Category Archives: Campus Buzz

Get to know what is keeping Planet-I up!

In conversation with Mr. Parag Jain, Chief Marketing Officer, Jugnoo.


Aishwarya Saraswat: Hello Welcome to IIM Indore. We are happy to have you here with us.

Parag Jain: Thank You! As it happens, Indore is one of the biggest cities for Jugnoo in terms of daily transactions.

A: There are other competitors as well like Ola, Uber and Tuk Tuk. How does Jugnoo make sure that it keeps pace with the fierce competition?

P: Luckily as far as Indore is concerned, we are the pioneers. We launched before the others and are far ahead of them in terms of number of rides. There is a critical mass that needs to be reached in every city in terms of supply and demand and as long as you are able to do that, it becomes really difficult for another competitor to come and topple you. If people are confident that this brand can get me out of the jam because I have heard about it from a lot of people then they are sure to keep using this service.
There are two factors that we closely track, one is efficiency and the other is reliability. Efficiency for us is how many rides can a driver get while he is on duty. Drivers usually take 5-6 rides in a day and are free for the rest of the day. We are working towards increasing the efficiency from 30% to say 60% by giving the driver, say 10 extra rides translating into more savings for him. That way the customer is happy because he doesn’t feel cheated as they don’t have to haggle with the auto drivers like they had to do earlier. So we are working on the efficiency factor on the auto driver side and on the reliability factor on the customer side.

A: How do you zero in on the cities that Jugnoo targets?

P: Presently, we are present in 40 plus cities. We divide the markets into-Growth, mature and Seed cities. Indore happens to be a mature city which means our efficiency and reliability matrix is pretty good here. As far as choosing the cities is concerned it is driven by a lot of factors. Since inception, we have targeted tier-2 and tier-3 cities and have grown up from there. Tier-1 cities came as an afterthought because of the prevalent competition there.
We don’t have hundreds of millions of dollars like Uber and Ola so we don’t want to get caught in the cross fires and want to avoid them as far as possible.

A: How did Jugnoo come up with this idea of changing the way the Autorickshaws work in India?

P: I would say it happened more by accident. We realized that the Indian market isn’t cut out for foreign models like that of LIFT. While exploring the market, we saw this huge gap in the autorickshaw market. To put that in numbers, 3 crore auto rides happen every day in India which is 20 times the number of the taxi rides. 50 lakh auto rickshaws exist in the country. Inspite of this huge demand, the efficiency isn’t there. A typical auto rickshaw driver takes 6 rides a day and hardly saves anything after all the expenses. The idea was that if we can maybe double the number of rides he is doing so that the savings would not just double but increase exponentially because the basic expenses he incurs remain the same. So we started exploring this possibility and launched out of Chandigarh. The technology part kept evolving and as the demand continued to increase we expanded into other cities. Most of it was try often fail fast. At one point, we launched across 25 cities in a span of 3 months. Since the beginning we have stayed really lean. The analytics team has worked really hard since the very beginning in all the aspects, everything was based on the numbers, we kept seeing what was ticking and what was not and evolved in that process.

A: Well the journey till now surely sounds interesting! Moving forward, where do you want to see Jugnoo five years from now?

P: In terms of vision while we want to continue growing in the A to B space. At this time, we are doing 40,000 transactions every day which is not very significant so we are just too small and the journey has just begun and we want to grow in this auto hailing space. We have also realized that this is not the only thing that we are going to do, we have also forayed into hyper local delivery services using the same supply base and user base from Jugnoo by launching our new brand DODO. It has been running in three cities and Indore is up next. The auto rickshaw as an asset is the densest asset in the country which essentially means that if a request comes from a restaurant for delivery, the probability that our auto rickshaw is in the vicinity would be the highest. We feel that once we reach a certain kind of a scale with regard to these deliveries, we will be able to prove that auto rickshaws can be the most economical form doing A2B transport.

A: Before signing off, what message would you like to give to the budding entrepreneurs in India? What is it that drives you and what should they be doing to get it right as an entrepreneur?

P: Solve a real problem, nothing beats that! Don’t get carried away by the funding and try to run it like a business wherein you don’t go into the burn game wherein you are spending ten times more than what you are earning. So keep your pace slower.
The life of an entrepreneur is hard! Nine out of ten startups fail. Summer, the founder of Jugnoo might as well have done twenty different things before Jugnoo clicked. But yeah, if you are solving a real and are on it for a good period of time then be rest assured that you would be able to crack it.

