Acquiring PPO in Flipkart by acing Flipkart Wired 4.0

Corporate competitions had always been a key area of focus in my MBA journey as they gave me a platform to take my classroom knowledge to the real world. Having worked in a fortune 500 organization I was always fascinated with the use of technology to elevate the human experience and hence E-Commerce was a domain of my interest. When Flipkart launched its flagship B-School competition Wired I pounced on the opportunity to apply my acquired management knowledge backed up with my technical skills to solve challenges faced by a giant like Flipkart. Since I was preparing for this competition for a long time (and well yes, the chance of scoring a PPO made it more lucrative), I was closely following the developments in the E-Commerce supply chain industry regularly. After understanding that how crucial E-Commerce had become to an average Indian in the times of COVID-induced lockdown, I wanted to dive deep into the sector and develop models on how E-Commerce can penetrate in a challenging country like ours.

The case competition required us to develop a model using which Flipkart could cater to the Tier 2 Indian customers with their day-to-day purchase needs. Understanding the importance of this problem statement in the context of Flipkart’s business situation and the national lockdown scenario, our team’s objective was to design an easy to implement supply chain model that could be easily replicated across the country within a time frame of 1 year. After clearing a series of rounds our team had the absolute delight to reach the national semifinals of this coveted competition. The very fact that this competition provided me with a platform to present my solutions and ideas to the top leadership of a dynamic organization like Flipkart tremendously added to my learning curve.

Having missed a chance to be a part of the National Finals, I was overwhelmed when I was called up for an interview with Flipkart in the form of a pre-placement interview (PPI). Well as Flipkart rightly claims “Ab har wish hogi poori” they certainly fulfilled my wish by providing me a chance to kick start my career with an organization like theirs. The interview process which had three rounds (a general aptitude test followed by 2 rounds of interviews) gave me enough opportunities to understand how I as an individual could contribute to Flipkart (technically and behaviorally). The interviewers were very keen on understanding what skill sets I bring to the table and what do I look for in terms of growth and opportunity. After those three rounds of virtual interactions, I finally got to experience that most sought-after day of MBA life when finally Flipkart offered me THE job!

The entire experience of participating in corporate competitions, learning bit by bit in each of them is a continuous journey. A journey that I believe is different for every individual. I cannot be thankful enough to be a part of an institute like IIM Kashipur where the entire atmosphere focuses on making you ready for real-world challenges. With competitions taking the center stage of academic focus it was my institute that played the pivotal role in grabbing my dream job opportunity.

About the author :
Pranav Bhardwaj is currently pursuing MBA from IIM Kashipur, with majors in Analytics and Marketing. He is a part of various student bodies like the The Consulting & Strategy Club, TEDx IIM Kashipur and Prep Cell. You can connect with him on LinkedIn.

Journey of Self development in IIM Kashipur

“It is not the destination where you end up but the mishaps and memories you create along the journey that matters” aptly summarizes what my MBA journey at IIM Kashipur has been about. Stepping into the college for the first time in June of 2019 with a feeling of fear and uncertainty surrounding my mind, I did not know that these 2 years were going to be so much important and impactful in my life. And now when I look back at this time, I realize it could not be more perfect!

It started with me performing poorly in different tasks given to us during the induction program, not able to catch up with the case study discussions happening in the classroom, and not able to manage my time for anything. Amongst all this mess, I was just waiting for that one moment that would help me change this downward trajectory. But as it is famously quoted that you have to create the opportunity yourself, I decided to do the same by contesting for Class Representative Election. Considering my performance so far in college, I was in self-doubt about whether I really deserved it but still I wanted to give my best and I did. Results? I lost, by a close margin but still, it became the turning point of my MBA life. It gave me the head start and self-confidence I was looking for and after this, there was no looking back. In a span of 2 months, I became a part of 3 different student bodies I wanted to get associated with eagerly, namely The Finance Club, Parwaaz- The Dramatics Club, and Team Insite – Admissions Support Body. Adding to this, I also joined the newly opened IIM Kashipur’s Toastmasters Club and became the Vice President – Education. Apart from this, I being a finance enthusiast and having a commerce background were able to help my colleagues in finance subjects by taking peer learning sessions. I became a part of the organizing team of Uttishtha – Annual entrepreneurial fest of IIM Kashipur and became one of the scholarship holders offered by the college. It was a great feeling.

