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About Public Relations Cell | IIM Kozhikode

"In life, as in football, you won't go far unless you know where the goalposts are." ~Arnold H. Glasgow We at Public Relations Cell, help reach these goal posts such that the ripples that are generated at IIM Kozhikode make waves outside. Public Relations Cell Arjit | Indupriya | Kiranmai | Pankaj | Ravi | Rupal | Shankho | Tushar | Vaishnavi | Yash | Amritansh | Anirudh | Isha | Parnabho | Priya | Rahul | Sushmita Indian Institute of Management Kozhikode E-mail: Taking 'K' to the World..

22nd Foundation Day at Kampus

“Any new institution is built by an idea”

IIM Kozhikode celebrated its 22nd Foundation day on the 21st of August, 2017. The event commenced with the felicitation of the Chief Guest, Prof. Indira J. Parikh along with Prof. P Rameshan, Ravindran V.V and Radhakrishna Pillai, each of whom has served more than 15 years at IIM Kozhikode. The Dean Academic and Dean Administration reminisced about the early days in their welcome address, when the college had started off with just 8 faculty members at the NIT Calicut Campus.


This was followed by Prof. Parikh’s speech, where she stressed the importance of liberal education for the new millennial generation. Simultaneously, she also reinforced the importance of being anchored in socio-cultural values. In her words “Unless you have roots, you cannot fly high”.She also dwelt on the significance of creating a culture of inclusivity by involving people through consistent efforts and creating a learning environment by encouraging spirited enquiry, ideas and by tempering with idealism.


She ended her speech by wishing that the institution continued to create, build and prosper in the coming years, thus concluding the day’s proceedings.

Tête-à-tête with Mr. Saurabh Mahajan: A PR Cell exclusive

IIM Kozhikode had the pleasure of hosting Mr. Saurabh Mahajan , Director of product Management at Ola and an alumnus from the PGP Batch of 2012,who had come down to the campus after almost 5 years to deliver a guest talk on managing IT products and services with a bird’s eye view on the cab aggregation industry.
The Public Relations Cell, IIM Kozhikode, took a trip down memory lane with Mr. Mahajan, in an edifying session to discuss the Indian IT scenario, product management, hands-on demos on interactive platforms, and the ride-sharing revolution, complete with generous sprinklings of the vicissitudes of Kampus Life!
A few excerpts:

PR: Most of our alumni are of the opinion that our campus has changed. Do you concur?

SM: Surprisingly, no! Since my graduation in 2012, I honestly don’t feel coming across any major changes in the campus, except perhaps for the increase in the number of stairways, adding to the ease of access to the academic blocks. What is heartening to note is that the classrooms have been technologically upgraded to qualify as “Smart classrooms”! Speaking of diversity and inclusion, ours was the first batch to record a whopping 33% of women in management without quota which garnered a lot of media attention and it is encouraging to know that the numbers remain similar 5 years down the line as well.


PR: From having majored in Finance-based courses, you now handle Product management. Has the transition been smooth?

SM: Frankly speaking, Product management is more General management than an IT profile, encompassing courses on Economics, Finance, Marketing et al. Of course, my two years at Zynga as an associate product manager molded me in the intricacies of this role better than any Indian Start-up ,in those times,could ever had. Zynga was essentially data-driven and 6 months into the company, I was already looking after a $50mn business as Revenue PM for Mafia Wars. 16 months and a couple of promotions later, I decided to scout for new avenues and jumped on Adobe’s bandwagon to develop Cloud-based services in India from scratch. Having served as the worldwide PM for the Adobe InDesign application, my work revolved around managing IT products and services. So, in a nutshell, I have been fortunate enough to dabble in myriad courses under the PM umbrella!

PR: With such lucrative options at Adobe, what made you take the plunge for Ola, a domain hitherto unchartered with regards to your profile trajectory?

 SM: Adobe’s stock options, albeit tempting, were nothing more than the proverbial golden handcuffs for me. I was still on the lookout for newer and bolder challenges and Ola made all the right moves. Ride-sharing in the Indian startup universe was an appealing enterprise for me. Ever since then Ola have been investing heavily in marrying technology with customer experience, case in point-Ola Play. My team handles personalization of the application to improve our CVP and increase the customer base. Our modus operandi involves a robust feedback mechanism, where we conduct dip-stick interviews with customers for effective need analysis and partnership with content providers.

PR: We often hear of divides between technical and managerial teams. How should one approach such technical-driven roles with an MBA from a premier B-school?

