Category Archives: Campus Life

Does sustainability mean going backwards?

I spoke with conviction that without a feasible model that generates enough money, there is  hardly a soul who would like to invest themselves whole heartedly into the pursuit of sustainability, and this explained the lack of talent in this field despite good intentions.

What we have been brought up to do is follow small practices in our everyday life, the 4Rs wherever possible. However, when I was given a picture of what complete sustainability looks like, it freaked me out. It meant going back through the ages and living on hand-me-downs for your entire life. It meant living without producing any waste at all. Whatever comes out of the earth should go right back into it.

This is the picture that Padam Shri Ms Janak Palta McGilligan conjured in my mind as I spoke with her between her sessions and throughout her talk at IRIS 2016. I have been firmly advocating the sustainable development goals since the day they got adopted by the UN, however this made me stop and think about if I was sufficiently dedicated to the cause. I realised I wasn’t.

The question isn’t whether you stand for sustainability. It is how much are you ready to give up for it.

I never waste electricity or water, even for a second, sometimes to the annoyance of my friends who have no regard for nature. I stare at people if they litter – until they feel embarrassed enough to find a dustbin. I fight with my parents if they begin to throw something out of the car window – since 5th grade when I learnt it is bad at school. Our house was the first one to stop bursting crackers in the entire colony when I was in 6th grade and participated in a painting competition that was based on this theme. I hesitate to throw anything away until I am certain it cannot be used anymore. I am highly mindful of what I buy to an extent that my mom considers it necessary to shop with me so that I can have some comforts we can afford.  Is this enough? I don’t think it is.

I am stuck in the path of negotiation where the only limits are those I put. Sometimes I try to argue myself out of the dilemma thinking that the world and the markets will adjust themselves to a state where humans still manage to sustain. This is nothing but self serving logic though and I understand this is not how things work. I am easily taken by any argument that proclaims apocalypse unless we adopt certain practices. However going the full way is too much. Our civilization as a whole has worked towards creating a comfortable environment and if we do not take full advantage of it, then it would be disrespectful to their genius.

Having said that, it is also not right if we are partial to our comforts when we take advantage of our progress. We should be humbled by nature – because we now understand its bounty much better than our ancestors. It is thus the pursuit of knowledge that I advocate more than anything else.

How much do I wish to give up for sustainability? Nothing at all. Sustainability needs to be sustainable in itself – not a communist concept which fails when it strikes against basic human nature. Nevertheless, if your nature is so noble, as was of the great person I had the pleasure of meeting, I wish I could be more like you. Your ideas add to the pool of knowledge that we are ever hungry for. For the rest, strike your own informed balances.

The opinions expressed in this post are those of Hiral Arora, an IPM IIM Indore student. They do not reflect the ideas of the institute in any way.

Leadership Lessons from the Army

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  1. Sir, we see that the Indian Army is not very active on social media. Why is that, and is it going to change?

 

The Army personnel have to be mindful of the machinations of antinational elements and our adversaries to exploit this platform to their advantage. Therefore, while realizing the importance of social media, the Army has allowed the use the social media albeit with some caveats and restrictions.

 

  1. Sir, the Army has a pyramidal structure of hierarchy just like a lot of corporates do. Why, then, are political conflicts considerably less in the Army as compared to large corporates?

 

The absence of any conflict is essentially due to the fact that Indian Army is a value based organization. Owing to restricted vacancies in each rank, a number of outstanding officers get left out, which is indeed very painful not only for the officers and their families but even for the organization. However, Army has been working assiduously to ensure lateral absorption of these officers into central armed police forces and other agencies of the government. They all are worth their weight in gold as they are disciplined and endowed with all essential attributes, skills and values that any effective leader must possess. You would have seen that all our officers who have joined the Corporate Sector are excelling.

 

  1. As we know sir, disciplining the self and senses is much harder for a corporate than for a member of the Indian Army simply because of the difference in setup and environment. As future corporate leaders, can you give us students some advice for the same?

