IIM Indore’s “Class of 2011” (my junior batch) was the first one to see a lot of changes in terms of their 1st year curriculum. The ‘one’ sitting at the top of it all would like to say that they were blessed. We like to say that they were experimented with. And like all experiments…. Some go your way, while others don’t. One of these drastic changes was the Rural Immersion (yeah, I know it sounds snazzy – management grads can generally give that effect to even simple things). How tough were these rural immersions?? Well, I’d be too cheeky if I commented on that, coz during that period, we were just enjoying the shorter lines in the mess. And even the media promotions were left to my dear junior counterparts. However, by the comments and pictures of some, I’d be safe in saying that they did enjoy themselves; and considering the responsible souls we are, I’m sure some benefit to the society was done.

Why am I talking so much about something which I obviously have little knowledge about? Well, coz for the past 1 month (and most probably for the next 1 also), I’ve been treading the roads of a rural India (read Kalahandi, Orissa) which many would be astonished to see; many would not even wana be in this part of the globe. I mean, we’ve all been to villages; ancestral lands of many of us are rural. But to actually experience it as a part of work, away from family, for an entire 2 months is an entirely different story. I won’t dive into my work out here, mainly for 2 reasons – a) you’d leave this page this minute if I bored you with medicine and coz b) this stuff is generally confidential. But there’s much more that I’ve learnt from my experience out here; stuff which many of you could probably relate with.

The People – Let me tell you, they’re not all poor. Just like the rest of India, there’s a huge divide within villages too. And the Marwaris… well, sadly they’ve earned their riches here too and along with that a bad name. People say it’s in the blood… I’m starting to agree, and also hate it. Kalahandi is otherwise known by the world as one of the poorest regions in the world. I’ve spoken to so many out here and well, the poverty is a very long story, and I have no idea which parts of it to believe.

The Work – People in villages are generally laid back… except farmers probably, at specific times during a crop cycle. Bureaucracy – It’s probably a synonym for corruption and laziness everywhere in the world. However, it’s only when you experience it in a rural setup that you realise how much better the offices in cities are. Here… even money does not get their asses moving. I think they just believe they’ve been destined by god to sit on their asses, doing nothing!!

The Infrastructure – “Non-existent” – Do I need to say more? People here tell me that the minister of the PWD in the Orissa Govt. has been from the Kalahandi area on more than 1 occasion. Well… I can only say that he must really hate his own home.

The Landscape – It’s probably the one thing (other than some of the people I’ve worked with out here) that I can appreciate. Yes, the area is surrounded by forests in every direction, there are loads of small tributaries inviting you to have a dip, and the mountains just complete the picture which seems to be perfect for a Bollywood movie.

The Learning –

* The “Real Wild” is very much unlike that which you see in movies. It’s only a picnic if you’re there for a day or two and with awesome company; not when everyone you speak to mentions Naxalism as the 1st word associated with your location.

* India’s figure for no. of villages is highly inflated. I’m not saying that we cheat the world; I’m just saying that every 2 kms. – A new village starts. How crazy is that? After living here for 2 weeks, I realised that I’m not stationed in M. Rampur but in Burat; for god’s sake – they’re practically attached!!

* The government is even crazier to create infrastructure (hospitals, schools etc) in every village (read 2 sq. km. area); by infrastructure I mean buildings with walls and a terrace. Whether they possess the facilities required, that’s an entirely different story. Let’s be real – can’t there be 1 hospital/school for an area of 25 sq. Kms and an ambulance/bus for people’s commute?? Even people in cities travel that far for good schools, colleges and hospitals.

* Mahindra Bolero is a hot sell in rural India and even Nokia is a premium brand. People purchase Dish TV before a toilet. If asked why, they’d just say, “Why’d man create roadsides…”

* People skills come in handy more than knowledge. The latter is a bonus while the former a necessity. Also…the muddier you look; the more willingly they speak to you.

In all, if you ever land up in a similar situation, I’ll tell you some words that you will surely need to remember: Adjustment, Patience, Negotiation, Resourcefulness (mainly to kill the boredom). Manage all that and you might just survive. :)

The Afterlife

Posted: October 31, 2010 in IIM Indore, job, Work

Those of you who have accidentally reached this page thinking that it has anything to do with Death, God or Heaven & Hell…. You may leave!! Let me make it clear that my post is not even remotely related to the tunnel or the bright light which some people might believe in. Nor is it related to the Vosloo-directed movie from 2009. What I’m writing about is much more important than Death. It’s about life after a B-School…. after you have flashy posts and a PGDM, IIM Tag.

