Pragati 09 — The Annual B-School Fest

February 21, 2009
Coimbatore Campus
Pragati is the annual B-school Fest organized by the Amrita School of Business at Coimbatore. On the same campus, is the Amrita School of Communication, previously known as the Amrita School of Journalism. MA and BA students from this School covered the fest this year; the following articles are written by them.

1. Inaugural Function by Meenakshi Nautiyal
2. Expecto Patronum by Vidya Vargheese
3. Manegiare Moneta by Roopa KM
4. Game behind the Names by Nimisha Nair
5. Cultural Nite by Shahista
6. Interview of Chief Guest by Vidya Varghese

Aarti Laxman“Success is when you discover your passion and go for it with everything you have,” stated the Chief Guest Ms. Aarti Laxman, Chief Product Officer of a Bangalore-based start-up. This marked the beginning of the 11th Annual All India B-Fest Pragati-09 at the Amrita School of Business.
“The drive, passion, commitment and systematic way of following that passion is important to be successful,” added Ms. Laxman who also shared true-life incidents to emphasize the drive for success. “When we manage to hone one thing we love and work passionately for it, we truly succeed,” she remarked.
14 colleges including SDM- IMD, Mysore; Rajagiri School of Management, Kochi; Xaviers Institute of Management and Entrepreneurship (XIME), Bangalore; Sri Krishna School of Management, Coimbatore; Department of Management, Pondicherry University participated in the B-Fest.
The two-day event saw various forums such as marketing, human resources, finance, operations and systems conduct innovative names like Expecto Patronum, Vini Vidi Vici, La Unico, Pegasus. The organizers promised events full of uncertainties and surprises. “Pragati-09 is about testing skills, talent, knowledge and patience of the participants,” they said.
Expecto Patronum lived up to its tagline — bring out the best in you. Different levels of challenges in the marketing domain were posed to participants from various colleges in South India during the 11th Annual All India B-Fest Pragati-09.
Expecto PatronumEach team of three members had to go through three rounds that tested their creativity, innovation, knowledge as well as patience. “At every round we learned and experienced something new. It was a great experience altogether,” said Chitra of Sri Krishna College, Coimbatore.
In the first round, teams made up taglines for various brands shown to them. This was repeated in the second round with audio visual advertisements. In the final round, also the elimination round, participants had the most difficult task. Each team had to make a 15-page logical business magazine of their own, with materials provided within a stipulated time limit of 30 minutes. The winning teams made impressive literary debuts.
Manegiare Moneta was a game about managing money and playing the stock market. Fortune, the Finance Forum at Amrita organized this event.
Manegiare MonetaThere were three rounds including two preliminary rounds. The first round was based on crossword puzzles; the second was a quiz on finance. 8 of a total of 14 participants made it to the third and final round.
In the final round, each team would deal with a portfolio of 26 companies. Each company had ten lakh rupees to begin with; monthly updates were given for each one. Participants could take loans of upto five lakh rupees. Brokers worked as intermediates between the companies and the participants.
A period of one year was covered in an hour and a half. The players with the maximum profit at year-end were the winners. Aravind Patil and Sudev of SDM-IMD won the first prize, Anish S and Mansoor AR of Anna University won the second prize and Dilip Kumar and Somnath Das of Pondicherry University came in third.
Regalio de Dios, impLOii pEirol, Pegasus, Expecto Patronum — sounds all Greek and Latin? These are indeed Greek and Latin names; these were adopted for the games organized as part of Pragati-09 at the Amrita School of Business. Wondering about the meanings of these names?
Come, let us delve a little deeper; you will find that the names are as interesting as the games themselves. The games were organized by various forums such as marketing, HR, finance, systems, operations and self-awareness; the names of the games reflected the uniqueness of each one.
HR ForumThe HR forum put forth two games — La Unico and Regalio de Dios. The former, meaning, the one, signaled being on top, and involved participants fighting their own fears to emerge as winners. The latter was inspired by Steven Covey’s Seven Habits of Highly Effective People and compelled participants to recognize the gifts of God.
Carnet De Voyage was a game organized by the systems forum, Technocratz. It was inspired from the graphic travelogue-novel of the same name by cartoonist Craig Thomson. The game was related to both the novel bearing this name as well as the legendary ‘Motorcycle Diaries’ by Che Guevara and required participants to virtually visit different countries to solve problems of the people there.
Gen-M forum’s games took their names from fictional works. Vini Vidi Vici is a phrase in the Shakespearean drama Julius Caesar meaning, I came, I saw and I conquered. The game was about finding the best manager who comes, sees and conquers the B-Fest. Expecto Patronum got its name from the Harry Potter series; it is a magical spell that can be cast only when there are happy memories to draw strength from.
PegasusPegasus is a flying horse in Greek mythology. This name was used by the Ozone forum for its game that included operating a space shuttle. The name of its second game La Pode Rosa came from the bike used in Motorcycle Diaries; the game itself was related to bike manufacturing. Fortune, the finance forum christened their games Managiare Moneta (finding the best manager) and impLOii pEirol (employee participation).
Finally, Jagriti, the hugely popular self-awareness forum at the School used Sanskrit names. Did you know that recent research shows that ancient European languages including Latin and Greek are derived from our own Sanskrit? Drishti meaning outlook, emphasized the bringing out of different perspectives of participants. It was one of the best attended events of the entire B-Fest.
Cultural NiteThe first day of Pragati-09 concluded with a resounding Cultural Nite with the audience foot tapping to the songs and elegant dances at the Amriteshwari Hall. “It was a grand success, very well performed, and very different from other programs held at the college,” said Aishwarya Lakshmi of Sri Krishna College.

