Jamshedpur is a bustling industrial city. The heavy traffic, rushing businessmen and clamorous street peddlers, all create a noisy, vivid backdrop against which the business of life carries on. After all, it's the largest and most populous city in the state of Jharkhand. But as soon as one walks in the through the gates of XLRI - Xavier School of Management, the scene, at once, transforms to a serene setting of lush green lawns, tall shady trees and the joyful chirping of birds. But this serenity is only a fa├žade. An indomitable energy swirls through the campus of one of India's best B-schools and XLRI is teeming with exceptional minds. This spectacle of ideas, intellect and creative energy was clearly on display at Ensemble 2014 - the institute's management festival.
The Ensemble website says that the aim of the fest is to create a "catalytic environment for emerging leaders by bringing together some of the best minds of the country." And this is exactly what the three-day fest was all about. From events like Genesis where potential entrepreneurs pitched original business proposals to War of Wits where future human resource managers sought innovative solutions for better employee engagement, there was plenty to keep students engaged at the fest.
However, presentations were not merely aimed at impressing the judges and walking away with cash prizes but were also well thought out and meticulously researched, all of which could very well be implemented in real world situations. For instance, at Genesis, one of the proposed business ideas was that of paper recycling. The team had worked closely with Jamshedpur Utilities and Services Company (Jusco), an urban infrastructure service provider under the Tata Group, while developing their business concept. Another pitch put forward was that of sewage treatment technology that could provide a 30 to 40 per cent more cost effective solution than what's currently available in the market today.
While ideas kept flowing in from young participants, they also had the opportunity to learn and get inspired. Filmmaker Sudhir Mishra of the Hazaaron Khwaishein Aisi fame provided a stimulating talk about finding one's passion, encouraging more women film directors and how balancing ambition and humility is the key to success. In a perfect example of the prevalence of technology today, a video conference was held with Dr Devi Shetty, chairman and founder, Narayana Health from his office in Bangalore. While providing information about the new innovations in healthcare, Dr Shetty also emphasised that the future lay online and encouraged students to create new ventures in virtual healthcare.
But even great minds need to let loose. And evenings at Ensemble were all about that. From face painting to poker tournament and a musical performance by Bodhi Tree, the fun went on till late night. The fest also saw Nitin Gupta, an IITian turned stand-up comedian, leave the packed crowd in splits. His jokes about college, cricket, dating and films immediately found a connection with the young students. Finally, a Coke Studio performance by Raghu Dixit brought the curtains down on the three-day festivities.
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