People write so much about their life being transformed once they crack CAT and once they enter the portals of the various coveted B-schools across the globe. Very few write about the life immediately after. If they did, it would be a great surprise and shock. Don’t start judging before you’ve read this post fully.

We dream BIG, most of us…. Maybe not “beyond” like some others, but we dream big. Despite the recession, which has brought many MBA grads to earth, there are still some aspirations which we all have when we join the corporate world. “Work Hard, Party Harder” seems to be the golden rule (especially when you’ve come from an IT company and then from IIM Indore); Flexible work hours soon seem like a distant dream (didn’t we read about that stuff in OB??) The only flexible hours you’ll get will be work on Sunday. You might get flexi-locations however. For those who love to travel, don’t get too excited until you know where you’re being sent. After a few months, you might just start missing the man who takes away only washing machines and free meals. :)

But that’s not always the case… Sometimes you’re frustrated for other reasons. IIM Indore truly feels like the hillock which never slept. You feel you had 25 hours in a day out there. Life never switched off. It’s either studies (not very often) or sports or gossip or outings or a myriad of other crazy stuff. At the end of 2 years, it will surely be the best 2 years of your life; at least for most of us. Then when you move to a job which keeps you at a desk for 10 hours but real work for only 2, it begins to get boring… no, that’s an understatement. It begins to get deadening. You’re not doing any groundbreaking work… none of your devised strategies or marketing plans are gonna bring in millions. For a long time, you might not even have a permanent seat in your office. When people hear that you’re management trainees, you might be put aside thinking that you’re 2 month MBA interns. :)

What am I trying to convey…? First and foremost – Don’t waste the best 2 years of your life. Live them to the fullest!! Secondly….Dream big, but have realistic expectations. There are a lot of MBAs where you are going. This should never discourage you, coz believe me, your work shall always be appreciated by superiors (it’s important for them some way or the other) but more importantly, YOU will have to appreciate it and be able to put your heart into it; and as a dear professor once told me, your job shall be only as enjoyable as you yourself try to make it.

Welcome to life outside Planet I.


Have you ever had so much on your mind that you just don’t know what all to speak about. Have you ever felt that thoughts are speeding through your mind at Mach 3 and your hands are just too slow to pen them down. If you have, then you know exactly how I’m feeling right now!

The last time I wrote (March 16) was like aaaaaaaages ago… There is so much in my mind that it would explode if I didn’t get it out, and so I’m back…. writing at 6 in the morning. No, I didn’t just get up…. I never slept! My friends would say, “Sounds just like Ravi”… Some others out here at IIM will say, “He’s gonna sleep through the whole of tomorrow.” Unfortunately, I don’t have that luxury due to classes and assignments lined up for the next 6-7 days.

Anyway, let me come back to the overload in my mind… Third Term exams, Summer Internship, Short stint in Surat (with my sisters), My Birthday :-), June at the Hillock, etc.

I can hardly remember the last End Term exams… As I said, they were like a zillion years ago. :) That makes one thing clear….. I’m not gonna speak about them. :)

I interned at Johnson & Johnson Medical during April-May in Mumbai. I guess that was the primary reason for my absence from blogosphere. Not that I was working my pants off, but well, what should I say, time jus flew by. JJMI (Johnson & Johnson Medical India) was like a dream come true. The best 2 months of corporate life any intern could hope for. A gr8 work culture, an awesome team of superiors and the best group of co-interns anyone could ask for – a true dream family! I hope you guys are interested in reading about those 2 months of mine, coz I’m gonna write about it even if you aren’t… :) To keep the length of this post within limits, I’ll show you the flash back in another post.

The only thing which made the Summer of 09′ a bit sour was the fact that I didn’t get time to go to my home town, Udaipur. However, I did meet everyone in the family; some in Mumbai, some others in Surat. The Surat trip was like a 48 hour Marathon, one I wished could go on forever. I kept people awake till 5 AM on both days (even my very sleepy Jiju). I bet they cursed me afterwards. :) One things for sure… This trip was a great example of – “Efficient utilization of time”.

