There’s a Lot More to Life at IIM Indore – Rural Immersion, Himalayan Outbound and Industrial Visits

As a pioneer of imparting practical learning to its participants, IIM Indore organizes some unique activities, under the umbrella of what is very rightly dubbed as “Experiential Learning”. There are three programmes organized during the course of the two year PGP course, viz Himalayan Outbound Programme for the second year participants, Rural Immersion Programme and Industrial Visits for the first year participants.

All the three, despite being very different from one another, have one thing in common; they strive towards equipping the managers of tomorrow with the ability to experience, understand and analyze the nuances of management through real life scenarios, so that the inherent gap between classroom learning and handling practical situations be bridged. One important element that pervades all the three programmes, is Team Play, which indeed is a great learning opportunity for one and all.

The Himalayan Outbound Programme:

Away from the humdrum of campus life into the serene and blissful; perilous and towering Himalayas, go the budding managers, looking forward to one of the most enriching and exciting experiences of their life.A four day excursion programme, fondly awaited by one and all sees the participation of PGP students of IIM Indore, Mumbai campus as well. The event, coordinated by IndiaHikes, a trekking organization, has three days of trekking followed by one day of rafting in any one of the designated four altitude treks-Kedarkantha,BedniBugyal,DayaraBugyal and Nainital.

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Smiling faces posing at Kedarkantha Base

The participants of the programme are divided into groups, which compete for the title “Trek Champions of Himalayas”. To add to the adventure, is the concept of Mountain Money, an initial sum of money provided to them. The objective is to maximize this money by bidding for each task in the process, very thoughtfully.

The groups witness a seamless transition into teams, when they realize the onus of winning the tasks and acquiring the title. The tasks bear not only innovative names like “Race to the Summit”, “Survival Cooking”, “Pitching and un pitching the tent”, “Skit on eco friendliness”,  but also very well devised game plans.

The participants of the contest, are graded on various qualities of team work, innovative solutions, attention to detail, decision making ability, and the like.

As our PGP Chair, Professor Dipayan Dutta puts it, “The Himalayan Outbound Programme is an initiative aimed at making our students experience the real life challenges, that the job of a manager entails. It gives them an opportunity to apply the classroom teaching , hence reinforcing  the concepts of goal setting, team work, group dynamics, strategy, coordination and control, while  living every moment of life to the fullest”

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 Brave hearts striving hard to sustain the vagaries of weather and terrain

 The Rural Immersion Programme:

This unique programme, has been designed to sensitize the budding managers of tomorrow towards the various schemes adopted by the Government of India viz Indira Gandhi AwaasYojana, Mid-Day meal scheme, Nirmal Bharat Abhiyan and, the Samagra Samajik Suraksha Mission or SSSM scheme started by the Government of Madhya Pradesh .  They interact with the villagers, inviting them to share their problems with them, to  find out how can their lives be improved for a better tomorrow.

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 A Group with students at a school in Village Imlia, Bhopal

 The programme is well co-ordinated with the Madhya Pradesh Mantralaya, Bhopal.  Participants from the PGP and IPM batches are divided into groups of fourteen. Each group is then sent to a particular district, covering places like Shahdol, Panna, Dhar as well as districts near the Pithampur campus like Khargone, Ujjain, Barwani, and Indore.

Visiting several villages over the week, the participants get a chance to discuss the problems faced by rural India with the Sarpanch at the Gram Panchayat level to the Collector at the district level. They realize that things are easier said than done and witness the managerial challenges present between planning a scheme and implementing one in the real world. The insights that they extract  are shared with the concerned authorities through their detailed analysis report. This facilitates the people in power to look at various problems and shortcomings in the system, through the eyes of promising managers, brimming with  ideas.

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 Mid Day Meal implementation being observed at a village school near district Bhopal.

Also popular as RIP, within the IIM Indore community, it challenges the participants to stretch beyond their boundaries, and adjust to unknown and unseen environment. Into the rural areas of Madhya Pradesh for seven days, they get a flavor of real India; with mid day meals for lunch, they eat with the kids of rural India and  the discussions, fun games by the bonfire, to spend the cold nights in the village, indeed make RIP a journey, worth remembering.

Industrial Visits:

Industrial Visits are organized for the first year participants every week, that give them an opportunity to visit noteworthy places in the Indore city, like Indore Police Branches, Bombay Hospital, Madhya Pradesh Financial Corporation, News Today Newspaper, TI Mall and many more.

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A participant’s camera very minutely captures the Water Treatment Plant at TI Mall, Indore

The groups of participants are required to interact with the parties at their place of visit, try to understand their work, and gauge the possible problems faced and bottlenecks encountered in the day-to-day functioning. It is a unique opportunity wherein they get to hear directly from the horse’s mouth the working of the department, so much so that participants get the privilege of talking to the head of Crime Branch, Indore Police if their task is to understand the crime position of the city. They are given the liberty to question them freely, as a part of their analysis.

After about six visits, the groups submit an account of the place assigned to them, the kind of work performed there, the problems identified and possible recommendations to rectify those problems, based on their analysis of the situation and the variables.

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 Jubilant faces outside the Indore Police Headquarters

In continuation with its efforts to develop the all round personality of its participants, and churn out managers who are not only adept at managing people and situations, but also are sensitive towards the needs of others, IIM Indore has been very religiously organizing these programmes every year.

Where on one side, the raw minds that enter into the folds of this great academic institution are moulded into polished gems with managerial expertise and talents, on the other side, the participants here, live moments that are bound to remain etched in their memory for times to come, making these two years at IIM Indore, the most exciting and enriching years of their life.

-By Alisha Mittal

Member, Media and PR Committee, IIM Indore

IIM Indore

This article is published by Media and PR Committee, IIM Indore

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