Why Women Are the X-Factor in the New Working Environment

New ways of working and leading are desired in today’s business environment.  In order to succeed in that system, organizations will need two fundamental sets of skills. The first being digital skills for which many organizations are actively hiring software developers, data scientists and analysts, experienced designers, and people with critical digital skills. The second skill set, however—is just as important: human-centred skills in areas such as communication, collaboration, motivation, emotional intelligence, creativity, and imagination.

The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, its economic disruption and uncertainty, has only underscored the need for these skills. Over the next decade, these leadership skills will become must-haves as traditional, top-down approaches decline in the face of fast, highly collaborative, agile organizations. Nonetheless, today’s leaders will have to navigate uncertainty and comprehend the needs and challenges of various stakeholders in the ever-changing scenarios. Leaders must be empathetic and able to encourage others, inspire teams, develop relationships, and learn with humility, in a business world with increasingly differentiated, multi-functional teams that operate independently.

A NEW LEADERSHIP MODEL

While algorithms can perform standardised processes and make straightforward decisions much faster, cheaper, and more accurately than humans, other skills – which only humans can leverage, such as empathy, imagination, and judgment—are essential for complex problem-solving.

That’s why, in today’s agile organisations, leaders don’t just issue orders based on their own expertise or experience instead, they identify a problem and then support autonomous teams that do the actual work of solving that problem. Such leadership necessitates a level of vulnerability, such as someone who encourages and supports people who have better knowledge about a given subject than their superiors and are more likely to find a solution. 

Then, the question arises – How can women leaders contribute to this change? Something that many people already know – women tend to be highly empathetic, with strong emotional intelligence, active listeners who solicit ideas, collaborate, share credit, and change course when necessary. It has also been observed that when there are more women on a team, the collective intelligence of the groups tend to increase. Moreover, gender-balanced teams are how diverse leadership teams boost innovation than their competitors, and perform better. While empathy and relationship-building skills appear to be uncommon among leadership candidates, most organisations will find them in their own untapped pools of women employees and managers.

GROWING EVIDENCE OF WOMEN’S ABILITY TO LEAD IN THE NEW WAYS

Empirical evidence suggests that many of the essential leadership qualities are more likely to be displayed by women.  For example, a recent study published in Harvard Business Review found that women in leadership roles were ranked higher than men in a variety of key competencies, such as encouraging and motivating others, building partnerships, cooperation, and teamwork.

When looking at more granular skills, researchers from a German university discovered that women, in general, can accurately decipher emotions from people’s faces. Another research discovered that women are better at reading body language than men. According to a third study, men detect subtle signs of emotion like depression just around 40% of the time, while women can notice them 90% of the time. Furthermore, a study published in the journal Science found that having more women on a team improved the collective knowledge of the groups. Rather than attempting to dominate a conversation or a task, women are more likely to consider others, elicit feedback, listen actively, and take turns contributing. As a result, women-centric organizations have become more collaborative and better able to tap into the potential.

For organizations that understand the need to work and lead in new ways, and the imperative of diversity, the message is clear: workplaces need to identify people with these skills and put them in leadership roles. That was true even before COVID-19, but the pandemic has emphasised the relevance of empathetic, collaborative leadership. Companies that wish to reap the benefits of these leadership skills must increase their efforts to recruit, retain, and encourage women.

About the Author:

Payal Singh, a Production Engineer by qualification is currently pursuing MBA (Analytics) from IIM Kashipur.  She is a part of  Team Insite- Admission Support Body at the prestigious institution. You can connect with her on Linkedin.

Management from a Homemaker’s Lens

The word Management as defined in the dictionary means the process of dealing and coordinating with people. Management is a never-ending loop that begins when one gets up in the morning and ends when one sets the alarm for the next day and goes to sleep.

 Management is always conceptualized as a fancy degree from a Business school and jargons like Presentations, Entrepreneurship, SWOT, ROI, etc. Management is inevitably present and significant in all these fields, but what we often forget is that management is applicable in all walks of life. It covers all facets of our lives. We ignore this fact because we have been so used to doing these roles that we have forgotten about the management nature. Even a trip to Goa with friends or relatives requires proper planning so to effectively manage one’s schedule for an enriching experience.