Digital Marketing Insights from SOTC’s Tushar Gagawe

Tushar Gagawe, General Manager at SOTC Travel Services. He delivered an enlightening guest lecture on the topic – ‘Marketing in Different Sectors’. He discussed about various business models and also the importance of identifying customer needs and taking a targeted approach. Mr. Gagawe shared his success mantra with students, which is to ‘Iterate, Validate & Launch Again’. He concluded the lecture by sharing his learnings over the years with the students and urged the future marketers in the audience to ‘Own the customer’.

tushar gagawe

Apoorva: Digital Marketing is very quick in today’s scenario.Then why is it hard to break even in this area?

TG: Because its a deal driven channel; it is easy to enter and a lot of people are entering the market and a lot of people are funded. They are not discounting from the earned money, they are doing so from the funded money. So that becomes difficult to match with. Suppose you get 1 m and just to acquire one million of cash and just to acquire a customer, you will discount a lot of money.

Apoorva: So, although we drive sales through it we aren’t really making much headway?

TG: Yes, because you will only be burning money. therefore it’ll become difficult for a conventional player to get that kind of money into digital marketing. Because they will be investing their earned money. Whether it’s digital or not,ultimately you’ll have to meet the customers wishes.

Apoorva: My next question would be that since you mentioned that personalisation for each customer is necessary and conversely you also mentioned that only deep pocketed organisations can carry on such marketing strategies, is this a vicious circle?Is there no way for an organisation to come out of it?

TG: I’m saying that there is no formula. Atleast, not right now. I cannot say that we should stop offline and concentrate only on online marketing. We do not know if that is the right strategy. Hence, I keep reiterating that some companies have figured it out. Not all of them are hitting it in the dark. But most of the companies are still figuring in negatives even after figuring it out. So, they probably know where they want to go but it’s a long road.

Apoorva: Can you please elaborate on Customer Social Currency?

TG: By that I mean, everything the customer is bold enough to voice out. The current customer doesn’t shy away, he’s very selective and shy. The choices and moods at all.

Apoorva: Does that mean there is a decline in the unstated needs of the customer?

TG: It isn’t about that. When a customer is associating with a brand, it is very important for a brand to resonate with the customer’s social status. or social expression. Because cracking that will help us find out if a customer wants to associate with you or not. It depends on what you want to target.

The World of Advertising from the eyes of Ms Lalitha Vaidyanath of J Walter Thompson

Lalitha Vaidyanath

Ms.Lalitha Vaidyanath (Senior Creative Director at J.Walter Thompson Hyderabad) recently visited IIM Indore as a speaker at Colloquium – the annual business conclave organized by the Industry Interaction Cell of the institute. The theme this year was ‘Marketing – Strategy, science or sorcery?’. Ms. Lalitha delivered an engaging talk about how targeting the right people the right way through advertising can change lives and even impact communities for the better. She added that advertising as a process has changed from being a one-sided monologue to an enriching conversation or an experience that has become pervasive. We caught up with her after the talk, and here is what she had to say about the field of advertising–

Jasmine: So one very interesting thing that I found out while reading up about advertising was that the first female copywriter was from JWT. In fact JWT even has a scholarship for young creative women in her name – the Helen Landsterne scholarship. It definitely appears then that JWT has particular interest in encouraging women to join this field. How strong is that spirit in the Indian advertising industry? How are female copywriters treated here? How far do they go?

Lalitha: Women actually do bring a lot to the table in the field of advertising. In fact, not just as copywriters but across the board, you have a lot of women making significant contributions in JWT and every other agency. But then advertising itself as an industry has quite a few women. There aren’t a lot of hierarchical issues, as the organisational structure is relatively semi-flat and flexible, so the concept of glass ceiling is perhaps not as reinforced in advertising because of that.

Hence it draws women to these jobs. Personally, I also feel that on an average, women have good aptitude for writing and graphic art. So there is a lot of scope for them in art and copy, and now a lot of women are playing a huge role in planning as well. Advertising is all about striking a chord with the consumers. By nature women are empathetic, so perhaps that’s why they fit in so well here. Honestly, it’s a very fascinating and interesting industry to work in, whether you’re a man or a woman.


Nike’s Da Da Ding song ad

Jasmine: That’s right. Even as outsiders, we see advertising as a very dynamic industry. In popular culture, like say movies, if one of the characters is from the advertising industry, they’re shown to be staying up nights, doing a lot of creative brainstorming, and also being quite a bit of a social butterfly. How true to reality is this image?

Lalitha: There’s actually a lot of hard work involved. What you see there is the glamorous part. For example, when I showed you guys the Da da ding ad for Nike featuring Deepika Padukone during the presentation, I could see all of you collectively thinking ‘wow this looks really amazing’. I myself have shot ad films with different celebrities. And I can vouch for the hard work which goes on behind the scenes. You can’t be over-awed by these elements while working. What you see as the consumer is a very snazzy TVC; what we see as the creators is the grit that it takes to make it.

