Deadlines are sacrosanct

 ” Deadlines are Sacrosanct “The three magical words every Bschool graduate gets to hear very often. The phrase has been used many times by all, however, its importance, it seems, is yet to be known to many. The only sacrosanct rule at all IIMs is punctuality.

Good Management is only appreciated in its absence. So, while waiting for my food order in a queue made me realize how unaccustomed I have become to queues, waiting, and things not happening as they are supposed to. This further made me admire the beauty of time and how efficiently things happen in IIM Kashipur.

 I remember my first week of induction which was by far the busiest and most rewarding schedule as I was given a rehearsal for the life waiting ahead for me. I was reassured over and over that we will sail through it and no one has ever died of insomnia. For a moment 24 hours felt quite less seeing the ocean of things lined up -course work, assignments, enrolments, orientation sessions, alumni meet, student body meets, senior interactions, batch meets round the clock and then you have sacrosanct deadlines for them.

 If you want to know the value of one minute, ask the person who missed their deadline by a minute and has been awarded one grade lower than what they would have received if they had submitted the assignment on time.

 All this is done not to scare anyone nor does any faculty enjoy doing so, it is done to make us part of an erudite culture that values time above all commitments. As every management institute does, the IIM Kashipur framework serves as a paradigm of effective management. All tasks are done from a “better never than late” mentality, based on the central principle of punctuality. 

 The obligation of punctuality extends not only to students but also to both faculty and staff. No one is permitted to waste someone else’s time, resulting in a super-efficient system.When you have grown used to such a culture indoctrinated for the system to function smoothly, even a 15-minute line seems weird.

So my only tip is value and plan things ahead of time and keep an action plan ready for last moment hiccups. My go strategy for the same was to simply set all my clocks ahead by 15 minutes (and then forget about it).

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

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

Case Study Competitions – How to make the best of opportunities!

Hear out Shubham who is an Industrial Engineer by qualification. He has completed his MBA from IIM Kashipur (Batch 2019-21) and has been recognized as the Top Competitive Leader from the Institute featuring him in Forbes India.

“The price of victory is high but so are the rewards.”

Corporate competitions have been an integral and consistent part of my MBA journey. Especially in the 2nd year, when the entire classroom program was shifted to online mode, there was hardly any day when I wasn’t involved in brainstorming ideas for any competition. Hearing about being the Top D2C Champion from IIM Kashipur and my Institute being ranked 4th, particularly when I was finishing my MBA journey, was the best way I could have summed up the significance of all my efforts.

Participating and investing time in multiple corporate competitions is indeed a difficult decision, especially amidst the conventions of a B-School, where a student has various academic commitments, projects, case studies with sacrosanct deadlines. There have been times when we had overlapping deadlines-prioritizing became the key factor there. There have been times where my team had to discuss and devise strategies working remotely, or work on competitions during the end term examinations as well. However, the extent to which these competitions enhanced my managerial learning by providing a parallel exposure to real-time industry-wide business problems, and a platform to evaluate my approach to these problems, made me keep the spirit alive and kept me going at every point.

During this time, I explored various domains, ranging from proposing a new product line in Market research for Thoucentric Bottoms-Up to preparing a Business Development Plan for CarEasy Spark. While proposing Supply Chain strategy for Tier-2 cities in the Flipkart Wired helped me gain perspective of the logistics industry, building a healthcare ecosystem in Infosys Ingenious and Optum Stratethon provided the insights of the technological advancements of this sector. Participating in 3M-CII helped us build a tech enabled product with a social impact. AGS Horizon navigated us through the emerging domain of hyperlocal fintech. In addition to this, I also participated in multiple B-School level competitions and managed to win a few. With this, I ended up with 2 National Winners, 1 Runners Up, 3 National Finalist, and 5 National Semi-Finalists in my tally.

