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What Premier Institutes Do Differently

Source | LinkedIn : By Rajesh Bhattad 

I was recently at IIM Indore where my brother is a student of IPM Batch of 2015 (IPM stands for Integrated Programme in Management, a 5-year programme that includes both UG and PG courses and is exclusive to IIM Indore).

I was amazed at how beautiful the campus was both in terms of the infrastructure and the amenities. IIM Indore boasts of all the modern facilities that any other premier institute can be proud of: tennis court, cricket ground, swimming pool, football ground, basketball court, a great library and an amazingly beautiful auditorium that plays every new release in the market.

After 15mins in the campus, I made it a point in my head to ‘try find scrap or dirt’here and there. Thankfully I failed! Glad for my OCD! The campus is amazingly well-kept.

Amongst the various facilities that IIM Indore provides for, what caught my eye in particular were a slew of student-run stores. Now given I graduated from ‘not a premier’ college, I could instantly see the importance of the initiatives. Let me explain.

IIM Indore has a student-run retail and merchandising initiative called “The π Shop” which comes from being called “PI Shop” where PI is Planet ‘I’ (IIM Indore) Shop. It’s an ‘of the students, by the students and for the college’ business initiative. The student members running this body are elected by Merchand-i Club, a body under Student Activity Council (SAC). Every year nominees to the club are pre-processed and the shortlisted candidates are interviewed. Those who clear the interviews are eligible for elections.

The π Shop sells everything from your evening snack to late night coffee to your morning soup.

Merchand-i club hosts multiple business initiatives like Mi (Merchant I) Mart which sells all the customised goods like hoodies, coffee mugs, pens & tees – all customised with IIM-I logos and nerdy lines. Merchand-i Club has partnerships with major fast food joints like KFC, McDonalds, Subway, PizzaHut, Fasoos who each are allotted a particular day of the week to set shop. So everyday you have one of the fast food joints selling you fast food.

Under the guidance of SAC, students are encouraged to start their own ventures like Aladeens, a food joint with specialty in making Chicken rolls and kababs. Then there is Sweet ‘n Spice which specialises in Chinese fast food.

Except for the ventures under Merchand-i club, all other ventures’ P&L is managed independently by the student-investors in the businesses.

Express-O-Mat is another student-run venture wherein the student body has bought in numerous Washing Machines; the service provides for pickup-and-drop of your laundry clothes online. You can alternatively choose to drop your clothes physically at the store at the time slots provided. The laundry services cost you 100 Rs (less than $2) for every 5 kilos of clothes.

Except for the ventures under Merchand-i club, all other ventures’ P&L is managed independently by the student-investors in the businesses.

When I was at the campus, IIM Indore was a host to a startup event called ‘i Expo’ which is Central India’s first ever startup expo that provided an opportunity to startups cutting across industries to showcase their products and services and pitch-in to the potential investors. IIM Indore has an incubation centre for startup on cards coming soon.

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