Considering everything that I have done or been a part of, I would not say that it was easy or just fun. It was difficult. If something makes you compromise your health and sleep and forces you to miss your meals, it is challenging. Yet, it was interesting. The 2 major learnings that I had from this course were first, a realization that 24 hours exist, and every minute can be counted and utilized. Second, you can push the limits to infinite if you wish to do so.

It did change the course of my life for good and had such a vibrant and bold impact on me that even though it is over, it does not seem to be. Every day when I wake up, I think a new semester would begin and emails would start coming only to realize that my MBA is completed!

About the author :
Puneet Garg is currently pursuing MBA from IIM Kashipur, with majors in Finance and Marketing. He is a part of various student bodies like The Finance Club, Dramatics Club, and Team Insite-Admissions Support Body. He is fond of origami art and reading novels. You can connect with him on LinkedIn.

Journey of winning ‘ICICI Bank Beat the Curve 2019’ – A step towards being 4th in D2C Competitive B schools 2021

From the beginning of the campus rounds, we focused on the aspect of bringing the youth’s (millennial) perspective to our case solution. For the competition, ICICI Bank Beat the Curve 2019, we chose to suggest an innovative product that will help attract people from 20 to 30 years of age towards the services of the Bank.  

The Challenge

We started by gathering a lot of primary data by getting responses from more than 1000 individuals of varied age groups and localities. The competition had three stages – a campus round, Stage 2 (semi-final), and a Final round. We spent close to 20 hours on the semi-final and the final rounds. The mentorship provided during the semi-final round was particularly very useful. There we understood what aspects of our solution we need to focus upon.

The Winning team – Team Ideates

There were 6 teams who made it to the Grand finale of the competition. They were from institutes like IIFT, FMS, JBIMS, IIM R, etc. During the presentations of the final round, we particularly felt that the team from JBIMS had put in a lot of research in building their solution. But we were confident about our solution as well as the presentation. Both Shubham and I were part of a winning team even in the first year of our MBA. The experience and learning during that competition certainly helped us here. We had confidence in each other. While preparing for the presentation, we helped each other out in finding faults critically and correcting each other. One of us was a late-night worker and the other was an early bird. Instead of quarreling over finding a common time to work, we took it as a plus point. We worked over this across time, building on each other’s work and just cross-checking before submitting the work when we were short on deadlines!

The moments that mattered

The panel of judges was from the leadership team at ICICI Bank. The competition had a unique and amazing judgment criterion. Along with the jury panel, the audience that comprised 50 senior-level executives of ICICI Bank, scored the different teams on 4 parameters. It was based on parameters like research depth, presentation quality, innovation of the solution, and the QnA round. One key learning in this competition was that the delivery of your presentation is as important as the hard work done while building the solution. Also, it is important that you look at your solution from the audience’s perspective. This helps you judge your own presentation before anyone else does! Well, there were two amazing moments for us. One was during the QnA, where we could justify a question put up by a senior executive sitting in the audience. Later, when we took our seats after the presentation, he came to us and praised our solution. That was really reassuring. The second was obviously during the declaration of results when our team, ‘Team Ideates from IIM Kashipur‘ was announced as the National Winners of ICICI Bank Beat The Curve 2019 and we were called on stage!

About the Author:
Chirag Dixit, MBA from Indian Institute of Management Kashipur and currently works with Bloomberg in their Financial Products team.
He has also been a part of the Placement Committee of the institute for both years and has worked in fostering relationship between the institute and industry on various levels. You can connect with him on LinkedIn.

IIM Kashipur emerges as a rising star in the Dare2Compete Awards 2021!

