpha-Apaches, Bravo-Braves, Charlie-Cheetah, Delta-Daggers and so on. I was in the Mike squadron of the 135th course. Our soul is a Mustang horse—one of the strongest breed of horses. We were called ‘The Mighty Mustang’”, said Ronit Ranjan, explaining his choice of the title. He shared his success and failure with the audience that left them in awe of his spirit and perseverance. For his splendid courage and beautiful delivery, he received a standing ovation at the end.

Rohan Joshi and Ashish Shakya, Comedians

The dynamic duo, Rohan Joshi and Ashish Shakya, brought a dose of comic relief to the atmosphere in the hall. They explored topics ranging from engineering and work, to marriage and growing older, while also serving the audience a reality check in a hilarious manner. As they performed their sets individually, there was barely a moment of silence as they kept the audience in fits of laughter throughout their segments.

A sit-down chat followed their stand-up set. The host, Tanmai Vishwanath, questioned them on a variety of topics regarding their personal and professional lives, their opinion on social issues, and pick-up lines. This was followed by a rapid-fire round. Rohan Joshi and Ashish Shakya were then showed pictures from their own and AIB’s Instagram page and asked to comment on “What were they thinking?” when they uploaded the posts. The speakers left the audience in good spirits, thus ending the three days of The Manipal Conclave 2019 on a high note.

Image Credits: Photography and Videography, TechTatva’19