Mood Indigo – A Management Perspective – SJMSOM

It was hyped as Asia’s largest college festival. During those days, IIT Bombay becomes the place where the World wants to be for the best four days of their lives. And finally, as a first year MBA student of Shailesh J. Mehta School of Management, IIT Bombay, I got a chance to witness this extravaganza. Reached campus on the morning of 20th December in the middle of a semester break because it was time for Mood Indigo 2013!

The build up to the main event had been amazing with a lot of shows prior to the event, gatherings in different cities across India, strong promotion on social media and a buzz around the campus all of which raised the expectations from the festival. And indeed, Mood I, as we call it, did not disappoint. It was 4 days of non-stop entertainment where every corner of the 550 acres IITB campus was buzzing with activity. Be it the announced competitions, the on-the-spot fun events, extempore competitions, interactive sessions, workshops, entertainment events or media events, the enthusiasm of the crowd was there to be seen. Just when the energy levels were at their peak, there would be a fresh shot of adrenaline for the evening concerts. And after an intensity filled concert, late night shows would be a perfect way to chill while appreciating some classy acts. That followed by some fun sessions around a campfire which went on till the wee hours of the morning would ensure that no one sleeps during the 4 days of Mood I.

The events during the festival were classified into 3 categories and a different team managing each category. The “Competitions” category would have all the announced competitions grouped together where colleges would nominate teams and a contingent leader from each college contingent would co-ordinate participation from his/her college. This category covered almost every competition ever seen in a college festival, you name it and it was there! A hard fought battle of supremacy where each contingent put in their best men and women and weeks of tireless practice to bring glory to their college! The “Informals” category was about all the on-the-spot competitions, media events and sponsor events. Events like “pit stop challenge”, “She’s got the look” and many quizzes and races gave participants an opportunity to rare experiences.
The “Horizons” was the category of events where Mood Indigo threw all its star power at the crowd. Interactive sessions with the likes of Amir Khan, humour shows featuring the best of theatre artists and performers from worldwide set to accomplish 1 task – Entertain! These events drew crowds from the other end of the globe and were expectedly, the most watched! The concerts featured the best performers with Euphoria on one evening and Mohit Chauhan on another. There was Mike Portnoy doing his magic with the drums too. There was of course, much more than went around the campus day and night.

So what is it that makes Mood Indigo such a success story? Asia’s largest college festival, and undoubtedly the best for such a long time. Is there something that the organizers manage to get right every time or are there any inherent advantages that Mood I enjoys? Let’s try and analyze this 4 day extravaganza from the lens of a management student.

Let’s first look at the most fundamental analysis of Mood I – The 4P analysis:-


Product: – The fundamental of marketing is to have a quality product which can be sold. Every college has its own cultural festival. So what is it about Mood Indigo as a festival that sets it apart? I believe it is the quality of competitions. To attract colleges, you need good competitions and Mood I manages a perfect mix of traditional competitions and a lot of innovative competitions which challenges the youth of the country to come and test their limits.

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Price: – A good product would not sell if it isn’t priced appropriately is an uncompromising rule in marketing. All the competitions in Mood I are without any entry fee. Participants are provided accommodation for 4 days on campus at a minimal charge. All a participating college needs to do is to get on campus, participate with all their might and enjoy the event. The returns are alluring too! Winners not only get a healthy monetary reward but more importantly some opportunities they can grab are enviable. For example direct entries into Miss India audition finals!!
Place: – Mumbaaaiii! The financial and fun capital of India. Easy to attract sponsors and easy to attract participants and performers from all over the globe. To top it up, there is the brand name that IIT Bombay enjoys as the most prestigious college in the country. And with that comes all the facilities and facilitating power that the organizers use to the very best! An inherent advantage that makes the job of the organizers a tad easy.

Promotion: – Say the word “Mood Indigo” to a young graduate from a respectable college in India and you will know the brand image this festival enjoys! The promotion starts months in advance with a classy website and a lot of social media activity. Just the way they launch the name of the rock band which will perform for the event generates anticipation! You will have a countdown on Twitter and Facebook, and the name announcement online will coincide with physical banners being put on all over the campus. All at one time! Besides, Mood I also does shows in cities like Kolkata, Delhi, Pune etc. months in advance as a build up to the main event. There are also shows done on campus like the Bawanraas concert in October this year along with Avenues and School of Management, IIT Bombay. Partnering with print, TV and radio media provides visibility of the best kind on a regular basis. Good promotion is what sells a product and Mood I puts its might into promoting the event extensively in the most impeccable manner possible! No wonder it attracts participation from over 3000 colleges and a footfall of over 1,04,000 people!
Let us now do a quick SWOT analysis of the festival to see what we do well and what is it that can be done better.

A close observation will yield some of the major strengths and weaknesses of Mood Indigo while a small thought will show some opportunities waiting to be capitalised. A little bit of effort and better involvement of the entire student community of IIT Bombay can help the organizers overcome the weaknesses listed above and make the festival more complete. Mood Indigo has many flagship events but there is an opportunity to create that one event which goes beyond global boundaries and is the most anticipated event of the year. Something like robowars in the field of robotics. Since the event attracts thousands of people, crowd management becomes an important part and should be outsourced to agencies meant for specialized crowd management. Festivals like these often attract controversies and Mood I needs a good PR team to avoid and manage controversies if any.
All in all, there are some fundamental managerial advantages that Mood Indigo enjoys which make it Asia’s largest college festival and these need to be developed on a constant basis to ensure that the tag converts to World’s largest college festival sometime in the future.

Pushkin Kasat
Master of Management (2013-15)
SJMSOM, IIT Bombay

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