“Reach high, for stars lie hidden in you. Dream deep, for every dream precedes the goal.”  – Rabindranath Tagore 

Let’s start with the journey of a student who gets admission in a prestigious institute like an IIM after persistent preparation and trading off career opportunities. With dreams of flying higher and higher, this student has a feeling of great achievement and an equivalent responsibility to do justice with this success. He sees a glorifying career ahead in the upcoming two years and is highly enthusiastic about making the most of his MBA life. But how does he paint the canvas of these two years? Which hues does he select? This entirely depends on his strong will and determination towards learning clubbed with the opportunities and motivation offered by his institute. 

IIM Kashipur takes pride in playing a phenomenal role in the life of this student who enters the institute with the thirst for knowledge and the zeal to realise his dreams. During two years of post graduation, the institute instils in the students the feeling of “never settling down”. One of the integral parts of the culture is motivating the students to participate in case study competitions. IIM Kashipur faculties, the Placement Committee and Team Corpus leave no stones unturned to cultivate this culture of corporate and B-school competitions in the current and upcoming batches. They dedicatedly work round the year in this direction to bring the institute to unfathomable heights.

With these constant efforts, the institute has exceptionally performed in Dare2Compete (D2C) Awards 2021 securing 4th rank in D2C Competitive B-Schools 2021 Rankings.

Achieving this milestone, IIM Kashipur has joined the league of other older prestigious institutions like IIFT, IIM Ahmedabad, IIM Bangalore and IIM Kozhikode that appeared in the top 5 ranks. Not only this, IIM Kashipur has become the only 2nd generation IIM to have made its place in the top 10 ranks.  

This remarkable success is a reward for the diligence and determination of the students. Each and every honest participation and winning has contributed to the achievement. Throughout the year, students of both the years have meticulously planned for the competition season burning the midnight oil in the quest for their holistic development. Team Corpus created Corpus Community – a student group that dedicatedly works together to discuss and ace in the case study competitions. This community boosts collaboration among the students and with the resources as well as mentorship provided by them, it helps in optimising the hard work of all the participants. This creates a competitive environment and acts as a continuous source of motivation for the students. Also, viewing it from the other lens, Dare2Compete provides an excellent platform to the students to hone their skills in various domains by giving them a chance to participate in real-life case study competitions floated by eminent institutes and reputed companies. Hence, there is an air of unstoppable learning and fuelling the competitive spirit surrounding the student community. 

The enthusiasm of the students can be reflected in the level of participation in a large number of competitions ranging from B-school to corporate. With these sincere initiatives, IIM Kashipur has got 8 National Winners, 5 National Runners up, 4 National 2nd Runners up, 24 National Finalists and 12 Semi-Finalists throughout the competition season who have bagged positions in reputed competitions like L’Oréal Sustainability Challenge, Xiaomi Mi Summit 2.0, Virtusa Business Cipher Challenge, CarEasy Spark, TVS Credit Analytics challenge, and many more. These competitions encompass different domains of management and thereby help the students to develop various skills like problem-solving, teamwork, creative thinking, fact-finding, and mental agility, especially relevant for employability.

Also, it is a moment of pride for the institute to see 9 Champions from the institute who have secured positions in the Top 100 Dare2Compete Competitive Leaders 2021. Shubham Vispute, Rahul Choudhary, Deepansh Goyal, Prajwal Vaichalkar, G Prashanth, Vishesh Jain, Himanshu Singasene, Abhinav Yadav and Udit Arunav have exhibited a commendable performance and their relentless hard work has helped the institute in accomplishing new heights. 

IIM Kashipur is soon going to complete its 10 glorious years of establishment. This achievement has added to the magnificence of the celebration and has entrusted bigger responsibilities upon the fraternity.

This recognition is just the beginning of an extraordinary journey that will go on and on adding colourful feathers to the hat of laurels!

Experience and Excel

While preparing for the CAT exam, most of us have one goal in our mind, i.e. to join an IIM. We toil so hard and finally when we think that we have reached the destination, it’s actually the start and what’s even more intriguing is that you have the power vested in you to shape the journey. While other BSchool students lack or have partial privileges, you certainly are in a better place because you are on a student-run campus. 