Some key aspects that MBA aspirants should keep in mind, though these are not exhaustive:

  1. In the initial year, experiment with building your team for the first few competitions until you get the right dynamics. Try to build a core team that will have zilch or constructive friction and no free-riders. Find members who have expertise, say it be market research, designing or technical domain knowledge. Motivate them. Teach them. Learn from them. And improve each other.
  2. Making the most of your network, connecting with industry professionals to gain relevant key insights is of paramount importance.
  3. The execution should be kept in mind so the idea should be minimalistic. Be thorough with your ground research and workflow. Try incorporating frameworks/models learnt in class.
  4. During the presentations you need to ensure that you cover all the important content in the stipulated time frame. Try to make it as crisp and concise as possible. Ideally you can follow the approach – Problem Statement, Research, Insights, Ideas, Feasibility, Financials and Timeline.

Consistency and meaningful participation in competitions can increase your MBA learning to a great extent. Instead of taking it as only participating, take these as learning curves. If you want to make the most of your MBA journey, competitions undoubtedly provide a platform for you to learn and unlearn. My suggestion to juniors will be to participate in maximum number of competitions, keep yourself updated about recent developments and innovations, and always keep the hunger alive.

About the Author:
Shubham is an Industrial Engineer by qualification. He has completed his MBA from IIM Kashipur (Batch 2019-21) and has been recognized as the Top Competitive Leader from the Institute featuring him in Forbes India. He is an IT professional with 2 years of experience in ZS Associates. In his past time, he likes sketching & playing video games. You can connect with him 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.

FPM Perspective-Qualitative reflections of a Quantitative Researcher

Being a civil engineer who pursued an MBA in Operations Management, followed by enrollment as an FPM student in the Operations Management area, I had always classified myself as a person who was more (or only) inclined towards quantitative research. I always recognized and was fascinated by the power of numbers.  

Then, in January 2018, We, a group of 15 research students, entered the qualitative research methods class. Some of us were excited about the qualitative aspect of research, and some were absolutely disinterested; I am ashamed to admit that I, then, belonged to the second category. I later realized that I had been keeping a blind eye towards the ‘dark’ aspect of numbers. I, in no way, wish to belittle the quantitative – orientation of research, but qualitative research is beautiful in its own way. The qualitative research articles, if well written, provide a vivid image of the phenomenon that leads the audience to discover deep meanings of human experiences.  

I now understand that a good researcher should learn about both paradigms. The qualitative and quantitative approaches have distinct and complementary strengths. Both come with a different set of challenges and require different skills to overcome those challenges. For example, as a qualitative researcher, I can always adopt a grounded perspective where I do not need to identify the dependent and independent, nor do I necessarily need to propose hypotheses. My primary responsibility as a  qualitative researcher is to capture individuals’ hidden meanings and explore the phenomena’  possibilities, but it is easier said than done. The experience is like deep-sea diving; we know we are looking for something, but we do not actually know what we are looking for.  

During this journey, I came to realize the beauty and power of text. Sometimes I can feel the ‘dryness’  associated with the numbers in quantitative articles because numbers in no way explain the human feelings that should have been captured. I now recognize and appreciate the mental and emotional strength of qualitative researchers because I believe that risks and concerns are more significant in qualitative research, mainly because of the researcher’s level of involvement with the research process and the participants.  

If I am asked to clarify my stand regarding which type of researcher I would classify myself, I will find myself in a great dilemma. I would instead argue that one should appreciate the different values which are drawn out of the two different paradigms. A researcher who has familiarized himself with both the frameworks may develop a more profound intellectual capability. Reflecting on my learnings over the past years, I can conclude that I have developed more patience, and my inclination towards sheer objectivity has reduced. I have indeed developed slight but noticeable acceptance towards subjectivity and abstraction. I have grown to realize that there will always be things that can never be measured or analyzed quantitatively.  

Today, almost three years later, my qualitative exposure surely helps me reflect on the quantitative work better. 

About the author:

Taab Ahmad Samad is currently a Ph.D. Student (Operations Management) from IIM Kashipur. He is currently working in the field of crowdsourced logistics. You can connect with him on LinkedIn.

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.