 If we deep dive into our daily life schedule, I see my mother implementing all my MBA lessons in some way and the best part is though those decisions or acts of her do not bring any life-changing decisions but are pivotal for the smooth functioning of the house.

 The duties of a homemaker are frequently looked down upon, but as we look closely, we can see that becoming a homemaker demands immense management skills. One of the most difficult examples of management is managing an entire family, taking care of everyone’s special needs, settling petty conflicts among children, maintaining the bonds intact, ensuring food is prepared on time. All this might sound so simple when we compare it to the life of an MBA graduate but it is equally challenging and complex.

 If we draw an analogy between the life of a manager and a homemaker, it is quite indistinguishable. The only difference is the nature of the work they both execute. Just like in an organization, A manager is the one responsible for streamlining the tasks, planning things ahead of time so that the needs of the clients are fulfilled on time, and addressing the grievances of its employees. In the same fashion, Homemakers must plan for the whole family, predict future challenges, multitask and make the most use of their resources, and be armed with plans for any last-minute hiccups.

 Let us take a few examples where we see homemakers implementing various concepts of MBA.

 Before buying any vegetable, she does a SWOT analysis for it and checks for if it is the best available product in the market.

She keeps a close record of all house expenses and makes sure every expense is recorded and gets tallied with the money she has in hand. In some or the other way, she exhibits great accounting skills.

She doesn’t have a degree but yes she is a perfect manager and a successful leader.

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

Management is an Art!

There are many B-Schools to provide you with the Knowledge of Management but is that enough? Is knowing it all enough? I believe it’s not. To be a successful manager you need to possess the art of applying the right knowledge (the craft), at the right time (the vision) and most essentially, delivering efficiently to the right people (the communication). Books and professor’s knowledge can tell you what different tools and frameworks you can use but which to apply where needs an understanding so deep it will be a tragedy to not call it an art.

A good manager must also have imagination and the audacity to redesign their organisations or the way they work, just as an artist needs vision, and a strong commitment to realise them.

One may argue about the new and improving scientific methods being taught to and applied by the up-and-coming managers for better decision making, or about those skills to derive unexpected success by making probable failure surrender to competence and nerve. But Management has always been more than that. Not all great students have been great managers, and not all great managers have started strong. It takes more than just the technical skills and intuition to be a good manager.

To be a good business manager, one needs to perfect their skills in dealing with people and express themselves verbally, just as an artist needs to master his craft. 

Moreover, just like the art has no right or wrong similarly the managerial decisions can’t be labelled correct or incorrect. In fact, in management failures can lead to new opportunities. There is no perfect formula for success.

Therefore, I strongly believe that Management is an Art and the artist needs to keep on practicing the art to achieve the epitome of success in the career.

About the Author:
Dr. Ankita Gabhane, Dentist is pursuing MBA from IIM Kashipur. She is an active member of different student bodies like the Cultural Committee and Admissions support body. You can connect with her on LinkedIn.

Narrowing the gender gap and inculcating an inclusive environment at IIM Kashipur

While the gender gap and career development opportunities continue to provide barriers for women around the world, business schools are taking measures to ensure that women are more motivated than ever before and given the resources required to ensure they reach the top of their chosen profession. As a female student, I take immense pride to be part of an institution that has made constant efforts since its inception to enhance gender diversity and have left no stone unturned when it comes to what the MBA has to offer. 

Being a part of this prestigious institution, I have realised that the learnings as well as achievements are not restricted to be just classroom specific. All my female batchmates have shown active and equal participation on and off-campus, be it representing the institution in various B-schools & Corporate Competitions and emerging as the National Finalists and National Winners or running the campus along with their male counterparts through several clubs and committees while heading a few. 

It is the ripple effect of the combined efforts of all the women who joined IIM Kashipur and paved the path for equivalence, that the batch of 2020-22 witnessed a growth rate of 186 per cent in the number of female students joining the institution, compared to the previous batch. The current batch has a healthy representation of female students from 20 states and union territories across the country. To promote gender diversity, the institute has continued its initiative of sanctioning 15 supernumerary seats for women.

