My First Month At IIM Sambalpur – Rishav Jhunjhunwala

It all started when I cleared the interview rounds of CAP selection process and received the admission offer from IIM Sambalpur. I was in a dilemma whether I should get some relevant work experience or join a good MBA college this year itself. IIM Sambalpur is located in a small city in the western part of Odisha. Sambalpur is one of the most beautiful cities of Eastern India that is untouched by the ravines of urbanization. However, there are major roadblocks that plague most of the tier 3 cities in India. But with difficulties, come a plethora of opportunities. That is where I wanted to maximize my utility in my pursuit of becoming a social entrepreneur.  I was always intrigued by the nuances of the smaller cities in our country and wanted to explore the gamut of opportunities that lay ahead. So IIM Sambalpur fitted right into the alleys of my conviction. After contemplating my future aspirations of becoming an entrepreneur, I joined the PGP program at IIM Sambalpur.

Being fresh out of college, it was a new experience for me to live away from home. Initially, I was a little nervous and hesitant, but nevertheless, I looked forward to learning from my peers and mentors at IIM Sambalpur. When I landed at Sambalpur, I was quite fascinated with the humdrum of the slow city life and the huge expanse of the virgin countryside. The beauty of the narrow slithery roads, the burnt sienna silhouettes of the temples charmed me. I was amazed at the symbiotic and harmonious relationship that the residents of Sambalpur share with Mother Nature. The people of Sambalpur are hardworking and believe in leading a simple life. In spite of working sedulously, the denizens are often faced with difficulties due to the lack of opportunities. Opportunities are imperative for social upliftment and inclusion into the progressive bandwagon of India. The ethos of IIM Sambalpur was incepted on this very ideology to bridge this palpable difference. As I entered the hallowed portals of IIM Sambalpur, it instilled in me the vision of ‘Integrity, Inclusion, and Innovation’. The hostels of IIM Sambalpur were very spacious and located against a backdrop of lush greenery and beautiful hillocks. I reveled in the camaraderie of my fellow batchmates who hailed from the length and breadth of our country. It was a harbinger of the many waves of laughter and heartbreaks that we were to share in these two years!

The next day was the first day of our Orientation Program which started with an invigorating speech from our Director, Dr. Mahadeo Jaiswal. The occasion was also graced by the Managing Director and Partner of Boston Consulting Group (BCG), Mr. Ashish Garg. Our Director Sir empowered us by designating IIM Sambalpur as IIM 3.0 and goaded us to use the best of the opportunities at our disposal. He further galvanized the incoming PGP batch on the importance of solving the several social roadblocks in the country. Dr. Jaiswal also pressed on the fact as to why the new and the newer IIMs were established after having the old generation IIMs for decades. Older IIMs were facing the problem of rigidity and red tape, which is why the government came up with the idea of newer IIMs. The Government and the MHRD feel that propagating new ideas and identifying problems can be achieved very easily at these new institutions. Mr. Garg also reminisced about his bygone days at IIM Calcutta and assured us of IIM Sambalpur reaching the pinnacle of success in a not so distant future.

Our induction week flew by as quickly as a wink and we were really spent by living the IIM life in just a week! We had morning and afternoon sessions which were occupied with guest lectures from eminent industrialists and corporate stalwarts. These personalities of marquee stature helped imbibe in us lessons that they had cherished from their rich experiences across diverse work functions. Overall it was a different experiential learning curve from what I had acquired during my under-graduation stint. In the evenings, we had several informal activities planned for us by the PGP 2 seniors which were interactive and fun-filled. We got the knowledge about different clubs and committees that function in the college. There were various events organized by the clubs of IIM Sambalpur viz. The Entrepreneurship Cell, Consiglio-The Consulting Club, Bears, and Bulls-The Finance Club, Emporia-The Marketing Club, and many others. The PGP I cohort were given tasks of coming up with an innovative business idea, providing solutions of actual consulting simulations practiced by different companies, ascertaining the task to analyze the financial health of a list of companies and so on. I was exhilarated when I won the first prize amongst our batch for the finance event at IIM Sambalpur.

After the induction week, our classes began with full swing. Multiple assignments and quizzes filled our appetite and sleep became a luxury we could not afford. Twenty-four hours in a day was not enough to get things done on time. So we slogged hard and pushed our limits, which is the mantra for success at IIM Sambalpur. It helped me utilize time more productively and efficiently. We were given group assignments to hone the team culture and coordination amongst each other. Each and every student at IIM Sambalpur possesses a zeal to grow and become better versions of themselves by each passing day. The brilliant minds here share the common aspiration of striving hard to transform their alma mater, IIM Sambalpur, into one of the best institutes of our country.

Rishav Jhunjhunwala

Rishav Jhunjhunwala is a first year PGP participant at IIM Sambalpur. He is also a part of the cultural club - Kalakriti of IIM Sambalpur. Hailing from the city of joy, Rishav loves playing cricket and table tennis.