 SM: Interestingly enough, this is indeed a reality. Most MBAs tend to be left-brained and designers tend to be right-brained! However, these are two a different functions. Once you are through with the campus placements, the results you yield and the ideas you bring to the boardroom matter than the college you come from. The biggest challenge one faces coming from a premier B-school is the propensity of misplaced authority, making one come off as arrogant. What really matters is how you leverage your learnings and keep the team together. Humility is an art that needs to become a habit.

PR: From gaming to designing to car aggregation, this has been quite a diverse trajectory for you. How easy is it to switch profiles?

SM: Situational factors, more often than not, play a major role in job-hops. My decisions were heavily influenced by the circumstances of the times. Having said that, I would still recommend prudence and patience in deciding career shifts, simply because it comes with its own set of challenges of learning and re-learning complex and highly esoteric products and processes. In the end, problem-solving acumen coupled with relationship building and quick thinking abilities are vital skill-sets for almost all profiles, especially PM roles.

 PR: Your take on innovation in India?

SM: For any company to survive in India’s highly competitive markets, they need to constantly innovate. Many companies have tried and failed, yet there are still many, Ola being one amongst them, that are constantly striving to make services affordable and accessible to almost all strata in society. Ola has the potential to turn profitable as we speak, however this would only reduce our consumer base by almost half. Hyperlocal presence increases penetration rates and assists in creating demand. Companies like Swiggy is even experimenting in food aggregation!

PR: With disruptions becoming the order of the day, how do you foresee Ola changing the fate of urban mobility?

 SM: Accessibility and rampant unionization remains an issue. But Ola, as a company, is looking to solve the transportation problem. There has been a noticeable change with drivers shifting from the heavy vehicle to the light vehicle and passenger transportation segments, with better opportunities and standards of living.   If given a chance, we may even venture into boats!

 PR: Any message for the upcoming batches?

SM: I think it’s important to make the most of the two years at IIMK; observe people, learn from them, build a view on things. Keep yourselves updated on what’s hot and happening .In the end, grades and assignments don’t really matter. What truly matters is being a part of cognitive and affective associations, being a better problem solver. There is no secret to doing well in life, but it’s important not to fool oneself, not to have an illusion of learning.




Konversations with Sandeep Chatterjee

Discussion started where I introduced myself as coordinator from PR Cell and how back in the days of PGP05 there was no other committee except from Student council and Placement Committee. We went on to discuss the range of topics from college campus looked like back in the days of  PGP05 to relevance of IT as domain for MBA students. Find the excerpts below:

PR Cell: At your time this campus barely came into existence so for someone from say PGP05, 02 it would be difficult to connect to IIMK (in terms of what it is now)

Sandeep: Yeah I know, we were here for 3 months so for us it is still relevant, the campus

PR Cell: So for someone like us, do you think something can be done to bring earlier batches PGP01-05 in sync with this campus?

Sandeep: So what happened three four years back PGP03 people came down and that was a good initiative. So if you can catch some of those guys, maybe they can bring in their batch mates. This would be a good way to start. I know they cannot connect but still would love to see the campus. PGP03 managed to get 43 of their batch mates to Nostalgia.The one with Mr Sandeep Chatterjee

PR Cell: This is something we can put across to Alumni Committee and see how it works

Sandeep: Absolutely. Make them feel important can body will come

PR Cell: And for you especially how does it feel to come back?

Sandeep: For me it is really really close, I fell ill and this Institute gave me a chance to complete my studies. So that is why I have very strong feeling about IIMK. Whenever IIMK asks I do come.

PR Cell: I noticed that you are pursuing your PHD, how did this shift to learning happen ?

Sandeep : So what happened is , I do some courses here I take EPGP courses here , Mathew Sir then suggested me why don’t you do a PHD then. It was his push that this will be helpful. What happens is that in industry we tend to loose connect with the academia. Why do I come here? It’s a Darwin’s theory that you guys are better evolved thus the kind of questions you ask, we get ideas from that.

PR Cell: Moving on a different question now, most of us come from IT/tech background and kind of work that you do would require a lot of tech know how. So do you think that MBA prepares you for such roles?

Sandeep: if you go to hard core technical field there are people with strong technical aptitude who will offer resistance. So same thing happened with me. What I did I put extra efforts learning it. It may not be coding that I am expected to do but still I need to have a basic sense of it. Of course in an MBA program we are not looking to make them technocrats, even the courses that we have in here give you a basic idea of it. At least if you get the logic right you can survive.

PR Cell : It is said MBA is going to evolve in next few years, is this technical integration that is being talked about ?