Come June 8th and I stepped foot back at Planet I, only to learn that our hostel rooms had been shifted… what a way to welcome us back…. Anyways, I ended up as one of the luckier ones (Just got shifted from G316 to G315…. some 5 metres). There were loads of protests, HostelCom had a hell of a time and very few people actually shifted to their new rooms. The Administration just gave up finally. :)

The last one month has been gr8 in Indore. I actually had begun to miss this place ; even though I was having an awesome time in Mumbai (minus the bed bugs). With the Juniors on campus, there were many moments of nostalgia. Some sadness – that one year had just whizzed by, but some relief, “Thank god it’s over!”. The past month has seen the likes of His Holiness Dalai Lama on campus speaking about “Compassion and Non-violence” (I’ll speak about this in another post) in addition to many other speakers like Mr. M Damodaran and the US Consul General, Mr. Paul Folmsbee. Term 4 has also brought with it a great set of visiting faculty, Prof Rajesh Shrivastava being the pick of the lot. “A true mentor and a great Guru” (One more post will surely be dedicated to him..)

But that’s not all… IRIS has become āhvān, Sanjeevani has become Aarohan, Utsaha plans to go Rural, Prof VK Gupta has become Dean (Administration), many of my batchmates have gotten engaged, some others married…. How can anyone be in such a hurry?? :)
And of course, there are those things which never change – For example the boy:girl ratio in PGP!

Anyways, I’m gonna try and get a wink before the 08.45 class (even that has changed from the earlier 09.30). I hope my mind can rest it’s thinking process till then!

Coming Soon….. Summer of 09′ @ Johnson & Johnson Medical


Prof. Sunil Handa

How often have you been mesmerized by a speaker? How often have you wished that a seminar would never end? I’m sure it’s not too many times…
But with Prof. Sunil Handa, that is exactly what happened. He has an ability to make you think and rethink. When he speaks about entrepreneurship, he can bring even a snail out of it’s shell, to challenge the world. I remember his words – “Be aggressive, Be assertive… Do not ask, Take it! The worst that could happen is that you will be told no.” It would be IMPOSSIBLE to bring out the atmosphere of that session through this blog-post, but I’m just gonna let my thoughts flow…
Prof. Handa started off by asking people what stops them from venturing on their own.When he asked why many of us would want to work for a couple of years before starting a venture. Some of the replies which came out were:
1. I’d work for a couple of years to earn some capital (seed money) for my business.
2. I’d work for a few years to increase contacts and create a network.
3. I’d work some time to gain experience.
4. I have to pay back my educational loan.
How many of us give the exact same answers? Who are we kidding? As Prof. Handa said, the only reason is – “Tumhari phatti hai!” With his extremely frank style, he dismissed each of those bluffs one by one:
1. Seed Money – Two Years – How Much??!!
On evaluating his earnings over 2 years, one of the participants here, “Nemo”, said that he’d probably save about 2-3 Lakhs (he undervalued himself TOO much, the downturn has really psyched people out…). Isn’t that a bit too little for capital money? Guess what the Prof had to say…. I’ll give you a loan for 3 lakhs (zero interest) when you finish your studies. Work on your venture… If it clicks, you can pay me back the principle, otherwise forget about it. He had just one condition… Immediately write a letter to the Placement
Cell telling them that you’re opting out of Final Placements!! Did he accept the offer? Well, would you have? Let’s face it – many out there are just too unsure about how much risk they can take. 

2. Work to increase contacts:
Prof Handa drew this diagram on the board and told us, “During the next 2 years, you will be that small white dot in the huge organization.

Do you think you’re gonna build contacts with the boss of another company?”. Let’s face it, he was right again. Kutte ki dosti Kutte se hi hoti hai. lol … I guess that rules out number 2 also. Prof. Handa gave the example of one incident when one of his students got an appointment with Mr. Dayanidhi Maran for half an hour which ended up getting cropped to 5 min. A small window of opportunity opened during that brief visit and Prof Handa said he slid through in that one-millionth of a second. Essentially, he wanted to prove how you must be aggressive, and the fact that you don’t need work experience to create contacts. You might just see a vacant seat at a table of esteemed personalities. Go grab the chair!

3. To gain experience
According the Prof, you don’t gain any experience at your 2 year job. Even if you do, you’d learn far more working on your own venture. So this reason is again pointless and just a myth.

