Carromania ’16: Capturing the Queen

“Sport has the power to change the world…It has the power to inspire. It has the power to unite people in a way that little else does. It speaks to youth in a language they understand. Sport can create hope where once there was only despair.”- Nelson Mandela

Sports are more than just games. They’re about life, emotion, passion and some of the greatest highs and lows we can experience.

What would life at GIM be like without the frequent events being organized by our very own sports royalty- Prayas? Thankfully, that’s a question to which we’ve never had to find an answer!

Prayas 4.jpgPassion is what makes life interesting, what ignites our soul, fuels our love and carries our friendships, stimulates our intellect and pushes our limits. Prayas- the sports club of GIM– works tirelessly throughout the year to organize various sporting events to bring out the passion and competitive spirit in students that otherwise tends to lie dormant within.

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This time, they outdid themselves with 12 days of pure unadulterated ‘Carromania ’ and witnessed approximately 160 participants battle it out in the H2 Common Room for hours on end to be the last one standing at the carrom table!

There were 5 categories that carrom enthusiasts could participate in- Men’s Singles, Men’s Doubles, Women’s Singles, Women’s Doubles and Mixed Doubles. Students turned out in full form to either sweat it out at the tables and try their hand at stealing the queen or to cheer for their friends and egg them on in their quest to be GIM’s Carrom champs.

The saga finally came to an end a few days ago when the winners were finally crowned. However, this time with a twist! The Men’s Singles final match was a battle between Prayas’ very own club members-  Anirudh Rajawat (PGP 2) and Gopalkrishn Prabhu (PGP 1)- proving the point that, truly, anything can happen at GIM😉

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Winners

  • Men’s Singles- Gopal (PGP 1)
  • Men’s Doubles- Gopal & Gaurav (PGP 1)
  • Women’s Singles- Zenelyn (PGP 2)
  • Women’s Doubles- Zenelyn & Dhenu (PGP 2)
  • Mixed Doubles- Zenelyn & Ritesh (PGP 2)

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Whether they grew up with a Carrom striker in their hand or simply have an exceptional understanding of Physics, every soul who participated in this event will definitely have been left with a heart full of memories that are sure to last a lifetime! Kudos to Prayas for investing a considerable amount of blood, sweat and tears into this year’s ‘Carromania’ and making it such an enjoyable experience for everyone who watched or participated.

Samriddhi 2016

“The limits of the possible can only be defined by going beyond them into the impossible.” – Arthur C Clarke

What makes a B-School truly excellent is when it goes beyond the expected, in order to give its students an enriching wholesome learning experience. GIM, definitely, went above and beyond with ‘Samriddhi 2016’– the Annual National B-School Meet!

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This year’s theme- “Management Beyond Limits”– was chosen in order to throw light on the amalgamation of different business sectors and to focus on incorporating management in every aspect and every sector of business. As part of Samriddhi 2016, several speakers who have excelled in their chosen fields through sheer management brilliance addressed the students. Through their experience, the students gained valuable insight into the various business and economic challenges that are faced in today’s corporate world and were also given tips on how to tackle them.

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Samriddhi 2016- Day

1) C.S. Mohapatra Speech:

  • The day started with the keynote speaker, Dr. C.S. Mohapatra, Economic Advisor of Finance Ministry, who addressed the gathering regarding the topic ‘Financial Stability: Setting the Agenda for Regulators’. 
  • Currently posted as FSDC Secretariat of DEA Ministry of Finance, Dr. C.S. Mohapatra is the epitome of dedication towards the field of finance. As an Adviser of the apex institution ‘Financial Stability and Development Council’ (FSDC) under chairmanship of the Finance Minister, he deals with issues relating to systemic risks in financial stability and monitoring of markets and the economy.
  • “Financial resolution is a necessary step for every nation. Having an act clearly defines the role of the regulator in the financial workings of the country”, said Dr. C.S. Mohapatra who spent a good portion of the talk speaking about the role and importance of financial regulators in maintaining the financial stability of a country.
  • He ended his talk with a quote that left a lasting impression- “It is not in one day, that you can fix things. We have to keep learning from the unknown.”