While we are on the subject of gender diversity, it is of utmost importance to realise and strike a healthy balance between the genders and promote growth, inclusivity and responsible management to ensure we give back to the society, future leaders who can inspire and set examples for the next generation of gender-inclusive leadership.

The vision set for students, is towards attempting for gender hypervisibility to be diminished and eventually disappear. At IIM Kashipur, we have come together in an attempt to develop leaders irrespective of the gender they belong to, who are not only mindful of the differences but also involve all categories of social distinction, so that they become leaders who form a workplace that is inclusive and equitable for all. 

About the Author:
Payal Singh, a Production Engineer by qualification is currently pursuing MBA (Analytics) from IIM Kashipur.  She is a part of  Team Insite- Admission Support Body of IIM Kashipur. You can connect with her on Linkedin.

Prominent platform for Entrepreneurship at IIM Kashipur

 “All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them.” – Walt Disney

As per the above saying, anyone can become an entrepreneur who understands that entrepreneurship is a very long and arduous ordeal. MBA is also considered a gateway for achieving the entrepreneur dream. Every year, thousands of students take the CAT exam in the hopes of getting into a prestigious business school and taking the most sought-after course, the MBA. These students strive hard to gain admission to a prestigious institute such as IIM, with the hope of a better future and the drive to excel. Out of thousands of applicants, only a few hundred are admitted into an IIM. Some students hope to obtain a high-paying job after enrolling in an IIM, while others seek managerial training and an environment that will allow them to pursue their dream of becoming an entrepreneur. For those who want to start their own business and embark on an entrepreneurial adventure, IIM Kashipur is the place to be.

Among all the newer IIMs, IIM Kashipur is emerging as a hub for entrepreneurial growth. The most important aspect for becoming an entrepreneur is the requirement of a unique and novel idea that demands the necessity for innovative thinking. Understanding this requirement IIM Kashipur serves as a spoke in the DIC (Design Innovation Center) community which is involved in building the thought of entrepreneurship in the young inquisitive minds. Help-Himalayan education learning program, Hum- Himalayan upliftment movement, Hill- Himalayan innovation of land to the laboratory are the innovative outreach programs introduced to enhance the culture of innovation, design thinking, and creative problem solving among the community by disseminating the knowledge in every sphere of the society.

Further, IIM Kashipur is assisting future entrepreneurs by adopting an academic program to assist future start-ups, as well as launching projects such FIED by the Entrepreneurial cell of IIM Kashipur. The Foundation for Innovation and Entrepreneurship Development (FIED) is a project aimed at developing and improving India’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. FIED is expected to incubate India’s most promising start-ups in the areas of tourism and hospitality, agriculture, art and craft, and education with the help of the Ministry of Agriculture, the Department of Science and Technology, the Government of Uttarakhand, and other supporting partners. FIED operates with the intention of being the leading incubator by 2025, with the goal of establishing India as a hotspot for entrepreneurship research, growth, and training, as well as assisting start-ups with funding and comprehensive mentoring.

FIED has successfully incubated 150+ ventures, has engaged 500+ entrepreneurs, raised 50 crores of funding, and has established a network of 100+ investors setting a stage for the budding entrepreneurs to learn and establish their dreams. It has also started two new ventures RKVY – RAFTAAR, and Drishti to promote the start-up culture in the young minds of the student fraternity. With the immense success of the very first program it undertook, RKVY RAFTAAR, FIED had a very successful start-up year. More than 350 applicants from across the country applied for the program, of which only 37 start-ups were chosen at the IIM Kashipur Campus for the two-month training program. Ultimately, 22 start-ups, up to 25 lakhs, obtained final funding from the Ministry of Agriculture. 