 

Discipline hinges on the positive conditioning of the mind, whereby an individual is subconsciously spurred to always choose the harder right instead of the easier wrong. It helps resist reckless impulses that take average people astray. It requires building your ‘will power’ and transforming yourself into a valued personality whose conduct is governed always by the time tested values of Integrity, Loyalty, Duty, Respect, Selfless Serve and Moral Courage. The values can only be imbibed in earnest if they are consciously lived and practiced. Do spare 20 minutes before going to bed every night to introspect on what all you have done during the day and identify your strengths and weaknesses. While revitalizing your strengths, work diligently on eradicating your weaknesses. It requires unflinching commitment and you have to find time to improve yourself virtually on daily basis. Integrity will make you do what is legally and morally correct and, along with other values, it will help you mould yourself into a disciplined and worthy member of a team, whose behaviour and conduct is flawless at all times.

  1. Sir, given the changing political landscape in the country, the youth especially is apprehensive when it comes to joining the Indian Army. Given that India is one of the youngest nations in the world and that our youth is an indispensable asset for our nation’s security, especially in these unsafe times, what can we do to change it?

 

The Indian Army, given its glorious heritage and enduring traditions, is not just a profession; it is a way of life! It provides great opportunities to those ‘who have it in them’ and are inclined to ‘live a life less-ordinary’. For those who feel that money alone will give them happiness in life, then surely they are knocking at the wrong door. This elite organisation gives you inter-alia, an exceptional lifelong pride and a quality of life that is matchless and priceless.

It’s an organisation where you are nurtured to be a leader of distinction. A leader, who leads by personal example and works whole time to create a team of Tigers and Tigresses, who are taught to never ever give up and ensure success at all costs. Failure is not an option for an Indian soldier. That is why Indian Army is rated amongst the best the world over. I am certain that with my talk, many of you would have got inspired by the unique heritage of this celebrated organisation and will consider joining it after your studies. Remember, the Indian Army remains committed to the personal growth of all its personnel and provides ample opportunities for their all round development. An opportunity is even provided to upgrade your civil qualifications by availing two years paid study leave. Some even get an opportunity to serve abroad besides attending courses of instructions in foreign institutions.

I am certain that the awareness drive being undertaken by the Army will make a dent over a period of time and finally be instrumental in repositioning the military service as a preferred choice for the youth of our country.

This interview has been taken by Darsheeka Singh, a first year PGP Student

Islas de la munecas

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Photos by Cindy Vasco

I thought it was just another boat party but I was not aware of the adventures that awaited me at the canals of Xochimilco, also known as the xochimilco trajineras because of the canoes that take people for a ride. The place is filled with tourists, mariachi bands, and lush floating gardens.

However, wait for sometime and you will see the adjacent island with severed limbs and cracked heads of severely weathered dolls.

Welcome to la Isla de la munecas, the island of the dolls.

The legend is about one man, a lost relationship, and a dead girl’s doll.

Hundreds of photographers and thrill seekers travel to this haunted island of dolls every year, but it was never meant to be a tourist attraction.

It all started with Julian Santana Barrera, a reclusive Mexican man who found a doll floating at the same area where he had found the dead body of a drowned girl some days ago. To honor the girls spirit and save himself from further tragedy, Julian started hanging more dolls.

Julian was apparently haunted by the spirit of the girl and started hanging more dolls in order to get rid of the spirit. He soon realized that the dolls themselves were possessed by spirits when they started blinking their eyes and moving their heads. He continued hanging dolls all over the place. Apparently, he was marked by the fact that he was not able to save the little girl’s life.

After 50 years of collecting and hanging dolls, Julian was found drowned at the same spot where the girl died.

Yet la Isla de las Muñecas lives on. Locals tend to the island, while travelers from around the world seek out the site. Some even arrive with new dolls to hang in the trees, continuing Don Julian’s eerie tradition.

Stories from Mexico, brought to you by Niloy Jain, IIM Indore IPM-5 participant on student exchange. Stay tuned for more adventure! 

THE DAY I WENT KAYAKING

There are some things we feel are far too big for us to care about. They seem irresolvable – distant – not our problem.

But they could very well be!