Jasmine: So on an average how long would a good TVC like that take to make?

Lalitha: It depends. If you’re talking about going right from the ideating process, then it could range from anything between a week or two. Sometimes you just get a good idea in a flash; sometimes it takes a lot of time. It depends on the product, on the briefing, on the approval etc. Some clients just lap up the first idea because they liked it instantly. Some clients keep coming back to you asking for more improvements, giving suggestions, till they get the wow factor. But usually for a TVC to be produced , right from the ideation, going through the pre-production, going to the shoot, then the post-production, and then finally the final edit and bringing out the film, it could take 30-45 days.

Jasmine: At the beginning of your talk you spoke about how being right brained or left brained can change your approach to things. As management students a lot of us aren’t very sure which side we come from because we more or less learn just about everything between hard core analytical skills to interpersonal skills. How likely is it for management students to enter a creative field like advertising and make it big there?

Lalitha: I’d say most management students are left-brainers. I’ve seen them to be more verbal and analytical. Right now there are so many management grads in advertising. Recruiters from advertising agencies are loving the mix of skills that they get from these graduates. So I’d say the chances of management student making it big in advertising are pretty high.

The Life Saving Dot campaign

Jasmine: Another thing that we regularly get to hear in management school is the whole spiel about how we need to brand ourselves as individuals. ‘Self branding’ as a concept is becoming so important now because everyone is becoming increasingly competent and in order to make yourself stand out in the madness of the job world, you need to work smart. As someone who deals with the concept of branding on a daily basis, could you tell us how to get it right as individuals?

Lalitha: It’s true that ‘self-branding’ is becoming really important these days. Even recruiters today don’t look at students as just black and white. They recognise that there are many parts of you and they actively seek out more well-rounded individuals. They don’t just look for pure academics anymore. There is so much more beyond that, especially in a field like advertising.

Jasmine: One last question that I’d like to pose to you is this – since creative industries like advertising are so much about real time reactions, could you give me one example of a crisis handling situation that you’ve had to go through which really taught you a lot.

Lalitha: Every campaign is a crisis, Jasmine *laughs*. I say that because every client believes that they need to have what they want right NOW otherwise their world will end. They want their campaigns out within unrealistic deadlines, which is why it gets pretty crazy in there sometimes, but we signed up for the challenge!

About Lalitha Vaidyanath: As the senior creative director at J.Walter Thompson India and an advertising doyenne, Lalitha has worked on a hard range of sectors and clients like Hyundai Santro, Royal Enfield, Mitsubishi Motors, TTK Healthcare, Sun Direct DTH, ColorPlus, Sify, Eenadu, Murugappa group, Cholamandalam Finance, Muthoot Fincorp, UNICEF, World Vision among others. She has been at places like Saatchi & Saatchi, Everest, Maa Bozell, Mudra, McCann, and a clutch of creative boutiques across Hyderabad, Bangalore and at Chennai. She brings over 2 decades of experience to the table besides enthusiasm and passion for the written word. Her interests include yoga, voluntary service and armchair psychology.


Know Your Audience – An Interview with Mr Avinash Janjire of Thomas Cook and Future Generali

Hiral Arora reports from Colloquium, the annual business conclave of IIM Indore organised by Industry Interaction Cell, talking about how to be an all round marketeer with a one to one interaction with Mr Avinash Janjire who has been associated with Future Generali and Thomas Cook travels.

In an awe-inspiring talk and lessons from his personal life, Mr Janjire took us through some interesting marketing campaigns from his work experience. As a context of his work in the Insurance sector, you might like to check this video explaining the Insurance Week Campaign, that resulted in breaking of the Guinness World Record for the Longest Balloon Chain.


Additionally, as a context for his work in the Tourism sector, you might want to check out the following explanatory video for Thomas Cook’s innovative Holiday Savings account scheme.


Hiral: As a marketer, how did you manage to work in two completely different product segments – Tourism (an extremely glam industry!) and Insurance (hard to sell, boring industry)?

Mr Avinash Janjire: I believe the experience doesn’t really change. As long as you understand the consumer and their needs, the industry doesn’t matter. You need to have the knack of understanding the consumer, the industry you can learn. Tomorrow I might join some other industry, except engineering perhaps, like an FMCG, and it won’t really make a difference. That’s the key.

H: When you portray Thomas Cook holidays as an affordable brand, does it not dilute the premium image it has right now?