Gone are the days where teachers decided what is best for you, if you want a peer learning session or a specific subject that you feel is so relevant to be part of the curriculum, you can take this up to the management and actually bring a change. I have witnessed this and upon seeing the change, I got nothing but goosebumps. In the academic committee, you get to reach out to prominent and eminent professors across the country and bring them to our campus for guest lectures to enrich our knowledge. Imagine the knowledge sharing and the perspectives it brings to the table, quite exhilarating right, I know. 

Peer Learning Session

There is a mantra that every B School student chants, “Network is net worth”, heard this a gazillion times, still can never get a hang of it. What if I say that you can connect with industry leaders and business magnets to hear their success stories and gain insights, like a cherry on top, you even get to interact with them. Thanks to the Corporate Relations Committee, they pitch our college to market leaders and build strong relationships with them, how enthralling it is to be in a medium where you can step ahead and connect with the CEOs CFOs MDs and Chairmans. Learn and practice they say, with Live Projects, the bridge between the classroom and the industry is established. 

Adding more on the lines of the network, how can I miss mentioning the alumni network, the one strong emotional network that actually cares for the well-being of the students. The Alumni Relations Committee establishes long and lasting relationships with the alumni network and about a gazillion times, the students are given live training on the key aspects of MBA. The strong alumni network itself is an indicator of how well the student community of IIM Kashipur is connected. 

The placement season is the most happening and at the same time, the most daunting season of the year, but the weather reports indicate that the vibe around the campus is similar to the spring season with new companies along with fantabulous roles and offerings. All thanks to the Prep Cell team, from mock PI’s to mock GD’s and industry-specific training during each and every company visit, we reap maximum benefits. Students helping students is the crux of any educational science and we don’t just believe it, we inculcate it

Ever wondered what stream to narrow down after joining an MBA? The choices are multitude. The search for who you really are, and what you really want, i.e, 

Am I a finance guy? 

Or a marketing guy? 

Oh wait, do I like HR?

Or am I into Operations? 

So many questions and we feel sailing nowhere due to the lack of a guiding compass. Seek and you shall find is what works wonders here. To really understand your interest, passion, and what keeps you on your toes, you will have to explore and dive deep. With many academic clubs here for each specialization, a clear picture of each and every domain is well presented, all you have to do is participate in the events each club conducts. As you involve more, you reach closer to crack the code that many others fail to. The heart wants what it wants, the final step is to express and pitch yourself to be a part of the club that really interests you. No worries if you don’t get into your favorite club, you can always participate in the club events and build your knowledge in the process. There are ample opportunities for you to express your interest and to bring innovation even to the simplest of steps.

A student-run club or committee is very exquisite as it brings new ideas to the table, a sense of belonging, a platform to make your voices heard, and last but not least, you discover your true self. The one goal of each and every student body is to march towards the betterment of the entire student community and it’s more enthralling that you are part of it. With great power comes great responsibility, in the due course of time you see yourself slowly getting better, with every stroke, you get more refined, and finally, you realize that you have outdone yourself. This two-year journey on the campus is just a small part of your life, but the relationships that you build here last for the rest of your life. Who else knows what’s better for you, if not a student. 

About the Author:
Angelin is currently pursuing MBA from IIM Kashipur, with majors in Finance and Marketing. She is a part of the College’s Wellness Team. She is fond of playing the Keyboard, going for long drives, cycling and listening to podcasts in her spare time. You can connect with her on LinkedIn

Story of successfully hosting Uttishtha- The Annual Entrepreneurship Summit amidst the pandemic!

What we are going to read about will be sort of a story (Fairy Tale! Nothing short of that!) of ‘The Spring in the North’! – The Spring rejoiced by young entrepreneurs, startup owners, industry experts, faculties, college and school children from across the country. Yes, we are talking about Uttishtha – The Annual Entrepreneurship Summit of IIM Kashipur – The Spring of Entrepreneurship!

Here is the story by Team E-Cell about how they managed to pull off the event amidst difficulties posed by the pandemic!

Uttishtha is the much-awaited Entrepreneurship Summit which has an objective of revolutionizing how people view entrepreneurship and create an indelible impact in the entire startup ecosystem of the country and beyond!

The restrictions imposed on us due to COVID-19 and taking into consideration the safety of all the stakeholders of the event, we were forced to organize an event of such high magnitude on a virtual platform, which in turn meant restructuring of the entire Summit.

