Monday, October 13, 2008

Whacky Tacky!

One thing all FII members would not forget is all the fun we had with the walkie-talkies. Some excerpts:

Day 1:
Everyone is working his behinds off.. things are in the initial unstable phase when no one knows anything.. ppl are running hither and thither putting their all into making sure none except the organizers get to know that its a fight.. The walkie talkie network is abound with fast and serious pings.. Suddenly a voice that had been missing since morning crackles into life:
A happy, calm and well rested Sudhakar's voice says "Ladies and Gentlemen... Sudhakar is awake now!"
"Sudhakar come in.. Control here"..
Santa: "Sudhakar, control wants you" (on the walkie talkie itself)
"Anshema come in.. XYZ here"
"Anshuman here.. Someone wanted me?"
(no response)
"Anshuman here.. Someone wanted me?"
(still no response)
Anshuman in despair.. No one wants me :( Poor guy didn't realise that his
aged ears were playing tricks on him.
"PDM come in.. XYZ here"
Didn't sound like XYZ.. short pause..
"Err.. Sorry.. XYZ come in.. PDM here"
Nachiket (frantic): "Anshuman come here soon.. The banner is falling!!! come soon come soon"
Anshuman (in a lazy drawl): "Arre yaar.. Let it fall.. It's not London bridge!"
"Yadav Come in.. Control here"
"Coming in"..
And he walked into the room..
"All those who don't have their walkie talkies, pls come and collect them"
- Broadcast msg from Yadav ON the walkie talkie!
("All those who're absent, please raise your hands" types :) )

And the winners are...

Altar Vista - The Vista rolling trophy was launched this year, in a move that's the first ever in the Indian B-fest horizon. The trophy would go the B-school (other than IIMB) that performs best in the fest across multiple events. (Find details of the points system on our website -

This year, IIMB topped the charts at the end of Vista, but the topper among other B-schools, and hence the winner of Altar Vista 2008 is...

NITIE Mumbai!
Congrats folks. you deserved it!

Bizarre - The ultimate quiz-a-thon

The last event at Vista 2008 was Bizarre - the open B-quiz. Attracting participation from over 400 teams, the quiz was hosted by Barry O'Brien in his own inimitable entertaining style.

The teams that got to the dais included those that called themselves
  • The Usual Suspects
  • I^3
  • Swami & Friends
  • Name 2 Complicated 2 Explain
  • Tsunami mein Gourami
  • TM (Barry was not ready to call this team by their full name which, as a participant spelt, sounds very similar to Terry Mecki ;) )
The quiz lasted a good 1.5 hours and was filled with all the usual masala stuff you find in quizzes. But what was quite new was the amount of audience interaction that Barry ensured. There were liberal doses of rounds for the audience while the teams on stage sat and stared agape. And would you believe it if we told you one of them was a round of songs?! And he didn't part with the t-shirts and caps unless people sang the songs.

Among the interesting rounds for the teams were one in which medleys of Ad videos were played and the teams had to identify both. Another was one in which pictures of businessmen and showbiz-men were morphed together and the identification parade was conducted. And then there was the sequential clues round, but the difference was that as the teams exhausted clues, their positive points reduced, but the negatives for incorrect answers increased!

Eventually the team that took the trophy home was Teri M**ki :)

Numero Uno: Finals and Results

The much anticipated final round of Numero Uno started after lunch on Sunday. After the presentations of the money spinner round, people were anticipating a fitting end to the three day long marathon that tested every trait of the participants. As they say, its takes a lot to be crowned Numero Uno.

The final began with the compere (Sathya, who happens to be one of our ex-students) announcing the names of the six finalists who would compete in the last round of Numero Uno on the basis of their performance in all the rounds conducted till that point in time. Pretty much as expected, the top six included Roberto (Yale University, USA), Sabina (McGill University, Canada), Geet (IIM Bangalore), Nikhil (FMS, Delhi), Hiranjith (Great Lakes, Chennai) and Rahul (IIM Calcutta).

Each contestant had to deliver a self pitch as to why he/she should be chosen as Numero Uno initially, followed by questions from the Judges, a few insightful comments from the compere here and there and some pretty pointed questions from the audience. The order of appearance was decided by draw of lots and as it turned out, our first speaker was Nikhil from FMS. Nikhil spoke extensively about his efforts as a founder of non-profit as well as for-profit organizations and his passion for everything he does. He came across a poised and serious individual, but the charisma that defines a leader was somehow not visible.

The next one up was Hiranjith from Great Lakes, Chennai who also happens to be a national level badminton player. Though he overshot his timing for the self pitch yet after that he was pretty entertaining. The fact that he hesitated to make decisions unilaterally, became pretty evident from his responses to the Judges’ insightful grilling sessions.

