Tuesday, 8 March 2016


07/03/2016; 03:14:

On 28th morning, the new Umeed team formed as part of Utsaha continued with their welfare activities. The team reached Janpav Kutti at 10 a.m. and began with a workshop on basic sanitation practices for the children there. Advice along with demonstration was conducted, on inculcating habits such as: Washing hands before and after meals; Not indulging in open defecation and washing of hands after; Primary care when one is suffering from cold & cough to prevent it from spreading to others around; Self-sanitation practices including taking a bath everyday. The children were enthusiastic and promised to follow the measures and teach everyone around them to follow them as well. Colourful handouts with pictures were distributed to the children who promised to stick them up in visible places.

After this, a workshop on making LED bulbs was held for interested men and women in the village, with the support of the village sarpanch. LED bulbs are safe and consume much lesser electricity than other options; LED bulbs sell in the retail market for Rs. 200 a piece. Raw materials were made available during the workshop for a few trial pieces to be made- once everyone is comfortable with the process, a continuous supply of raw materials will be made available. The sarpanch plans to facilitate selling of the bulbs (to be priced at Rs. 50) as well as usage in their own homes. The young men in the village, some of whom are tech-savvy were even introduced to the idea of selling products including the handicrafts made by the village women online.

All in all, a morning well spent. A press release was then sent out in the early hours of the evening along with a bunch of nice pictures.

In the evening, the farewell, Au Revoir for the senior batch was held. There was a dance performance by Vibes, the dance club; kela awards were given out for random achievements including ‘best maggu’ and ‘hottest couple’. The seniors were all dressed in colourful ethnic wear- the women in sarees and the men in kurtas and jeans/dhotis/pyjamas. A photo-booth had been setup with a bunch of funny props and dinner had been arranged. The evening was a myriad of colour and emotion. It was hard to digest that the IPM seniors we’d gotten so used to having around for the last 4 years would no longer be on campus to share stories and dole out advice. People were sad to be leaving the place they’d called home for over 2 years; everyone pretended to be happy at this last evening when the whole batch was celebrating together.
29th began with an SM quiz at 2:30 p.m. - the quiz followed the exact same pattern as the last one and was fairly simple. There was then an SM class right after. I then headed to the Admissions Office to pass on an applicant’s request for rescheduling of his IIM-Indore interview- the Admissions Office is swamped with emails and phone calls at this time of the year and more often than not, they fail to respond to queries and requests. Luckily, this issue was resolved by the next afternoon.
There was then an RCB class; the football league continued in the evening.
One batch-mate was particularly sad to see the seniors leaving and put all his feelings down into a rather long e-mail that he sent to everyone- perhaps it was meant, in part, to be a reflection of everyone else’s unsaid feelings too!

Tuesday i.e. 1st March began with a LAB class followed by a Finance class and then another LAB class in the evening where we discussed patents, copyrights and trademarks. The prep comm team was finally announced after a week-long, rigorous selection process. The official placement report was published and that definitely got people talking- the first-ever IPM Batch participated in placements this year and that result was something that a lot of people were watching very keenly. The placements seem to have been better than the last year, with an increase in the average salary and the number of recruiters; many first-time recruiters made an appearance and a few recruiters showed up on campus after a considerably long hiatus.
In the evening, there was an article review to be sent in for the workshop on leadership- we were to pick any article in a leading journal that has leadership as its central theme and review it. I picked an article from the Leadership Quarterly that is the first of its kind- path-breaking literature. A lot of literature exists on the challenges women face in the corporate world, and the unbreakable glass ceiling that they inevitably encounter for a variety of reasons. This article dealt with the challenges and obstacles that women face after they’ve successfully shattered the glass ceiling- the daily predicaments of women in top leadership roles in the corporate world- as CEO’s of Fortune 500 companies and the like. They face resistance from their colleagues and subordinates and continue to be subjected to judgments being drawn up about their physical appearance and leadership styles. The same attributes that are seen as positives in male leaders are judged as clear negatives for female bosses. The first step to changing something, especially something like an attitude that is deeply rooted, is to realise that it exists, to acknowledge its existence in our lives. Only then can we actively work to changing what is needed. The worst part is that women must rely on MEN in the workplace to acknowledge these obstacles as reality and work to change them- for the women all face these, every single day; it is the men who are oblivious to or choose to ignore (or worse, perpetrate) the injustice around them- their numerical strength puts them in an obvious position of driving or participating in the change.
I was a little concerned about my review being a little too opinionated but our mentor reassured me saying that opinionated leaders are the need of the hour.
Debsoc held an event in the evening- their annual Hooked & Booked where each participant gets 3 minutes to pitch a book/movie to the audience and the judges. I looked on forlornly, as I walked slowly past where the event was taking place- I was even called out to by one of the Debsoc members who asked me to participate. I had to refuse and head up to the acad block for class instead. I remember participating in an older edition of the same event where I’d turned up without any preparation and made a hilarious pitch about a Durjoy Dutta book. Some lines in the book I will honestly never be able to forget.

After class, we settled in my room, mainly discussing the placement report- that’d been the topic of discussion since it came out. We were feeling a little lazy and very hungry and decided to give the newly launched Airlift service a try. They have setup a website, replete with tempting photographs of the food on offer and a login in access. It asked for a detailed address which even included the country- they could easily do with just the hostel/room numbers and we thus found this absurd. We promptly keyed in SR12, Kampala, Uganda. Not surprisingly, our food was indeed delivered to the right address in about half an hour. Anyway, it’s a rather useful service that’s definitely here to stay!
2nd march i.e. Wednesday began with one single LAB class- the term is coming to an end and there aren’t a lot of classes left to happen. We had a Finance Quiz in the evening- the third one this term; there’s apparently one more to go. Anyway, the Finance quizzes are short and interesting so no one really minds.
Right after the quiz, we strolled to the faculty mess to get some maggi. Maggi has not just regained its popularity, but has in fact managed to soar in popularity after its comeback following the brief hiatus owing to the ban.
There was a Retorica event in the evening- an open house debate on the Budget and another on the JNU issue. Prizes were handed out to the best speakers in each debate.
Meanwhile, we received an email announcing the launch of bi-weekly yoga classes in the evenings. We received another email stating that the night mess would remain closed for pest-control related activities- a flurry of emails followed this one. The night mess has its scheduled weekly off on Thursdays and no one was very happy about this maintenance taking place on a Wednesday night. Some PGP2’s even lamented the loss of their chance to have a last meal at the night mess and take ‘one-last-time’ selfies. The last time this’d happened, the student complaints led to the maintenance being rescheduled to Thursday but this time, nothing.
The good part about the gates being fitted with CCTV cameras is that one no longer needs to make an entry in the student register- one has to merely smile for the camera before heading out. Perhaps, they’ll eventually do away with physical record-keeping altogether seeing as this place is all about emails anyway.
Thursday morning began with the last LAB session, a Finance class and then the last SM session. The professor ended the last session with a quiz- that’s just how things work around here!
There were a host of meetings to attend in the evening, what with all the new fest teams springing into action before we leave for our term break. It began with an i5Summit media team meeting at JAM where we discussed relevant media activities that ought to be undertaken in an endeavour to scale-up the event this year.
There was then a meeting of all the vertical coordinators for Utsaha- the coordinator had decided to hold the meeting in his room- I’d questioned this, wondering how it was possible for nearly 15 people to fit in one hostel room. I turned out to be wrong and somehow, we all fit comfortably. We spent about an hour discussing ideas to get more corporate partners handing out projects and wondered whether it would be okay to get some sponsors since Utsaha has typically been funded by the fees paid by the corporate partners for successful completion of the projects handed out.
I then headed up for an IRIS all-hands meeting- all the members of the senior team were present and this was more like an induction session that began with everyone introducing themselves and ended with small groups being formed and work-related discussions ensuing.
Right after, we had the last session of our leadership workshop. We filled in a questionnaire to determine our leadership style; we then filled in a feedback for our mentor. By this point, given that it was well past 2 a.m., we headed back to our rooms, via the night mess of course.
Friday began with an RCB class at 2 p.m. and an SDM class at 5 p.m. - where we were to discuss a case that dealt with a District Sales Manager making promotion/warning/firing/no action decisions about all the salespersons in a particular district- enough quantitative as well as qualitative data about the salespersons had been provided to help us make these decisions. We’d even submitted a group assignment outlining our decisions and the reasons for taking those decisions. The highlight of the SDM class was a quiz we had- this was the kind of quiz that they talk about in stories and movies. 40% of the quiz had questions about the case for that session; another 40% asked us to state the decisions made by our groups about each of the 8 salespersons while the last question asked whether we’d finalized a product and made any field visits for our industry analysis group project. The quiz was clearly aimed at identifying the level of coordination within the group more than anything else.

I managed to get my LAB assignment printed right after class- we had to pick from a list of cases spanning 6 categories (one case from each category), read about it and then state in detail the facts of the case, the principle of law used and the future implications of the ruling.
Later in the evening, I drew up a presentation for the Leadership Workshop- we were to pick a company that had faced a crisis sometime in the past and describe how they had successfully responded to the situation, effectively handling the crisis. We picked ICICI Bank’s response during the 2008 global financial crisis and how they effectively averted a loss of consumer trust.

There wasn’t much to do on Saturday other than an SDM class where the case discussion continued from where it left off in the last class.

Sunday, 28 February 2016


28/02/2016; 03:51:

Later on Sunday, we had an RCB class. The fest coordinators for Iris, i5Summit, Udaan and Utsaha were announced at different points through the day.

In the night, Team Airlift announced permanent delivery services- they’d done a trial run with the roses and cards before Valentine’s Day- they’ll now be delivering food from the night mess, through the night. It’s funny watching the 4-member team, in the night mess all night- taking orders, placing orders, collecting them and then coordinating the deliveries. Let’s see how this pans out.

22nd morning began with a Finance class and then an SM one. The HRM quiz papers were shown in the afternoon, after much confusion about the time and venue.

Meanwhile, CCTV cameras have been successfully installed at both Gate 1 and Gate 2. The next target is apparently the boys’ hostels- there’s a certain privacy issue with the girls’ hostels so that’s a long way off.

