Search results

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Taking a trip down the NITIE lane

 Going back to our places of education is always quite an experience. While I haven’t paid a visit to my engineering college, I can relate to this feeling from the visits that I have had to my 2 schools. This part here, is to appreciate that experience of the gentlemen that I am going to be talking about. After all, this is one of the very few days when time seems to be moving in the opposite direction.

  It all started with a single mail. We were told that we would be given a guest lecture by two of our alumni on the subsequent Saturday. While our initial reactions were of irritation at the prospect of our weekend getting disturbed, we came around to the idea eventually. In fact, we were all buzzing with enthusiasm when Dr. Mandi walked in with a neat looking gentleman and gestured us to take our seats. We had our first look at Mr. Nikhil, who I understand is a Manager at KPMG Consulting, and immediately our ears were attentive to what he was starting to say. He started out with the question of why the lot of us were present at NITIE at that moment of time. A lot of commonly heard answers in MBA schools came forth and some were even specific to the forte of NITIE. Nothing untoward came about and the general consensus was that everyone was there to get a good job. The question shifted to entrepreneurship and this was where the fun started. People were asked about whether they wanted to become entrepreneurs and if so, why. A lot of answers like freedom, satisfaction, money, power, accountability, passion were thrown around and everyone seemed to agree with what the other person had to say. Mr. Nikhil went on to dissect this information and assured us that after a couple of years, even a manager’s job will be as challenging as what an entrepreneur looks for. The takeaway for us, was this: ‘Don’t become an entrepreneur for the wrong reasons. Not because you have a bad boss, not because you have tight working hours and not because you hate your job. Become one for the right reason and you will have the stomach to take everything that it throws at you.’
Having said that, he moved on to his presentation. I, personally, was interested in knowing what he had in his presentation because the title slide said this: ‘What they don’t teach you at’. While the place of concern needs not an explicit mention, the point of interest was what other things we could learn. It started with an interesting slide with two cartoons representing two students standing on the two sides of an emblem which read ‘Mastishk’. We heard this term throughout the event and for those who’re wondering what it is: It is a Business simulation event that is part of Prerana, the management fest of NITIE. It was during his talk about this that his friend and co-founder of Mastishk, Hemanth, walked in to join us. He started off with two questions: 1) what is the NITIE sarovar? 2)  What is called the ladder of success? It was quite clear that he was a bundle of energy and there was an obvious difference and an inherent completeness in the way the two of them went about the activity. Testimony to this, is the fact that ‘Mastishk’ was their brain-child in their second year and they went against a lot of flak together and succeeded in making it a reality. It was during this phase of explanation that I realized the importance of the gift of time that has been endowed to us as NITIE students. It was quite clear that how we used that time could figure out what we eventually become.
The importance of taking such activities up, was stressed enough by Hemanth and Nikhil. Both of them mentioned that their final interviews were centered around what they had done as organizers and creators of Mastishk. We were initially intrigued by the validity of this. Hemanth came on to answer our unraised questions: we face a lot of decision making dilemmas that we would in a corporate organization, in a committee like Mastishk. Nikhil was quick to come up with the example of choosing between two employees for a promotion and relating it to selecting a fellow student for a role in a committee.  We were shown the original business model of Mastishk and it was awe inspiring to hear the creators talk about their creation. Given here is the website of Mastishk and a small video on the concept of online b-school events.

There were a lot of subtle takeaways for us. Some were about the importance of winning the confidence of our subordinates. Some was about the importance of spending time on knowing stuff. We were told about the concept of ‘Google before you gargle’ and reminded about the importance of using the internet in the right manner. We were told to keep the NITIE flag flying high and the importance of taking the value out of what the professors had to give even though some of their ideas might seem irrational at that point in time. Nikhil suggested some movies and inspirational books to read and it just reminded me how much I missed reading and convinced me to make it a point to read atleast one book a month. The final slide had the best message of all:
‘Be Inquisitive and Enthusiastic throughout. This will result in Creativity. Then comes Competence. But without Consistency, even competence cannot result in Credibility’


  1. A good post.. The first (intro) para in the italics isn't very clear i thought.. Otherwise a fairly accurate account of that session..
    Also, increase the font size. You can still edit and do that..
    Cheers :)