Sandeep : Yes, There is a lot that is coming in technology, Cloud, Machine learning etc . So we need to appreciate technology. You need not write code but you need to know how IOT is going to solve your problem, generate sales for you then you are ok to go. These latest trends should be incorporated in the course curriculum.

PR Cell: How was brand IIM K evolved over the years?

Sandeep : IIMK as a brand has done really well for itself. Only problem is now it has stagnated. Reason could be that we are publicising ourselves in a fashion that we should. We have the business museum. No other B-school has that. We should it our advantage. Now MBA is a foreign concept but globalising Indian Thought. Who would have thought we could bring in Indian perspective to it.

PR Cell: Well Sir it was a great discussion that we had, any message for newer batch that has joined the institute ?

Sandeep : Have high hopes but don’t expect something as high as strategy roles. It takes time for that. Utilise your time well here and make the best of it.

The Public Relations Cell Team with the Alumnis

This interview was part of a series conducted by Public Relations Committee, IIM Kozhikode ( Interviews arranged by Alumni Committee of IIM Kozhikode ) as a part of Alumni Interaction done in the month of July, 2017


Konversations with Abha Banerjee

Abhabanerjee As part of the Women’s day celebration at IIM Kozhikode organized by the Gender Sensitization Club of IIM-K, motivational speaker and leadership author, Abha Maryada Banerjee was invited to address the K-community. Besides, Abha  being India’s first woman motivational speaker of international acclaim, she has written two books on Women leadership. The Public Relations Cell got the opportunity to converse with her


You are considered to be India’s first woman motivational speaker. What made you choose this seemingly unconventional profession?

I used to be a lawyer. From early on, I was socially inclined and I had a vision to contribute to society. I believed social change was possible. I was in this zone of building people. We need to build people if we want social change. The only thing available, at that point in time was law. I took law presuming that it will get me into the social sphere or places where I could either cause an influence, an impact or in some sort of way get involved in the social system but it was a different ball game altogether and I eventually made up my mind that personal development, motivation etc was an industry in the west, at that point of time. 20, 25 years ago. And when I looked at it, I realized, this is where I need to be, if I really need to follow my vision of building people. I need to understand people first, I need to understand how people can be built, how minds can be built. So I quit law after 10 years of practise and re-educated myself at the age of 34, to do what I am doing today. And I think it was a very wise decision because I am doing a lot better over here. I have helped lakhs of people across the world. It was unconventional, but I did not think it was because I understood it so well, that I thought everybody will pick it up but that wasn’t the case

Did you face any hurdles, along the way?

Too many things happened at that time, but eventually I found it was very important like bathing. Like you bath every day, every day you need motivation. It took me a lot of time to convince people that it works. I had to work for 3-4 years initially for people to be able to see value. Now of course it has mushroomed, everybody is doing it. A lot of people can talk but to have the power to influence and impact people in a positive way is a skill that one should learn. I have taught to many people on how to work on building others. So unconventional as it may be, it is the most important thing, people should be able to learn from. It is like a complimentary education. We get educated in a traditional academic sense but we need to build people. If we don’t do that, the education also sometimes can be wasted.

You have written a book “Nucleus” on women leadership, what do you think is the most significant barrier to female leadership?

Firstly, women are not supposed to be leaders. There is this perception that women live, not only in India but also in societies abroad, where a woman is not deemed to be leadership material. She is not deemed to be strong, she is not deemed to be mentally tough That is one of the key reasons, why we don’t see a lot of women over there. Secondly, women have to bear kids, they have to raise children.

Leadership per say requires a lot of energy and commitment for anybody who takes it up, be it a man or a woman.  Women have to give away a lot of time to things like family, which is equally important. It we choose to do both it can be extremely tiring and exhausting. In the social sphere, in the corporate sphere or in politics, the amount of time it takes for a woman to get there, it is easier to find men who would want to do the same job.  So by the time you can identify a woman who can do it, there would be 20 men standing there, saying they can do it. Plus, on the top there is more men than women so it is easier for them to hire men. Men feel uncomfortable with the stronger leadership women show. They tend to sort of push you back a little bit or cause hurdles on the way. And I don’t think it is with bad intention. We as a society have not evolved enough to see women standing side by side with men or women doing bigger stuff or women doing things that men are doing.  Nowadays things are changing, which is very good. The last hurdle I would say is in women’s minds. Who do not consider themselves leaders because they have always been taught to stay in the background. They have been taught to play from the periphery. To calm down and let things be.

Can you name one individual whom you would call your inspiration?

