Reading fat management books, carrying laptops and making presentations are not the only ways students of the Indian Institute of Management-Indore prepare themselves as future managers and CEOs. There are some practical methods too -- like running a shop.
These students have set up their own shops in the campus, which they run all by themselves - investing, making these profitable and reinvesting.
Pi Shop (derived from 'Planet-I' - what students fondly call the institute) was opened about four year ago and sells FMCG products, stationary, sports accessories, bakery products and even buckets and mugs. "We run it with money that is taken from each PG First Year students. Sixteen First and Second Year students manage the shop. At the end of two years, the investors get their money back with 20 per cent dividend which we give from the profits," said Rajiv Singh, secretary of Merchand-I club which runs this shop. This club takes care of merchandised products at IIM. Specially done IIM Tee shirts are sold for Rs 250-330, key chains for Rs 50 -75, mugs for Rs 150 onwards and laptop bags for Rs 600-Rs 900.
The shop is recession-proof and continues to make profits with gains doubling up in the last one year as the student intake at the IIM-I went up. However, while this shop took care of the day-to-day needs of the future managers, they still lacked a 'hangout' where they could chill, relax, eat and spend some time together.
This was when the Entrepreneurship Cell stepped in and did what entrepreneurs do. It gave seed money for a juice shop. 'Juices And More' (JAM) completed a year a few days ago. "We are on a hillock where there are no such joints. Our seniors had this idea in mind and within two to three weeks it materialised," says Karthikeyan R, secretary of the Entrepreneurship Cell.
The location was strategically chosen and a small room right in the middle of the hostels in the campus was converted into JAM. "We started with juices and looking at the demand we started serving milkshakes, corn chaat, sandwiches and noodles. We now plan to add momos to our menu," he adds.
Both Rajiv and Karthikeyan agree that running the shops has taught the students a lot about marketing, finance, managing human resources and handling operations.