Snapshots from Hell – 2

How do I start this post? I have so much to write … So many things have happened since the last time I posted here. The first term @ IIM Lucknow went off peacefully without creating too many problems for me. Thanks to the almighty, I am still surviving.

I have never found myself being so busy… Invariably I have been sleeping for less than 4 hours a day for the last so many days (I have lost count of the same). My old buddies would laugh at me saying that a lazy ass like me would never do that. Friends! This is true. A typical day consists of four academic classes but life does not stop here with the end of the classes… There is much more to a day than class room sessions here in IIML. As some one rightly pointed out, our day starts at 10:00 p.m. in the night.

Take a small example: I have this live project of one FMCG major for which I have been to villages quite a number of times. I am not new to villages… In fact I am born and brought up in a beautiful village back there in Assam. But the sheer experience of going there as a ‘guy from the city’ with villagers and kids following me (rather us) while we were conducting the primary research was an exhilarating experience. Now we have been to villages which are around 30 – 35 k.m away from the campus. The surveys are usually long and take at least 15-20 minutes per respondent. The major hurdle is to convince people to respond to our questions… If they agree to respond, then the second hurdle is to speak in dehati language so that they understand what we are asking. I have realized a few things which any marketeer should understand:

  • The people living in villages are not fools… They are smart and we should treat them as smart people.
  • Never approach ladies in villages for surveys (in this part of the country) if you don’t have any girl in the group. You could be chased down the road… We were almost close once… He he 😀

The photo above shows an interview in progress. I am sure all of us in the group must have thoroughly enjoyed the process of going and conducting surveys in the places where true India lives. CK Prahalad correctly talked about “fortune at the bottom of the pyramid”. We could see that! Apart from these surveys, the whole project has given us an unparalleled experience of doing a live project. I am sure that next time we do it , we will do it even better… the learning has been immense here.

The day does not end here. I have the additional responsibility of being a Manfest core committee member. I must say I am enjoying working for it… People having similar experiences would acknowledge that working for such a mega event is not easy at a time when you have a demanding atmosphere on the other hand. I just hope we can do well and make the event a huge success.

Apart from all these, you always have projects, quizzes, assignments, CP etc. in a B-School. I personally cannot be a free rider. I feel that if I cannot manage to do this bit, then I cannot become a good manager. All these things culminate into a very packed schedule which have resulted into the following:

  • A huge pile of ET in my room which have remained unopened for the last so many days
  • Nervous break downs… (Over stated :D)
  • Daily morning blues where I wake up every morning worrying if I missed the first class. The table clock comes to the rescue…! 😛

Leave these aside. The summer placements are approaching. There are so many good companies coming down to the campus for the Pre-Placement Talks. There are many international profiles up for grabs… But looking at the arbitrary nature of the summers’ process, no one can say where one would go. I think that it is better to be a bit focused about the field where one wants to end up… or selecting the companies whom to sit for. That would help a lot from the point of view of preparation.

I ought to devote some time for my summers preparation. Making CVs, framing answers for the commonly asked questions, filling in company forms and what not…?

I will wind up now… Have lotza work to do. I don’t know when I will be able to post again… But I hope the next time I post, I have some better news for you all.

Ciao! 🙂