There are so many people. However, I am a follower of Swami Vivekananda. He is no more but his teachings and who he was as a person is still relevant. I started reading his work at the age of 9, and by 13 I would call myself a full-fledged fan. I would do anything his teachings said. But when I picked it up and I could relate to what it says, it becomes part of your personality. His thoughts are very modern, very cosmopolitan it terms of equality between men and woman, about religion, about society, about the east and the west and about how we build ourselves. He was one of the key influences in my life. He taught that we have to build ourselves as people, if we want to build other


You are a mother, entrepreneur and you travel around the world. How do you maintain a work-life balance?

I don’t believe in this word called balance. I use a word called integration. When we talk of balance, we presume that there is lack of it. So it is a matter of prioritizing what is important to you. Keeping in mind, I have to take care of my family, my children, my work, my husband and myself. I have had to prioritize everything in my life. I have very little social life, I do not watch television or movies, I have very few friends, I do not go out, I don’t eat out. So that is the time, I spend with my family and my work. I have always had an office, but I have never worked from an office. I have worked from my home. And I make sure I work from 8 in the morning till 3 in the afternoon, when my children are at school. Now that they have grown up they are not depended on me anymore. Also I systematize everything. I make sure things are in place. I enjoy coming to places like IIMK, this is more useful than me being out elsewhere.

What is your message for IIM K students?

Celebrate your potential. You have huge potential, you have to identify it, you have to work on it and make sure you build yourself to a point that people can see you and be helped. Always be happy with yourself but keep building on everything that you have, whether God has given you gifts of any kind, talents, education, people around you

Interviewed by | John | Rohan | Public Relations Cell – IIM Kozhikode


Celebrating Women – IIMK sets a precedent


International Women’s Day was celebrated with great enthusiasm and fervor at IIMK on Saturday. It was a student initiative made possible the by a collaboration of individuals who believed in the cause and came forward and volunteered to make the event a great success. Guests for the event were Chairperson of Student’s Council Professor Om Kumar and Leadership Author and Motivational Leader Abha Banerjee.

The event comprised of speeches by four young women who spoke of their life experiences on a variety of topics ranging from ambition, loss, being strong, leadership and sexual abuse. Abha departed some great tidbits of wisdom on managing life, dreams and getting the best of out of both.

But the part of the event which hit an emotional note with the 100 odd students present was a surprise in the form of video. This video consisted of messages from the parents of certain girl students. Many eyes welled up when fathers and mothers spoke about how proud they were of their daughters, how happy they were that they were blessed with a girl child, and how much they missed them.

It happens very rarely that you get to a part an evening filled with emotions, honest admissions, hope and solidarity. International Women’s Day celebration at IIMK yesterday evening has set a precedence for the many events of such kind to come.



It was an intense event, a single of its kind, which raised many pertinent questions about the kind of society we are living in. Abha spoke about how times had changed and how women today had a forum to express themselves, how they could step out in the public and speak their minds and about things which went wrong with them. I think, as a society, it is great that we have progressed from equality to equity. But the task is not yet done. It is upon us, the future parents, the future adults to take make this equity a triviality. Our children should say with surprise – really, you were treated differently just because you were a woman?!

By Preeti Bhonsle (PGP 20)
Some of the moments from the event

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Backwaters Day3: Saving the Best for the End

After two big bang days of Backwaters’16 at IIM Kozhikode, we’re sure you don’t expect the last day to be far behind. It wasn’t and in fact, it was bigger and better!

After 3 gruelling days for the campus representatives from all the participating colleges, Avatar finally came to a close and how! The 5 candidates who had been shortlisted from the previous rounds gave it their all to prove their leadership potential and win it big for their college. But ultimately there had to be only one winner and that title was ably won by Kunal Dhiman from IIM Kozhikode.

An intra IIMK case study competition, Prove Your Mettle, was organised and the event saw students from the first and the second year battling it out to solve various challenges inspired by the day to day functioning of the institute. The participants had to face some tough questions from the judges to prove that their idea was the best and in the end, it was Vaishnavi Adapa and Rupal Khandelwal (Team Crack-a-Nut) and  Anjali Priya, Goutham and Urmil Wankawala (Team The Mind Walkers), who proved their mettle. At another flagship event, On Your Mark, teams from various colleges competed to argue their case for best marketing strategies. The most comprehensive and feasible solution was suggested by Kunal Dhiman and Surbhi Jain, who competed with teams from IIM Lucknow, IIM Kozhikode and NMIMS, Mumbai.