A: That’s really a misconception. We have been here for about 150 years and people think that we are very expensive, but we’re not really that expensive. That’s because the product is such. We have holidays starting at ₹20000 also. But its just that the premium image comes because we sell a lot of these long haul holidays to Europe, US – which are expensive. This makes people believe that ‘this brand is not for me’.

If you compare us with any other competitive brand in the market like makemytrip or SOTC, we are at par in terms of price, we are very competitive. So while we have this premium image, we don’t complain about it, but it is not necessarily true. We are trying to change this idea because otherwise we limit ourselves to a very small segment of holiday goers. We want to go to middle India which has increasing aspiration for travel, beyond the 6 million people who already travel with us, and increase the size of the travel market base. 40% of our business comes from small towns. People want to go for holidays but price is a barrier. We want people to think that we are good but competitive. Not cheap, but competitive.

Right now people don’t even walk into our stores, thinking English naam lag raha hai (this is a fancy sounding english name, not for us!), otherwise they would probably go to some Kesari travels, something more localised. We want to appear approachable.

H: Is tourism a margin play or volume play industry?

A: Earlier it was margin play, decent money, but now it has become very very competitive. Now the margins have decreased to some 5-7% which is very less compared to the transaction value that we do, so it has actually become largely volume play.

avinash janjire
Mr Avinash Janjire at Colloquium’16, IIM Indore

H: In the insurance sector, how do you manage to make people buy (life) insurance and get past the mental block that they don’t need insurance (because noone wants to believe they are going to die!)

A: People right now buy insurance but not for the right reasons, they buy it for tax saving reasons and just look at the short term benefits so they end up buying the wrong instruments.

Most people don’t understand finance and can’t understand how much they have to pay and what benefits they can get. So the end up buying from agents who they know – such as family friends.

We have installed this mechanism of calling back customers who have bought insurance from us from the center. This is because we don’t know how the agent sitting in say, Indore, has sold the insurance. Once the deal is locked we call the customer from our head office, and there is a central unit which does this, to rectify what the customer has been told, like a welcome call. Questions like “Do you know what policy you have bought?” “Do you know what you have bought it for?” are asked so we know if it has been missold or not. This is because misselling is very rampant in the industry, leading to lack of trust.

Misselling happens because everyone has to complete targets. You need something, but I might not actually sell you something that you need. I might sell you something that gives me more money. There are some policies that make more money, some have a higher commission as compared to others, so I might want to force sell those. This problem exists because of these freelance sellers, most of whom are not our employees, they work for multiple agents. Most companies are trying to solve this through such back checks. However it is still not optimal.

When we are recruiting  we train them in a way that they do the financial probing correctly. In our forms we have questions asking if they have done proper probing or not.  What does the customer need money for – retirement, children’s educations, children’s marriage? Once we have that financial information and the customer profile, we can have an idea whether what they have sold is correct or not. This isn’t foolproof but it gives us some assessment, some idea as a brand. It is important to sell the correct policy because if I sell the wrong one, the customer won’t renew it for a second year, which is when I will actually start making money. The company makes money only in the 3rd and 4th years, for the first 3 years we actually lose money.

H: Thank you for the insights! To conclude, would you like to give a message to marketing and advertising aspirants?

A: Just focus on understanding your consumer and the results will follow!

This article is part of our Colloquium’16 series (Marketing – Strategy, Science or Sorcery) 

Rural Marketing Insights from ITC’s Business Development Manager, Rajeev Arora


Mr. Rajeev Arora (Business Development Manager, Rural Marketing, Agri-Business Division, ITC Ltd.) recently visited IIM Indore as a speaker at the Colloquium organized by the Industry Interaction Cell of the institute. He spoke about ITC’s innovative e-choupal system, which is a unique combination of CSR and a rural penetration model. He sat down for a detailed interview with us, and here is what he had to say –

Darsheeka: Since the introduction of e-choupal 15 years ago, what do you think has been the shift in marketing approach when it comes to rural customers? Because, like you said, they are also shifting towards branded products.

Mr. Rajeev Arora: There are various kinds of shifts that have happened. Now, the consumer or maybe the end customer is more educated; they have various means of reaching out to their requirements; and people have started thinking about health, hygiene, education, and a better future for their kids. This has definitely led to a change, which is improving the quality of their life. They have also become technologically driven, as far as agriculture is concerned and ultimately, they are not the same kind of rural. The change has happened in every sphere of their life, and made them more educated and demanding.

D: As we know, the rural markets have not been doing well for FMCG companies due to drought situations and inflationary pressure. How has that affected the adoption of systems like e-choupal?