4. To pay back educational loan
This is where Prof Handa spoke about “The Circle of screwed Indebtedness”. What’s that?? Well, it’s essentially a vicious circle of loans… You know, loans taken to pay off previous loans. And the saga continues…. The prof was ready to give an offer here as well – To pay off our loan till we can pay him back, if we’d agree to start our own venture.

Why exactly are people afraid??
When OD told the Prof that jobs were safe and comfortable whereas entrepreneurship was risky, he made a complete mockery out of him. He told us that it was the over-protective behaviour of many parents and at times their non-terminating government jobs which gave us such perceptions. For him, it was obvious… Venturing out on your own was the absolutely safer bet, and then again, he asked…”Don’t you guys want to be rich?” Oh that qs. triggered another drama when one of us said, “Money isn’t that important, I just wana chill out and enjoy life.” Bad thing to say to Prof Handa. Another person got sent to the crusher.

Let me tell you a bit about “The Sunil Handa”:
Born in a simple family, Prof Handa and his brother jumped into entrepreneurship early and with just Rs. 15,000. They soon owned over half a dozen pharma factories and had to their names a whooping 1200 Crores (1995). However, that was when life took a turn for him. A dispute and business split with his brother left him devastated. It took him numerous months and visits to all the saadhus (pendulum babas, magneto-therapists etc.) whom relatives referred him to, before he could come out of the depression. When he finally did, he kind of retired from his busy entrepreneur life, and started Eklavya School in Ahmedabad. For the past 17 years, Mr. Sunil Handa has been teaching a course called “LEM” (Labrotary in Entrepreneurial Motivation), at IIM Ahmedabad, a course which he says has no book, no notes, no quizzes/exams, practically no pedagogy. Just a few lectures and a whole load of one-to-one sessions. And his students he calls LEMmers. Prof Handa said that around 200 of his students are entrepreneurs today; people who interact with him very regularly and seek guidance on numerous issues.

There were two main entrepreneurial examples which the Professor gave:

The first one was of Mr. K R Rao, one of Prof. Handa’s own batchmates at IIM Ahmedabad. (1977-1979) This lad was a true social butterfly at that time; someone who many didn’t even remember during their silver jubilee reunion (2004). But with “Orchid Chemicals & Pharmaceuticals” under his sleeve, Rao’s net worth is over Rs. 3000 crore today. Though Mr. Rao was a B.Com-MBA grad, he was a true visionary.

Moving on to the next example, Prof. Handa spoke about his teaching career’s first entrepreneurial student, Mr. Narendra Murkumbi. This lad’s first idea was that of manufacturing a Neem Insecticide in Belgaum. Though Prof. Handa was apprehensive about the idea initially, he was assured of its success after speaking to an international neem expert, Dr. Gupta at ICRISAT. Though the product turned out to be a great success, the customers were farmers and hence the Receivables on his balance sheets were huge. It was in 1995 that Narendra came up with the idea of buying old sugar mills and starting production of sugar. Prof Handa told him that he was crazy and that sugar was meant for people in the upper echelons of politics. But like many entrepreneurs, Mr. Murkumbi was willing to risk it. He went on with his plan and today he is the owner of one of the world’s most scientific state-of-the-art sugar mills, Shree Renuka Sugars Ltd. Not only that, he was also featured as one of India’s new bilionaires by Business World. One interesting thing about Renuka Sugars is that they use co-generation to produce their own energy (using the waste, bagasse which comes from sugarcane). No electricity is purchased from outside. When Murkumbi explained the idea to Prof Handa, he said, “When god created sugarcane, he put enough energy in it to bring the sugar out of it.”

Flirting with Ideas
After numerous success stories, Prof Handa told us that we must face reality, and it’s not necessary that your first venture becomes a million dollar lottery. You have to experiment…”Flirt with different ideas” and eventually one of your plans will click. For some it’s the first… for Prof Handa it was the 7th.

One on One Interaction
It was after the first session that Prof Handa decided to interact with a few participants who were interested in entrepreneurship. I was lucky enough to have the opportunity as well. (Thanks Jalan…). It was nice speaking to Prof Handa for about 25 min where we discussed certain patchy ideas that I had in my mind. He had so much to share and I could’ve sat there forever. But time is one thing you don’t get when you need it the most. Anyways, I guess we all hope to interact with him again in the future. Let’s see how much effect such talks have on IIM Indore’s participants, and how many of us venture out on our own some day….