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2)T Rabi Shankar Talk:

  • Mr. T Rabi Shankar is a pivotal name in the world of finance. Currently, the Chief General Manager, Financial Markets Regulations Department, RBI; he has worked in diverse fields involving reserve management, debt management and banking supervision and has expertise in developing and regulating Financial Markets.
  • “Quality survives and the weak perish. You have to let the weak die for the system to grow stronger. Bad institutions should be allowed to fail,” said Mr. Shankar who spoke to the students about economic and financial crisis situations and how they can be avoided through proper regulation by financial bodies.
  • “Can we avoid crisis? After 2008, regulation has become very tight especially in all developed countries. Central banks have a lot of tools in their arsenal, market transparency has increased. Does that actually mean that we won’t see another crisis for a reasonable period of time? No. There is always a chance that things will go wrong. Banks are inherently unstable. It could be a war in some corner, a nuclear disaster or an earthquake. All that Central Banks can do is to try and minimize the damage as much as possible,” stated Mr. Shankar, passion radiating with every word that he spoke.

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Samriddhi 2016- Day 2

1)R. Kishore Kumar Session:

  • Having an experience of 32 years in accountancy, commerce, marketing, supply chain management, mergers and acquisitions, human capital development, business turnaround and policy advocacy- Mr. R. Kishore Kumar– is an all-rounder in the truest sense. Appointed as the CEO of Vedanta’s iron ore businesses, he is leading the revival of profitable, low cost iron ore mining operations in Goa.
  • “What does your inner voice tell you? It urges you to choose your passion. You may not achieve success for the next 10 years but if you want to be at the top of your game, you need to put in your best effort. You need to be passionate about what you do,” said Mr Kumar while addressing the students about the need to do work with passion.
  • He instructed them to choose their passion first and then look for an opportunity to prove their worth. He said, “Make the most of the opportunities that come your way. Ensure that you and the organization that you work for have aligned goals and values. Don’t choose an organization whose work culture and values will be in conflict with your own.”

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2)B. Muthuraman Talk:

  • Having been awarded with the prestigious “Padma Bhushan” for his contributions to the industry and trade, B. Muthuraman is a man who can inspire millions! As the Ex-Vice Chairman, TATA Steel, he is known for acquiring Corus in 2007 which was the landmark event in the Indian Steel Industry.
  • “What you learn at MBA school is not just business management, but it is ‘management’ in essence”, said Mr B. Muthuraman who strongly believes that B-schools teach one so much more than just business management. 
  • He also spoke about stretching your limits and encouraged the gathering by saying, “You must take on a target that you do not know how to reach because it is only then that you stretch your limits and will find new ways to achieve that particular target.”

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Samriddhi 2016- Day 3

  • Finance Workshop: As part of Samriddhi2016, a finance workshop was held for the students by Vortex Financial Advisors. Mr Ajit Kumar, an alumnus of IIM Calcutta, the Founder Director and principal consultant of Vortex Advisors, conducted the workshop.

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  • Marketing Workshop: A two day marketing workshop was organized as a part of Samriddhi 2016 by Mr Josy Paul, Chairman and Chief Creative Officer of BBDO. Mr Paul has been named ‘Creative Person of the Year’ – for India and South Asia and is the person behind many iconic ads.

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  • ‘Nivesh’- An online mock trading and valuation competition was organized by SOFIA, the finance club, as a part of Samriddhi 2016. The competition saw participation from colleges all over India and teams from Welingkar and IIM Raipur, amongst others, made it to the final round. The winners for this event were Nikhil, Shashank and Raj from Chetna Institute of Management, Mumbai! The team from IIM Raipur was the first runner up.