For all the future brand managers, Varun Satia, the founder and director of Kraftshala was here to take everyone through a “Reverse Marketing” workshop where they discussed the “Hand of Neo” framework and used it to breakdown any advertising campaign in the world. The participants got an insight into the strategies, persuasion tactics and storytelling genius of the greatest advertising campaigns. “It was a truly different experience. The learning from this is definitely not something I could have found by just reading Philip Kotler!” is what a participant had to say.

Spot events Scrap it Up, Word Finder and Flick the link also saw enthused participation from the students. In addition, IIMK House of Orators organised “ Krossroads- the new Panacea”, which posed various crisis management cases to the competing teams.

To bring Backwaters’16 to an end, IIMK- Theatrix, Krescendo and Footvibes organised a cultural extravaganza and the audiences were enthralled with foot tapping performances, hilarious plays and the melodious voices of the students.

Backwaters’16 brought the campus to life for 3 days with participants from various colleges displaying their management acumen and bringing out their best competitive spirit. As the event comes to a close, it’s time for the visiting participants to head back to their destinations and IIMK junta to get back to their books and assignments. But as Aparana from the Backwaters Committee said, “Every year, Backwaters raises its bar in terms of the kind of events and participation. We can’t wait to raise the bar again with Backwaters’17!”

And with that, PR cell is signing off for now! Watch this space for the next event at God’s own Kampus!


Compiled by Priya Radhakrishnan and Sushmita Gahlot | Public Relations Cell

Sangram 2016: Call of Destiny

The clarion call for battle has been sounded and the warriors are sharpening their swords. Sangram, the Annual Inter IIM Sports Meet between IIM Bangalore, IIM Trichy, IIM Vishakhapatnam   and IIM Kozhikode was launched here in IIM K on the night of 2nd November, 2016.

Sangram, which commenced in 2008, when IIM Bangalore and IIM Kozhikode decided to conduct a joint sports meet annually, has subsequently welcomed IIM Trichy and IIM Vizag into the arena, and is currently hosted alternate years by the two founding members. This year’s edition will be held in IIM Bangalore between 18th and 20th November. Over the three days, participants will compete in 20+ events. More than 400 participants and over a thousand spectators will attend the grand event.

Lamp Lighting

Lamp Lighting

The event commenced with the lighting of the lamp to signify a pure beginning to the endeavor.

This was followed by Prof Om Kumar Krishnan, Chairperson, Student Affairs, and Faculty Advisor, Sports Committee, IIM K, addressing the audience. Dressed in sportswear appropriate for the occasion, he inspired in the participants the spirit of dedication and the importance of the pursuit of excellence.

Prof Deepak Dayanithy, ex-Faculty Advisor, Sports Committee, IIM K, next took the dais, and addressed the squad. His speech was full of powerful invocations to motivate the sportsmen and sportswomen.

This was followed by the announcement of teams for the various events of Sangram, 2016. The best sportspersons of the institute were chosen to fight for glory.

Team Announcement

Team Announcement

The next item on the agenda was the unveiling of the official jersey design for the sports contingent. This was followed by the launch of the video teaser for IIM K’s Sangram campaign. The awe inspiring clip pepped up the audience and set the mood for the campaign. Watch the video here.

The last bit of the evening were the team pictures, a reminder of our strength in unity, and of the greatness of the common goal more than that of personal achievement.

With the vote of thanks delivered by Mr Bharath Reddy from PGP19, the evening drew to a close, and the warriors withdrew once again to the field to hone their skills for the upcoming battle.

The Hult Prize @ IIM Kozhikode

IIM Kozhikode is proud to have organized the world’s largest student competition for the social good at the campus level. The Hult Prize Foundation is a start-up accelerator for budding young social entrepreneurs emerging from the world’s universities after challenging them to solve a pressing social issue around topics such as food security, water access, energy, and education. The agenda for this year is reawakening human potential – the refugee problem.

The event differentiated itself from the beginning. There was a grueling interview for the recruitment of the campus director and Rahul Kumar, a PGP 19 student got selected as the campus director. He buckled up for the event by appointing his core team consisting of Nitin Gupta, Isha Walian ad Vaishnavi Adapa.

One of the participants presenting his solution

One of the participants presenting his solution

And finally when the D day arrived for the campus finalists to present their ideas of addressing one of the larges problems of the present day, the teams came up with amazing ideas stunning the judging panel. The panel was wisely chosen by the organizing team to have different perspectives. Ms Shamin Sebastian, the deputy collector of Kozhikode district of Kerala brought with her the expertise in dealing with migrants who come to Kerala from other parts of India. Prof. Priya Nair Rajeev, Assistant professor in OB HR area of IIM Kozhikode gave valuable insights in the human resource management and the problems that would arise in managing the ideas given by the participants. Last but not the least, Mr. Shilen Sagunan, Chief Executive at SS counsultants, Kochi gave the participants his ideas on the feasibility of the business plans and the potential problems in the financial success of the plan and the implementation.