  • RKVY – RAFTAAR: RKVY Raftaar – There are two programs offered to start-ups under RKVY Raftaar – Sahas and Saksham, which provide an opportunity to receive funding, mentoring & help for the launch and support of commercial products. 
  • SAHAS: Sahas is mainly an Agripreneurship orientation program for startups at the pre-seed stage. The start-ups which are in the ideation stage and have their focus areas concentrated in increasing the efficiency of agriculture can apply to this program. The start-ups have the opportunity to receive 5 lakhs grant-in-aid after the successful completion of this program. The trainees who are selected for this program receive a stipend of Rs 10,000 for a period of two months. The focus areas of this program include – Sustainable inputs, Animal husbandry, Innovative food technology, Supply chain technology, Smart agriculture, Agri Fintech, Agri Biotech, Soil, water & weather technology, Farm mechanization, post-harvest technology, Fisheries, Farm fresh retail, Urban/vertical farming, ICT/IOT in agriculture. 
  • SAKSHAM: Saksham is mainly an Agripreneurship incubation program for start-ups at the seed stage. The start-ups with at least a minimum viable product/ prototype based on innovative solutions in Agri and allied sectors. The start-ups have the opportunity to receive grant-in-aid up to Rs 25 lakh after the successful completion of the program. The start-ups would also receive additional help and mentoring for the successful commercial launch of the program. The program offerings and focus areas of the program are the same as that of Sahas initiative. 
  • DRISHTI: Drishti is a start-up and incubator program by FIED for start-ups working in Edutech, Foodtech, e-commerce, and food safety. The initiative is mainly to mentor and supports the start-ups in the successful launch of the commercial products. The start-ups would also get an opportunity to connect with various investors and partners where they would be guided by industry experts on various growth strategies. The start-ups can avail of seed funding as well as an IIM certificate after successful completion of the program. 

FIED of IIM Kashipur not only imparts the zest to achieve and follow up their dreams of becoming an entrepreneur in the minds of students but also helps the entire community to nurture and foster the start-up culture. With the DIC and FIED, IIM Kashipur never fails to astound us with its steps and ventures in sculpting an entrepreneur to serve the future community.

About the author:

Deshmaa R T who is a Biotechnology engineer by qualification is currently pursuing MBA (Analytics) from IIM Kashipur. She is a part of various student bodies like Media and Public relations committee, Quest – The Quiz club and Team Insite – Admissions Support Body. You can connect with her on LinkedIn.

MBA: From a fresher’s viewpoint

Much bigger than merely a two-year course: MBA is an amalgamation of a plethora of domains, integrated so astutely that each one of them finds a core point of strength that others can gain from. This is exactly what it means when It is said that MBA caters for an overall holistic development of the students. However, the popular opinion states that the journey is slightly more rugged for the freshers. They are the lot without any prior exposure to a corporate world. Unaware of the adversities and the pre-requisites for the same, they step into this course in reticence. Self- consciousness, shyness and insecurity are some of the feelings that gush through their veins at the beginning, but not for long.

The first step in their holistic growth comes from the diverse pool of peers. During the first few weeks of their MBA journey, they meet a lot of people; some sharing the common apprehension while others who have already paced their journey beyond that. Through healthy and continuous interactions, this is where they learn the know-hows of a corporate life and how it changes and molds one’s personality. 

After a brief glimpse into the kind of life awaiting them, the next step of development comes in the classroom itself. Through experiential learning and case-based approaches that follow, students, irrespective of their academic backgrounds and experiences are invited to speak and encouraged to bring forth their ideas on to the table. None of the opinions are refuted in the classroom. The freshers are said to bring in much more creative ideas as compared to others, reason being their ability to not restrict their thinking in a particular domain. They allow themselves to fly freely. They are the optimistic lot and play the role of risk takers in group tasks and convince their team regarding the feasibility of the strategies undertaken.

The final step, which brings everybody on board and at par with each other on this journey, regardless of their prior corporate exposure, is their commitment to various student bodies. Student bodies are an integral part of an MBA curriculum. They give a glimpse into various aspects of work life that lies ahead. Adhering to the timelines, working in a team, taking leads frequently, dealing with conflicts etc. are the lessons drawn from it. It knows not to see someone from prejudiced eyes. This is the point where all the inhibitions of a fresher shatter and he/she finally starts to believe in being worthy of the course and standing tall with their peers, if not above then at least at par. 