We, the entire E-Cell Team, decided to break the entire summit into small tasks and decided to go about the event in a phased manner. Subsequently we divided the entire summit into 3 phases, namely, the planning stage, the preparation stage and the summit!

So, we divided the team according to the preferences and expertise of the members and set off on our Voyage of “Making Entrepreneurship Bloom”!

The Planning Stage:

We all knew that Uttishtha’21 was going to be a completely new experience for all the stakeholders and we precisely knew that to create maximum value for everyone we had to restructure the entire summit upside down and planning or ‘Out of the Box’ sessions, we used to call them, were going to be the most important element of the entire summit!

The Importance of a Business Plan for MSMEs - AREAFENCING

In Uttishtha’21, as we were revamping almost everything, we decided to go beyond the mainstream in everything we were doing! While deciding the theme of the event, our thought process was to keep a theme that portrayed new beginnings, asked people to get rid of their winter blues (COVID blues!) and focus on embarking on the journey of 5R, namely, Rejuvenation, Regrowth, Resurrection, Renewal and Regrowth! So, with a decision to keep the whole Summit light and bright, we decided to keep the Theme – “Spring”, or the “Spring of Entrepreneurship”, more holistically!

We believe, the first major challenge that came towards our way in the planning stage was in the form of event crafting and flow mapping! We knew, that events of last year needed a major revamp, if we were to create the Summit engaging and create value for the people involved! Last year Uttishtha, had events like Startup Exhibitions, Entrepreneurship Bootcamp and Expo, which could not be conducted online given the nature of the events. So, we needed to come up with events which could fill the space of these events and so we started brainstorming on the needs and wants of all the stakeholders and subsequently came up with new events such as Not Clubhouse – focused panel discussion sessions, firechat conversation – a dialogue between experts from completely different areas, co-founder dating – a virtual internship fair for students across the country, among others! The molding of events according to the theme of the summit and requirements of the stakeholder involved, was a fun-filled experience!

We believe, ‘Uttishtha’ is an epitome of collaborative effort and it sees contribution and cooperation from each and every member of the IIM Kashipur community. After the planning of events and identifying the work areas, it was very important for us to gather support from the community and form an enthusiastic team comprising people who were motivated enough to work on the event diligently. Given the lack of physical interaction with the people involved, in a virtual setting, it was a bit difficult to find the real potential of the applicants. But after due process, we were lucky enough to have found a team, where members were on their toes to make the best out of the opportunity provided. Given the virtual nature of the event, the division of the functional teams had to be revamped where traditional functional teams such as arrangement teams, People management team and promotions team among others had to be dropped off the chart and made way for new teams such as virtual platform team, Audience engagement team and social media team among others.

The Preparation Stage:

Uttishtha’21 being virtual posed a lot of challenges in the execution of ideas, but along with the challenges involved, it also provided us with a lot of opportunities with respect to the extended reach of the event.

Challenges |

The main challenge that the team had to endure while executing the plans was the possibility of miscommunication at times due to lack of physical interaction leading to redundancy of work. Also, too much follow up on the tasks slowed down the process of execution of plans. Although these were challenges which were natural to come in a virtual setting, the dedicated and mindful work of different functional teams ensured smooth operations throughout.

The teams working on onboarding industry experts, dignitaries, speakers, startup founders, school administrators and students had a large pool of people to target given that there was no need to look after travel and lodging arrangements of the guests and with the click of a button experts could join the sessions. This not only allowed us to reach out to people beyond boundaries, but also opened wide range of opportunities for the teams to reach out to people of high stature. One approach that stand out during the whole process was the use of quirky tweet threads on twitter to reach out to people. The choice of this unconventional way led to us having onboarded a lot of good speakers and industry experts.

One of the tasks, that took substantial amount of our time was choosing an ideal virtual platform for the Summit. It proved to be an exhaustive process, given we had certain criteria such as neat user interface (UI), easy accessibility and usability, and comprehensiveness with respect to functions among others in our mind.  We tried out nearly 12 virtual event platforms before narrowing down on “Airmeet” for conducting the Summit, which we believe served our purpose well.