Some recent ventures by IIM Indore alumni:

OurOwnBook: OurOwnBook.com is a user driven writing community started by 2 participants from IIM Indore’s Class of 2008, Dhruv Bhushan and Anubhav Jain.
ourownbook.com is based on the revolutionary concept of Collaborative Book Building (CoBooBu). It brings together users, who wish to write, in an interactive and collaborative form to develop a storyline which would be published as a book. The two co-founders believe that Anyone Can Write. In fact, most people are desirous of being able to write an article, story, poem, blog, anything. They hope to someday see their names on the front page of a book. The only limitations are the lack of time to sit down and write hundreds of pages or the opportunity to be able to get a best seller published. OurOwnBook overcomes both.
How it works? OurOwnBook provides a brief storyline. The users develop the story collaboratively by appending to the already existing content. The moderators continuously review the contributions while providing cues, to develop an interesting plot. Once the storyline
is completely developed, they get it published in the form of a book. All contributors are recognized as co-authors of the book, making it “Our Own Book”.


Fire up: fireup.co.in is a revolutionary e-learning portal for Management Entrance Training. It has been designed to help the students fraternity crack the toughest management entrance examination, CAT, to qualify for admissions to the IIMs and other top B-schools in India. It is the brainchild of Mr. Vineet Patawari (IIMI Class of 2008) who spurned lucrative seven figure job offers to devote himself to his burning passion of expanding the learning horizons with new emergent technologies.

Ask Bima: askbima.com is another one of Patawari’s innovative online ventures. It is an online insurance information and application portal serving both investors and advisors. It offers investors a platform to compare independently and choose the best life and non-life insurance product.

 


They were our seniors, they were our mentors, they were our tutors, they were our guiding stars, but above all, they were, are and will always stay our closest pals!
No words could suffice to convey our regards to them. We can all just try to make an attempt….and so will I.

July 2008 was the beginning of a new phase for all of us. As we entered the gates of IIM Indore with many hopes, wishes, dreams and above all – anxious feelings. I still remember the first individual of PGP2 whom I met. None other than the great Saravanan, who was compiling a list with details of all the new members of the IIMI family. A list which we all use even today. The anxiousness increased when we were asked to assemble in the seminar hall, at close to midnight! Believe me, that was just the start. A session of introductions, which many complain was not the best, but I’m sure they tried their best.

The next few days were quite a memory – the best possible way to mingle two batches that will spend the next 1 school year together. You may have failed once but some of us got a taste of your creativity again (Honestly, you guys just can’t quit can you?). Lets face it , those were the best days ever… with a DJ party to end the great start.

Life soon became hectic with actual lectures and once again – pain in the ass assignments, but then again you’re not in an IIM for nothing. I probably shouldn’t detail out how seniors have been an immense help in academics, but let’s just say “Seek Duplicate Change”.
It wasn’t just academics, these guys were awesome mentors throughout the Summer Placement processes – who else would go through your resumes 5-6 times!

They passed on the culture of IIM Indore (however dull or rich it may be), they made us feel lively in one of the most boring corners of Indore, or should I say Rau. They showed us every hang out spot (if you can call them that) nearby. These guys were always running off to those rare classes at ODD times, but they were always in for a match or two of cricket/basketball/footbal/TT. I can’t comment too much on what happened in A-Block (no I don’t mean A Top floor) but I’m sure they had they’re own parties and gossips. Life out here was interesting to say the least…. We even had our own “Cute little Ambassador”…. Yes, I mean Arav. We’re all gonna miss you buddy.

We’ve had our differences, egos and cold wars but then again, what’s life withouf a few complaints? I guess what bonded us the most, was the endless cribbing about the profs and the insti rules (even the best places can be made to look like the worst :))

The batches have been much bigger in IIMs these days, and I’m sure none of us in PGP1 knew all the 174 (probably not even all 18 girls for that matter) of you, but we’ve all had our own near and dear friends. I am sure that “Melting Pot” won’t be the same without you, nor will be the hostel corridors/quadrangles. You may not be around to see us through the next year, but your memories will forever remain with us and talk us through the tough times…. We will all miss you and hope to see you at Footprints 09′.