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  •  ‘Eureka’- The Entrepreneurship Cell at GIM organized Eureka as a part of Samriddhi 2016. Eureka is a business plan competition that saw participation from all over India with the 5 best teams making it to the finale! The winners were Team ZB consisting of Mohit Pai and Ambika Kamat from GIM and the runners up were Team Neophytes consisting of Manoj Reddy and Vibhu Joshi from GIM as well. The event had some industry experts present too like Luke Sequeira, Founder & CEO of Numadic and Milind Prabhu, CEO & Managing Director of Genora Infotech.

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  • ‘Beer Game’- was organized by SCOPES, the supply chain management club at GIM, as a part of Samriddhi 2016. Beer game is an experiential learning business simulation game used to demonstrate a number of key principles of supply chain management. In this event, 100+ teams competed in the first round -an online quiz, and finally 7 teams made it to the final round.

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  • ‘Veditum’- The HR Club of GIM, HRiday, organized Veditum, the HR Case Study Competition, as a part of Samriddhi 2016. Comprising of 2 rounds, 88 teams registered from all over India, out of which 5 were chosen for the second round that was held at GIM. The 1st round was an article writing competition on the topic ‘Can ethics be measured/ identified during a recruitment and selection process?’ The second round was an HR case study competition. The finalists were teams from GIM, NMIMS and Delhi School of Management. The winner was ‘The Montage’ from Delhi School of Management, followed by team ‘HR Strategist’ from GIM.

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  • ‘Comcentric’: organised as part of Samriddhi 2016, in association with IT@GIM (The Systems Club, GIM). Through Comcentric, students got a chance to test their problem solving, analytical talents and creativity skills. 

All in all, Samriddhi 2016, witnessed a lot of blood, sweat and tears on the part of ‘Team Samriddhi’ as well as members of all the clubs who organized events as part of this eventful three day program. But, at the end of the day, every GIM student would probably agree wholeheartedly with regard to one thing- you only truly know yourself when you go beyond your limits!

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Grand Alumni Meet ’16

One of the most important parts of a B-School is its alumni base. GIM attends to this important part throughout the year and welcomes them back to the college, annually, in the Grand Alumni Meet (GAM). The Students Alumni Relations Cell (SARC) worked really hard to put on a grand show for the alumni who attended GAM 2016.

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GAM 2016 had a lot in store for the alumni as well as the soon-to-be alumni, i.e. the current batch students of GIM. Let’ see how the day moved forth on 14th August, when the good went grand.

Industry Speaker Talk, by Mr. V. Ravi: Mr. V. Ravi, CFO Mahindra and Mahindra Financial Services, spoke about the finance industry and how their company came to be amongst the top ones not just because of the work they do but also because of the values they work with. He said that Mahindra is more about attitude rather than aptitude. Putting emphasis on the value of humility, Mr. Ravi said, “Only when a person has humility, he would accept that he still has many things to learn. Any successful executive has to have the desire to learn. Continuous learning is a must.” He said that the entire Mahindra conglomerate runs on a common value system:

  • Accept no limits
  • Alternative thinking – Create your own path;
  • Positive change – Giving back to society. Not just a donation but Profit, Plan & People (3 Ps)

He elaborated that Mahindra doesn’t just state these values but abides by them in practice through various policies such as

  • ESOP – Employee social option scheme to take a little time off to give back to society through social empowerment causes.
  • Corporate Garage – Within the group, they try to create intrapreneurs. Encourage employees to propose their business ideas and try their concepts, protect their salary for a specific time frame and within the system become an intrapreneur.

Mr. Ravi explained that unlearning is a necessity in the world today which changes its pace more rapidly than ever. With the advancements in technology, he said that the future holds challenges for Artificial Intelligence in the field of Behavioural Finance.