Today was a tiring day, we went snorkelling and kayaking (and the best part was the open bar on the boat!). We finally headed back to our hostel to relax for a while, perhaps just lounge in the balcony.

I think I dozed off for a while because I didn’t even realise when Roger came and sat down next to me. He smirked in my direction, I must have fallen asleep with my mouth hanging open again. He offered me a can of beer and a cigarette (which I obviously refused, lol).

Roger had served in the US Military for 30 years before he took voluntary retirement. He had no one. No mom, no dad, no cousins, no wife, no kids. No friends either.

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Roger is gay.

He had always lived a life of loneliness. He discovered his sexuality very late in life, at a time when people did not know that gay people existed. He was sent to a mental correction facility for treatment. He was never married. He never had the right to marry anyone (Thanks, Obama). Now at 61, he longs for company, a partner who he can talk to. Someone who can just sit with him and watch the sunset. He is lonely.

I beg you to look in his eyes. Does this look like a face of a lonely man? It looks to me like a face of a happy man, someone who has had many laughs, his face wrinkled with signs of happiness. He does not deserve to be alone. Any one would be lucky to have him as his partner. He looks like popoye goddammit! He is so young at heart, I sometimes don’t remember he is thrice as old as me. I want to be his friend.

Roger has been receiving his monthly pension and living in Mexico for the past month. He spends his days drinking beer and smoking cigarettes. Sometimes drugs come to the rescue.

He says, everyone in America hates every other person. There is so much hatred and sadness in the society, that an individualistic culture just burns a man up. There is no one to share an emotion with. People are too engrossed within themselves and everyone carries a fucking gun. Why do you need a gun?!

He  told me to be careful when in Mexico and just call him in case I need anything. He’s a good man.

What are the chances of running into a man like this, on your foreign exchange stint? The same as BEING that man.

Now that we all have met Roger, this problem is not so distant anymore.

 

 

Learn all about Mexico from the eyes of Niloy Jain, 5th year IPM Student currently on his student exchange program. He is enthusiastic about travelling and photography and he writes amazing diaries! Hiral Arora, reporting live from a facebook chatbox.

My Journey to IIM Indore

 

My journey to IIM Indore had started much before I had any expectation of being a part of any of the IIMs in 2016. It started with my preparation for CAT 2015 in my third year of B.Tech at NIT, Rourkela. Preparing for CAT along with managing the curriculum at NIT proved to be a challenge for me. Every weekend I attended coaching classes. I couldn’t practice much and it showed in my performance. But I never quit. So I kept going despite my embarrassing performance. After every class I went over the questions given that day and solved each one. The embarrassment motivated me. I didn’t want to miss even a single opportunity to study for CAT so I had even carried all my books to Bangalore where I did an internship. It was late July when I came back. The coaching classes had become very irregular and weren’t helping much so I left going there. Then came the results of National Creativity Aptitude Test (I had taken it some time ago) and I was ranked 31st. That was the moment when I realised that I could get what I wanted; it just needed a bit of extra work. I started preparing on my own. I practiced through online tests and TIME’s study material. I analysed my score after each test, marked the sections in which I scored well and those which needed improvement. I practiced accordingly and then went on to further tests. Giving so many tests got me well acquainted with the pattern of CAT. By November I had planned my approach towards each section of the test. I have never been as calm before any test as I was on the day of CAT 2015.

The results were early. I got a text on my cell with my percentile. I was heavily surprised and took it to be spam. But when I came to know that it was true, I was beside myself. Soon I started preparing for WAT and PI. This is where the coaching centre came to help. I participated enthusiastically in all the WAT-PI sessions. These helped a lot.  On the day of the interview even though I was freaked out I managed well.

When the results of IIM Indore came out, and I got selected, I was more content than happy because my hard work had paid off. When I had started preparation, I didn’t know how it was going to end. But at the end I realised that in the process, I hadn’t neglected my regular courses. I had got good jobs too which were backups in case CAT result hadn’t been good. And the best thing was I was going to be a student of IIM Indore! The entire process to get into a premier B-school in India requires strategic preparation and a lot of introspection. It’s an enriching experience of rediscovering yourself.