At 5:30 p.m., we headed up to the Old Audi to hear a guest lecture by Dr. Sam Pitroda- he spoke about his journey, spearheading the telecom revolution in India (beginning in 1989), and the future of our lives in the face of rapidly changing technology. His closing message was simple- Be innovative; think out of the box; move out of your comfort zone and go, get things done! This talk raised a lot of important questions including whether we ought to first increase the effectiveness of the internet technology where it is already available or if the focus should first be to increase reach. Dr. Pitroda believes that more 60% of the job titles that we’ll hold in the next 10 years haven’t even been coined yet- that really is an interesting thought- and we’ll really have to wait and watch!

The Semi-finals of the Cricket League began at 6:30 p.m. The top two teams from each pool played the semi-final; somehow, both the pool winners lost their semi-finals and the other two teams were to play the final.
We had 2 SDM classes on the 23rd i.e. Tuesday where we moved to the second part of the course- from discussing distribution channels to discussing the levers in the sales process namely Skill, Structure, Process and Compensation- each of the levers would be dealt with using a case. The case at hand dealt with the skill involved, using the example of a Software Services company.

In the run-up to their farewell, the seniors had group photographs through the afternoon. They’d all dressed up in suits and this activity carried on well into the evening.
At midnight, the final of the Cricket League was held. With that coming to a close, a Football League was immediately announced. There’ll be a bidding before the matches start on the 25th.

24th morning began with a Finance class followed by an SM class- the timetable has been scheduled to run section-wise classes on one day and then the electives on the next day, in alternation.
Later in the evening, I headed up to SR02 with the IRIS Vertical Handover form, to confirm my appointment as the coordinator of the Media Vertical for this year.

There were then two pre-processes to be sent in- one for the Media vertical of Utsaha and another for the Media Vertical of the i5Summit. I drew up a detailed, week-by-week media strategy for both.

Close to 11 p.m., I headed up to SR09 to help with some farewell-related activities- the Cultural Committee puts in a lot of work at this time of the year and they’d called for volunteers to help with the distribution of mementos to the senior batch; food coupons for the farewell were also to be handed out.
The mementos were personalized- an etching of the main entrance of IIM-Indore on a metal plate that was mounted on clear glass, supported by a wooden base and a second metal plate that had the person’s name and said ‘Class of 2016’ in large font. The mementos looked impressive- they were in large cartons, sorted by hostel blocks; we headed over to SR04 to begin distributing the mementos to the ladies there. It took about two hours to hand them all out and personally invite everyone to be a part of the farewell activities on 27th and 28th.

Meanwhile, Team Airlift sent out an email announcing a discount to people who could correctly guess a hidden clue in their email- apparently, they’re going to begin using drones to deliver the food, in the near future. Some enquiry revealed that this near future is somewhere next term- they’ve been working on a couple of models for a while now and hence the name.

The bidding for the Football League was held at midnight, in Mess 1. There were players waiting to be sold, the captains ready to bid for their choice of players and the Sports Committee to carry out the process. Some 8 teams including a team of exchange students were put together. The matches began on 25th evening.

25th morning saw two SDM classes where we discussed a case involving a jewellery company that employed the direct-selling method through a network of sales representatives.

At around 1:30 p.m., interviews for the Utsaha Media team were held; my interview was the last one post which I spent over an hour discussing everything from the clubs on campus to the US presidential election with the outgoing boss. He shared his views on our batch, noting that their batch had been a lot more enthusiastic about the fests and events on campus than either our batch or their senior batch- let’s hope that his fears of the events not being bigger and better are not realised!

I then spent some time calling up some PGP2’s to request for pictures to be sent in for the yearbook- pictures of winning teams at various competitions were to be collected. We’d collected these pictures earlier in the month but someone had managed to delete the entire folder of pictures from the drive resulting in this chaos. Luckily, most of the seniors were understanding (perhaps eager to receive their yearbooks) and we got a decent bunch of pictures.

Meanwhile, the points that we’d put together as part of our Sustainability assignment on Evaluating Social Capital at IIM-Indore were heard at the Hostel EC meeting. They explained some of the staff concerns and promised to look into some of the suggestions. It’s nice to contribute to anything positive!

In the evening, we headed out for the Media Comm farewell party. We headed to Mama Loca to get some good food at a place with some nice ambience to add to the delight of the evening. We got back to campus around 11 p.m. and then got around to clicking some group pictures- perhaps the last of the Media Comm group pictures before the senior team leave campus after their farewell.

26th morning began with an 8:45 a.m. class where we urged the professor to shift our remaining classes to the 10:15 slot. We’ll see how that goes. We discussed Blue Ocean strategies in the SM class- it’s when a company moves beyond the boundaries of an existing industry into creating a new industry altogether. It chooses not to compete in the Red Ocean which is the existing industry but instead to carve this whole new existence.

After class I got back to my room and slept through the afternoon and most of the evening. At around 7 p.m., I headed to give an interview for the i5Summit media team and then went out for dinner.

At 10:30 p.m., everyone headed to the Old Audi for a Master Class session organized by Mercur-I, the marketing club. The theme for the talk was ‘Baton to Competitions’- expert advice on the best strategy to employ in order to win various case competitions through the year was shared by seniors who’d won a bunch of National-level events through their second year.

27th morning began with two SDM classes- one right before lunch and one right after, where we discussed revising the compensation structure for sales reps in order to drive desired sales behaviour and volumes.

I headed upstairs in the evening, to try and find something to eat- I succeeded in getting myself some oranges and then I stopped by SR08 to sign the handover form for Usaha media coordinator. Some dinner in the mess later, we headed to the football field for Day 1 of the two-day farewell event- Au Revoir.

The evening began with a bunch of performances by Harmon-I (and, by evening I mean that the first performance began a little after 10 p.m.). Soon, nostalgic PGP2’s were taking over the stage, singing songs in varied languages. A cake cutting ceremony followed. The evening was brought to a close around 12:30 a.m. with the lighting of sky lanterns. Most attempts at getting the lanterns successfully lit ended in disaster; a few lanterns out of the hundreds made it into the sky, soaring up, up and away into the distant night sky- a seemingly fit representation of time flying by, with everything that’s happened in that time fading into the distance, to remain as only vague, delightful memories in people’s minds and hearts.

We then had a leadership session where we spoke of successful crisis management by corporates and discussed historical examples of good leadership. Some food in the night mess later, it was time to get writing since there’ll be so much more to write about tomorrow, after the final day of the farewell.

Sunday, 21 February 2016


20/02/2016; 07:02:

Once back from the Lasya party, I headed over to Mess 1 to pick up a birthday cake that’d been kept there for safekeeping. The whole setup was ready right before midnight and two cakes were cut to the sounds of ‘Happy Birthday’- it was my neighbour’s birthday and my room was to be hosting the party. Of course, the party ended soon enough once both cakes had been eaten.

There was a single SM class on 18th morning post which we lay around doing pretty much nothing until another Sustainability class at 5 p.m. We then headed out in the evening as part of the aforementioned neighbour’s birthday celebration.

19th February began early in the morning with the usual 8:45 a.m. class. Somehow, it feels like I’ve been awake forever and that it’s definitely been more than a single day. It has been about 24 hours- and a very eventful 24 hours at that too!
We had a presentation to give, in the Sustainability class- somehow, incredibly, our whole group had worked equitably on this project and our work was well appreciated. The 10:15 slot was randomly empty- somehow, the PGP Office does not realise the uselessness of having this slot empty when there are classes both right after and right before it. 75 minutes is not enough time to run back to your room and catch a nap and 75 minutes is also too much time to sit around and wait for the next class. This problem was solved for the day since a Leadership workshop session managed to be scheduled. The Leadership Workshop is a 2-credit course, this term. A group of 10-12 students have been assigned a mentor each, from the PGP2 batch- these mentors are responsible for conducting the sessions as well as for the evaluation. Today’s session dealt with making an extempore speech, 2-3 minutes long, on a random topic. My topic was ‘If you don’t participate in the rat race, you will end up a dead rat’. After this, there was an interesting Finance class, post which we received an email announcing a LAB quiz at 5 p.m.
I headed down to my room to get some work done- there was a pre-process to be submitted to be part of the Voice of Indore Senior Team, for IRIS 2016. It was a simple, interesting and very relevant pre-process which included preparing the budget for the event, designing the pre-process for the selection of the junior team and listing your contribution as a member of the junior team. I then attempted to study for the quiz but gave up soon enough and headed to the Hostel Office to book a guest room for a friend is visiting soon.

21/02/2016; 11:29:

I went up to the Acad Block for the quiz which was very interesting- the first part had 15 short cases along with their verdict. One had to merely agree or disagree with the decision that had been taken. The second part was a few True/False statements.
While all sections had managed to have a section party in the first term itself, ours was long overdue. Despite being pegged the ‘party section’, we were the only ones to not have had one- this was to change soon i.e. on the 19th of Feb. We all headed to Rider’s Republic for our much-awaited section party. There was music, food, dancing and someone had even taken on the role of official photographer!
Once back, we all ran to the Old Audi for a batch-meet scheduled to begin at 11:45 p.m. By around 11:50 p.m., the whole batch was seated in the Audi, waiting for the meeting to begin. Just as the Coordinator began to make his way across the stage, to the podium to begin speaking, a dog darted in the door, dashed onto the stage and stood triumphantly at the podium while the Coordinator looked on, shocked. The entire auditorium broke into spontaneous laughter while the dog who was clearly enjoying the attention decided to get up close and personal with his new-found fans. So for the next ten minutes, the Placement Committee members proceeded to chase the dog around the auditorium- up the stairs, down the stairs, across the stage- while everyone looked on. By now, the auditorium had split into two teams- one cheering for the dog and the other rooting for the Placement Team. We figured that the dog was probably looking for a placement too; and the placement team members now had a new item added to their job description. Eventually, some security staff made some appearance, armed with their sticks and managed to chase the star out of the back door!
As the Audi grew silent once again, I yelled across the floor to wish someone a Happy Birthday for the clock had just struck twelve. This was cue for everyone to start singing- some of them didn’t even know her name, but that didn’t stop anyone.