The digital media team had a humongous task in hand, given they were responsible for creating all the buzz around the event and getting the word across boundaries. They came up with innovative ideas to promote the event to the best of their abilities. With the support from Media and Public Relations Committee (MPRC), the team was able to forge meaningful partnerships with various media partners such as Amar Ujala, Campus Beat among others which helped the team in multi-channel promotions of the event. The digital marketing team came up with numerous creatives and took advantage of all social media opportunities (paid as well as unpaid) to promote the Summit.

The Summit (5th March – 7th March):

Team Uttishtha Meet! Date (4 March, 2021), Time: 10:00 PM! Each and every member from the entire team was there. We all had our cameras switched on! We all were from different functional teams, we all had completely different tasks assigned, but one thing common in all of us was the satisfaction we had with the level of preparedness for the summit that was going to commence next day morning. We all were pumped up and were fully motivated to make the summit a memorable one for everyone and enjoy the three-day summit to the best of our abilities.

Finally, the Spring of Entrepreneurship was here! The first day started off as a warm breeze with esteemed speakers showering their wisdom on the attendees. The first day saw the presence of dignitaries like Mr. Arun Pandey (Chairman and MD, Rhiti Sports), Subhadeep Sanyal (managing partner, Omnivore) among others. We expected that getting the speakers and attendees accustomed to a fairly new platform like ‘Airmeet’ and ensuring the smooth internet connectivity throughout the sessions were something which might play spoilsport during the events, but we are proud of our Techno-savvy team which kept technical issues at bay throughout the Summit.  

The Second and third day were going to be crucial days of the event given we had events lined up in those two days which overlapped too, the risk we had to take because of the limited time we had and plethora of events planned out! We had Clear Harvey workshop for school students, Udaan – a national level B-Plan competition, speaker sessions, panel discussions with school administrators planned out, which led to many of them overlapping. But unconsciously, the bond in the entire team and the culture passed on by our seniors helped us sail through roadblocks smoothly and conduct the events in a synchronous manner. It was great to see people taking ownership for their responsibilities and coming forward to take additional responsibilities! Last minute cancellations of few of the experts was something we always had in our mind, and we are happy that we had backups and plans to deal with those situations!

Overall, we can say that Uttishtha’21 was a roller coaster ride for each and every member of the team. Each turn had some challenge for us and we are proud and happy that we had our experienced seniors (our partners, supporters and mentors), who were not only there to show us the path but were there to handhold us through the trouble times. The support from the entire IIM Kashipur community helped us in making the event a national success!

Uttishtha’21 is indeed an epitome of collaborative effort!

Journey in IIM Kashipur

“Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.John F. Kennedy 

I came across this quote by Kennedy as a part of a case study in our management curriculum. At that point in time, this quote did not mean as much as it does now, as I retrospect on what has been the most crucial learning curve in my life. 

Readers of this article would associate with terms like ‘rigor‘, ‘job opportunities‘, and ‘return on investment‘ with an MBA degree. While all these terms are equally important, there is so much more propagated here in the Red-brick campus of IIM Kashipur that leave an everlasting impact in honing your skills and abilities, all the while accelerating your growth as a manager worthy of the title of an MBA.

Speaking from experience, the culture here at IIM Kashipur is structured in a manner to promote hands-on learning through the functioning of various student bodies, which has helped many students like me to improve our soft skills, learn how to delegate and prioritize pending work, how to respect deadlines and most importantly, how to push the boundaries of what is considered impossible through sheer hard work, resilience, and dedication. 

Yes, at times things can get difficult, but here at IIM Kashipur, we believe that it is our network that defines our net worth. It is this thought process that has enabled me to meet different kinds of people, learn their ways of handling difficulties associated with different problem statements, and ultimately pull through, no matter the novelty of the challenge.  

My greatest learning at IIM Kashipur has been to not get overawed by what all needs to be done in a short period, that too at a breakneck speed. Yes, it involves a mountain of work with hurdles aplenty, but when you surmount the peak, the view is beautiful from atop. 