I expect IIM Indore to be a place where I would want to spend as much time as I can. I am looking forward to make a wide network of friends. I want to be a part of every activity that happens there. I want to enjoy its scenic and infrastructural beauty. I want to learn everything that’s possible to learn from the myriad experiences there. I want to be a better and more mature person who would be able to manage her life and profession equally well. I hope IIM Indore will turn out to be much more than I expect.

 

– Akankshya Sahu, PGP 1 Student

 

The bustling campus life of Planet-I

I was boarding a bus to Goa on the night of April 30th, when I received a seat confirmation for IIM Indore. The next three days were a roller coaster ride, and so was my first year as a PGP student.

My first term was about getting adjusted to the course structure, which I found to be hectic initially. The excitement of joining an IIM, and the enthusiasm to perform and make a mark, did wear me off. I had to read lengthy cases before attending 75 minute long lectures. Then there were the pre-processes (for clubs and committees), assignments, quizzes and exams. All of this changed my sleeping cycle, which was followed by frequent mid-lecture naps and swollen eyes. But, I eventually got used to the rigor. It made me come out of my comfort zone.

The bustling campus life of Planet-I, had a myriad of things to offer to pursue my interests. The activity clubs and committees played a major role with respect to this, by constantly tossing fun competitions and events. The college possesses well maintained hostel blocks, and other facilities like the sports complex (with an ‘Olympic size’ swimming pool), basketball court etc. Being a fitness enthusiast and a basketball player, I had the right opportunities to follow my hobbies, and socialize with students with similar interests.

I observed how the college functioned as a self sufficient society. Self sufficient because the graduates here always sought for chances to be occupied even after classes, which led to student run services and stores.  The college has its own laundry service, retail store, food stall etc. operated by students.

The campus lights up in the evening, teeming with people moving to the food stalls. The eateries will be crowded with friend circles chattering and munching on their favorite snacks. The college remains alive throughout the night. There is always someone awake.

My first year was a great time for me to interact with students coming from different parts of the country and make many friends.  All the major festivals are celebrated inside the campus and DJ nights are arranged for special occasions. This allows students to enjoy and indulge, and also meet new people. IRIS, IIM Indore’s annual festival, is also a wonderful time for students to take a break from their academics.

The campus, located on a hillock, surrounded by farmlands and pastures, is decorated with several pleasing view points.  The college is packed with greenery, which when soaked in rain during the rainy season, is a delight to experience. The winter, I found to be raw and bitter, breaking the campus from the monsoon reverie. With so much of life around, students are allured to get out of their rooms every now and then. I often enjoyed going on long walks through the campus.

Having never lived in a hostel before, I understood the importance of being independent. I learned from my mistakes and also the things that I did right. I made a close set of friends in my first year, who have been very supportive and inspiring. I am constantly learning from them as well.

My summer internship was in a travel start-up, and it was a rewarding experience. I was able to apply the concepts which I learned over a year to solve my firm’s issues. Working on practical situations was challenging and fulfilling. I also learned where my interests lie after my internship, and I now have a clear picture about what I aspire to work on in the near future. This course has taught me the significance of adapting to changes, and time management. It has helped me gain a new perspective towards business operations.

So, this is the snapshot of my first year at Planet-I, and it was worth every bit of it!

 

My First Year at Plan-it-I

 

1          The “Graha Pravesh”

So, you’ve finally made it to one of the most coveted management institutes of the country. Congrats. Big Deal. About 449 others also do so each year. And guess what, they are equally as genius as you consider yourself to be, if not more. Welcome to this world of uncertainties, where not only varied conundrums, but even the quizzes drop like presents out of Santa’s bag.

Along with a world of opportunities that this place provides to many who came thinking that this is a mecca for studies, this is also a mecca for birdwatching, with lots of birds to gaze especially to those dry eyes, who couldn’t see birds back at their hometowns due to pollution, if you know what I mean. You’ll constantly be on the vigil, not only for your dream placement, but also simultaneously trying to find out some random image, which you may later want to search on IITIIMShaadi.com. Having all these high hopes, thinking of entering a utopia, the first few days will be an eye-opener, I mean literally.