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Student Alumni Interaction Session: Distinguished alumni came forth to have domain-specific interaction sessions with the students. The students were free to ask any industry or career related questions that they had in mind, and the alumni were more than ready to explain everything in detail. Sagnik Ghosh (Batch of 2000), Vaibhav Sharma (Bath of ‘98), Perry Goes (Batch of ‘95), Rajat Mishra (Batch of ‘05), Neetant Shirodkar (Batch of ‘04), Ketan Hajarnavis (Batch of ‘99), Ashley Dias (Batch of ‘05) had a session with the students in their field of interest.

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Distinguished Alumni Award of this year was given to Ms. Shilpa Gulati (HR and Ops head at Ikea, US, first Indian woman to reach this position). Her family members received the award on her behalf and many of her batchmates went up on stage as well. One even gave a very emotional, heartfelt speech about what an amazing woman Ms. Shilpa Gulati is and how she fought against the biggest battles of despair and transcended one of the most difficult situations. A student of ’98 batch, she spent 15 years in the industry with her 2 kids, balanced her role as mother and career woman, breaking all the barriers of gender and race in a global organization. She was diagnosed with breast cancer but this did not deter her. She was offered the role of CFO while recovering from this disease. Cancer had travelled to her brain. She did not take up this role but took up role of HR instead. She has excelled in her career despite facing immense emotional and physical turmoil and has given a new meaning to the title of being distinguished.

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Ms. Shilpa Gulati’s Family Members

Entrepreneurship Conclave: The conclave begun when Fr. Romuald D’Souza, the founder of GIM, addressed the crowd to a thunderous applause. He spoke about the journey of GIM and what lies ahead in this continuous journey to make GIM even better.

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The conclave moved ahead with the keynote address given by Prof. Olaf ZyliczDirector, Warsaw University of Technology Business. His talk addressed the issue of entrepreneurship culture in India and he compared the same with the culture in other parts of the world. Prof. Olaf defined national culture as a country’s shared practices and values and said that it can support or impede entrepreneurial behaviour at the individual level as it impacts the business at early stages of it. Culture is a powerful thing and as a manager, according to Prof. Olaf, we have a huge responsibility as we can modify the organizational culture.

Second address of the conclave was given by Mr. Madhusudan Ranganathan, Investor & head at BD & Strategy for Vigyanlabs Pvt Ltd. He talked about the importance of strategy in business and stressed on the fact that the strategy should be aligned with the idea that the world is constantly changing, “Tomorrow-proof your company because the environment is constantly changing.” Mr. Ranganathan advised the students to work with start-ups to understand the challenges of the market in a better way.

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Twitter Mining Session was conducted by Mr. Sanmeet Singh Walia who is an alumnus 2011-13 batch and an Adobe and Google certified Analytics Professional. The talk was a little technical but extremely fascinating and consisted of a few important topics like Text Analytics and its importance, various kinds of Text Analytics and their applications, Twitter API, extraction of data from Twitter Data, R, how to link Twitter API, code for Mining Twitter Data, scraping data from Imdb, Amazon and various other miscellaneous Q&A on Analytics.

GAM 2016 saw a lot of energy, footfalls, reminisces, laughter, cheers, and even some tears. What we didn’t see was the sweat of SARC to make this event into a grand one. With the standards set even higher than before, we’ll look ahead as to GAM 2017!

Behind the scenes set up

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Stand Out and Follow Your Passion

“A vision we give to others of who and what they could become has power when it echoes what the spirit has already spoken into their souls.” Larry Crabb

Throughout the years, Ribandar Talks has been responsible for inviting visionaries in the corporate world to come to GIM and encourage the students to have visions of their own. This time, the guest speaker was Mr Ajay Mehra, MD, Airbus (South Asia) who has had over 30 years of experience in marketing and business development across industries. He has held senior positions in the aviation industry and has served as General Manager of Marketing at ITC Ltd.’s Hotels Division. Currently, he serves as an Independent Director of India Hospitality Corp in addition to being Managing Director of Airbus.
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A mechanical engineer by profession and an MBA in marketing from Jamnalal Bajaj Institute of Management, Mr. Ajay Mehra, explained to the students how to stand out from the crowd while following their passions. His opening line touched the minds and souls of many students – “What distinguishes you from others? You stand out by what you achieve in life. Achievement is akin to success.”