On behalf of everyone in PGP1, I’d like to wish each one of you farewell and good luck.

—- Ravi Mehta
Class of 2010

P.S. Do add as comments, any memories which you’d like to remember forever or would like others to know about.


Professor Daniel Drache is the Associate Director of the Robarts Centre for Canadian Studies and also a Professor of Political Sciences at York University in Toronto, Canada. We were lucky to have him on campus to deliver a guest talk on “Barack Obama’s Stunning Victory”.
As B-school students (oops… I meant participants), we have one discussion quite a few times, “What’s the difference between Managers & Leaders?” Does one imply the other? What are great leaders all about? Do managerial skills help leadership? I guess when we think about great leaders, a lot of images come to mind, including Gandhi, Mandela, Kennedy, etc. and in the years to come we may be hearing “Obama” in that list too. 

Excerpts from the Seminar:
Professor Drache spoke to us as well as the faculty about Defiant Publics and Winning/ Losing in an internet age. Yup, Internet; and to be specific, he spoke a lot on Obama’s campaign strategy using Web 2.0 and Facebook. It was amusing but not shocking to see that none of the professors sitting in the audience were on Facebook. Professor Drache even rewarded them a C- (of course jokingly) when he found out that they didn’t Text (SMS) either. Anyways, how exactly did Obama use Facebook?? During his campaign, there were around 780 regional offices across the US, with paid staff, to arrange and coordinate virtual discussion groups, chat rooms and organizations to mobilize the ideas and suggestions of the American population. These virtual communities made the people feel a part of the campaign. They created networks, and slowly Obama was able to reach the hearts of cynical and critical voters below the age of 30. These activities led to an increase in voter turnout (mostly in favor of Obama) and also a clear mandate for the people.

To Americans, McCain meant “War and Patriotism – Loyalty to the nation, right/wrong; Tax cuts to richer people” but the voters finally voted against that. The crisis caused by the Bush administration and the fact that people felt worse off as compared to 5 years ago did not help the Republican’s cause too much either. Professor Drache said that across the globe today, people hope to have a leader like Obama for “Change”. He called the people of modern times, “Defiant” as they boldly resisted and questioned authority which forcefully wishes you to believe their ideologies. Recently the world has seen a steady decline of Deference. Also, over the past decade, there has been a clear shift in public opinion from Bush-Blair ideologies to ones which actually help the nation progress. During his lecture, Professor Daniel presented a very interesting online poll, which is given below:


The above statistics clearly show, that Obama is “America’s favorite President” at the moment. The fact that a Black candidate won the elections rejects the belief that US citizens allow racism to cloud their thinking. Politics of inclusion and diversity led to Obama’s victory.

Q&A session:
There were some interesting questions from the participants of IIM Indore and Sugandh had even become Mr. Drache’s helpful aid by filling in the blanks on many a occasion. I must commend that fellow for a great GK. Or is it that “He doesn’t study”, as the professor said… :-) Anyways, back to Q&A….
In response to Raina, who asked the professor whether expectations may have just gone too high for Obama to fulfill them, Professor Drache said that no expectation can be too “HIGH” for a person like Obama however at times they may be unrealistic in terms of “time-frame”.
Commenting on the new American President, he said that he was a truly diverse cosmopolitan. He had won with his policies and as a gracious and respectful person. However, Dr. Daniel did say that we’ll have to wait for maybe around 2 years to actually see if he’s able to bring change.

Professor Drache’s recently released book: “Defiant Publics: The Unprecedented Growth of the Global Citizen

Another book he mentioned:
The Genius of American Politics” by Daniel J. Boorstin


Though I keep promising myself that I’ll write more often on this blog, the posts end up becoming more and more spaced out in time. This time, it’s been 6 weeks, and it’s felt like ages. 