2        The multitude of learnings each term brings

They say “agar first year jhel liya to sab jhel liya”, they’re right in saying this. Each of the terms across the first year as PGP-I, if you want to have the real taste of life, get into as many activities as possible and then relax, just kidding, you won’t be having the time to do so. Term-I, is your litmus test, with the pressure of summer placements looming high up on your head, you’ll be introduced to the world of e-Mails, how they are convenient, convenient in making anybody’s life a misery. To top it all, the number of classes from 8:45 in the morning to well past 4 in the evening will be really fascinating. And for some lucky chaps, congrats for having an early one-year long HOP as you will daily trek to the Acad block from the distant suburbs we call Sri Lanka.

So first term is almost done, and it’s time for the early mornings at the Old Audi, 570 odd people, sitting like ducks, suited up with no close as to what do they aim for, but yet so confident and yet so smart. After all, they are students of an IIM.  This was a term which gave you almost no time to sleep, a lot to talk and a lot to make relationships, but for the latter, you need to gear up as people start headhunting from Day-1.

Contrast your life from Term-I here. You’ll suddenly be feeling like “have I reached the right college after my vacation?”. Ample time to sleep. Only one thing will be a hindrance. Say hi to the maximum credit term of your two-year stay at planet I. But it passes, brushes past you like a wind. By now, you’ll find yourself, addicted to the night mess, to JAM and to the Poha Point. Also, make most of the Saturday evening screenings in the campus, which you were devoid of in the last 2 months. It is a reward well-deserved for soaring past Term-I and summers.

For me Term III was kind of transitionary phase which apparently came after the transition. It is a mix of the best features of both Term-I and II. Sometimes you feel like the idlest person on the planet and at numerous other instances you are so overburdened that you don’t sleep for even 2 -3 days at one go.

3        Final Words…

All in all, that’s been my first year at IIM-Indore, which was followed by the Summer Internship. The first year and some of the friends you make in it, will change your life. Even if you said “Maine maa se waada kiya tha ki kabhi nahi badlunga”, she shall be proud to see how this places changes you and brings out the best in you. But to do the same you must plan-@-I. Earlier I said that you expect that this place teaches you subjects, let me clarify this myth, this place teaches how to make the most out of your time. After all, MBA is not just another course which gives you a degree, it gives you a way of life.

– Naman Jain (PGP2 Student of IIM Indore)

My first year at IIM Indore

 

 

Hello! my name is Laxman and I’m a PGP 2 student. I’m super excited to be a part of the IIM Indore and talk about what it’s like to be a student here.

On behalf of the year-old family of IIM Indore, we heartily welcome all the new students to Planet-I, your fruitful abode for the next two years.I remember reading a similar article when I was two days into the curriculum. And truth be told, I had a cocktail of emotions swirling around in me. Anxiety, nervousness, Unfamiliar places in an unfamiliar yet beautiful place and pretty much everything else one feels in a new environment.

Having heard so much of the rigorous framework of the MBA program in one of the Elite B-Schools of the country sure did leave giant butterflies in my belly. Now, being admitted that, I would say some were partially true. Yes, the curriculum was rigorous and taxing at times. Operating on mere 4-5 hours and managing assignments, extra-curricular activities and preparing for the term exams, was indeed exhausting. Not to mention, studying  many subjects for the first time ever and trying not to fall behind.

What you don’t hear is, how, in spite of the strenuous schedule at IIM Indore, students do end up having a gala of time. Thanks to all the clubs, committees and fests which keep the life at Planet-I beyond books and course materials, there are many other events to look forward since day 1. Be it dancing, singing, Sports and games contests, celebrating festivities in the traditional way, occasional DJ Parties, trivia quizzes,attending guest talks, participating in one of the major 3-day management and cultural fest of central India (Be on the lookout for this event. You don’t wanna miss it) and many more events involving famous figures from different fields (For instance, Gautam Gambhir).These are the moments no one hears of. And such moments really do etch a place in your mind.

Now, with a personal note, I did have a tough time in coping up with a few subjects in the first year. Primarily because of my non-math background. Not to demotivate you, you will find quite a few of similar situation. But here is where you hang out and make new buddies and in the process, learn a thing or two. So, two birds!