Eventually, order was resumed and the meeting began with apologies for the delay due to ‘technical glitches’. The senior batch had been working hard, through the year, preparing material for both our summer placements as well as their own final placements. It was decided that a separate Placement Preparation Committee was to be formed, to take on this task, from the new year forth. This was to ensure that we had original content being created, the content was relevant specifically to IIM-Indore and the working was efficient. The Committee will have about two members for each domain to ensure that all bases are covered. Applications for the committee were thrown open shortly after the meeting.

I headed down to the hostel, planning to sleep. But, that was not to be. Less than half an hour later, I was on the football field, yelling at the top of my lungs. The campus IPL began two days ago and a match had just started at 1 a.m. - one team managed to win an ‘all-out’ victory in all of 10 overs. A second match then began at around 3 a.m. Somewhere towards the end of the second innings, a fight broke out. The batsman had hit the ball towards the boundary in what he thought was a perfect six. A fielder had managed to jump in the air and strike the ball inwards, straight into the hands of a waiting team member. After a few moments of deliberation, the umpire declared the batsman out. The entire batting team and their rather large group of supporters broke into loud screams declaring that the shot was most definitely a six. A 45-minute argument then followed where the rules of cricket from different sources were googled, interpreted and misinterpreted. The fielding team kept insisting that the umpire’s first decision ought to be the final one. Two other umpires had also joined in as had all the members of the Sports Committee. Eventually, someone announced that the decision taken by the Sports Comm. would be final. Then, they proceeded to have a meeting right there, in the middle of the ground while everyone looked on. Finally, the ball was declared a dead ball and the game continued. The batting team won the game, a few balls later; it was 5 a.m., by this point and some cheering later, everyone was back in their rooms.

I decided to stay up and wait on the sunrise. Some mindless gossip later, I was on my table, writing, watching the sun come up. Happy, I eventually fell asleep.

I got up close to 4 p.m. on 21st, all ready to go for class at 5 p.m. The PGP Office had managed to troll me- they’d sent in an email at around 11 a.m. announcing that the 5 p.m. class had been preponed to 3:30 p.m. If only they’d sent in this email the night before. But then, no one else really sets an alarm for 4 p.m.

In the evening, we headed out for dinner since it was a close friend’s birthday. Some nice food later, we were back on campus. There were some interviews going for, to ascertain the senior teams for the various Iris events. Some aimless ambling around later, I was back in my room and fast asleep.

And I’m now up on a Sunday morning, even though I do not know why. Life’s good!

Wednesday, 17 February 2016


17/02/2016; 18:45:

The new month began with classes in the morning and an end term in the afternoon- an RIP end term. There were a few short-answer questions to assess our exposure to rural India after our week-long stints in villages across Madhya Pradesh.

Globe@I staged a re-launch after their month off- it now has new owners (still students) and a slightly changed menu. They promise that the menu will be periodically revised to include student demand/ desires.

We had our first Sales & Distribution Management (SDM) class at 8 p.m. A group activity was scheduled to happen in this first session, to help us understand the need for organized distribution systems. 5 groups, of about 7 students each were to be the buyers and the other 5 groups were to be sellers. Each group of sellers had one kind of item to sell- Oil, bread, shampoo, soap and biscuits. Each set of buyers had been given a demand schedule and were required to procure a certain quantity of each item in the market. The goal of the sellers was to maximise their profits by selling at the highest possible price. The goal of the buyers was to procure the exact quantities in the demand schedule at the lowest possible price. Receipts of each transaction were to be maintained by both parties involved. While everyone wandered around the classroom, trying to get the best price they could, I suggested that we just make fake receipts. The penalty for any wrong entry was 20% of the total. Even with the 20% penalty, we could easily get the best ‘deal’ without actually making any transactions. Of course, my group members did not agree to my genius plan. I decided to take matters into my own hands. First, I went up to the biscuit seller and inquired about the maximum quantity that they could sell to me. This figure was about 5 times that listed on the demand schedule. A price was quoted. I offered to buy but only at about 10 times the quoted price. Of course, they readily agreed and quickly filled out a receipt. This was where the evil genius came in. I filled in a random group number (not mine) and submitted the receipt. I then continued to make large purchases at exorbitant rates, filling in different group numbers each time (I covered all groups other than mine). The sellers were surprised but happy. Now, we would win by virtue of all the other buyers’ spending being much higher than ours (I correctly assumed that my group had stuck to the demand schedule and reasonable prices).
The professor is obviously in for a surprise when he gets around to evaluating our performance in this group activity.
2nd morning began with some classes. A case was discussed in the SDM class- our professor is a visiting faculty member from Goa and his comments make the class more than interesting.
Later in the evening, there was some Media Comm. work to be done- a form had been sent out, asking for everyone to fill in their achievements over the past year(s) and provide pictures of the winning moment. This data was to be collated into presentable form and sent to the Director. Luckily, this task took lesser time than I’d anticipated and I then quickly got to doing the first pre-process for the position of SAC-Treasurer. It was a rather comprehensive pre-process- the SAC budget for the new financial year (2016-17) was to be drawn up; all taxes applicable to the SAC were to be detailed; and then there were a few questions relating to dealing with any deficit that may arise out of a fest during the year.
After duly sending this in, I headed up to partake in a classmate’s birthday celebration. Meanwhile, the current SAC-T had managed to create a Whatsapp group of all the applicants and called for everyone to assemble at the Pi Shop at 2 a.m. Once there, we were split into groups for an interesting, situation-based task. Here was the Pi-Shop- all the inventory was whatever was out on the display floor for us to see and we were to pretend that it was the month of July- right before the new PGP batch was to come in. The Pi Shop had asked the SAC-T for a loan (about 2 lakhs); given their cash balance and their current outstanding credit to the supplier, we were to decide whether the loan was to be sanctioned or not. We drew up estimates of their cost of procuring all the required inventory, assumed margins on all the items, assumed a cash discount percentage and decided that it was best to sanction the loan. We also figured that by our calculations, the loan amount could be repaid in a very short time.
There was an Industrial Visit on 3rd morning. Since we’d presented our final submission the last time that we were there, there wasn’t much to do this time. We had a short interaction, had lunch and then got back to campus around 2 p.m.
I then got around to doing some media comm work- mostly sending out e-mails related to the mentorship programme. Most of the Media Committee work takes place only at the end of the year, in the last term- there’s the yearbook being prepared, visiting cards being sourced for the batch, a mentorship programme being run for the candidates shortlisted for IIM-Indore’s WAT/PI and some miscellaneous activities. The mentorship programme is a rather complex process. We reach out to all the short-listed candidates by way of e-mail and a Facebook group. Students from campus volunteer to be mentors to these candidates- they are then matched up based on work experience, college and stream of study. This year, a larger number than usual of students signed up to be mentors which is definitely a positive.

There were 2 SDM classes in the evening where a case on GoodYear tyres was discussed. The tyre industry is pretty complex- there is more money to be made from auto services than from selling tyres yet you want dealers to be selling tyres too- each type of retailer has their own strategy to deal with this.
Later, we had the fifth session of the leadership workshop. A book summary was to be presented by our group. The book in question was ‘7 Habits of Highly Effective People’- we gave a short oral presentation, summarizing the 7 habits that the book talks about. It was while reading this book that I realised that I’d been first introduced to concepts in the book, specifically the urgent-important matrix when I was 4 years old, courtesy my father.
Right after, I played some Volleyball before heading up to the SAC Office in SR-7 for the last stage in the selection process for SAC-Treasurer. Unlike what I’d expected, none of the questions were really technical- understandably, technical prowess had been evaluated in the pre-processes. The questions focused on the candidate’s understanding of ethics, how the candidate reacts when faced with an ethical dilemma, management of the SAC fund and overseeing of the various for-profit ventures on campus including JAM, Pi Shop and Express-o-mat. From there, I headed off to the night mess before heading to my room and trying out the newly launched ‘Old Monk Radio’.
4th i.e. Thursday morning began with a Finance class where we learnt about Warrants & call options. There was then an SM class after which I promptly fell asleep. We then had an SDM class where we discussed the expansion of distribution channels for a manufacturer of organic yoghurt.
Ranbhoomi was to start the next day and practice was in order. We spent over an hour playing basketball and then proceeded to play volleyball. Since the night mess was closed, Globe@I (the recently back-in-business Globe@I) was making rolls and fried rice late into the night. There was then an HRM assignment to be done. Trying to figure out the problem statement in the case proved to be a bigger problem than the company in question seemed to be facing. Eventually, we agreed on a few things and put them into writing.
All this while, we were listening to the newly launched ‘Old Monk Radio’- they had added a new song dedication feature where one could (anonymously) dedicate songs to people in the batch. Some of the dedications were love-related, others were just plain funny. Someone managed to dedicate ‘Jaa Chudaail’ to a poor unsuspecting lady in the batch! We contemplated putting in a request but eventually decided against it when we failed to decide on a song.
The SAC-Treasurer and the two treasury members were announced over e-mail in the middle of the night. It has been finally decided that the work-load was too much for one person and a team of 3 members has been formed rather than just a single person as was the usual practice.
Ranbhoomi began on 5th morning, with some basketball matches. There were some classes to attend post which we devoted all our time to Ranbhoomi. The football matches were being held off-campus at a suitable ground; the cricket matches were held in the newly-built cricket stadium- that gave the residents of Lanka something to do for 3 days!
I pretty much lived on the basketball court for the three days that Ranbhoomi was on, watching all the matches. We watched a girls’ match on 5th afternoon, in an attempt to assess the competition. Our boys’ team had a match in the evening and a lot of people turned up to watch it. We had a match too- devoid of audience, but, we won! At 11:30 p.m., a movie screening was held in the Central Lawn- that’s also where all the food stalls were- Meximus, Thick Shake, Chick Blast, Faasos and more! There was even a guy selling popcorn & cotton candy and this food truck dishing out delectable Chinese.
The first Mock Bid for the Student Exchange Programme went live at 11 p.m. on 5th February. There is a list of about 30 partner universities to choose from- each has about 2-6 seats open. The Student Exchange Committee had sometime ago begun sending periodic e-mails with information about the universities to allow for informed decision-making. In the form, one could fill out a minimum of 4 and a maximum of all universities in an order of preference.
Meanwhile, all the different events on campus sent out Google Forms, asking the PGP1’s to fill in their decisions- whether to retain their POR and be promoted to being a member of the senior team, to try their luck at exchange and retain their POR if that fails or to simply give up their POR for personal reasons.
We had the second instalment of the Design Thinking Workshop on 6th Feb. It began with us going over our problem statement and generating possible solutions. We were to generate probable solutions under different scenarios- when you have an infinite budget, when you’re thinking like a child (this part was preceded by us watching some Tom & Jerry videos to get us in kid-mode), when you have absolutely no money, the more feasible solutions and the crazy solutions. In total, each group ended up with 25 different solutions to their problem. We were then asked to pick the most feasible solution(s) and prepare a prototype. We were given all sorts of craft material including thermocol, coloured paper, empty glasses, coloured tape, sketch pens, glue, string, straws and of course, anything that you could find around you was good to be a part of the prototype. Our problem statement dealt with improving the campus placement experience for the students. Accordingly, we drew up the user-interface of a mobile app and listed out its features- including schedule updation in real time & preparatory material in the form of short, animated clips, preferably with Tom & Jerry in them. We then proceeded to make a red punching bag- this was one of our suggested stress busters. Other ideas included music, a meditation room and sleeping pods. We then used the thermocol sheet to depict changing emotion through the placement process. We used the base of the paper cups to draw faces on and then pinned these, in sequence on the thermocol sheet. We then used straws to show the links. The finishing touch was suspending the punching bag from the bottom-right corner of the sheet. In the last hour of the workshop, each group was to present their solution and prototype. Someone had made a replica of the library, complete with book-shelves, seating and umbrellas in an open-air reading space. One group depicted the mess, with a barbeque station, wifi and comfortable seating. One group’s model was all equipped to deal with free riders in project groups- an all-in-one box that had alcohol bottles, mark-sheets and other incentives to get the usual free riders to work. One group dealt with improving the learning process by adding some field learning and industrial visits to the usual course curriculum. They’d made a model of the classroom- with a blackboard, the horse-shoe shaped seating and students. They’d also made a car-manufacturing assembly line- a group of curious students stood by the assembly line, watching carefully. Everyone attempted to do a critical review of everyone else’s work before we closed for the day.

