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Bangor Professor leads speakers at international conference

Bernardo Batiz-Lazo, Professor of Business History and Bank Management at Bangor Business School, delivered the key note address at the first international conference organised by the Tolani Institute of Management Studies (TIMS) in Gandhidham, Gujarat (India). The town bears the name of India's founding father because the announcement of the decision to house the Sindhi community (a group of people relocated after partition) in that area was Gandhi's last act on the day he was killed. The Institute itself is part of an educational group that educates over 8,000 students thanks to the effort, financial support and vision of K. B. Tolani (1893-1988).

The conference gained the support of the local business community which includes IFFCO, a co-operative and the biggest fertiliser producer in India; Gandhidham Chamber of Commerce & Industry; and the Gandhidham Co-operative Bank Ltd.

Most presentations were from India and Sri Lanka but also from places as far afield as South Africa. Themes touched on general management issues such as finance, human resources and marketing. These were witness of the efforts from the local academic and business community to raise their research profile. The role of Professor Batiz-Lazo was then to set a benchmark upon which these studies could compare their contribution and methodology to international standards. In particular, his address dealt with the role ‘images of the future’ have in shaping organisational change and development. This was illustrated by the idea of a cashless society within retail payment systems (document available as a Bangor Business School working paper).

Prior to the conference, Prof. Batiz-Lazo worked with second year postgraduate students guiding a workshop on the growth of Sir Richard Branson's Virgin Group into retail banking services. This teaching case study, authored by Prof. Batiz-Lazo and Professor Kimio Kase (IESE Business School, Madrid, Spain) is available from the European Case Clearing House or to download.

Prof. Batiz-Lazo is also a member of the editorial board of QUEST - Indian Journal of Management and Research, published by TIMS.

Publication date: 15 December 2011