The subjects taught in subsequent terms help out the students by preparing them for the summer internship which is an integral part of the first year. I didn’t believe it until I started my internship but I did reminisce a concept I learnt in my first year and I applied it.

The summer internship selection process can be a daunting phase, but it shall pass out surprisingly well.

Then comes the phase of my internship. The company that I interned provided me with an opportunity to learn a great deal about the company and about the Industry as well. And being a fresher with no work experience, the learning was indeed new and very valuable.

With this, I eagerly await your arrival at the lovely campus of IIM Indore.

 

My share of the P-I (Planet-I)

Far away from the main city, into the suburban expanse between Indore and Bhopal lies a “society” called IIM Indore. Entering which might require the zenith of your labor, surviving which takes much more. I’m not usually the one who expresses his feelings, however when I think of the past one year or so, it’s tough not to get the thoughts flowing. It is the starting of the penultimate term at IIM Indore. One long year, which will surely hold a special place in my mind (or maybe heart)?
Being another one among the batch crowded with engineers, most of us confused as to why we chose this life, IIM is definitely overwhelming at start. Bewildered, innocent souls like me, unaware of the rules of this unique planet, land here only to be stormed away even by what would be a routine day at Planet-I. One has to part with the true love of his life, sleep, only to see him being drowned in the sand of ceaseless mandatory guest talks, arduous lectures, unthinkable to miss (or even do) assignments and distinctly sacrosanct deadlines. Some of us still can’t fathom the art of time stoppage during the lecture hours. Exams and surprise quizzes provide the icing on the cake. The identities borrowed during resume iteration, the fluency of the hesitant minds while making presentations, the sleep in wide eyes in lectures, become a part of our existence. We land here wanting college life back; end up wondering, whether college life wants us back?
At that moment you realize, the bitter sweet symphony that’s this post graduate college. Among the storm of classes, assignments and deadlines the rescuer i.e. spirit of the students makes us survive. The fitness sessions at the sports complex, the activities of clubs and committees, the birthday celebrations, the MOMOs at JAM, rejuvenate us. Celebrations of diverse festivals remind us of the world outside. Above all, this place presents us with friends for life. The late night parties, the trips to Mashal and the incessant random all-nighters pass us through the backlash of deadlines and the waning grades.
I was once told life at a B-school is just a glimpse of what’s to come. And with time I realized that this place is surely a glorified version of the future. Whatever be the case, call the infracom and get the internet working, open those dumbbell sized books, but more than anything, keep the spirit high and you will definitely come out as a better self.

Yes Man!

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So I had a full-fledged article for this blog, until one of my friends pointed out that there were two of them with the same theme. You’ll probably read one about the importance of saying no. It is important. Pretty important in this mad-mad dog eat dog world. But now since you’ve reached Planet-I, yes it is a planet, not only because it is completely isolated and someone from outside the walls seems like an alien, but also because it has a life of its own, it breathes and lives like you and me, only because of you and me. This ‘planet’ offers you a feast of opportunities to pick on, in terms of things you are good at, things you think you might be good at and things that you think you could never do.

What I wanted to say is Say YES my friend! Yes to trying things that you thought you could never do, yes to the business plan you never thought would work out, yes to that crazy dream you had when you were little, yes to trying to accomplish things you were not supposed to. Say yes to turning your life around, yes to saying ‘In Your face, Luck’. Most importantly, say yes to love, love for your passion, love for your career, love for your friends and of course, love for love.

The campus offers us amazing and real insights to almost everything we are interested in through guest talks and workshops, attend them. The library gives us books on almost everything on the face of this earth, read them. And needless to say we have incomparable infrastructure, in terms of sports facilities, magnificence and beauty (Do not miss the sunset point). Just go pick a cycle from the HRC and go explore! You’ll find something new every day.

All of this will sound a little clichéd, of course it is, clichés are called clichés for a reason; they work. Just say yes and see where life takes you. You’ll be surprised.

This article has been written by Soumya Loomba., PGP-1 student at IIM Indore.