I then walked out to the Central Lawn and stood watching a Kabbadi game- it was the semi-final, IIM-Indore v/s Sanghvi Institute of Management. It was nearly one-sided but fun to watch; there was a lot of cheering for the IIM-Indore team by some other opponents who had perhaps lost to the Sanghvi team earlier in the tournament. Soon after, a volleyball match started on the court next to the Academic Block- the teams were both equally good and our team lost by one point in the final set. Meanwhile, the Women’s Arm Wrestling event had begun bang in the middle of the central lawn. A tug-of-war rope had been drawn into a bout ring and the matches started. All three winners were from IIM-Indore. I’d contemplated participating but decided against it for I did not feel like breaking any arms. On my way down to the hostel, I stopped at Globe@I- they’d gotten a large cake on the occasion of the director’s birthday which happened to coincide with their first anniversary. There was cake for everyone and lots of pictures were clicked!

I then quickly headed down to the basketball court after changing into appropriate gear. A boys’ basketball match was just wrapping up- our team had managed a win and they had another match right after ours. It was a nice match that we managed to win. Our boys’ team then had a semi-final game. They played really well but the other team proved to be unbeatable (this was the same team that later won the final). Meanwhile, a counter-strike championship was in progress in Mess 1. Ranbhoomi was all set to cater to gamers of all sorts, this time around.

A bonfire had been arranged for at 10 p.m., in the Central Lawn. There was music, food, games, people and chocolate- a perfect end to the day!
7th morning began with the Women’s Basketball Final. The other team was really good; we’d earlier seen them playing and knew that we’d need to try really hard to even match up to them. We put up a close fight- we were even leading by a few points somewhere in the 3rd quarter after being down nearly 10 point right in the beginning. We lost the game 36-42 but were really happy. The Men’s final was held right after and we stayed to cheer even though the IIM-Indore team hadn’t made it to the final. It was a brilliant game that was finally won by Sharda University 62-52. Amity University were the runners up and we figured that could’ve just played this game in Delhi!
After lunch, I was back in my room when a batchmate had a proposition. We’d received an e-mail about a Policy Writing Challenge, courtesy of the RBI. A 2000-word essay was to be sent it by EOD; the topic was ‘Demographic Dividend of India: Opportunity or Threat’. She’d collected some demographic data and we got writing and were soon done. We then sent our work to another teammate to add the conclusion/recommendations.
Ranbhoomi’s closing ceremony began at 4:30 p.m. in the New Audi. Gautam Gambhir was the guest of honour for the evening and handed out all the prizes. We even received a trophy for Basketball! Right after the closing ceremony, Raahie- the Band was all set to perform. They’d come from Mumbai, just to perform at Ranbhoomi. They staged popular Bollywood songs and ended with an original composition. It was a very enjoyable hour- we wish they’d played longer. It was totally a dance party in the New Audi- a nice close to 3 fun-filled days. We then headed up to the Central Lawn to get ourselves some food.
Applications for the positions of the different fest coordinators were thrown open in the evening- there was to be one coordinator each for Udaan, Utsaha and i5Summit and two for Iris. 7th Feb also happened to be Rose Day- the first in the series of days in the run-up to Valentine’s Day on the 14th. Someone decided to use this opportunity to make some extra cash and thus, Airlift Delivery was born (for the night at least). An email was sent out to the institute with a Google form and some details. They had rose and cards on offer; these could be delivered anonymously for an extra fee of Rs.30 on top of the 50 bucks for a rose and 30 for a card. The idea was a great hit; they sent the email out late in the afternoon and had nearly a hundred orders to deliver by midnight. And no, I didn’t receive or send any roses.
8th morning began with an ISM Quiz. We’d been informed beforehand that the quiz would be MCQ type. Of course, there’s always a twist in the tale. The paper was MCQ alright- each question had one correct answer and one mark for marking the correct option. Then, there were two marks for explaining your choice. And, if your explanation was wrong, not only would your correct option not fetch marks, but there was an additional 25% penalty too! After the quiz, we received an email from the IPM Office- the government of Odisha has initiated a new scheme under which students from the state who belong to the ST category will receive a scholarship to study in premier national institutes.
We then had a few classes. Meanwhile a Committee was constituted to oversee the arrangements for the Convocation which is scheduled to be held on the 26th of March. We headed out in the evening and ordered some chicken tikka. This starter invariably turned into dinner when it was too spicy to be eaten by itself and we got some rotis to go with it.

Tuesday morning began with a few classes. Right after class, we had a Finance Quiz at 5 p.m. The quiz was fairly easy and dealt with the exact stuff that we’d been doing in class. We received an email about a Live project opportunity from the Consulting Club. It dealt with creating a Digital Media strategy for IIM-Indore which the winning team will get to implement over the course of the coming year.
In the evening, we gathered at Mess-1 at around 6:30 p.m., all set to go for a party. A party was being organized to celebrate the success of Utsaha- somehow, the other fests haven’t gotten around to having parties just yet. Buses had been arranged for and we headed to Vidorra where nice food and an inviting dance flood awaited us. An in-time extension to allow us to return to campus late had been arranged for and we got back close to 1 a.m. (as opposed to the usual 11:30 p.m. limit).
Somehow, Section E did not have any classes scheduled for 10th Feb- everyone else had classes since the Industrial Visits were now complete. There was an SDM class later in the evening where there was a rather interesting case being discussed- ‘Hulu: An evil plot to take over the world’. What it actually dealt with was an online video aggregator who promised on-demand access to popular content including movies and TV Series. I really like the idea the professor uses to tackle most cases- the classroom can be easily divided into 3 sections as per the seating arrangement and each section is to be one stakeholder in the case in order to allow for an analysis of the same problem from different perspectives. Our area was to be the customers, the next advertisers and the third the owners of cable and the content.
Someone in the PGP2 batch sent out an email offering his car up for sale. Understandably, he’s going to leave this one here and just get a new one wherever he is in the next few months. We contemplated asking for the details before deciding against it for I am still to learn how to drive (everyone else I know can, though).
Section E managed to get lucky, two days in a row- we didn’t have any classes on Thursday either! Perhaps, we’d had a lot of classes in the beginning of the term. We received an email announcing an SM Quiz at 2:30 p.m. The quiz was, as promised, largely MCQ type; there was also a short-notes section. There was then an SDM class at 3:30 p.m. We discussed Cisco’s strategy to venture into VoIP after having successfully captured the market for routers and switches. Right after the SDM class, I headed to the lawn adjacent to the MDC- Media Comm was to have a photoshoot (mainly because a team picture was needed for the yearbook). Most other Clubs/Committees had gotten their team pictures clicked, looking all professional, suited-up. Media Committee spent some time debating this- of course, formal attire was not even an option- we flitted between options including a VIBGYOR-themed picture, a pink/blue picture and an all-black picture. Eventually, everyone agreed on a colourful theme. Of course, there’s always someone who doesn’t quite agree and accordingly, someone turned up, dressed in black from head to toe. We quickly gathered into 2 lines and posed. I figured that we were done, but, someone suggested that we try a change of scenery. We headed behind ER-2 and posed with the clouds. Our boss felt that the pictures were ‘boring’ and that he wasn’t ‘feeling it’. Deciding to humour him, we worked quickly and the poor guy ended up being suspended in mid-air by a giggling team as many pictures were rapidly shot. We then clicked some pictures at the main entrance of the Academic Block- here, we even used a parked institute bus as background. A final few pictures in the Central Lawn, the Open Air Theatre and about an hour later, we were finally done- we’d surely succeeded in making and capturing some memories!
Right after, I headed over the Old Audi- an interaction session with the Director had been arranged for two sections at a time. Director Sir urged us to Build A Career, have dreams and follow them; the floor was then opened to questions/suggestions about the PGP curriculum and the campus in general. Suggestions varied from the timings of the Fin Lab and the surprise quizzes to the student exchange programme and the industrial visits. Sir was very positive about some reasonable suggestions and promised changes.
We were informed that the term would end on the 22nd of March- we’re looking to plan a trip to somewhere before our internships start- most likely on the 4th of April. I’m still waiting on some written communication regarding my internship; hopefully, it shall reach me some time soon. Sports Comm sent out an email announcing the 6th Edition of the campus IPL.
SPICMACAY conducted an online quiz at around 11:30 p.m. It was to be related to classical dance, music and art; of course, we decided to participate. The quiz was, as they’d promised, very interesting. More than anything, we were surprised by our (hitherto unknown) knowledge about these topics. We didn’t win, though.
12th morning began with a few classes – an HRM class where we discussed the idea of Tata Motors restructuring their rather complicated compensation structure. Later in the day, we received an email from the E-Cell announcing plans for a new change in the PGP curriculum to encourage entrepreneurship. Students who have a concrete startup idea that they wish to pursue through their second year can opt to study 15 credits worth of entrepreneurship-related courses and complete the rest of their credits through the work they do on their startup. Interactions with angel investors and access to the development labs of industries around Indore will be arranged for by the institute; further, a two-year placement deferral option will be made available. This really looks like a step in sync with the new StartUp India campaign. Here’s hoping that IIM-Indore gives birth to some stellar entrepreneurs!
We had an HRM Quiz at 5 p.m. It was an open-spiral, MCQ Quiz. Of course, there’s always a catch- there was negative marking and the quiz was only 15 minutes long!