So, it does not matter if you have years of work experience, or you are fresh out of college. An MBA curriculum needs you as much as you need it.

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

Explore the inevitable

Do you think MBA in an IIM is all about securing good grades and a 6 figure placement offer? Obviously, but not exhaustively

There are a plethora of opportunities and the exposure that a student gets here is quite enormous. What if I say, you are the ones pulling up sleeves and drafting up opportunities in terms of Bschool Competitions, Webinars with Corporate giants, Tedx Workshops, Start-up Fests, not a normal scenario in your high school and undergraduate education, but in a student-run campus like IIM Kashipur, you are the frontline strategist planning and executing the initiatives from alpha to omega. 

Name your interest, and we have a club for it. Well, most of us have this one thing that seems to be sweaty and daunting, the art of Public Speaking. You wouldn’t be surprised if I tell you that we have a very active and alive Toastmasters Club that helps you to break the shell that you have been building since childhood. Six months into the club, you will see the difference for yourself. Have you noticed a trend in recent years? I mean, it’s so evident in all the social media sites that the students of IIM Kashipur outperformed and bagged prizes in most of the corporate case study and other major competitions to quite an extent that it called for an organized club, The Corpus. The team of active participants majorly focuses on helping the students to compete and to provide an insight into the competition because the winners know the best!

Hola Amigo ! Bienvenue à la Maison 

Don’t be confused, it’s just a pinch of Spanish and a dollop of French that I have learned in a workshop and I probably want to show off a bit. During your stay at IIM Kashipur, you will come across a unique club and committee that promotes foreign languages and culture on the campus. From celebrating Halloween, language workshops to exchange programs, they inculcate the best practices to bridge the cultural gap and they train us to survive in any corner of the world. 

Take a small peek into the past, growing up, some of us wanted to design our own clothes, some of us even played with the camera toys and posed as serious photographers, some of us even posed a media person. To keep the child in you alive, we have Kaptured to capture the best moments at the campus, the design cell that makes us take pride in an IIM Tag with hoodies and T-Shirts and the MPRC, the media front that glorifies our college to the external world. All these are student-run clubs and committees, and they get exposed to the real corporate world even before stepping out of the campus. 

Every student in their lifetime at least once must have had this entrepreneurial instinct in them, whether the idea is good or bad, you would have dreamt to begin your own startup. To add fuel to your entrepreneurial instinct, we have Ecell with collaboration with FIED conducts workshops and I must mention their flagship event “Uttishtha”, which instills and brings out the hidden entrepreneurs to light. All these activities are done by the cell members, one can only imagine such huge and overwhelming responsibility and the impact that they can induce. 

The color green is associated with prosperity and the lush greenery scenes around the campus are the fruits to the effort of our ecology club, at one point you sip your coffee enjoying the scenic beauty, and indulge in few cheat moments while being still in the hustle and bustle environment. The students of the IIM Kashipur are compassionate and kind to the community surrounding them, through the Parivartan club, they give back to the community in multi-folds. 

A student studying at IIM Kashipur gets a chance to witness his managerial instincts in every possible way, from maintaining accounts, promoting events, and managing people, he puts the theoretical knowledge into practice. Managing clubs and committees is not a piece of cake, the outside exuberance is the result of every student’s contribution to the betterment of the fraternity. Every year the students pass the baton of their responsibility to the juniors to carry forward the legacy left behind, two years of journey embarks a special place in the hearts of every student at IIM Kashipur, it’s not just an IIM, it’s THE ONE TRUE IIM IN THE NORTH

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 Keyboard, going for long drives, cycling and listening to podcasts in her spare time. You can connect with her on LinkedIn

An Internship Experience at Agri-Tech Startup and how it converted to a PPO

PPOs are a major aspect for B-School students in securing a qualified and exclusive offer from companies that they wish to work for in the future. The idea to convert your Summer Internship into a full-fledged Placement Offer is not easy but not impossible too. This article provides a better glimpse of what one needs to keep in mind while looking to secure a PPO.