These invaluable additions to my skillset lead me to believe that my two years worth investment at IIM Kashipur will remain etched in my mind as a bunch of happy memories, replete with learnings, challenges, and victories galore. 

About the Author:
Sahil Sondhi is currently pursuing MBA from IIM Kashipur, with majors in Marketing and Analytics. He is a part of various student bodies like the OYM-The Marketing Club and Team Insite-Admissions Support Body. He is fond of playing the guitar, going for long drives and reading novels in his spare time. You can connect with him on LinkedIn

Online MBA: Still Worthy!

In hindsight, nobody imagined that every aspect of a common man’s life would be scrapped and dumped unheralded in a non-physical environment. From primary schools to infirmaries, in the course of 8 months, everything found its place in the virtual world. However, at that point in time what sounded most unconventional and onerous was the idea of an online MBA. Fast forward these months, with the incessant efforts from concerned authorities, online MBA has finally started to make sense, and rightly so!

MBA – a curriculum designed to expose one to the adversities of a bolder but real world, make them battle-hardened and ready to fit into a harsher environment. The challenge was to bring the whole community, from tech-savvy to technologically inert ones, on a single platform and justify the relevance of the price tag associated with the course. Moreover, the uncertainty over the available job opportunities in the foreseeable future has posed another hindrance to the current scenario.

Despite the downbeat challenges which questioned the sanctity and groundwork of the entire course, Business Schools across the globe, with the immediate and successful implementation of their respective plans for the ‘special batch’ of 2020-22 have set an example for the world to come. Not only the students but the administration staff as well as the faculties are indulged in learning new things that they never deemed necessary. But then, isn’t MBA all about excelling in areas out of your comfort zone? The million-dollar question being “is it worth it?”. Of course, it is!

The pandemic has reached a point where it is no longer about thriving rather surviving. Given the resources in hand, why not learn to the best of your capabilities on a hitherto atypical platform? If a grade one child can sing and dance in synchronization with his classmates on a video conference, an MBA aspirant, already aware of the perplexity of what he/she is signing up for can as well look at it as an opportunity to learn extra.

Indeed, there is less exposure and fieldwork as promised in an MBA curriculum, but we are fortunate enough to be dealing with the pandemic in a technologically superior era. It is high time we strive to make the best out of it. We are already running short of resources; however, we have enough time to make up for it.

The first batch of Online MBA will have stories to tell, screen time and hours to count, e-books to read, virtual meetings to conduct, friendships to make on a not so effortless platform. The day when it will transition from the unconventional to the conventional when everything will finally come together, that day it will all seem worth it. So, go ahead! Have the best of both worlds.

About the Author:
Nancy Raj
, a BA honors in Statistics by qualification, is currently pursuing an MBA from IIM Kashipur. She is a part of various student bodies like the cultural committee and Admissions support body. She is fond of reading, writing and travelling. You can connect with her on LinkedIn

Doing MBA – The New-Normal Way

 “Life is either a daring adventure or nothing. To keep our faces toward change and behave like free spirits in the presence of fate is strength undefeatable” – Helen Keller.

The crisis precipitated by COVID-19 has pushed educational institutions to move all physical classes online to ensure that there is little or no disruption in the learning process in this “new normal”.

Rather than working round the clock in our gorgeous campus (ahh IIM Kashipur, you beauty), we are stuck at home, sitting suited up in front of our laptops and attending academic sessions and guest lectures.

While I was preparing for CAT, I never thought that I would be doing an MBA from home. It was a bittersweet day when I got my admission letter because even though I had managed to clear the rigorous admission process, I realized that I would have to spend the first few months of my MBA life, working remotely from home.

 Who would have thought their induction to the “IIM in the North” would happen from their homes.

I still remember my first day at IIM Kashipur, where three hundred and forty students sat in front of their device screens, with backgrounds green with envy! It felt like winning a lottery with no prize money.

But the circle of life continues, and I knew it was not worth giving up on this beautiful journey, not even for the pandemic!