He mentioned Winston Churchill’s words of wisdom – “Success is going from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.” He also laid emphasis on the fact that nothing great had been accomplished in the world without passion. He said, “Leap beyond your boundaries. Think differently and think out of the box. Dream big. Aim high.” 

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Mr. Mehra stressed on the power of thinking creatively and captivated the audience with a few anecdotes. He narrated a story about a blind man sitting out on a street in Russia with a cardboard box in front of him begging for money and how people would just pass him by without stopping to drop a few coins inside it; until a young enterprising writer observed the situation and hastily wrote a few words on a sign propped up next to the blind man. All of a sudden, people stopped, read the sign and within a matter of minutes, the box was full of money. All she had written were the words- “It’s a beautiful day, today. You can see it. I can see it. But he cannot.”

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Mr. Mehra encouraged the students to surpass their limitations and break free of the cage that they have built around themselves. According to him, “You need to know exactly where you want to be and have a clear cut picture of where you see yourself in 5-10 years. It’s like Google Maps or a GPS system. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes because once you have a goal or a destination you want to get to, it won’t matter if you take a wrong turn every time you’re at a junction, the GPS will let you know and you can retrace your steps or take a new turn so that you’re always on the path towards your destination.”

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Explaining further, Mr. Ajay Mehra said that if you’re working on something that you’re truly passionate about, your creative vision will pull you towards your destination. Kudos to Team RT for yet another inspiring and successful Ribandar Talks session!

 

Brand mania with ‘Brandwich’

“A brand is a story that is always being told.” – Scott Bedbury

In a lot of ways, branding is simply telling a story. But how do you ensure that your audience connects with the story that you have to tell? Here’s where the magic of marketing comes into the picture.

They say that marketing is about making people fall in love with your brand and MECCA –  the marketing club of GIM – gave a lot of students a chance to fall in love with branding and advertising by showing off their skills through their first event of the year, ‘Brandwich’.

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GIM’s marketing magicians captured the hearts of the first year students through special promotional events at the canteen which included a revamping of the midnight-snacks menu and offering free popcorn during the extremely entertaining first round.

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With about 124 participants from PGP1, Brandwich saw a lot of budding young talent and creative minds letting their imagination run loose to create a lot of innovative advertisements for their products.

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The first round consisted of teams being assigned a brand and an unrelated product, and being instructed to create and enact a 90 second advertisement incorporating the two. The creativity inherent in the participants shone through with some particularly witty team names like Brand Munchers, Victorious Secret, Brandomaniacs, Brandalizer etc.

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As the rain roared outside, so did the audience roar with laughter when a team enacted a particularly witty or hilarious advertisement. The best teams from Round 1 were sent on to the next round wherein they were given a picture of an advertisement and asked to analyse it using their creative and analytical skills.

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Hats off to the two teams who stood apart from the rest: Victorious Secret (winners) and Brand Pakoda (runners-up). And cheers to MECCA who inspired the first year students to express their passion and creativity for branding and advertising through this fun-filled event!

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गली क्रिकेट ’16

In the dictionary, cricket is a game. In India, cricket is a religion. For the rest of the world, cricket is about entertainment. For India, it is about madness, passion, tears and screams which would tear the lungs apart. In a country where we have a God named Sachin Tendulkar; while the world plays cricket, we celebrate it.

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At GIM, we never leave a celebration behind (for those who can understand, pun intended😀 ). And when it comes to sports, we have Prayas – the sports club of GIM – which works round the clock and round the year to make sure that no sport goes unnoticed. And if it is about cricket, Prayas goes one step ahead and let our childhood memories blend in with the spirit of cricket by bringing the Gully Cricket.