Acad Comm. sent out an email asking for feedback on the class representatives – this was to be an important criteria in the selection of the senior team. Later, there was a DT assignment to be sent in- while we’d all initially planned to send in more or less similar assignments, when I got writing, I couldn’t stop. I started with detailing out my experience and learnings and then wrote extensively about applying the Design Thinking Concepts that we’d learnt to playing more effective Basketball.
13th morning began with Saraswati Puja at 7 a.m. We then had a Finance class which was to serve as a review session before the midterm. We’d planned to head out early in the evening but we managed to fall asleep and then headed out for dinner.
Before heading out, we wrote out a few Valentine’s Day cards to drop into the ‘Pyaar ka Matka’. Like every year, this year too, the Cultural Committee had arranged for matkas to be placed at strategic locations- one could write cards to any person of their choosing- just that the cards were all to be anonymous.
At 12:01 a.m., the bidding for our SDM Project topics began- the rule was simple- you had to email the section & the professor with your chosen industry. The chosen industry would be allotted to the first person to send in the email- somehow there wasn’t too much of an overlap in people’s choices though FMCG was the most popular. We picked the readymade Apparel industry.
Another edition of the Zumba classes was all set to begin on Sunday morning- it will be a daily feature at the Gym above Mess 3. Sunday was obviously sleepy- we headed up at around 3 p.m. to get some biryani- Noor’s Kitchen was on campus selling 4 different types of biryani.
Later in the evening, I got to compiling our Sustainability group assignment. We’d picked the topic ‘Evaluating Social Capital at IIM-Indore’. All the group members had, in pairs interviewed the service staff on campus- the housekeeping staff, the transport staff, the medical centre staff, the security staff and the mess staff. Questions had included the positives of their work, the problems they face and possible solutions. Most of them are happy with their work, mainly due to the job security and the positivity associated with the brand name.

After sending this in, I attempted to make some plans for Valentine’s Day- of course, all my attempts failed. I then just ate in the Night Mess after taking a long walk around campus.

Monday i.e. 15th morning began with some classes- the last ISM session (where we closed with a quiz) and then the last HRM session. We ended the session by clicking a group picture with the professor. Later in the day, Cul Comm sent out an email announcing Mr. & Miss Valentine- based on the number of cards received.
We then attempted to study some Finance for the midterm; soon, we just ended up in the night mess.
The Finance midterm began at 10:30 a.m. It was a 2-hour long paper that covered all the concepts that we’d discussed in class. Part A was case-based and Part B had some True & False questions.
In the evening, we executed our (delayed) Valentine’s Day plans and headed to Chef’s to eat some Roestti and Pasta. Somehow, there were no classes scheduled on both Tuesday and Wednesday.

Wednesday morning began late, with some rice for lunch. We then got to writing testimonials for the yearbook since it was the last day to send them in.
I then participated in a focus group discussion on online marketplaces for automobiles- this was needed for some MR project that everyone was working on. And now, there’s a Lasya party to attend!


25/01/2016; 00:29:

It’s been an eventful week, with Nihilanth and classes.

I don’t think anyone got any sleep, the night before Nihilanth was to begin. We received an e-mail announcing the closure of Globe@I- it’s now to be closed indefinitely.
The IIT-BHU kids got to Khandwa Railway Station at 3 a.m., as scheduled. Initially, an institute bus was to pick them up from there but since, as we later realized, the distance is about 100 k.m., this was thus not arranged. They got themselves on a bus to Indore which would drop them at BhawarKuan at around 7 a.m.
An institute bus was arranged for this pick-up. At around 7 a.m., I got to Bhawarkuan, got the 24 kids on the bus and back to campus and into a common room. A lot of people in my batch are from IIT-BHU and they were happy to meet their juniors. Later, I headed to the HRC where we’d set up a registration desk. Registration forms, food coupons and copies of the schedule were to be handed out to each participant at the time of registration (this technically included the room keys too, but, those were handed out as soon as the participants got to campus). I headed up to the Academic Block to get print-outs- 250 copies each of all the requisite papers.

Meanwhile, one of our team members walked to the HRC, dejected. He’d spent at hour waiting at the airport for an arrival who apparently missed the flight and never bothered to inform us. By the time he was done telling his story, his phone buzzed- another team, from IIM-Bangalore I believe had just about landed in Indore. And then, just like that, he made his way back to the airport!

At around 10:30, we made our way to the railway station to pick up the IIT-Bombay kids. We had a hard time spotting them at the railway station even though there were about 25 of them! Finally, we got to campus and into the SR-09 common room.
Registrations went on till about 2 p.m. by which time all 20 participating colleges were on campus. There was a short opening ceremony at 2:45 p.m. post which the General Quiz began. Each quiz had more or less a similar format- there was a written prelim for everyone after which 8 teams/individuals qualified for the stage round. All questions were designed by the quizmaster in charge of that quiz and included audio-visual clues as well as star-marked questions.
First up was the General Quiz conducted by Mr. Vikram Joshi – Winner of the 2014 World Quizzing Championship- was held right after.
There were a total of 257 participants from 20 IIT’s and IIM’s including IIM-Ahmedabad, IIM-Bangalore, IIM-Calcutta, IIT-Bombay, IIT-Kanpur and IIT-Kharagpur.
IIT-Bombay won the General Quiz. The Sports Quiz began at 6 p.m., conducted by Mr. Chandrakant Nair.

After the prelims of the Sports Quiz, a comedy night was in store after a hectic day of quizzing- . Youtube star, Kenny Sebastian was here, from Bangalore, to entertain the crowd. The student community finds his jokes very relatable and he even strung together random words from the crowd into an original song, on the spot!
But, right after the comedy night, it was back to the quizzes- the prelims of the India Quiz and the stage round of the Sports Quiz. This was won by IIT-Madras.

It was back to business, early on Saturday morning. IIM-Indore won the business quiz, bringing the first and only victory for the IIM’s at this edition of Nihilanth. IIT-Madras won the India quiz too.

Post-lunch, the Science-Tech quiz was held, conducted by Mr. Navin Rajaram - Part of KQA and host of the Texas Instruments Sci-Tech Quiz. Here, IIT-Madras continued their winning streak- both the winning team as well as the runners-up were from there.

To add a touch of entertainment, the MELA Quiz was conducted by Mr. Venkatesh Srinivasan. The MELA i.e. Music, Entertainment, Literature and Art quiz was replete with audio-visual cues and very enjoyable. Just the sheer amount of random facts & figures that people in the quizzing world know is astounding. We sat in on a few quizzes and were pleasantly surprised to actually know quite a few answers in the prelims!

Through the day, we tried to closely follow the developments on the ‘Start Up India’ scene- the closing ceremony with the PM’s speech was broadcast live in all premier institutes including ours.

17th i.e. Sunday was the last day of the quizzing activities- and the Lone Wolf quiz conducted by Mr. Suraj Menon was the best way to end with a bang. It was the ultimate challenge- questions across domains and one single winner. Both the winner as well as the runner-up were from IIT-Madras.

The Prize Distribution saw IIT-Madras celebrating as they were crowned Nihilanth Champions for the third year in a row.
Pongal was celebrated on campus, in the evening with a series of games, culminating in a traditional Pongal feast and loud music!

The same weekend i.e. 16-17th January was also the 10 Year Alumni Reunion for the 2006 Batch. The campus was buzzing with activity since a lot of the alumni had brought along their families including little kids.
Arena, the Gaming Club held an Alumni v/s PGP CounterStrike tournament at 4 p.m. An interaction session with the alumni was held at 12:30 p.m. I also got to meet the Finance head from the company I’ll be interning at this summer- he’s an alumni of the 2006 batch and it seems like there will be a lot to learn over the 2 months.
18th morning began with an ISM (Information Systems for Managers) class. The professor has decided that each group ought to send in an analysis of every case that we’ll be dealing with. A total of 4 questions are sent the day before the ISM class, to be submitted the same evening. 4 groups (1 question per group) are then randomly called on, in class to discuss said questions.
We had our first session of RCB (Retail and Corporate Banking) in the afternoon. The course will be conducted in two parts- Retail Banking & Corporate Banking, to be taught by two different faculty. The Corporate Banking professor has been in the industry for nearly 20 years and there is just so much to learn!
Meanwhile, the PGP Office has been sending in the time-table for the next day, each single day. An integrated one, till the 15th of February has been uploaded on the intranet but does not resemble these daily time-tables. So along with the surprise quizzes, there is now a new element of suspense on the cards.

We had our first HRM (Human Resource Management) class on Tuesday. The professor is really nice; most of the session was spent picking on a guy in our section who’s worked at Infosys- the subject of the day’s case. Unfortunately, the course is only 2-credits, down from the 4 it was last year.
At 12:15 p.m., we assembled in the Old Auditorium to hear the President of India’s address on the topic ‘Youth and Nation Building’ as part of the National Knowledge Sharing Network.

Applications for the post of SAC-Coordinator were thrown open and I decided to try my luck. Of course, a series of pre-processes was in store- a necessary evil perhaps.

