Management students of Sterling Institute of Management Studies (SIMS), Nerul, are game for some managerial lessons on the football field.
The institute, which is run by National Centre for Rural Development, organised a three-day inter-college Soccer Knockout Challenge that concluded on Sunday.
"The idea behind organising the tournament was to develop managerial skills among students and to give them a chance to enjoy the beautiful game," said Dr Rajesh Srivastava, director general, SIMS.
"It started as a small idea in a casual class discussion. Initially, we thought of taking only 16 teams from colleges in Navi Mumbai, but eventually 45 teams from across Mumbai signed up," said Amar Kadam, a second-year management student and one of the organisers of the tournament.
The tournament was organised by a dedicated volunteer force of 50 students. "We wanted students to have a practical experience of what awaits them in the markets. You have to work on a fixed budget most of the time. We had to get sponsors and optimise the available resources efficiently," said Dr Srivastava.
Several management colleges put together their football teams, after signing up for the tournament. "Our college paid the Rs700 entry fee and we formed a football team. I hope the team continues to play in more tournaments," said Vivian Pinto, first-year management student at St Francis Institute of Management, Borivli.
Srivastava said that the championship was aimed at honing students' managerial craft. "Since many of the teams didn't have professional footballers, they can learn how output needs to be squeezed from average performers. To get market shares for a brand, you have to walk the extra mile. Similarly, in a football match, to win, you ought to push yourself."
"It's extremely rare for management institutes to organise sporting events. SIMS is definitely coming out of its comfort zone", said Samson Pen, a fifth-year law student at Rizvi Law College, Bandra, whose team boasts of national level players.