What appeared to be impossible became possible. IIM Kashipur planned a schedule so well keeping in mind various factors like strain on one’s health due to increased screen time, availability of the Internet, etc. which led to a smooth transition. Soon Zoom sessions replaced classroom learnings and options like polling, chat, and breakout rooms have successfully managed to keep classes interactive without making them chaotic. Raising hands has a new synonym, and appreciating peers takes the form of digital applause. “Am I audible?”, “Am I visible?” is the new introduction phrase for a presentation.

The level of FOMO (A popular B -School jargon that implies Fear of Missing Out) these days has reached another level, that makes us all check our phones and WhatsApp messages very frequently and consequently makes us stick to our laptops and phones. One nap and there are hundreds of messages regarding assignments, case competitions, and corporate presentations.

It gives me chills when I think that this all started just eight months back, and we are already done with the third semester as of now. But all these small little shifts made us realize one very important facet which we learn in MBA-Crisis Management.

Seniors/Student Body members became our rescuers. From giving us stories of Agnitraya (Our Annual Fest), classroom anecdotes to the banter at the night canteen, each new adventure invoked feelings of a better tomorrow and made us more excited for what awaits us on campus.

In a virtual learning mode, there are numerous distractions but one thing which we ought to remember is why we are doing all this, why we are spending our valuable time and resources in getting this degree and we need to make them count. This can be only achieved by advanced preparation of pre-reads, active listening, and involvement through sharing of perspectives and experiences as well as by asking questions.

Remember the end goal each day and this Online learning will no longer be a barrier.

About the Author:
Sakshi Poddar a Computer Science Engineer by qualification is now pursuing MBA(Analytics from IIM Kashipur. She is a part of various student bodies like the Media and Public Relations Committee and Admission Support Body. She is an IT professional with 2 years of experience in Hewlett Packard Enterprise. She loves traveling and dancing. You can connect with her on LinkedIn

Stand for yourself! | Choose to Challenge

On this occasion of International Women’s Day, we need to look back at what we have accomplished for the better status of women in society and what more needs to be done. The status of women be it in the economic, social, or political sphere, needs to be analyzed and needs to make sure that gender is not a factor anymore.

We have several government support programs, social media campaigns, and women activism movements, but a lot remain to claim significant improvements in this regard. The hidden issues which are still behind closed doors can be looked at only when the people who suffer get a voice of their own, that is, women.

If we have a peek in the economic sphere, women contribute mostly in unpaid labor, which includes taking care of the family, bearing children, taking care of the house. Only 29% of management roles are occupied by women as of 2020, which is a direct impact of the glass ceiling effect, which does not let women grow above a certain level in corporate offices. The burden of managing workload along with family responsibilities is impacting the efficiency of women. Women form the major chunk of the impoverished population, due to the patriarchal setup of the society- no hereditary rights (termed as “Hissa maangne waali”), no decision-making rights, and not even a right on how many children they have. These common but strong reasons have a strong impact, and if this needs to change, women need to stand up for these rights – method can be spreading awareness, reducing fear from what society will think, and if need be, a legal course as well.

Talking about the social angle, the status is not much different. The number of laws in India against female foeticide and infanticide is a testament to the views of people for the girl child. Despite a girl child being twice as strong as a male child at the time of birth, we face a low female-to-male ratio. Girls need to go out of their way to have a quality education despite several upliftment programs by the government, this can be attributed to the mindset of parents. Social customs have always held women as inferior, and our histories are marred with such tragic beliefs. For curing this we need a complete reset from the past belief of considering women as a “Bojh” to “Dharohar”. Women should focus on building on themselves and need to challenge the notions to change them.

 Lastly, but most importantly, we need to look at leadership. Time and again women have proved their leadership skills, but still, we see minimal participation from women in these roles. Despite the one-third reservation of women in local bodies, we have a patriarchal rule in the form of “Pradhanpati”. World politics has only 24% of representation from women leaders.

The above views show the sad reality of the status of women, which can be twisted only if women around the world are made aware of their rights, and it’s time women stand for themselves as no one understands the sufferings of women more than themselves. The quote from Rosalyn Sussman fits well, “We live in a world where a significant fraction of people, including women, believe that a woman belongs and wants to belong exclusively in the home.”

Kamya (MBA BAtch 2020-22)