Since the last time I wrote, which was on December 24th, the major happenings at IIM Indore and in my life for that matter, have been End Term exams, Holidays back at home in Udaipur (which included a brief internship with an NGO, Seva Mandir), the National Youth Conference in January, the recent SP Jain Sports Meet (of which I was not a part), I-club elections, Celebrations and Movie Nights organized by CulCom in addition to the usual day to day activities…

End terms did save my face to some extent, but the damage had been done and I’m sure my CGP will fall in Term 2. But I guess there’s no point crying over spilt milk. (Sometimes I hate cliches like that). I’m looking towards Term 3 now, hoping it’ll be a bit more generous towards my grade sheet. My interest in Finance has been waning day by day, and now I truly know, I was meant to be a Marketing lad. :)

Holidays after a rigorous term are always a delight, and when you add “HOME” to that equation, it becomes Heaven. This term break of 11 days were truly a treat. Spent some quality time with my family and friends (though many of them weren’t in town). Udaipur was awesome as always! The extended term break (yes, normally it’s just 6-7 days), was because of an internship which we had to undergo as a part of our curriculum in SBM(Society, Business and Management). I visited some of the most far-fetched villages in Udaipur district, while I was interning with an NGO known as Seva Mandir.
Due to the recent Satyam Fiasco, our institute plans to add more courses which will sensitize the participants at IIM Indore to social and ethical aspects of business. I guess our juniors will benefit from such courses in the coming years. :) I remember the words of Prof. Pradip Khandwala (Ex-Director, IIM Ahmedabad) from yesterday’s seminar. He had ended his talk with this line – “In Modern World Business, Goodness Pays!”. He emphasized on the fact that CSR would help companies increase returns and reduce risk, thus increasing share value. I totally agree; companies will have to be socially responsible in the future, whether they like it or not!

To commemorate the 146th birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda, IIM Indore organized a National Youth Conference from January 12-14 2009. Our new Director, Prof. Ravichandran is of the view that IIM Indore should be different in terms of the things we do and the way we do them. This Conference was his brain-child. The goal was to sensitise the young men and women of India to issues of national concern and to identify the role that the youth must play to take India forward in its march towards being counted among the best. Designed as a series of guest lectures and panel discussions, the Conference addressed areas such as Economic Reforms, Micro Finance, Spirituality, Science & Technology, Rural Health and Agriculture. The conference was attended by around 15 eminent guest speakers and over 300 participants from 40 colleges across India.
Among the guest speakers were Mr. Shekhar Gupta, Editor in Chief of Indian Express, Mr. D R Karthikeyan, former Director of the CBI, Dr. A D Dharma, the Deputy Director at ISRO Bangalore and many others.

Though life is pretty hectic on this hillock, the Cultural Committee (another student body under SAC) ensures that we pay our regards to the ultimate manager above us, I mean “GOD”. The committee brings together the entire IIM Indore family during occasions such as Lodhi, Sarasvati Pooja, etc. We even had our own Santa Clause’s distributing gifts during Christmas. During special occasions, Movies are screened for the entire batch in the auditorium, and sometimes under the stars, in front of a bonfire. We come to enjoy even classics like “Gunda” (there’s no sarcasm in that statement). Great work Guys….

Though we might not have the best sports facilities yet (there are plans for a Sports Complex in the pipe-line, and may take some time to be fully functional), we have some pretty good athletes at Planet I. SportsCom is one damn active committee out here. They’ve been conducting regular events over the past month and there have been great competitions to watch. In addition to that, our team secured fourth place (there were 12 colleges in all) at the recent sports meet at SP Jain, Mumbai. Congrats to all the guys and girls who took part in the meet…. :)

It was election time again on campus during the first week of February. This time round, they were for members of I-clubs (Interest clubs). However, there wasn’t much campaign-fever this time. One of my friends, Abhi was elected as Secy for Currenc-I, which is the Economics & IB club of IIM Indore, and a few of us got to take a party from him. That was one good thing, in addition to of course many other friends (Surya aka Mummy, OD, Shashi, Arijit Das,, Dogra, Goli, Avadhoot, and a few others) who were also elected. Good luck guys….

Its 1.53 AM, and I just had to take a bath, because of one idiot “Raina”, who showered everyone with cold drink a while back… Let me rewind a bit… It was actually Karl’s birthday, and we all cut a cake and plastered a bit on his face. That was when the sprinklers started, first on Karl, and then Raina sprayed everyone else. Of course, we got back at him, tore his shirt and had a slipper fight. It didn’t end there…. Gunjan went mad with the liquid soap after we tried taking a picture of him in the Men’s room. Oh, we MBAs know how to enjoy and get wild sometimes. I wish I had Raina’s pics. I’d post them here….

Anyways, I’ll end this huge post now. I’m tired and have some work to get back to. See you again soon.. Adios…. :)