The highlight was a one hour musical fusion by ‘Mystic Vibes’ from Bangalore. Foot-tapping numbers in Tamil, Hindi and Arabic by our own Ragasudha followed next. There was a dance performance by ASB students. Finally, there were video clippings of Motor Cycle Raiders and a presentation in honor of the organizing team of Pragati-08.

Arati LaxmanArathi Laxman was vice president of SVB India Advisors Pvt. Ltd. She has over 19 years of professional services and operations experience with software companies in the US, UK and India. In 2001, she served as vice president of organizational development at Elgi Equipment Ltd. After a break of a couple of years she is back to work as the Chief Product Officer (CPO) of a startup company, VIA in Bangalore. She has a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science from Richmond College, London. Excerpts from an exclusive interview with Ms. Laxman below.
What do you think about Amrita and its students?
The Amrita faculty has high caliber. It is not just that their credentials stand out; there is a sense of dedication. The students are sincere. There is a tremendous amount of talent here which, if tapped, would yield awe-inspiring results.
Is this the right time to study for an MBA degree?
Yes, of course. There is no right or wrong time to do an MBA. It may not be an easy task; there will be a dearth of jobs coupled with high competition. But if you are sincere, you can surely create a place for yourself and find the right opportunities.
What is the main difference between an MBA from abroad and one from India?
One main difference is that in India students do an MBA without work experience. It would be really nice if all MBA institutions made work experience a mandatory eligibility criterion. Students could first work for 2-3 years and then with their hard earned money, study MBA. In this manner, they would learn 10 times more.
You have worked both in India as well as in the US. What are the main differences in working between the two countries?
I don’t really want to compare because each and every place has its own positive points. In the US, people have a sense of responsibility and a feeling that they can make a difference. The culture in India is different; people have a spiritual focus. One main drawback in India is that the people are very passive and not active.
What is your success mantra?
My success mantra is that I love a blank slate. Even if there is nothing on it, things can be created. Even if I don’t know anything I am always ready to learn. That instinct has helped me come a very long way and grow multi dimensionally. And because of that there has been no dearth of opportunities.
What is your advice to the future managers?
They should inculcate a performance-oriented culture and lead by setting a good example. They should create a work place based on principles and morals, then they will surely go far places. India is a country with a large number of young people; it is upto them to ensure the country’s progress and growth in the future years.
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