Agrigator, which is a seed-funded Agri-Tech Startup, is involved in Supply Chain and Logistics stream for providing a B2B Marketplace between the Producers and the Buyers. It was duly catering to HORECA outlets (Hotels, Restaurants, etc.) and FPIs by transporting food grains directly from Farmers and related sources, leading to a reduction in transaction costs, time, efforts, and simplifying the operations of such an unorganized system.

Keeping yourself in such a position, there are a few things that you can follow to slowly chart yourself and the learnings you receive in due course. Firstly, it is important to completely familiarize yourself with the ins and outs of the concerned organization and the sector that it functions in. Usual ways include following Annual Reports, Sector-Specific News from verified sources, Online Government Resources and Databases, and interaction with Industry Experts and the employees of the organization themselves. This will build up a robust base for you to understand your line of work for your project

Next, you must continue to interact with your assigned mentor or individuals who work in the same fields/organization to also understand the core competency, relative competition, domain-specific business strategies, and business models. This will ensure you are now settled enough to understand the assigned problem statement for the project and the outcomes/metrics that will measure your performance for the same.

Post this, it is time to directly jump into your project and use your acquired knowledge and resources to design a flowchart of your activities to arrive at a solution. This will involve a preliminary plan to proceed, important parameters to focus upon, following up on previously devised industrial practices, framework analysis, and carefully constructed notes on emerging trends and developments in the industrial market.

To make things easier, communicate with various stakeholders and experts that provide a concise view on the strategic feasibility, implementation, and impacts that a step of approach creates to resolve different issues. Gradually, clarity evolves to choose the optimal way to proceed that provides or maximizes the utility of the defined outcome. Typical meetings or regular brainstorming of ideas can greatly reduce doubts and little hiccups that you encounter on the way. Therefore, don’t rush to obtaining a solution without confirmation and thorough research of facts to avoid last-minute crisis. These little things go a long way to ensure that your final presentation is well received by the majority of stakeholders that reflects the ways and values the company aligns itself to.

Last but not the least, be prepared with anticipated questions and doubts that you are likely to face regarding the work you have done, outcomes achieved and the notes on the Final Presentation you will present to the concerned officials. It is no wonder that your Presentation skills should be excellent with the concise textual matter but supporting visual reports and facts that enforce your views and looks to the proposed solutions concerning various scenarios.
Keep a cool mind and be confident. The rest is on your meticulous way to manage your time and efforts to the fullest.

Getting a PPO depends not only on how well you did, but how well you reflect your skills and knowledge to be part of the company!

About the Author:

Som Samantray, a Chemical Engineer by qualification has pursued MBA (Marketing and Data Analytics) from IIM Kashipur. He has been part of various student bodies like the Econs-Economics Club and TEDxIIMKashipur. He is a fresher and is an ardent reader of books and novels and a blogger. You can connect with him on LinkedIn.

How to ace Summer Internships from the lens of an ICICI PPO holder

The batch of 2020-22 is looking forward to their internships amid all the uncertainties around. Hopefully, this little helping hand from my experience and learnings of my internship with ICICI Bank Ltd. will help you plan your internship better, especially if you are looking to secure a PPO:

1. Understand your deliverables: Be clear with the deliverables and expectations of your project. It is better to know your focus areas in the deliverables.

2. Schedule to finish your SIP deliverables in 6 weeks: If you are on two months SIP, keep the last two weeks for any unforeseen issues, prepare your presentation, practice it and present it to your mentor before your final presentation.

3. Listen to as many employees as possible: You might be new to an industry and organization. It is tough without the experience of people inside to comprehensively complete your deliverables. Hence, listen to as many associated departments and employees as to widen your understanding. 

4. Let your guide keep track: Most of the time, your mentors might also be busy with their routine work. You must update your day-to-day work to them. You can share a tracker sheet where you can update your work regularly. Also, it is good practice to share your weekly reports and presentation.

5. Maintain your relations: While you connect to many employees in the organization, your approach, behavior, and people management are widely noticed and sometimes regarded above your work. Hence, maintain good relations with people around, especially with your guide and manager.

6. Keep your references handy: During your story creation, back your thought process with your research reference. It adds credibility to your ideas, highlights your understanding, and shows your work.