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With over 300 participants in over 50 teams, Gully Cricket saw 7 nights full of pure indoor action as the teams fought to be the champions. With rain pouring outside and the sweat pouring inside, the voice of raindrops falling could match the fall of footsteps as the players went around the field chasing their victory.

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As the ball kept rolling, so were the eyes of the audience as they cheered for their friends and favourite teams.

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When the saga came to an end after a week of gully cricket, there were 2 teams who stood taller than the rest; they had won the event. But that’s just  about the event, Prayas won the hearts for organizing an event which encompassed the spirit of cricket and the memories of how we all started off with playing cricket. Here’s to another successful Prayas \m/ !

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When GIM meets RBI.

Baat karne se baat banti hai – a line now made famous by the advertisements, has been the motto of Ribandar Talks since its inception. Every now and then, the club comes up with the most amazing speakers from all domains of professions, to give a talk to the students of GIM. This time, the finance enthusiasts of GIM had their day as the guest speaker this time was G. Mahalingam, Executive Director, Reserve Bank of India. Mr. Mahalingam, having joined RBI in 1982, is in charge of market operations, the International Department including RBI’s engagements with IMF, BIS, BRICS, G20, SAARC Finance, etc.) and Statistics.

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A finance veteran, Mr. Mahalingam took the stage at GIM up when the world is facing a new issue – BREXIT. With a state of pandemonium that was sent across economies as Britain decided to exit from the EU, there were a thousand questions which were in the minds of the students and all they needed was someone to answer those. And who better than the Executive Director of RBI to answer those questions? According to him, and we’ll quote, “The people who voted to leave EU are regretting now, not only because of the resultant economic problems, but also because the ‪financial markets across the world hate uncertainty. What has come out of Brexit is total uncertainty.

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Apart from the issue of BREXIT and its implications on the Indian economy, he also laid emphasis on the importance of proper communication in the banking world at the macro level. He said, “For a country to excel, excellent communication is essential. If it doesn’t communicate well, the entire financial market gets confused. The death knell for a financial market is lack of clarity and uncertainty.

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Amidst more than just a couple of rounds of thunderous applause and a question popping up every few minutes, Mr. Mahalingam sailed smoothly through the session as he weaved the answers and what he came to speak about, in a beautiful fabric. As the finance enthusiasts of GIM had their day, so did the team of Ribandar Talks after yet another awesome session. Signing out before another one such session, here’s one for the team RT \m/ !

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Of that which is in our blood.

They say that prayers can save lives, bring the dying back to life. No one knows for sure whether prayers are answered or not but one thing is known for sure – blood has the power to save lives, to bring the dying back to life. Have you ever made someone smile by doing a deed as small as carrying their bag or making them cheat off your test paper? If yes, then you know the happiness you get from helping others. Now take that feeling and raise it to the billionth power, and you’ll get close enough to the smile which you will give a mother whose son will live because you cared enough to donate some blood.

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HRiday – the HR Club of GIM – brings back Sanjeevani, the annual blood donation camp. As Hriday gave us a chance to be the saviors, we certainly took up the chance. 90 students turned up to donate blood which goes to the Goa Medical College Blood Bank.

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At GIM, we spread and share knowledge but we also know our responsibilities towards making this world a better place. We are here to make our lives, but we don’t forget that we can also save the lives of others. Not every hero needs a cape, they say. Damn right they are, because you just need blood and the will to be someone’s hero and save a life.

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Blood is meant to circulate, HRiday made sure that it outreaches and circulates wider than just in one body. This one is for HRiday, for a job bloody well done. And the pun, of course, intended😀 !

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Of New Beginnings…

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They say well begun is half done. If we believe them, we were half done the day we became zygotes because, evidently, we did well. Apart from the first of our beginnings, we keep coming across many beginnings in our lives. Some we acknowledge and the others we keep for the purpose of denial. For all of us, especially the incoming batch, this is a new beginning. I love the concept of beginnings because it depends on us where we lead them. When you’re in the middle of something, it is really difficult to change it all – be it to retrace the path and make a new beginning, or to finish the journey we’re on and start a new beginning. At the beginning, on the other hand, the ocean is ahead of us to conquer it in any direction we wish to. A beginning is a gift, and you have it in your hands right now. All you need now is to do something with it.

