8th September, Thursday morning was quite eventful for the three of us. Not just that the lights were out for the most part of it and that the classes were a bit overloaded, but it was all the more significant because we were to begin our journey to the one of the best management institutions of India – the Indian Institute of Management, Indore.

Every year, IIM Indore’s IPM students organize a national level management fest named Atharv. This year too, Atharv was organized from 9th to 12th of September at IIM Indore. The fest is a plethora of events wherein students from more than 400 institutions across India (such as IITs, DU, GNLU, Christ-Bangalore, Symbiosis-Pune, etc.) come and participate, leading to greater exchange of knowledge along with lots of fun. One of these events was the Pi-Quiz, which was organized for school students across India. It involved a screening test at the preliminary level, from which a few students are selected for the second round to be held at IIM Indore. And we were selected from our school.

We began the 8 hour journey at around 11 a.m. on that eventful morning along with Purvesh Sir and Milanbhai from AVM.

By 7:30 p.m. in the evening, the memorable journey ended with us reaching IIM Indore’s 200 acre campus spread out on hillside on the outskirts of the city.

The beautiful campus roads led us to the Executive Residence 3, where we were to be lodged. We were also greeted by our alumni Tanmaybhai (2nd year IPM; AVM Class of 2015) and Sumitbhai (1st year IPM; AVM Class of 2016). After dinner, we met the Pi-Quiz coordinators Utsav Vadgama and Rhealina Nayak who briefed us regarding the events that were to be held in these three days. The schedule was as follows:

Day Time Event Venue
9th September 6 p.m. – 8 p.m. Treasure Hunt HRC
  8 p.m. – 9 p.m. Interaction with Core Team HRC
10th September 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. Round-1 (Game of Shadows) F-101 (Academic Block)
  2 p.m. – 3:30 p.m. Vendition Vendetta Academic Block
  4 p.m. – 5 p.m. Workshop/Interaction with Dr. G. Venkat Raman SRC
  5 p.m. – 8 p.m. Round-2 (Finopoly) SRC
11th September 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. Final round SRC


The Pi-Quiz

The Pi-Quiz, the only event in the fest held for school students, involved 57 students from cities all across India (including Chennai, Hyderabad, Kanpur, Faridabad, etc.).

The fest began on the 9th of September marked by the inaugural held in the Institute’s New Auditorium. The hosts of the program discussed about the significance of the fest. After the completion of some formalities, we were then addressed by the Institute director Rishikesha T Krishnan. This was followed by a one of its kind industrial conclave, wherein notable industrialists and people from the field of management had come to discuss about “management as the root of all achievements”. The discussion revolved around ideas such as:

  1. Management is all about managing men.
  2. Setting the priorities right.
  3. The scientific aspect of management.
  4. Management is composed of two halves – what you know and whom you know.

We also had a short meet with one of the I-Conclave members – Mr. Ankit Buti, the founder of StartupEd.

In the evening, all the Pi-Quiz students met at the reception of ER- 3 for a treasure hunt event. We were divided in random groups of 3 with a sheet of paper listing all the clues. The next two hours saw all the groups crazily revolving around the campus.


10th of September was the busiest day of our stay and so was its morning when we were led to the academic block for the 1st part of the 2nd round of the Pi-Quiz – “The Game of Shadows”. Based on the game theory, this game was a test of our ability to predict the mind set of crowd and lobby others to give the answers we would want them to. Through this round, each one of us made our portfolio of artificial money.

After some lunch and rest, we participated in the marketing event – Vendition Vendetta hosted by Tanmaybhai. Teams from different colleges across India were to advertise different products to us by adding a magical element to it based on the Harry Potter theme. Those of us who would judge perfectly would get some reward. We were able to win 3 of them.

Just after this there was a guest lecture of Professor Venkat Raman in the SRC block of the campus. As a professor of humanities and sociology, he discussed the importance of humanities and history in management and leadership and also emphasised on the ever present utility of mathematics.