A briefing session was called for at 8 p.m., in the Academic Block. All applicants for the post of SAC-C were present as was the current SAC-C. The idea was to let us know exactly what we were attempting to sign up for. Round 1 of the pre-process was sent to us shortly after. There were a couple of questions to be answered including why you want to be SAC-C, instances of leadership in the past, and two candidates other than you who would be suitable for the post. One nice thing about such questions is the fact that they make you actually think about why you want to do certain things in a certain way, what values are important to you and the life lessons you’ve gained from different experiences.
We had an industry visit on the 20th i.e. Wednesday. We headed to our assigned company- we’d been working on our project for a while now and our final submission was ready to be presented and reviewed. It was good team-work that resulted in a detailed Balanced Score Card for the Rolling Department of the company. We were lauded for our efforts and a few tweaks and changes were suggested which we ought to incorporate before the final submission to the panel which will happen perhaps at the end of the term.
CulComm sent out an e-mail, inviting volunteers to help with the Farewell preparations. The Farewell for the senior batch.

Round 2 of the SAC-C pre-process was also a written one. There were a few questions to be answered in a word document- two things you would change as SAC-Coordinator; comparing one club/committee at IIM-Indore to a similar entity in another B-School and an e-mail to the director, on behalf of the batch, talking about the hectic schedule we currently have. I wrote about working to increase the number of students who come to campus on student exchange and having a single body to garner sponsorship for all events that happen on campus instead of a separate team for each event. I then compared the Academic Committee here to the one at IIM-Calcutta.
A workshop on Design Thinking has been introduced as part of the curriculum for the PGP1, this year. It is to be held in two parts, the first of which was held on the 21st. We were introduced to the idea of design thinking and given successful instances of corporate implantation of design thinking. We were then split into groups; each group was given a problem that was to be approached and solved from a design thinking perspective. The first step was to detail out the process involved; then, we were to interview the consumer, in our case the students of PGP1 and note their current experiences. These were then compiled into an idea map. We shall continue working on this, in the second part of the workshop which should be held soon. Most of the day was spent on this workshop.
22nd morning began with a few classes and the Design Thinking workshop for the other 4 sections. Meanwhile most end-term papers from last term were shown during the week, before the grades are finalized. We then had a Finance-II Quiz at 4:50 p.m. Of course, in keeping with the new tradition, the e-mail announcing the quiz was sent to us only at 3:30 p.m. The quiz was simple and based entirely on what we’d been doing in class.

The SAC-Treasurer sent out an e-mail to both the batches sharing the audited financial reports of the SAC for the financial year ended 31st March, 2015. The unaudited report for this financial year will be shared soon.

Friday, 22 January 2016


15/01/2016; 02:09:

It’s been a nice week since we’ve been back on campus after the term break (aka RIP). We got to campus around 11 a.m. on 10th morning. We ordered some nice pasta for lunch and then called it a day sometime in the evening- a whole week’s worth of sleep was to be caught up on.
Registration for Term 3 i.e. the last term of PGP-1 was to happen on 11th, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. We headed to the registration place which was where the old PGP office used to be; all offices were recently moved to a newly constructed administrative block that is situated right next to the library.
There was the usual term registration form, additionally, there was a peer evaluation form that was to be filled up and submitted-this peer evaluation was a part of our grading for the OB course in Term-2; we were to rank our team-members (the assignment group for Term-2) on a 6-point scale on parameters including contribution, communication, team work and interest.
We then collected some material for Term-3 and then headed out for lunch and a movie. In the evening, Voyage Capital, the Capital Investment Club sent out an e-mail announcing the launch of an NFO (New Fund Offer). They are calling for students to invest in this fund that will be managed by the Club members; historically, the Voyage Capital portfolio has turned up much higher returns than the average return on the market. Students can choose to invest any amount with Rs. 1000 being the minimum investment and a Rs. 20000 cap on the investment. Voyage Capital promises to explain how the whole thing works; looking forward to some learning about the stock market.

12th morning began early; I was up at 9:30 a.m. for some unbeknownst reason and spent nearly the whole day in the hostel. The highlight of the day was an hour’s basketball game in the evening. Earlier, at 3:30 p.m., a guest lecture about the Finance for Housing market was held in the New Audi. It was a rather interesting lecture followed by a short documentary. Despite registration having been completed the day before, no classes were scheduled until the 14th.

On 13th morning, we headed out for our Industrial Visit. We left campus a little after 10, arriving at the company close to noon. An organizational profile was to be filled in and submitted so we got all the requisite information from the HR at the company. The HR project that we’ve been working on is nearly complete too; we’ve gathered all the requisite information to prepare a Balanced ScoreCard, only the final report needs to be compiled. Hopefully, it will be ready by our next visit which is a week later. We were back on campus close to 5 p.m. and picked up some more reading material from the new designated distribution centre aka the Old PGP Office.
After we’d compiled and sent in the aforementioned Organizational Profile, we causally strolled out of Gate 2, and walked to Baba Kulfi where we ate chaat and lots of kulfi. Happy, we returned to campus by about 9 p.m. where a celebration for Lohri was in order. Everyone was gathered at the Football field next to Mess 2 where a large bonfire was lit at around 9:30 p.m. There was a nice sound system, some music; popcorn, peanuts and rewri to toss into the fire and even a dhol-wala! We tossed some popcorn into the fire- an act that is supposed to be the tossing away of all negative energy from one’s life.

The first class of Term-3 i.e. Finance-II was held at 8:45 a.m. on the 14th. It was an interesting class where we basically realized that this course will deal with applying all the different analysis tools that we learnt in Finance-I, last term to ‘value’ a firm. A Nihilanth meeting was in order around 12 p.m. Nihilanth is the annual inter IIT-IIM quiz, started way back in 2003, by IIM-Indore. It is held at a different campus each year (decided by way of a bidding process) and after 13 years, hosting rights are back to IIM-Indore! The opening ceremony is scheduled for 2 p.m., 15th Jan and the teams have begun arriving. We spent some time with some of the participants, showing them around campus and drinking lots of cups of chai. Looking forward to an eventful weekend!


We were all set to usher in the New Year, after a hectic term. Our last end term exam ended on 31st afternoon post which our section was all set to have an EO quiz. We piled into the exam room at 1:10 p.m., only to be greeted with SM Quiz papers which were clearly intended for some other purpose. After about twenty minutes of confusion, the correct papers were arranged and most of us spent exactly 5 minutes filling in the paper and then rushing out, to head home, to head out or to go sleep.
We headed out for lunch and got back late in the evening and planned to head to the party being held on campus, courtesy the Cultural Committee. The theme for the evening was to be Black & White; it was supposed to be a masquerade party but I spotted exactly zero people with masks on including the Cultural Committee members themselves. The DJ continued playing until 3:30 a.m. and it was only after that that I finally left the dance floor. It was a great way to usher in the New Year, surrounded by friends, a great atmosphere and some music.
There were another two days to kill in Indore until we were to leave for our RIP on 3rd evening. Two new cafés – the popular chain Mocha and an independent coffee place called Café Square- had recently opened in Indore. We visited Mocha on 1st evening and Café Square the next day.
Later in the evening, we picked up medication, mosquito-repellent cream and some random snacks in preparation for our trip.
Our trip began at around 4 p.m. on the evening of 3rd January, when we left campus, headed for the railway station. We were to make our way to Dindori district, as part of our Rural Immersion Programme which is a compulsory part of the 1st year of the PGP Programme, here at IIM-Indore.
It’s a 12-hour train ride from Indore to Jabalpur and we got there at around 6:30 a.m. on 4th January.
We got ourselves (there were 9 of us) a large cab with an overhead carrier for all our luggage (which wasn’t much, everyone had packed light!) to Dindori. We got to Dindori close to mid-day, via pakodas, jalebis and parathas. Once there, we met the district coordinator for the Swachh Bharat Abhiyan, a pleasant, talkative lady who seemed happy to have us there. We were to verify the ODF (Open Defecation Free) claim in Dindori district- 4 of 7 blocks had been declared ODF- a survey including physical verification was to be conducted over the span of a week. The same task was being carried out by other groups of students in other districts of Madhya Pradesh.
We headed to the nearby Government Rest House to freshen up before meeting the Collector of the district who was a much-loved lady- all the employees in the district had only good things to say about her. After, we met the CAO who was very cheerful, welcoming and advised us to get the work done efficiently and quickly, for if we had time left over, there was some wonderful sightseeing in store- they’d even prepared us an itinerary and everything!
Right after lunch at a close-by restaurant, we split into 2 groups of 4 and 5 people respectively and headed out to two separate GP’s (Gram Panchayats). MerMal- the GP we went to had two villages- Tipariya and Pipariya. We walked around the expanse of the villages, checking for toilets, asking questions about their usage and about hand-washing habits. All the households in both villages had toilets that had been constructed on an identical pattern- cemented walls and roof and trademark blue metal doors with a wash-basin on the outside. Nearly 90% of the toilets were being used on a regular basis, and hand-washing was a common practice after defecation- red Lifebuoy bars were everywhere. The harder part of the operation has been changing mind-sets- about indoor or closed toilets being unhygienic and the real need to eliminate open defecation. So far, at least in Dindori, the team has done a good job.
The schools in the GP- including the 2 Anganwadis, 2 Primary schools and a Middle school- all had indoor toilets, with separate washrooms for girls and boys.
Once we were done visiting the households, the head of the GP insisted that we stay for dinner. We got to eat cauliflower that had just been plucked from one of the household gardens, masoor dal which is grown in the region, hot puris and rice. I can still taste the food as I write this!
Right as we finished dinner, we walked out of the building and happened to glance skyward. And that single glance just morphed into an unending gaze. As far as the eye could see, there were countless stars- big, small, twinkling, smiling. The air was still, on a cloudless night. I have no recollection of how long we stood there, just looking, wanting to capture that sight into memory, forever. It was hauntingly beautiful- a sight that city life just does not allow.
From there we headed to the Government Rest House at Shahpura, another block in Dindori district- we’d been at the district headquarters and its surrounding villages in the day.
After a restful sleep on a chilly winter night, we awoke to a warm sun in the sky at around 9:30 a.m on Tuesday aka 5th January. We then left for the villages in the Shahpura area after a nice breakfast of piping hot parathas. We roamed the lanes of Ghughuwa and Bansa- one thing that I couldn’t help noticing about the whole area was the excellent condition of the roads. A lot of them had been constructed under the Pradhan Mantri Yojna (Prime Minister’s Scheme) - even the small lanes between the houses were paved, caked with cow dung and had not an inch of uncleanliness about them.
Here, at the Anganwadi, an immunization programme for new-borns was being held- expecting mothers were also called in for a talk on pre and post-natal care and were handed packets of nutritious food mix to feed young infants.
One of the households we visited had a colourful talking parrot in a cage, right at the entrance- it kept chanting ‘Mitthu’- presumably its name that it has heard repeatedly. The crops in the region include wheat, masoor dal, chana and seasonal vegetables that are mainly grown for personal consumption.
After visiting the households in both villages, we headed to Ghughuwa National Fossil Park, which we were told is the only of its kind in the country and one of the two in Asia. There was a Fossil Museum which had tree fossils on display. The area where Ghughuwa now lies used to be the coast by what is now the Arabian sea- a large excavation of tree fossils was undertaken here and the Fossil Park allows you to walk through a lightly forested area with mounds of different fossils on display at intervals. A lot of fossilized tree trunks and pieces still lie in or on the ground. Tree fossils are hard, almost like rock but differently textured. It was a very different experience, definitely not one that we’d anticipated (clearly, this Fossil Park is both under-rated and not popular enough!).
After this we had delicious lunch that was prepared in the Forest Canteen on the same campus. We then sat on some swings near the aforementioned Canteen, waiting on the other group to join us after their survey was done.

