From food fes­ti­vals to a busi­ness mu­seum, the in­sti­tute blends cul­tural sen­si­tiv­ity with wel­fare ini­tia­tives

India Today - - SCHOOL SPECIAL - By C.S. Salil

Ire­alised the true mean­ing of ‘unity in diver­sity’ at the an­nual food fes­ti­val on the cam­pus,” says Surabhi Verma, a sec­ond-year man­age­ment stu­dent at the In­dian In­sti­tute of Man­age­ment, Kozhikode ( IIM-K). “The sheer va­ri­ety of cui­sine from dif­fer­ent parts of In­dia was amaz­ing.”

The food fes­ti­val is a ma­jor event in IIM-K’S cal­en­der. The culi­nary and cul­tural ex­trav­a­ganza is com­pletely man­aged by stu­dents, right down to the cook­ing of dishes. It is part of an ef­fort to in­crease in­ter­ac­tion be­tween fac­ulty and stu­dents on the cam­pus. Says Ab­hishek Gupta from Mum­bai, “It pro­vides a plat­form for many stu­dents to show­case their tal­ent be­fore the IIM-K com­mu­nity, which also prompts fur­ther in­for­mal in­ter­ac­tion be­tween stu­dents, fac­ulty and staff.”

But it is not just an ex­plo­sion of aro­mas and tastes that draws peo­ple to the food fes­ti­val and IIM-K. The in­sti­tute’s syl­van cam­pus, tucked away on a small hil­lock sur­rounded by the lush green Ker­ala land­scape, is an ex­pe­ri­ence in it­self. Be­sides, dean Saji Gopinath says, “IIM-K is a con­flu­ence of In­dian cul­tures and ideas.”

At IIM-K, stu­dents learn not only in lec­ture rooms but also through nonaca­demic ac­tiv­i­ties such as food and in­ter­na­tional fes­ti­vals. “The fes­ti­vals pro­vide stu­dents an op­por­tu­nity to or­gan­ise, man­age and mar­ket events by them­selves,” adds Gopinath.

Saksham Sri­vas­tava, 24, a post grad­u­ate diploma in man­age­ment stu­dent from Lucknow, and his class­mate Ni­ran­jana Narayanan, 21, from Chen­nai agree. “We come away learn­ing a lot from the ex­pe­ri­ence,” says Ni­ran­jana. “In the midst of our de­mand­ing aca­demic sched­ule, the food fes­ti­val show­cased tal­ents of the stu­dents. The fes­ti­val aroused our cre­ative sen­si­bil­i­ties and sparked a new en­ergy in the cam­pus. It’s the most ea­gerly-awaited an­nual event here.”

In­deed, IIM-K, set up in 1996, has never been short of the cre­ative im­pulse. “The In­dian Busi­ness Mu­seum at IIM-K is a unique ini­tia­tive,” says Apara­jith Ram­nath, lec­turer in Busi­ness His­tory at the B-school. The


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