It was a thirty two hour long journey that got me all the way from Kolkata, West Bengal to IIM Kashipur, Uttarakhand. And there was nothing but joy in my mind ever since the day I had got my final call. Coincidentally, I had received my call while I was in a train that was bringing me back from Jalpaiguri Government Engineering College, West Bengal to Kolkata, West Bengal. And the very moment of joy kept on flashing through my mind all the way from Kolkata to Kashipur!
Finally I was at IIM Kashipur.
From the benches and classrooms of a local school in Kolkata, to the hallowed lecture halls of IIM Kashipur, it has been a journey indeed. And there were bumps here and there all the time. I guess they are a part and parcel of life. They'll always figure out a way to invade our lives!
The first hiccup was choosing which IIM to attend. When the first covert came, it was an amazing feeling. When the second came, it was mixed reactions. By the time the sixth came it was pure pandemonium! Calls after calls. Infinite number of texts to the official group. Humongous number of google searches to find which is better. And finally IIM Kashipur was the decision.
So, here I was in a pristine hostel, with superb amenities, a very amiable culture and no language barrier to my surprize. I had melded into the fabric of IIM Kashipur and all the city in a very short span of time! The people were rather welcoming. Unlike the metros, people fought less over a rupee or two for the auto fare, people said 'thank you' much more often, food was amazing and the best part was the presence of Delhi for the weekends! No wonder we chose startups in Delhi for our Marketing Projects!
Day 1 started with a bang! Breakfast, bus ride, lots of chit chat- and then a silence of awe. Day numero uno was for knowing the campuses.
The amazing old campus just blew all our minds away. It was BEAUTIFUL. Lush, green, open. Unlike most of the new sister IIMs which are operating from shared campuses, IIM Kashipur held its own. It was like a full fledged campus, just that we were promised an even better one!
And BETTER it was! The new campus a slice of heaven on earth. Had Akbar been alive, he would have surely said, "For if there be a B-School heaven on earth, it is nowhere but at IIM Kashipur."
It is simply amazing! The brilliant arches, the brick red hostels, the cobbled pathways - it is just like a dream of a campus. The huge amphitheatre will surely remind you of the Colosseum of Rome! It is surely an attention grabber!
Wandering around all over the place for more than two hours, me and my friends gathered at the Dining Hall to have the first dinner with all the faculties, supporting staff and students of IIM Kashipur.
"We promised to be the first to move to a new campus. We have delivered.", were the resounding words of Prof. Gautum Sinha, Director, IIM Kashipur.
As the present accommodations only served the batch of 2017, we were quick to ask our professor as to when we, batch of 2018 would be there to join the thrill of our new campus. We have been promised to be shifted to the new campus by the end of term two. And I am eagerly waiting for that day! Even though the old campus is amazing, the new campus is just in a level of its own!
With day two started the initiation journey of an IIM-The Induction.
We worked, we read, we collaborated, we created ads, we did analysis and even after that we did a lot more. The strain was preparing us for the life of a business head. I barely got to sleep for four hours each day during the induction, but it prepared me for a life of hard work and rigour, something that is a trademark of an IIM.
I consider myself lucky to have been taught 'How to approach a case' by Dr. Sinha, who was awarded the best Operations Professor's award in Asia, 2014. He made things tick. The classes incited the peak of our interests, and he tested the mettle of every single student in the auditorium, attending his lecture. Question could fly in from engineering, arts, politics, sales strategy, history, music and a lot more dimensions. We always had to be on the tip of our toes to be able to answer back with full confidence! And there was an incentive scheme. Whoever writes down the problem statement correctly after comprehending the case, would get an IIM Kashipur labelled pen drive from Dr. Sinha himself. I am glad to say that I took up the challenge and am owner of an IIM Kashipur souvenir that only professors can claim to have! Thank you Dr. Sinha!
With the chapter of induction coming to a close, we were taken for our outbound trip. And when you are in Uttarakhand, what better place than Nainital!
Those two days were some of the best ever. From outdoor activities to indoor swimming, from bonfires to spooky ghost stories, we did it all.
One thing that IIM Kashipur provides post induction, is rather unique to IIM Kashipur only. Being in one of the densest industrialized areas of southeast Asia, IIM Kashipur ensures that students take advantage of that fact.
Groups of students were sent to some of the biggest industry names, to expose themselves to the facets of the corporate world. This year, we visited Tata Motors, Ashok Leyland, Perfetti, Bajaj Motors and Zippy Edible. This was an amazing experience, as these are some of the corporate giants who touch our everyday lives.
The most amazing guest lectures are the ones from the alumni. Karthik Reddy, Founder of MoSwap came over to share his experience with us. There is something, the kind of informal speech that an alumni can deliver, the kind of connect they can form with existing students, which probably makes us believe that even we can become successful entrepreneurs and corporate leaders. The same happened when Sarvesh K. Verma, IIM Kashipur alumnus and author of one of the best selling CAT books in India, Quantum Cat, when he came over to share his experience. We had many other esteemed guests interact with us during this short span of forty days. Most notably, we had Dr. Manoj Jha of Social Welfare Department, DU, interact with us, to discuss about his perspective of what a society should be like.
We got to know so many facades of IIM Kashipur, that makes it so unique- Bikers club, Cycling club, Gender equality club, IIM Kashipur based startups- Craftskhana, CultStone, Grub-bite, etc. They just made me aspire more, believe more and most importantly work more.
In these 40 days since the start of classes, I've led my team into the top 7 for disruptive marketing competition at Eximius , IIM Bangalore. And it is not just me! I have seen four people crack CFA already, various other teams win various other accolades, several live projects have been undertake by the students, huge number of participations for various national level competitions, and the list just goes on and on.
To be true it is this enduring effort that makes IIM Kashipur what it is.
Yes, it is true IIM Kashipur has a tremendous class and academic rigour. There are loads of classes and assignments and regular tests. But look, it has been only forty days, and I've learnt to manage things so well that I've chimed in an article this big even after preparing for quizzes, PPTs, case studies and pre-reads for Monday's classes!
Dr. Sinha had rightly said on the inauguration day,"In these twenty month, you will either change into someone better, or we'll change you into someone better."
This has been Roop Pratim Datta.
Signing out. Cheerio!