By late evening, we were on our way back where we stopped for dinner at a Dhaba- the same one we ate breakfast at, earlier the same morning- this dhaba was to be our regular haunt for the remainder of the week for both breakfast en route to our destination for the day and again for dinner on our way back to the rest house.

A mid-week break from surveying toilets was in order on Wednesday. A trip had been arranged to a nearby waterfall. We were at the waterfall a little after mid-day and spent a few hours dipping our feet in the river and watching the fall. Heck, I even jumped across the river to the other side and had more than my fair share of water for the day. A few hours later, we headed to a house in a nearby village- this was entirely a tribal area and the other group had stopped by a group of the Bastar tribes on their way. The house was large and presumably belonged to some affluent individuals. We were served spicy chicken curry with rice and rotis for lunch. The sole vegetarian in our group watched us slurp away as she picked on some dal-rice.
We got back to the rest-house via our dhaba by late evening.
Early on Thursday morning, we made our way to the district headquarters i.e. Zila Panchayat ,Dindori. We met both the district coordinator and the CAO and updated them about our findings. We then settled around a large table at the Dindori Rest House and got all of the paperwork in order. All registration numbers and data were provided to us by the administration.
By late evening, we were finally done and headed back post a dinner stop.
Since our work was almost entirely complete, we got to go out sightseeing on Friday. Narmada river originates close by, at Amarkantak. It was a short drive to Amarkantak where we first visited Kapil Dhara- a small flow of water off a high cliff that counts as a waterfall. Apparently it is a large gush during the rainy season. Here, we got a nice group picture clicked and printed in hard copy for keepsake! Post this, there were two temples to visit- one at the spot where River Son originates and another where Ma Narmada originates. We were able to spot River Son flowing down the hill but the structure at the Narmada origin was too elaborate to allow for a viewing of the river in its raw form. Finally, we made a stop at a series of large, elaborate Jain temples which were still under construction.
After a brief meeting with the officials, we left for Jabalpur around mid-day on 9th morning. We headed straight to Bhedaghat which is about 25 k.m. from Jabalpur. Bedhaghat is famous for having the Narmada flow through, cutting a gorgeous valley into the marble rock. We walked through a strategically located market that was selling mostly local handicrafts and munchies to the spot where the Dhuaadhaar Falls were. The falls are aptly named, for a large amount of water, crashes hard against the underlying flow over a large rocky cliff, hard enough to emanate in splashes that resemble a cloud of smoke. We took another picture (printed in hard-copy of course!) to add to more memories.
After that, we gazed at the handicrafts once more, taking in the delicately shaped marble-ware, everything from agarbati stands and earring to large statues and household decoration.
We then headed to the boating area where marble rocks in varied colour stand tall against calm-flowing water. We got ourselves on a boat- large row boats- and enjoyed an hour on the water, with the company of our very entertaining guide who made up stories about everything from the colour of the marble to their shape- the best part was that they all rhymed, and fit in perfect sync with our mood and the surroundings. The marble varied in colour from milky white to pink, creamy white and even black! We were informed that on full moon nights, boating is made available late into the night! The marble must look mesmerizing under the cooling warmth of the milky moon light.
We then headed to Jablapur city where we had a nice dinner at a ‘must-visit’ predominantly non-vegetarian restaurant. We then got on our train, our bodies tired, our minds full of memories and our hearts filled with a deep resonating peace that seeks to remain unparalleled for a time to come.


When you haven’t written in so long, there’s this voice somewhere that tells you that it’s over- there will be no more writing, no more posts. Then this other inner urge wakes up and lets you know that there is hope, and you finally get writing!

5 & 6th of December saw Utkarsha- the Social Fest held on campus. It included a series of interesting events including a Social B-Plan competition, a CSR Strategy design event and a Photography Competition.
Classes began again on the 7th of December, after a week-long RIP break. Everyone had varied experiences, depending on the district they were assigned to but, everyone was happy. The plan this year was to check whether certain districts were truly ODF (Open Defecation Free) - teams would set out early, as early as 4 a.m. to survey the villages in the districts. The rest of the time was spent in compiling reports, enjoying local sights and food, and spending time with nature in its various forms.
Our professors decided to stage a nice welcome for us in the form of some surprise, some semi-surprise in-class quizzes. We had one in our SM class right at 8:45 and then one in the OM class right after too! And then we began learning how to draw decision trees in the QT class.
The PGP Office then announced their latest decision- all quizzes for the remainder of this term and the next will no longer be announced in advance. All quizzes without exception will be ‘surprise’ quizzes and we will get an hour’s notice before they happen- the notice board outside the classrooms will finally be put to some good use with this announcement.
Later in the evening, we headed to play Table Tennis since section wars were in progress. After a rather unsuccessful attempt at Men’s Singles, Women’s Singles and even Mixed Doubles, we lost to section F. Meanwhile Acad Comm sent out an email asking us to fill in our preferences for electives to be studied in the next term.
8th morning began with a few classes. The Marketing Class was spent in learning about the Marketing Simulation that was to happen in a few days. We were given a briefing as to how the system works and what we are expected to do. At 4:50 p.m., we had a MAC quiz- the quiz was fairly simple and was about 40 minutes long.
We got an e-mail from the Academic Associate, detailing the syllabus for a MacroEconomics quiz. While we wondered what that meant, we got yet another e-mail, with apologies and an announcement of a quiz on the 11th.
This year, there has been a change in the PGP-1 Course Curriculum. While electives were typically offered only in the second year of PGP, this year, Term-III shall see some electives on offer. We were asked to fill in our preferences- you ought to pick two subjects out of four possible options, including Corporate & Retail Banking, Supply Chain Management, Sales & Distribution Management and Market Research. The major aim of this change is to equip students with relevant knowledge before we head out for our internships over the summer. We had to state our preferences and a form was sent to this effect.
We had a VolleyBall match at 1 a.m. - it was a tie-breaker against Section F, to decide who goes on to play in the semi-finals. It was a well-fought game that we managed to win. We now had a semi-final to look forward to.

We had another Industry Visit on 9th December, like most Wednesdays. For some reason, no one from the other group or ours, other than the group leader turned up- turns out that Jaideep Ispat was busy that day too, so everything worked out! Later in the evening, Subway was on campus- they alternate between getting pre-prepared subs all wrapped up and getting their whole set-up here, to make the subs to order! At night (for some reason, perhaps because this place is most active only post 11 p.m.) some sports began as part of the section wars. There was a three-way tie for a semi-final place in both Cricket and Volleyball and three matches – a superover decider for cricket and a single-set decider for Volleyball were thus conducted accordingly.
Early on the 10th of December, someone forwarded a mail to the batch. A couple of people from Section H and gotten together, added everyone’s subject-wise scores and curated an entire batch rank-list!
We had a few classes in the morning and a Simulation Exercise as part of the Marketing course scheduled in the evening. At around 7 p.m., all of us collected in the designated team member’s room, ready to win the Marketing Simulation Exercise. It was a group activity, as per our assignment groups for the term. Each group was a laptop manufacturer, the market had 5 different target groups who had different desires and had varying willingness to pay as well. Each group had the same 2 existing laptop models and could choose to launch new products or modify existing ones to best meet consumer need. The game was played over 4 time periods, of an hour and a half each which were about a year in the game. New product development took one year and modification did too. We added one new product in the first time period which was then launched in the next period. We then added a second and third product too. By end of Round 2, we were the leading player in the market, aka Rank 1 as calculated by a composite score which took into account market share, market awareness, profits and more. We managed to get the trick right- our profits were the lowest of all players but the weightage given to profits in the final score was very little; the weightage to market share and other factors was much higher- our larger spending on advertising and our competitive prices ensured that our leading position was maintained until the end of the game.

By this point, Section Wars had managed to progress to the Semi-Final stage. We had one Basketball and another Volleyball match one after another. We managed to lose both despite putting in our best efforts.

We had classes on 11th morning and then a MacroEconomics quiz at 2:30 p.m. The quiz was fairly simple and was, like all Economics Quizzes, MCQ-type with negative marking. After the quiz, an ECSR session was scheduled in the New Auditorium, for four sections at a time. Our director, Prof. Rishikesha T. Krishnan took this lecture which focused on the importance of Corporate Governance in an era where Corporate Scandals are wide-spread.
At night, the third-place matches were held. We got to play two 3rd place matches; we won one, lost one and then headed to watch the Football Semi-finals.