On the D-day i.e., Nov 4th, the organizers got great responses from the particpants when asked about their journey to the campus finals and also the hardwork they have put in. In words of Dharmanshu, a PGP19 student, “ This is a huge problem. I have read about refugees before. But I was not empathizing as much I do now. There are millions of people looking for help and something has to be done”. Another participant Sushmitha from PGP20 told, “Presenting our solution for one of the biggest problems in the world in the biggest competitions gives me a lot of satisfaction.”

The Judges

The Judges

After all presentations and intense rounds of Q&A, the judges announced the team Elements and team Veritas as the campus winners to represent IIM Kozhikode at a national level. In the words of Arunangshu, one of the members of the winning team, “It is different from solving a regular case study because you have to think in more detail about how to solve problems, you haven’t fallen into with little scope for primary research. You want to solve problems for all the refugees but you cannot, as your idea should target a limited set of individuals effectively.”

The IIM K fraternity wishes them all the very best for the further rounds and put faith that IIM K’s teams would reach the finals at Boston and receive the 1 million USD to set up their venture and help the world solve one of the biggest problems today.

Chai pe Charcha with TVF


Do names like Jeetu, Soumya, Vipul Goyal ring a bell? Or rather, how many bells do they ring? Have you been constantly bombarded with “Tu beer hai BC” jokes? Have you watched a stand up comedian trying to sell Kashmir to Pakistan recently? Well if not, you certainly have been living under a rock for the Team associated with those questions is the one revolutionizing the way Indians watch stories, good content, for over four years now. Dear readers, our pleasure to introduce: “The Viral Fever”.

We had this amazing team visit our campus for the #FeverNight organised by Team Backwaters for BACKWATERS2016. We at Public Relations Cell got to host our own “Chai pe Charcha”. We had Akanksha Thakur, (Soumya of Pitchers) and Vipul Goyal, TVF writer and stand-up comedian.

Excerpts, straight out of our writing pads, as raw as it gets:

PR Cell (PRC): Firstly, thank you for what was a great act yesterday!

Vipul Goyal: Thank for having us.

Akanksha Thakur: Your campus is beautiful.

Vipul: Isko IIM Kozhikode resort bolna chahiye.

PRC: We call it God’s own Kampus, anyways how did you find the audience yesterday?

Vipul: It was a great audience, jo aapke pass itni youth audience hai yahaan so itni energy jo rehti hai it rubs on the performer as well because live performance is a two way act.

PRC: So how much preparation goes into reading the crowd, tweaking the performance accordingly? Anything particular to a college in that sense.

Vipul: Haan kuch MBA jokes the, kuch IIM Ahemdabad vale jokes the, so voh thoda bahot hota hai, Like I have to been IIM Bangalore, Akanksha has been to IIM Calcutta so basically voh profiling ho jata hai. Yeh ek IIM ka crowd hai ya IIT ka crowd hai. Engineering colleges throughout India same hai… MBA colleges same hai. So I won’t use engineering jokes in MBA college or other way round.

PRC: What do you do when response is not that great, koi joke click nai kia?

Vipul: College show mein toh nai huya but haan jab aap naye jokes test karne jaate hai… usko open mic bolte hai toh vahaan par kafi open reaction hai. For comedy, even if you practise you need an audience.

PRC: So kabi laga ki Indian audience is probably not mature enough for your jokes, ki yeh toh nai chalega, people take easy offense these days?

Vipul: We at TVF draft our scripts very carefully. We don’t go into what’s outright controversial.

Akanksha: Haan we know that line, where to draw the line. We are aware of that limit and we try not to cross it.

PRC: And this is for you Akanksha, now you have had a shift of career in the sense that your parents wanted you to be a pilot, so how difficult was it to convince them?

Akanksha: It was difficult for me, I had to convince them that I wanted to do something different but after a point they understood that ok fine it’s better that you do what you really like and also my marks were terrible …so my father was like yeah ok you can do it… so that helped me. Anyways I wouldn’t have enjoyed it. It wasn’t that bad but I had to make efforts.

PRC: Abhi reaction kaisa hai, and with relatives as well?