R: As far as adversity in any part of the country is concerned, the companies are not there to make profits, rather to support the system over there. There are a few product categories that are needed during emergency, and our approach has been to reach out to consumers so that scarcity is not there. As far as the ITC’s own Sanchalak infrastructure in the 4 states (UP, MP, Rajasthan, and Maharashtra) is concerned, it has always been a kind of support function. So, if anything positive happens over there, it is to be shared with the colleagues; and if something negative happens, there are ways to find out the solutions to overcome those issues.

Source: Economic Times

D: Therefore, can we say that there is a predominant element of CSR in this initiative and it’s not just about rural penetration? If so, how does ITC balance between the two?

R: Yes, there is a heavy CSR element. The approach is not to go into a rural market and get business done; the approach has been empowering the rural people. This empowerment has come through various means – getting the right value for their agricultural produce, and providing them with facilities required for producing those commodities. So, whether it involves getting KCC (Kisan Credit Card) availed to them, securing them through life insurance policies, or educating them about how to avail weather-based crop insurance, these activities have always been done so that farmers are aware of what is good for their agricultural-related requirements. Beyond this, there are things not directly related to agriculture, but directly related to CSR. For e.g., health and hygiene of the females in the villages, employment generation, education of kids. Through these activities, ITC carries out a support function. Sanchalak is not working like a broker over there; he is a point of contact from the same geography as the people, present for support in agricultural as well as non-agricultural needs. This has definitely given us an advantage of deep rural penetration, and generating the confidence of the people in rural areas. So, this can be called a symbiotic approach.

D: Talking about the bottom line, do you think the investment in e-choupal is justified when we measure it against the increase in rural affordability?

R: Investment has been made over 15 years ago and it has given a different image to the company. Our Agri Business division has got strengthened in the rural areas. Perhaps, ITC is a company of its own size delivering results in India, and globally. Whenever our Food Business team comes across any new idea or are in the process of launching a new product category, they get back to us in terms of sourcing capabilities; this has only been possible because of e-choupal. Entering the rural market is not easy, and getting things done over there is also very challenging. The only advantage we have is our team member and channel partner, the Sanchalak; we support each other mutually in various day-to-day activities so that he can convince the villagers about what is good for them. The choice always lies in their hand.

ITC Chaupal Sagar Rural Mall, Source:

D: If I am not wrong, ITC has partnered with a competitor like Coca-Cola for this initiative. How do the dynamics of this unusual collaboration work out?

R: While talking about the platform of rural marketing, Chaupal Haat originated 7 years ago and we had a pool of partners who joined us. These included TVS, Maruti Suzuki, State Bank of India, and the rural-centric brands from ITC (Superia, Sunfeast) as well. The agenda was to have a network to support the brands with good quality and social value that want to enter the rural market, and get connected with the consumer. In this case, the cost of reaching out to the consumer would be justified since it would be a mutual effort. Your point is very valid. We have never been into tie-ups with direct competitors like HUL or P&G. In fact, as far as Coca-Cola is concerned, we have been supporting them since the past 3-4 years in getting their rural distribution more aligned and intensive. As of now, both this companies do not have the product category where there is a mismatch, or a common functionality. So, this collaboration is able to work. The rest of our partners include TVS, Mahindra Finance, and others. For rest of the product categories, the product is one that is needed in the rural areas but it is not possible to make that available from the house of ITC. So, it is a demand in the rural market that is currently not possible to be met through us, so why not help out other companies if it addresses the need.

D: You mentioned the words ‘Rozgaar Duniya’ in your session. Can you tell us about that in a little more detail?

R: It was an initiative wherein the Agri Business Division (ABD) got into a partnership with in order to support rural youngsters through availing various employment options to them, related to their educational qualifications. Through Sanchalak, we supported a set of youngsters in villages to obtain job profiles such as security guards, mechanics, masons, carpenters, and others based on vocational skills. It worked well. Normally, in any of our support functions, the Sanchalak is a catalyst and does not need to go beyond a certain threshold. This is because he is also, ultimately, a progressive farmer. He has his own liability, family, and various business responsibilities. So, he should be in a support function wherein things happen on their own and he does not need to worry much. There has to be some kind of passion, such that not much of a push is required. Support is definitely there, but it should not be from a 0 to 100 kind of a thing; it should be lining around 75-80% from his end and the rest of the support will come from our team members.

D: As one last question, the impending challenge of rural digitization and digital literacy in rural areas combined with issues of electricity can be a test to the effectiveness and efficiency of e-choupal. How does ITC tackle this?