Sabina was up next and dazzled the audience with her speech as well as her well chosen replies to the questions she was asked. For a moment, it felt like here was one candidate better than the rest. Just when people started settling down cozily in their seats, confident of having identified a front runner, it was time for Roberto to come up on stage. Probably the least formal of the people present and the most upbeat of the finalists, he was definitely having fun on stage. He even had a dig at Sathya when the time seemed right!

Geet and Rahul were spot-on with their speeches as well but Roberto had already made a deep impact on the audience as well as the judges. Though we have to say that Geet had a distinct advantage of playing on home turf yet there were times when people had to agree that on this day it was Roberto who shone the brightest.

The results vindicated the general opinion and Roberto Jimenez representing Yale University went on to be declared Numero Uno for Vista 2008, the second year in a row when an exchange student has won the coveted title of the Next CEO!

Numero Uno - Penultimate Round: Other People's Money

The penultimate round of Numero Uno tested the entrepreneurial skill of the participants, and the inter-personal and resource management ability that go along with it. Each team was given a capital of Rs. 5000 and asked to employ it in any venture deemed appropriate. With minimal guidelines, the teams were given complete freedom to exercise their imagination and maximize profits. However, with limited time (around 5 hours) and limited resources (but human and monetary), the strategizing and execution talents were thoroughly evaluated in this round.

Teams came up with varying ideas. Some sold services, and others peddled products. Many teams leveraged on social causes to attract attention, and gain customer approval. A few also banked on individual talents of team members too. The team that was called upon first used minimal cash and generated the maximum amount of profits. They did so by offering to teach CAT aspirants and sell loyalty cards to willing shoppers. However, the judges questioned their rationale of not using the capital at their disposal.

The next two teams picked up social causes to strike a chord with the consumer. While one sold pens for Bihar flood relief, the other sold T-shirts and mugs to support carbon-emission reduction. The latter idea was particularly impressive for its ingenuity and its vivacity. The team asked passersby to leave their footprint on a banner to support the cause, and willing people were offered the T-shirts and the mugs with their own customized message on it. And what’s more, they raked in a decent amount of profit too while having all this fun.

One issue that was persistently raised by the judges was whether using a social cause amounted to making false promises to the consumer and thus was unethical. This hurdle was also faced by the fourth team, which sold handcrafted bags for a profit which they promised would be used to develop better working conditions for the artisans.

In the end, a refreshing bit of implementation of henna-designing came up with the 5th team. They rode on the skill of their lady member who was proficient in henna-designs. And all this while, the four other male members were reduced to mere salesmen scouting for potential customers!

Thus the penultimate round had its fair share of fun and knowledge for the audience. It was even better for the participants most probably, and each of them presented a confident and calm veneer that most likely hid a nervous interior. Over to the final round now.

Finesse - The Private Equity Game

Sunday morning saw the ten finalists of “Finesse”, the private equity game sweating it out in the cold confines of CC. After the preliminary elimination round which tested the contestants on their knowledge of the world of private equity, the second and final round was an altogether different ball game. With the simulation of a real world scenario of 16 companies spread across four major sectors of automobiles, banking, steel and FMCG, the teams had to bid for and then decide the level of investments for growth in each of their companies.

The closed bidding for the various companies was extremely exciting as the participants tried to out think and second guess each other. However, once the bidding got over and the companies were acquired, the teams had to rapidly change their strategy and focus on their future investments in the company, not for just one year but for a period of four years. The performance of the companies was dynamic and depended on the choices of the teams. This made the game more interesting and kept all the participants on their toes. The session ended after 4 hours with all the contestants a little tired but definitely not bored. Needless to say, “Finesse” turned out to be a great game of fun with finance for all the fin enthusiasts.

Investment Workshop

How many times how you wondered in the past couple of weeks if the stock market is still a viable option to invest in? How many times have you made up your mind to trudge back to the security of the term deposits and national saving certificates issued by the banks and post offices?

Rhetorical questions, but extremely pertinent in the present situation. But some people decided to check out if it was still possible to invest even in this scenario. That’s what the investment workshop was all about. It focused on the methods that may be employed to hedge risks in the present bull market.

The workshop started at 10 A.M. approximately with the CPP 1 classroom almost full. Once again, there was no dearth in interest in financial markets as we have seen in the recent times and people were still pouring in as the session started. Abhijeet Gayen and Shubhash R from IIM Bangalore conducted it.

Going by the turnout, it is evident that investing still remains a hot favourite among people who decided to join the workshop at the cost of missing out on the penultimate round of Numero Uno being held at the Auditorium during the same timeslot.

The workshop got over at 11:30 and it would not be an understatement to suggest that the participants have benefitted immensely from the workshop.