After the lecture Purvesh Sir and Sumitbhai briefly met the Institute Director, Prof. Rishikesha T Krishnan near academic blocks and also presented our school magazine, ‘Hriday’ to him. Rishikesha Sir’s welcoming gesture was full of humility.

After a short break, the second part of Round II of Pi-Quiz – Finopoly – began in the SRC block. In teams of two we were supposed to trade in the stocks of different companies based on the news flashes and rumours that the coordinators would provide. We had to aim to maximize the value of our portfolio. The event lasted till 9:45 p.m. and left us very hungry. We had a hearty dinner and then the wait began for the result regarding the qualification for the final round.


The Campus

It’s mind-boggling…… the sophisticated roads, the classy buildings and the greenery. It was just the right blend, to create the best suited environment for a top notch management school. Not only were the residential facilities extraordinarily well-managed, the food arrangement also quite defied the expectations.

Truly, it is a haven for individuals who are motivated and smart enough to land at such a place and rise above the crowd.


The Students

The most notable part of our stay at IIM Indore for 3 days was the time we spent with the IPM students, whom we could clearly recognize as the cream of India’s youth. From the herculean task of organizing the entire Atharv fest to managing all kinds of issues and problems, they surely did their best! They were so goal oriented and driven that sleep and food would fall as the last item in their priority list (quite contrary to ours!!).

Truly, we saw in them the star executives of tomorrow’s India.


What we learnt……

We couldn’t make it to the final round and we were sad. But we learnt and absorbed so much from our stay there that we were happy… and a bit excited.

Some of the important lessons that we learnt included:

  1. Spoken English is something towards which we always have a casual approach. Yet, in places like IIM Indore, the most common trait among all the students is a stronghold over spoken English and proficiency in the English language. It’s like a basic prerequisite to survive at such a place.
  2. When we are overburdened and are unable to manage our workload, we escape by giving excuses. But out there, it’s a competitive world, and surviving there necessitates us to get over this habit and double our efficiency – if we say no to a task, there are 10 other people who will be ready to do it despite having more work than us, and they will ultimately beat us.
  3. It’s crazy…it’s unbelievable……but it is true: sleep and food barely fit the priority list of the students over there. They are so work-oriented, goal-oriented and committed that they naturally overcome bodily compulsions. It’s something very important we learn from them.
  4. It’s very subtle for us to get complacent when we are in our comfort zone and in a comparatively less competitive environment. But a visit to such a place reminds one that the world out there is huge, and there will be people who’ll be 5 times better and more efficient than us. It’s us who have to ensure that we do not become complacent and not lose the competitive edge.
  5. When we met Tanmaybhai and asked for his reflections, he made quite a statement when he said that – “The importance of small little things that AVM has taught us and the simple agnas of Swamiji have immense practical importance in the hectic life here.” It just reminds us of how fortunate we are to be in AVM and that we must adopt and learn as much as possible in the time we have.
  6. Academics is just one aspect of our personality development. As depicted through the culture in IIM, co-curricular activities play a most significant role in helping us gain all kinds of extra knowledge and skills.
  7. The intellectual ethos there mandates that students be well-versed with books of different topics. Thus, developing a reading habit is something each one of us needs to work upon.

In a nutshell, our trip there was quite an experience. More than the quiz, the three days we spent there had a lot to teach us. No doubt we enjoyed, but as we sit in the car on our journey back to AVM, there are two most overwhelming thoughts that crowd our minds with the same intensity of apprehension – a) we will miss this memorable visit to IIM (and be tired and nostalgic for a few days!!!!) and b) how we’ll plan to make the changes we see necessary in our routines after this visit.

P.S. As the three of us adjust in our seats and gear up for the journey…there is an unusual silence in the car. Everybody looks a bit… well, not sad, but a bit down… but behind all our faces there’s this excitement…a new bank of energy we have generated from this exhilarating trip.

Reported by Bhavesh, Dhyan and Yathansh (Class 11)