R: When e-choupal originated, there were certain characteristics that were attached to it. The most important one was reaching out to farmers in the villages, and letting them know prices prevailing in various markets to enable them to make better and informed decisions. We were giving them an opportunity wherein, if they were interested, they could come to our buying locations where we provided certain set of product features above and beyond the traditional mandis. That was the basic agenda. But, there was also other content they needed in their daily lives like information related to better agricultural practices, and health. Therein, limited content is telecast at the kiosk fortnightly or monthly. The villagers can come and watch that content there. In order to address the power issue, we provided solar panels when this system originated. So, power is not that big an issue. Anyway, over the years, technology has changed – people are using smartphones with freely available content in villages as well.  They have better connectivity with the nearby cities, or tehsil areas. It is no longer the case that they can only visit these areas only once a month, rather someone or the other from the villages visits these locations weekly to obtain information. So, access to information is not that tough now. Having said all this, there are various companies, organizations, and bodies that have a very fair way of trading. For example, the MP government is definitely doing a good job. So, there is a set of people trying to replicate our model after seeing our initial success, and doing a good job. In fact, more of such people are needed also. It is a win-win arrangement for everyone. We are not thinking just from our perspective and saying we have to be the only ones and the best ones. We are one of the good ones, but other players are also there. As a nation, we need more of such people.

This article is part of our Colloquium’16 series (Marketing – Strategy, Science or Sorcery) 

Rural Immersion Programme

IIM Indore is the only institute among the premium B-schools of India that offers a Rural Immersion Programme (RIP). The programme was introduced in the curriculum of PGP-1 in 2008. It involves week-long trip to various rural districts of Madhya Pradesh.

The main aim of this program is to give the students an exposure to the rural areas. Many participants come from urban background and may not have seen or experienced a rural area. Through this, they are sensitized towards social issues prevalent in the region, which broadens their perspective. They get to observe the rural economy, understand the challenges and opportunities for business, and develop an overall understanding of the rural society.

Also, the participants get to know the various schemes undertaken by Government in villages and to study and analyze the execution and effectiveness of these schemes.

As future managers, the students are expected to provide insights on the various dimensions of district level administration, focusing primarily on the policy administration and the execution gaps, to analyze the challenges faced by the government and come up with suggestions for improvement.

Each year, this program is redesigned to meet the new requirements of the rural areas.
In the past year literacy reforms was the main agenda and students interacted with the locals and submitted reports based on their experience. The zilla parishad and the panchayats took note of the inputs by the students and many changes were implemented.

The RIP, this year, had specific project structured and designed for some specific districts  in the state called “MAL YUDH” in collaboration with the UNICEF on Swachh Bharat Abhiyan.
MAL YUDH is a part of the Total Sanitation Campaign (TSC) which was re-launched in the name of Nirman Bharat Abhiyan in MP in April 2012.

The programme was spread over a week (Nov 30 to Dec 5, 2015). Participants were divided into groups of 4-5 and are sent to districts Participants visit the specific districts of Madhya Pradesh.

The Gram panchayats (GP) in the villages of these districts were declared Open Defecation free (ODF).
Each group had to survey 2 GPs in six days. A structured Questionnaire provided by UNICEF, was given to each group and they had to survey the households, schools and Anganwadi in each GP. They had to vigil the movements of the Villagers towards Open Defecation and understand the problems in the system if OD was still prevalent.

The major focus was on community involvement in sanitation practices so as to monitor potable water availability, improved hand washing practice, safe child excreta disposal, improved better hygiene practice in pre nursery group children.

The groups surveyed the GPs, took interviews of the Panchayat Raj and a consolidated final report was sent to Mantralaya and UNICEF.

The RIP was a once in a lifetime opportunity for the students. It was an immense learning experience and a best week spent in the suburbs with friends.

All the districts were located in the proximity of river Narmada which gave the students many exciting places to visit.

This article is written by Shruti Suman of PGP Batch of 2015-17.


