The IIFT Evolution
“Be still when you have nothing to say; when genuine passion moves you, say what you’ve got to say and say it hot.” I didn’t think much about this quote from D. H. Lawrence until I was compelled to, which was when I started at IIFT Delhi. A student’s life at IIFT begins with the ‘PDP’, a week long personality development program run by the senior batch. I don’t think I’ll do justice to PDP by even trying to describe it but what is important for the reader to know about PDP is that it takes away your ability to sleep, literally. This was a fact some of us learnt the hard way, especially one of my batch mates who we’ve come to know as ‘Hypnos’. Prior to joining IIFT, Hypnos was a sales executive who had perfected the art of power-naps while moving between multiple clients. Little to his knowledge, this habit would prove to be a very costly one in the coming days.
The purpose of PDP is to prepare you for the realities of the life of a manager, which, (un)surprisingly doesn’t involve much leisure. Now, Hypnos wasn’t prepared for the battery drainage that resulted from the PDP and as a result increased his frequency of charge inducing power naps. This had repercussions, as does one expect after dozing off in multiple sessions, one of which was to give an extempore to the whole batch on the topic “Sleep is my enemy”. Now, Hypnos on the outset didn’t seem like the person you’d associate with the D. H. Lawrence quote above mainly because he had the everlasting expression of exhaustion on his face added to the fact that he was scrawny, a bit short with respect to the average height and had a very unassuming demeanour. Everyone in the batch, including me, didn’t really expect anything. But boy were we wrong, he took to stage/public speaking like a duck to water. He got up there and everything about him changed; he looked sharp, confident and his eyes lit up like he had found Atlantis.
It was as if Mark Antony himself had descended from the heavens above to bless us with an extempore. He didn’t just say it ‘hot’, he slayed every aspect of the supposed ‘punishment’ be it the content, oratory or mannerisms. He was articulate, compendious and polished. To me, this was a surprise and a very much needed wakeup call as due the rigor and stress of the PDP, I had gotten into the habit of quickly judging my fellow batch mates without properly interaction with them. This incident made me realise how lucky I was to be amongst such talented and wonderful people who, like a good book, can’t be judged by their cover. I sincerely hope I’m able to witness/catalyse the evolution of every Hypnos to Mark Anthony in my time here. Another evolution which I’m excited about is mine, from that of an engineering graduate who happens to be a finance enthusiast to a competent financial manager, hopefully, at Aditya Birla Capital Limited (ABCL).