Akanksha: Initially unko nai pata that what am I doing and why are people clicking pictures, everything that started to happen one and a half year back. He was not understanding because he is not much on Youtube. However after Pitchers, he started watching few videos and he really enjoyed tech conversations with dad. So now he is happy. He gets what we are trying to do. The entire alternate medium thing and all.

PRC: Nowadays we are seeing a lot of web series are coming, especially after Permanent roommates, don’t you think it would become repetitive soon?

Vipul: Dekho vohi cheez hai, 2012 mein we had sketches coming, all those 5 min videos..usme novelty factor tha. Now sketch is routine. Similarly in 2014 we had webseries coming and now people are like humme webseries do toh hum dekhenge. So yeh jo novelty hai this will definetly drop. Infact the novelty that we had for webseries in 2014 is no longer the same. Our reading is that it will continue for 3-4 years going forward, but audience filter kar legi what to watch. So its more like a fad, in that, fad every content generates views but over the time few select ones will be preferred. So janta ho jayega ki 100 webseries hai, mjhe yeh 5 dekhni hai.

Akanksha: Haan vahi hai naa, jiska uss time content acha hoga, that will work.

PRC: Do you feel the pressure of coming up with a sequel to successful series like Pitchers, Permanent Roommates?

Akanksha: Yeah, voh toh hamesha hi hota hai, that risk we have to take.

Vipul: There is nothing to think actually, we can’t be serious in that sense and bog ourselves ki aise karunga toh chalega nahi toh nai chalega. We have to go with our gut feeling.

PRC: Ok, this one is light now, Kabi aisa hua ki relatives ke function par log bolte hain: Arrey joke sunao, perform karke dikhao?


Akanksha: Yeah…totally (laughs).

(laughs) Yeh hamesha hota hai mere sath but vahaan mere jokes nai chalte. Vahaan mere papa, buaji ki audience hoti hai unko mere jokes hi samajh nahi aate. Facebook jokes and yeh sab nahi pata unko. Mere chachaji ne abhi meri poem nai suni.

PRC: Toh kabhi hua ki, jaise Tayaji ne kaha, arrey joke sunn meri aur yeh video mein daal dena

Vipul: Hmm.. bilkul… aur voh bhi voh whatsapp vale joke. Mujhe yeh hota hai ki yeh jokes daalunga toh log mujhe chor bolenge. But haan ye sab hota hai, ye daal dena, wo bol dena.

PRC: So where do you guys draw your inspiration from?

Vipul: Yaar, I’ve been influenced mainly by two performers. Raju Srivastava and Seinfeld, college ke time se hi mere ko ye dono bahut sahi lagte the.

Akanksha: I can’t… I don’t know, I have too many people, I like certain things about certain people. There is no one particular person, just that I like particular things about particular people. And I like it that way.

Q: Do you see an Indian show going truly global in the near future?

Vipul: Definitely. Yaar Slumdog Millionaire was an Indian story na… toh Indian stories toh already global hain, it’s just that koi Indian story teller global leke jaata nahi hai, Slumdog was made by a foreigner.

PRC: Pitchers has actually raised the bar in this regard, hasn’t it, with an IMDB ranking this high, with people quoting the dialogues…

Vipul: Yaar wo to isliye ki hamari populations bahut jyada hai (laughs). But actually, humne abhi Pitchers ke English subtitles dale hain. And we’ve got quite a bit of American viewership now, and those guys are getting all the jokes, which is a very nice feeling ki that spirit of entrepreneurship and that aspirational value jo show depict karta hai, that is very universal.

PRC: Also, you have a lot of trailer reactions coming out, but recently there was a copyright issue where someone did a trailer reaction to, I think, Yashraj… So what do you think, kitna sahi hai ye, kafi censorship bhi aane lagi hai isme ab…

Vipul: Yaar, as long as it’s within the legal framework, it’s all good. Censorship… wo to ayegi hi yaar. Jo bhi koi new media hota hai, pehle woh naya hota hai, fir jo traditional media hai, wo isme paisa pump karke isko bhi traditional bana dete hain, control lane ke liye. Pehle radio tha, fir TV aaya toh usme censorship aa gayi, YouTube pe abhi nahi hai, but probably in the near future…

PRC: Kabhi hua ki you went to the sponsors and they tell you that produce the content this way or that way?

Vipul: Sponsors ke saath toh hamesha hota hai yaar. See, sponsors have got very specific values, and when they are paying you, they want those values depicted in a very specific manner. Which I think is right. Agar apko koi paisa de raha hai, aur pehle se bata raha hai ki unki conditions kya hain, to agar aap who puri nahi kar sakte, toh ya toh contract lo mat, aur le rahe ho toh pura karo.