The First Industrial Visit

I was up at 6:30 a.m., like almost everyone else. It was our first visit to our allocated Industry, as part of the IV course that is spread over the 1st year. Everyone collected near Mess-1 by 7:30 a.m. – the mess had decided to open early, and it felt just like a picnic! Dozens of people ambling around, making sure that their entire group has managed to reach Sanchi Point to board the buses, trying to find out which of the many buses will head to their destination, eating and drinking and generally in a jovial mood. Our group leader who’d nicely instructed us to be dressed in smart casuals- with a full-sleeve shirt and sports shoes- managed to oversleep, waking up only at 7:30 a.m. All the groups headed to Dewas were to leave first, since Dewas is an almost 2-hour bus ride; the groups heading to Sector-3 of Pithampur were to follow; all the groups heading to Sector-1 in Pithampur and to Indore were to wait around until the buses dropped off the first lot of people and returned. This gave our group leader some additional lead time- he was at the venue, properly dressed up and looking unapologetic, by 7:45 a.m. He even managed to get some breakfast before we left campus at around 8 a.m. There were 5 groups on our bus, heading to 3 different industries. Now, we found the first one rather easily, since it was right on the highway and two groups headed off. We then began a wild-goose chase for the other two industries and managed to successfully drop off another group before deciding to use Google Maps and find our destination. Our group leader, armed with new information courtesy Google Maps, directed us to Jaydeep Ispat & Alloys by 9:30 a.m.
Large red signage that read ‘Moyra Sariya’ brought us to a halt. We got ourselves into their site office and sat around drinking coffee until the plant head, our guide, joined us by 10:15 a.m. We were given a short presentation about the industry and the process of making steel rods from scrap iron/metal. A plant tour was then in order- all 12 of us (2 groups) were taken around the facility by 4-5 senior people from the industry. Our tour began with the scrap yard where large mounds of scrap iron/metal were being moved around by a large, electromagnetic crane and another large tool called a ‘grasper’ that did exactly that- it grasped large chunks of the metal scrap with its 5 clawed arm and moved them into bins. These bins were for segregation of the scrap, according to composition- since the final product needs to have a certain fixed composition of various metals including iron, magnesium, chromium and nickel.
Our next stop was the furnaces- scrap metal was continually fed into large furnaces which I believe had a temperate of about 1600 degrees. The furnace just gobbling up large, different-sized pieces of metal, a bunch of electronic devices that controlled the temperature- current was being used to maintain the temperature- the devices displayed readings of voltage, current and the resulting temperature in real time. We stood there, watching as a furnace was turned on its side, impurities falling out into a designated container; the molten metal itself flowing out, when the furnace was turned over into giant buckets that they called ladles. We then moved over to the cooling area where molten metal flowed down vertically, and was showered with water, bringing the temperature down to about 800 degrees. The metal was then cast into billets. An unending stream of metal flowed, it was cut at pre-designated lengths and sprayed with water as it zoomed across a conveyor belt. Ahead, it was pressed into rods of varying diameters, ranging from 8 to 32mm. Heat emanated from what appeared to be bright, nearly neon orange streaks of light, zipping past us at unimaginable speeds- these streaks of light were in fact red hot metal rods! They then moved into a machine which runs based on German Technology, Thermax- they were fired with high pressure water from all directions- in a matter of seconds, hot red streaks of light seemed to flow in, get drenched, and sleek metal rods flowed out that were then stacked into place- now at less than 400 degrees. These were then loaded onto trucks and sent their way! We even got to see their workshop- where some of the machines are designed and produced, and the quality control lab where tensile strength and composition of random samples are periodically checked!
Still in a state of mesmerized daze, we walked back to their site office, for a Q&A session. All the engineers in our group had a bunch of technical questions about the processes while I listened carefully, trying to take in as much of the new information as I could. At the suggestion of the plant head, we then moved to more ‘management- related’ questions, about operating efficiencies, marketing the product and the organizational structure.

Post-lunch, a detailed organizational structure was explained to us- they’ve recently added an HR department too! It is a family-owned business and wishes to continue to remain so. 6 different projects- two operations-related ones- dealing with the acquisition of scrap, inventory and dispatch schedules, one HR project dealing with designing appraisal systems, a marketing project dealing with increasing their market share and selling more of their product to government projects, an Environmental-related project dealing with disposal and usage of their waste products and a last more technical project that dealt with the actual processes were then shared with us. We are to pick one or more of these projects- which are all related to the problems/improvement of the industry-, work on them over the next 6 months, make some recommendations and hope that they be actually implemented. All the projects sound enticing- the reward of seeing our recommendations in actual practice is sure going to be great.
We then headed back to campus and were back by around 6 p.m. We’re going to be working on projects for the concerned industry over the course of Term II & III.

This article has been written by Revant Sindhu, IPM ’12 student at IIM Indore

Udaan: Where the magic Happens

The Marathon season is on at IIM Indore. This year, they have picked up the cause of empowering the old. In a tie up with HelpAge India, IIM Indore is organising Udaan 2015 which is the annual marathon event. The event dates back to 2008, when the students decided to fight for the causes most relevant to the society.

Each year a fresh battle is won. An 11-km run starting from DussehraMaidan in the city and ending at the IIM Indore campus, the event attracts people from all walks of life.Each year, a theme is selected for the event and the event is used to sensitize people towards the theme. Top three runners in several age categories are also awarded. Last year the event covered new grounds in inviting participation and publicising the theme. Runners can participate in the categories of 18-35 years,35-60 years,60+years, Corporates and Defence. In the words of Akash Srivastava, the coordinator, “Udaan is the perfect opportunity for Central India to really stand up for its senior citizens and be their staff of support.”