I’ve made my batch a victim of my words a lot of times. It’s time to victimize the batch of 2016-18 now and it is because of this reason that I write this post as a personal message. All of you have lead a life which is different in its own sort of way, there’s a lot that you can teach the world and a lot more that you can learn from the world. And it isn’t just about professional learning, maybe it is the least about that. It depends on each individual what she/he wants to learn but everyone needs to keep learning. I read it on the t-shirt of a dear friend of mine that the secret to success is getting started. Well, you have gotten past that secret now. With the induction coming to an end, the club presentations having been made, dates for the Freshers’ asked for, the GBMs having been attended, the umbrellas having been stolen and wallets having been lost, you’ve all started your lives at GIM. Now all you need to do is carry on. The way you carry on will tell you how your journey would end. Make these 2 years memorable. In a good way, of course.

And one last thing, feel free to approach any of us. This is one thing that I learned and I need to pass the learning to whoever feels like taking it. Approach your seniors, talk to them. Even if it is about nothing at all. We talk amongst ourselves about nothing at all. Nothing at all is from where the most interesting conversations crop up.

In this book of life, your chapter of GIM begins now. Write a few goddamn verses that you’ll never forget🙂 ! If you believe in the concept of luck, I wish you all the best of it. If you don’t, may the force be with you. And if they both don’t turn out to be with you, the PR Cell is with you😀 !

P.S. My fellow batch-mates, most of whom must’ve just skipped to the PS directly, you could start afresh as well. Maybe start with reading my posts😛 !

 

When The Candle Passes

“Lives of great men all remind us
We can make our lives sublime,
And, departing, leave behind us
Footprints on the sands of time.”

– Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

There are times when you are given a torch with a flame that is burning bright and you are trusted upon to keep that flame burning, and make it brighter. Every time you take upon a task, you know that there will be a time when you will have done what you could have and will have to pass the responsibility to someone to carry that task forward. That’s how the clubs’ legacy at GIM is, too. Every year, the batch that passes out hands over the responsibility to take care of the clubs that they have cherished for so long. Hence, every year, since the past 14 years, there exists a tradition of Candle Passing.

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This year was no different as Prayas organized the ceremony which, in a way, marks the point wherein the seniors smile and pass all that they have worked for, all that they have lived and sweated for, over to the juniors. This is the evening when both the batches, under the starry black sky and in the light of a hundred burning candles, sit together and realize that the time has come to move on. Some celebrate all that they have learnt, some celebrate all the memories they have made, some shrug off the disagreements which had been there, but everyone does smile and sigh.

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The ends, though important, are not always something that people look forward to. And why should they? To say goodbye to all those faces which you have seen for an year; all those voices you have been hearing for an year; all those jokes which were shared through thick times and thin ones; all the fights which have been and ended with a “Chhod yaar, hota hai!” All those late night discussions which fuelled the will to stay awake; all those mistakes and incidents which will, henceforth, be anecdotes that end up first as a smile and then as a sweet misery of nostalgia. Why love a goodbye?

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Alas, change is the only constant in life. The candle that was lit, will keep on passing hands and the flame will never fade away. The ceremony marked a journey which has come to an end so that a new journey could begin, for both the batches. When one sees the smiles, and some tears, in an amphitheatre full of young people, one cannot but sit back in silence and just observe the sheer strength of bonds which were made amidst so much that was happening. One cannot but hold that candle, look at it, feel its heat and realize that the time has come to become the leader and walk ahead of those footprints which left behind by those who walked these sands before.

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Until the time comes for passing a brighter flame to the incoming batch, here’s one for the 2014-16 batch of GIM.

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2014-16 Batch of GIM