7. Focus on Story Line: During your final presentation, focus on your story and inferences along with relevant data. Try not to pack your presentation slides with data. Also, mention your challenges and learnings from your internship towards the end of your presentation.

With these tips, I wish good luck with your SIP to the whole of the bright minds of batch 20-22. Hope to see you all on the other side with a PPO.

About the Author:

Vineeth Rao Sudhati is a student of MBA, batch of 2019 -21 from IIM Kashipur with majors in Operations and Marketing. He is a part of various student bodies like the Alumni Relations Committee and Prep Cell. You can connect with him on LinkedIn.

Acing the Cases – From the Horse’s Mouth

Case competitions are an integral part of B School life- not only because you get a kind of exposure but also the enormous amount of learning involved with it. Undoubtedly, academics form the basic ingredient of B School but also fine-tune yourself by participating in several International, National & Corporate Competitions. In one such international competition I participated (Zurich Enterprise Challenge), we did not manage to get into the Semi finale stage, but the problem statement was what attracted us the most. The statement demanded the vision for businesses & multinational enterprises post-Covid world.

Amidst the cramped schedule of a B School life, you would not get the time to do all the cases and do proper justice to them. So, picking and choosing the cases becomes a key aspect. “Pick a case and absolutely slaughter it” – should be the mantra. This indeed goes a long way, as a proper approach to a case requires a lot of research and groundwork & it effectively drains out oneself. Picking up simultaneous case competitions will not be a smart choice as the effort gets divided. There’s no fixed one-size-fits-all for the competitions. The main aim of competition varies on a case-to-case basis – sometimes it’s the PPO/PPI/ personal brand building, sometimes it’s the brand and sometimes it’s just the learning one can get by participating in it.

During my 2 years in IIM Kashipur, one thing I effectively learned is “perseverance holds the key to success.” In the first year, I did not participate much effectively in competitions except the only one in which our team won the title of National Winners in IIM Trichy. I felt that with the second year in the fold, it was wise to participate in the competitions that were restricted only to the first years. 

In the second year, it becomes clearer as the domain gets selective – for example, in the second year, I mostly participated in Marketing, Consulting, and Strategy competitions. Moreover, you learn a lot from your mistakes, in fact, the bitter pills you swallow shape up for the upcoming ones. In one such corporate competition organized by Infosys, a minor mistake from our end did cost our entry to the next round. So, these competitions, indeed serve as a replica, to what one might expect from the corporate world – “there are no free lunches incorporated.” One great aspect of participating in various case competitions is that you get to know in-depth about specific sectors you work in while preparing for the cases. The cases are handpicked live industry cases where the participants work towards developing a feasible and sustainable solution.

Lastly, one key aspect of nailing case competitions is having a core team that is well aware of their capabilities & weaknesses. There would be issues cropping up, arguments but the key is the light at the end of the road – a potentially feasible solution. A good team can indeed be a game-changer. Everybody must have set, defined roles within the team.

With this, I ended up with 2 National Winners, 2 Runners Up, 1 National Semi-finalist, and 3 National Finalists in my tally. Of course, you win some and lose some, but the key thing is “Never Stop, Never Settle.” The entire journey of participating in several competitions (National/ Corporate/ International) plays a pivotal role in shaping up one’s journey. For me, it was about going beyond the stereotypes, building and rebuilding myself. Always remember “What brought you here, won’t take you there.”

Each individual has a different story to tell, but selecting the right atmosphere is of utmost essential. I would like to thank IIM Kashipur and the stakeholders for putting up commendable effort and providing individuals with the right kind of atmosphere in which they can rebuild and transform themselves throughout their stay.

About the Author:
Rahul is an Electronics & Communication Engineer by qualification & completed his MBA from IIM Kashipur (19-21 batch). He has been recognized as the Top 100 Competitive Business Leaders’2021 by Dare2Compete and has been featured in Forbes India. He is an IT professional with 2 years of experience in Cognizant. In his past time, he likes solving puzzles & binging on OTT platforms. You can connect with him on LinkedIn.