IIM Shillong – KOPDA CUP: A Thrilling Experience

“All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy”

Sports forms an integral part of any educational institution especially a B-school for the stress that students have to face as they get overburdened with so many pre-reads and assignments every day. Majority B-schools have intra-college sports tournaments in a way where they divide the player’s basis their section or hostel wings and then carry out the whole proceedings. The unique thing about IIM Shillong is that it brings a deft touch of management into sports in the way it conducts sports tournaments.

Kopda cup is an annual cricket tournament which is conducted by the Sports committee of IIM Shillong. The special thing about this is that non-cricket lovers can also be a part of this by becoming managers of teams. The format of Kopda cup begins with an EOI (expression of interest) which is floated to figure out the number of players and managers who want to be a part of it. There is a pre-decided number of marquee players (best players of the campus) which are chosen by the Sports committee before-hand and these are supposed to be the captains of the teams involved. All the players are asked to fill details about their skills (batsman, bowler, all-rounder) in the EOI.  After this, all the players and managers are called and a bidding auction for the marquee players is done first. Let’s say there are 10 managers who have applied but only 8 marquee players are there. If a case like this arises, then the managers must bid real money to buy the marquee player that they want in their team as captain. This is done to balance the proportion between the marquee players and managers. After all, managers have chosen their captains, bidding for the players is done with virtual money. Every manager is given Rs 20000 virtual cash to buy 13-15 players depending on the participation with Rs 500 set as the minimum bid for every player. The bidding is done with the photo of every player displayed on the large projector along with his cricketing skills. Managers raise the bid if they want a particular player keeping in mind the fixed amount of money that they have. The auction is a simulation of the IPL auction and gives the students an enriching experience of how strategy bidding is actually done.

Now talking about my experience with Kopda, it was simply thrilling. I was a marquee player and was bought for Rs 4000 real cash, the second costliest buy. The reason for this was the scintillating form I was in, prior to the tournament. I was bought by one of my closest friends who had showed immense faith in me. After having picked up as the captain, my task was to build a balanced team of players. My friend (manager) did not have any idea of how the players played so the onus was on me to decide how much bid was to be set for each player. Basis my prior knowledge of the players, I had decided my team and my only aim was to win matches with this team. As the tournament progressed, I realised that I was carrying too much responsibility on my shoulders due to which I could not perform up to my level which led to the downfall of my team. Be it batting, bowling or wicketkeeping, my team told me to do everything. This should have been vice-versa with me showing faith in my players and instructing them to do what I felt. This was the reason our team came last in the tournament without having won a single match.

I was the most joked around person in the campus for the performance that I gave despite being the second costliest buy. Majority contribution to making fun of me went to my manager (one of my closest friends) who still regrets choosing me as his captain. I took all this in good spirit although it did feel embarrassing at times. The fact that I needed to show trust in my players to relieve pressure of myself, not shuffle the batting order so much and choose the right set of players in the auction (1 match winner compared to 3 average players) was what I took away as my learnings from the Kopda cup.

Sweet Revenge is what I am seeking for in this year’s edition of the Kopda cup. It is great that tournaments like these are promoted in B-schools as they have a lot to give to the students apart from just the game skills.

Which ABG company would you want to work for and Why?

I would want to work with Idea Cellular because I feel that this industry is highly competitive and with the merger of Vodafone and Idea on the cards, there would be many challenges they would face in terms of how a single entity would cater to such high number of subscribers that too with varied preferences (Idea was targeting rural population whereas Vodafone was for urban population). I like challenging work and this is what I expect if I get a chance to work with Idea.

Also, the fact that I developed a marketing strategy for Vodafone during my internship stint, I know the nitty gritty of the telecom industry to a large extent which is why I would love to part of it.


Deep Rustagi

PGP 2nd Year

IIM Shillong

IIM Shillong Placement Committee

Placement Committee of IIM Shillong