On 12th morning, we had our last Marketing session where we discussed the aforementioned Marketing Simulation Game. The Cola Wars: Pepsi v/s Coke was the topic of discussion in our Strategy class, carried over from the last class. Faasos was on campus; they seem to take over campus, every weekend now.
We watched a very interesting Volleyball final and cheered loudly at the Football final, hoping that our section would win at least one game. It was a very close match and we finally lost to section C on penalties. A celebration still followed, everyone was just happy to be playing/watching some good football action.
The Pi Shop remained closed for a few days at this point, citing inventory issues. Someone kindly replied to their e-mail, keeping the entire mailing list in CC, offering some help with inventory management. They even attached a pdf file containing some relevant concepts from our OM course.
Sunday was restful, like every other Sunday, a much-needed break from the hectic week gone by and of course, a chance to recharge and take on the new week with all its challenges- classes, pre-reads and quizzes.

14th December aka Monday morning began a little late, with our last MacroEco session for the term. In the Entrepreneurship class, we discussed the hindrances people face when planning to become entrepreneurs and decided that the main reason was the judgmental society that we live in, where a steady job is valued much higher than it should be. Finally though, everyone agreed that if one really had an idea that promised to solve a real problem, nothing could stop such an enterprise from succeeding.
An e-mail querying the whereabouts of a lost cap was sent out in the middle of the night. Said cap apparently had a picture of Homer Simpson and understandably had great sentimental value for the owner. No one ever sends out a ‘Thank You’ e-mail or any other follow-up e-mails with updates on the lost items, so we’ll never know if the cap was found. It’s about time all ‘Lost’ e-mails have periodic updates to follow so everyone knows when to stop looking for a particular item. This will also allow for determining the probability of finding a certain type of item and help owners who lose items make good judgment about whether to send out an institute-wide e-mail or not.
We had our last MAC session on the 15th, slow but sure signs that the term was coming to an end. In the EO class, each group presented a set of 5 business ideas for businesses that could be set-up on campus. Lots of different ideas surfaced, including ‘Nap-Pods’- a room in the Academic Building furnished with comfortable beds or bean-bags where students can go catch up on sleep in the breaks between classes or any other free time when heading down to the hostel and then back up doesn’t appeal too much and a Complaint Redressal System where the person submitting the grievance is paid a portion of the fine levied on the wrongdoer as a ‘reward’. Common ideas included a Café where students can spend time, studying, surfing the internet or talking; and an online or physical retail store for used books or photocopies of class-notes.
We then had a QT Quiz at 3:30 p.m. The quiz was very interesting- at the start of the term, our professor had promised us that he would attempt to make the course as non-mathematical as possible and the quiz definitely reflected that spirit. We weren’t asked to solve any numerical problems, instead a problem along with its solution was given to us and we had to interpret the solution. This often proves much harder than simply solving the problem using a set pattern as it requires a lot more detailed understanding of both the subject and the problem at hand.
We received an e-mail from a concerned student who decided that everyone on campus should get an easy shot at doing their little bit for the environment. He has apparently arranged for both grown plants as well seeds and urged each one to plant at least one. I should follow up on the success of his endeavour.

We had an Industrial Visit on 16th i.e. Wednesday. This time, perhaps because no one had turned up the last time, everyone other than our group leader was there. We headed to the industry and got a lot of our work done.

On 16th, 17th & 18th December, IIM-Indore hosted the 3rd PAN IIM World Conference. The theme for the conference this year was ‘India: The Next Decade’. Over three days, multiple guest lectures, panel discussions and paper presentation sessions were held. In preparation for the Conference, the entrance to the Old Audi had been done up, Hindi Lettering had been put up on all buildings and sign boards were everywhere. As a respite from all the dialogue through the day, magic shows and food stalls had been arranged in the Central Lawn.

We had an EO class, on 17th afternoon where each group had to run an evaluation of the top business idea of all the other groups. One group went ahead and started the show- they’d given our great idea very little points and our group proceeded to have a detailed argument with them. Before any other groups could begin to continue to trash our ideas, we took over the classroom and did a detailed analysis of everyone’s ideas for over 30 minutes before the professor finally stopped us to make some concluding remarks. That was one enjoyable session. Let’s see if some of the ideas that came out of the Entrepreneurship course can be put into practice!

Meanwhile, Sports Comm. managed to collate the points of the Section Wars. Section F won by a good margin while someone from our section decided to send out an e-mail asking for a survey to be filled, promising an hour’s worth of Finance lectures in return.

We had some classes on 18th morning that were held in NC-3 instead of our usual classroom which was being used for the conference. The change in setting was nice, and so was our last finance lecture- sir compiled all the learnings over the course of the course into an interactive presentation that had PGP1 students discussing things just the way they do!

During the lunch break, the PGP Office had a surprise in store for us- not a quiz this time around, but the End Term Examination Time-Table. There was an exam scheduled for Christmas day and one on the morning of New Year’s Eve.

We then had our first Finance Quiz at 4:50 p.m. – all other sections had managed to have 5 quizzes by this point in time; somehow the PGP Office had forgotten all about us and it was only now, when the Finance course had actually ended that our first quiz was held.
Meanwhile Express-o-mat, the campus laundromat announced a couple of New Year Offers, valid for six weeks, including free pick-up and drop facility at a different series of hostel blocks, each day of the week and free use of fabric softener on all clothes washed on some particular days.

We had a few classes before lunch, on Saturday- it was the last week of classes before the end terms were to begin and most courses were either over or coming to a close. Meanwhile, Faasos continued to be on campus in the evening, like they are, on most weekends.

Sunday was off for most people while Section G & H got to attend class! Pi-Shop had arranged in advance for food from KFC to be made available for lunch on Sunday. Of course, the chance to exercise that option is only available to people who are actually awake at lunch-time on a Sunday (which I most definitely never am!)
A report critically analysing the CSR activities of one company needed to be submitted in the evening, as part of our ECSR course. I decided to write my report about Cargill India- they’re in the Agri/Food business and accordingly, so it their CSR.

One session of each of the still to be finished courses was held on 21st i.e. Monday, a great start to a week whose second half had only end term exams in store. While we sat wrapping up the concept of Decision Trees, in the QT Class, the PGP Office was planning to make our day even more interesting- we had a second Finance Quiz in the Lunch Break!
After class, we had an OB Quiz at 4:50 p.m. The quiz was pretty interesting and the second part of the quiz was a crossword that needed to be filled in with lots of OB terms, according to the given clues.
Another plan was hatched, this time by the IT Department, to stop the large number of e-mails that are sent out on a daily basis about competitions, lost items and surveys. A new mail ID has been added, ‘batchmail’- all e-mails that need to be sent out to the student community can be sent to this mail ID, and all e-mails on a particular day will be collated and sent out as a single e-mail.

The CSR reports that we’d compiled and sent in were to be presented to the class in the last ECSR session on Tuesday. Since there wasn’t enough time for everyone to make a presentation, the professor had decided to call upon people by way of a lottery- all the roll numbers were duly written on chits and one was drawn out at a time. As luck would have it, my roll number was the first to be called. Luckily, I had even made a PowerPoint Presentation to support my report and I harped on about Cargill India’s good doings. Most people just scrolled through their reports, highlighting activities as they found necessary. Someone had picked Airtel as their company of choice and made a PowerPoint Presentation that was at least a hundred slides long, replete with pictures and animation!

The last class of Term-II, an OM session was held on 23rd morning. We received an e-mail from the director, forwarded from the Commissioner of Indore. A new initiative has been started in the city- it is called ‘Vidya Daan’ and, as the name suggests, it allows young professionals, students and all residents of the city to contribute a few hours each week, teaching at a government school. The website is rather user-friendly and I was able to easily sign-up, although I still haven’t been able to find a close-by school whose timings match mine given the erratic schedule we have (where mornings are for sleeping and nights are for eating and the afternoons are for classes and everything else in between!)
An ECSR Quiz was held at 3:30 p.m. post which everyone headed off to begin studying for the End Terms.

The Exams began with Macro Economics on the morning of Thursday, 24th December. The paper was in two parts- one objective section followed by a subjective section. Later in the day, we tried to arrange a visit to attend the MidNight mass at a church in the city. We spoke to the hostel office and curated a list of interested students. Unfortunately, the plan had to be called off at the last minute.

We gathered outside Mess 1 close to 11 p.m. A Christmas Tree had been set up in front of the mess and Carol Singing was in order, followed by a cake-cutting. We procured a large knife from the mess, well in advance, ready to cut the cake as soon as it was time, and before the designated cutter could get to work (and before the Cultural Committee members spotted us of course!). Our plan was working well until Santa Claus descended on the scene, throwing toffees as he entered. Our knife was spotted and handed over to Santa who then cut the cake! Later, we collected outside the hostel to cut our own Christmas cake- a delicious chocolate-strawberry flavoured one!
We then set-up a Christmas tree in one of our rooms- this was the same tree that we’d collectively bought during our second year- complete with baubles, lights and stars! We even had some snowflakes that we’d cut out earlier left over and added those too!

Christmas Carols were blaring at a decent volume and we cut a second cake. We then took lots of pictures before someone suddenly seemed to remember the exam the next day and one by one, everyone dispersed.

The MAC paper on Christmas day was 3-hours long but fairly simple. Under the ‘date’ coloumn on the answer sheet, I thought for a moment and promptly put down ‘Christmas’.

A case-study based OB paper was held on 26th morning. It was a very interesting paper. The first question talked of an organization that was looking to expand and restructure accordingly. Our task was to design a suitable organization structure for the company. The second question talked about an HR Manager facing a dilemma- a plant needed to be either closed down, have employees laid off or wages cut since it was loss-making. The HR Manager had a strong, unrelenting Union to deal with and come up with an agreeable solution.

27th morning began with the Marketing End Term. There was an interesting case given to us, along with some questions to be answered. A team of young B-School graduates had invented a solar-powered lamp and were looking to launch the product in rural India. Questions pertained to break-even market penetration and Sales & Distribution planning.

The QT End term was on the same afternoon. It was a very challenging paper (the questions had hints!), and only 90 minutes long.

28th and 29th December were a break from the End Terms, mostly owing to our IGNOU exams. Nearly everyone had an exam on one or both of the days; some people even had two papers on a single day.

The last two exams were OM and SM, on the 30th and 31st respectively. The SM paper was very interesting and had both case-based questions and an objective section that tested our understanding of the major concepts in Strategy. The OM paper was positively difficult but at least the term was at a close!