My 1 year journey (PGPX @IIMA) has just come to an end and eyes turn misty as I brace myself to hand over the keys of MSH 901 to the facilities office and just move on with life. So what has been the NPV and IRR of this journey, asks the Chartered Accountant in me who had hirtherto been an EV/EBITDA and Free Cash Flow to Equity cruncher to the house of Tatas and Birlas

These red bricks have implanted dreams in the eyes of thousands, both the ones who made it to this place as well as the ones for whom it remained just an unfulfilled dream. To cut the long story short, I realise that my tryst with these red bricks cannot be valued in terms in money. You can’t prepare a DCF model for a magical experience

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The first  thing IIMA does to you is to make you humble. You enter this place with castles in the air, with this inflated sense of ego about your IQ and then realise that this place gives every outlier a run for his/her money. You feel elated that you’ve answered 19/20 questions in an Economic Quiz correctly , only to find that 6 guys have aced it 20 on 20. You study till 4 AM in your syndicate rooms and on returning back to your dorm , feel crushed when lights are on everywhere. You eventually find our own place under the bell curve and become comfortable in your own skin. And certainly grades aren’t everything and infact nothing

You have a Prof who scored a 10/10 in his IIT days ( a record unparalled since  30+ years) + an IIM gold medalist +TAS+ Harvard Business School and then with all the humility in this world teaches you fab concepts of how to lead professional services firms by coming down to your level. A national level transfer pricing lead of a Big 4 actually teaches you Transfer Pricing , a New York high street trader descends onto campus to discuss concepts of Option Trading and an ex SEBI directorate teachs you securities regulations. You find that this unassuming personality who teaches you about  the surge of dopamine and serotonin in the brain and coaches you how to prime customers in course of his marketing sessions is actually a walking encyclopaedia – IIT Kanpur+IIM A+University of Texas at Austin+London Business School.You realise that the Professor who is teaching you Economics in such a lucid style actually sits in highly empowered RBI committees and brainstorms on issues that affect millions. Your Infrastucture Sector Professor actually is on the Board of leading infra companies. Your Professor teaching you Corporate Governance actually is on the Board of leading PSUs  This list can go on and on. Its really mesmerising.

Coming to people, who meet so many gems in course of the 1 year that these relationships seem priceless. Peers as well as alums. Peers who have had such quite a rich experience . You suddenly realise at an alum reunion that this person heads Axis Bank, the other Saint Gobain and the other Reliance Infra and on and on. You meet a snooty FMCG territory manager for a vertical and start the conversation, telling him that you know his India head as well as South Asia head and the guy kind of gets now grounded and talks eye to eye. This is the power of these red bricks. 60% of Indian CEOs have passed thru these portals. You accept Linkedin requests when you see those red bricks in the photo background

Those stormy classroom discussions on Harvard, Stanford and IIMA cases which make you think and think and think on diverse problems that emerge in course of these historic ups and downs of mega corporates. The perspectives brought in by peers and professors are simply mind blowing. It sometimes does hit the ego – ” abey mujhe kyun nahi chamka ye logic”  says the subconscious only to surrender to the larger intellectual prowess of the people around

You do “yognidra” in one session as part of a creativity course and compete with the best teams in the world through Capstone Business Simulation game in the next

You realise its not “ram rajya’ and hence all shades of black, white and grey. You learn to handle friends and foes with elan. It makes you certainly much stronger.

You work on your startup- www.cajobportal.com so much that you kind of become synomynous with the buzzword – ‘entrepreneur’ on campus.

You have a 2 year old daughter who gets neck deep in love with this place and refuses to say Adieu.

There is a lot more to this place which cant be expressed in qualitative and quantitative terms. To me, IIMA is just a silent prayer come true.

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