The campus is abuzz with the preparations for the event. A walk through the campus gives out a festive vibe, with posters for the marathon everywhere. Teams can be seen hard at work preparing for the event with numerous campaign ideas being put into motion. In this huge melee are the visits that HelpAge India helped to conduct to their Mobile Medical Unit camps in and around Indore. Various people of various nationalities have also lent their support to the cause and will be actively participating at the event. They have voiced their strong opinion, as to how much the senior members help our society, by guiding us in the right direction.

The article has been written by the media team of Udaan-2015

Indore Marathon – Run for a Healthy India

Indian Institute of management, Indore, a premier B-school of India, known for churning out top managers year after year has also been proactive in giving something back to the society. IIM-Indore is one of the very few B-schools who have a rural immersion programme, a rural marketing festival and also a functioning social sensitivity cell, Pragat-I. Apart from that, in 2008, the institute initiated the “Indore marathon”, an annual event which is now one of the most awaited events among people in Indore. The event will be held on the 2nd of October, on the memorable occasion of Gandhi Jayanti.

It’s not only the event which is special, but also the theme which makes it popular. The theme for this year’s event “Run for a healthy India” is truly apt because of the myriad health concerns prevailing in the country. Sedentary lifestyle coupled with unhealthy eating habits has resulted in an escalation of health related problems being faced by a large portion of urban population. In view of rising population, the basic healthcare and sanitation facilities continue to be inadequate in large parts of rural India. The excessive usage of antibiotics has led to the rise of a new breed of germs which are resistant to drugs.  The advancements in the field of medicine would never belie the age-old golden principle of ‘Prevention is better than cure’.

Through this year’s marathon, IIM-Indore wishes to sensitize the masses about growing health concerns and promote health consciousness. IIM-Indore is conducting health camps and blood donation camps with this regard. It has also undertaken an AIDS awareness campaign to impart knowledge and spread awareness about the dreaded disease and how it can be prevented. It plans to remove misconceptions about AIDS from the minds of the general public.

The institute is promoting health through online media too. The Indore Marathon page on Facebook, a popular social networking site boasts of various articles related to fitness and health. To spread health awareness, daily quizzes are being held on the Facebook page. The institute has also planned online chat sessions with the doctor on campus to answer people’s queries regarding health, fitness, nutrition and also doubts regarding preparation for marathon.

Taking into account the buzz on the streets of Indore about the event, the core team is confident of success. It is expecting huge participation from the people of Indore, just as it has received in the past three editions. “Let the roads of Indore be flooded with the enthusiasm of people running for the noble cause of healthcare” says one member of the team.

– Ninad Bhangle (Class of 2013)

Independence day @ IIM Indore

Indian Institute of Management Indore celebrated the 65th Independence Day in its traditional manner with the Faculty, Students and the Management Staff gathering at the Central Lawn of the Institute early morning for the National Anthem and Flag hoisting ceremony. Professor N. Ravichandran did the honours of hoisting the flag and addressed the IIM Indore community on this auspicious occasion. He reminded about Jawaharlal Nehru’s vision of the higher educational institutions being the modern temples of India which gave a sense of identity to IIM-Indore to rededicate itself for the betterment of the country and contribute to the national growth. He stressed on the fast growth shown by IIM-Indore since its inception in terms of its growing infrastructure, doubling of the faculty strength and nearly ten-fold increase in the batch size. He said that students and faculty should have the obligation to contribute to the society but they need to have an urge to invoke excellence in them and make it a part of their life so that they are able to make a positive impact and growth woul be sustained. In order to achieve this, they need to focus on self-development by submerging their individual ego which will lead to the well-being of their family and the institute in the long run. Self-development gets cascaded to the society they live in and eventually to the country as a whole. He concluded this inspiring speech by stressing that IIM-Indore will continue to contribute to national growth in the future as well.

Later as a part of its Social Sensitivity drive, Pragat-I, the social sensitivity club of IIM Indore celebrated Independence Day with the primary school students of nearby EGS School which is supported by them. Participants spent time with the students and provided them with necessary items. Drawing competition were conducted to bring out the creativity of kids. Prizes were awarded to the best 10 drawings and various interactive games and events are also conducted. The kids were shown various videos and movies pertaining to patriotism to develop a sense of pride in being the future of India. Sweets and chocolates were also be distributed during the events.

– Ninad & Debashree (Class of 2013)