PRC: So how many applications do you get every day from writers, actors…?

Vipul: Haan, we do… we started from 15 people, we’re 150 now, so we’re growing pretty fast.

PRC: Akanksha, you have been with TVF all this while, are you open to collaborating with other creators, AIB, for instance?

Akanksha: I don’t think anyone else is making the kind of content that TVF is making. As an actor, of course, I’m open to anything that’s good, just that I don’t see it right now.

PRC: Thoughts on AIB?

Vipul: Sahi hai yaar AIB, sahi log hain. Kai baar sketches aate hain, AIB ke sketches bahut sahi lagte hain. Main toh un logo ko pehle se jaanta hu, kyunki stand-up hai, to hum log saath me hi kar rahe the, 6 saal se, main bas TVF me tha aur Tanmay udhar. So, it’s more of a community feeling rather than competitive feeling. Kyunki hum sab ek team me hain yaar, hamara fight TV se hai. Kisi ki bhi screening hoti hai, party hoto hai, Tripling ki party hui, toh AIB wale sab idhar aate hain, hum log udhar jaate hain. In fact hamari abhi ek series aane wali hai stand-up comedians pe, toh usme Tanmay ne role kiya hai, saare AIB wale hain, Kenny hai, sab hain, toh kafi community feeling hai. Jo bahar log chahte hain ki kuchh jhagda ho toh maza aaye, aisa kuch hai nahi. Hum log same team me hain, hamari fight traditional media se hai. Ek dusre ka kaam dekhte hain, use seekhte hain.

PRC: Any parting thoughts, fir aana chahenge Kozhikode?

Vipul: Haan yaar bilkul, paise do hame, kahin bhi ayenge (laughs).

PRC: TVF five years down the line?

Vipul: Five years down the line, Akanksha ek film kar rahi hogi Dharma ke saath…

Akanksha: (laughs) Let’s see, hopefully

Vipul: Baki, there’s a movie planned, script ready hai uska, so banayenge pakka, agle do saal me.

Akanksha: Plus, the next six months, there are a lot of things…

Vipul: Kaafi cheese lined up hain, kafi shoot ho chuki hain, nayi webseries aane wali hain, lots in the pipeline.

PRC: We’re excited about that. Thank you so much!



For more on Backwaters2016, check out the FB page.


Interviewed by Amritansh, Anirudh and Parnabho | Public Relations Cell

Higher Stakes, Greater Rewards: Backwaters Day 2

How often after dinner we are left with the lingering taste of the dessert! Well that was what TVF (The Viral Fever) was to the day two. Anyways let us not jump the queue here.

We started the second day’s proceedings from where we left of, the Model United Nations where delegates further divulged into “combating terrorism and human rights violations” and “non-proliferation of nuclear weapons” in two committees. While policy discussions was left to the delegates to ponder upon we panned our camera to IIMK’s yet another star flagship event “Return of the pride – CSK” . One of the most awaited events at Backwaters, it lived up to its expectations wherein participants presented their ideas on re-launch strategy for Chennai Super Kings. With prizes worth one lac to won, it was one of the hotly contested events. The event was judged by Mr George John, Director CSK, Mr Chockalingam, Creative Director, OPN Advertising, Ms Bala Manian, Director, OPN Advertising; Prof Joffi Thomas, IIM Kozhikode and Prof Deepak Dayanidhi, IIM Kozhikode.

While CSK’s event created a lot of buzz on the campus, proceedings for yet another flagship event were brewing up: Avatar, the ultimate CEO Challenge. A gruelling 10 round event which started with its Round Five, the Sponsors Judgement today. Participants were put to test for their creative and intellect alike. We followed it up with White Knight, a B-Plan Competition of IIM Kozhikode. Which aimed to encourage entrepreneurship by providing the platform for newer ideas. All the flagship events saw the participation of teams from business schools from across the country.

Another of the event that followed up its activities from Day 1 was Shiksha, a student development initiative. It conducted a motivational personality development programme for the undergraduate students. The talks at Shiksha were conducted by Team Synergy and were received by positive feedbacks from the students. What kept the day interesting were on spot events like: Trivia – TV Show and Character based quiz. And a big shout out to the organizers for it was a tough nut to crack. Event saw the participation from scores of students moving around with perplexed looks trying to decode the codified puzzles.

While we ended the business for the day two with Model United Nations drafting its proposals only to make way for the most awaited event/nights of Backwaters.

The Pro-Night and this time it was The Viral Fever in the house.