The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Cost-cutting edge to games B-schools play

Calcutta, Oct. 17: Recession reality has hit the B-schools, from campus recruitment to the games that budding managers play.

Smart-sizing and cost-cutting, the biz world buzzwords, are no longer restricted to the boardroom. Students from over 50 institutes across the country, including some of the best B-schools, will gather at Xavier Labour Research Institute (XLRI) in Jamshedpur to prove their prowess in minimising cost and trimming workforce.

“Declining margins in business is a reality. And competitive pressure has made it absolutely imperative for business establishments to be cost-efficient. Once we pass out of our institutes, we will have to face these situations. So, it’s better to be prepared,” says Navaneel Kar, secretary of the external relations cell at XLRI.

Though fun and frolic in the form of quiz, essay writing, and musical meets will be the flavour, management funda under competitive market conditions will be put to the real test during the three days, claim the organisers. Even in the up-market ad-shop event, the budding ad-marvels will have to churn out advertisement ideas that appeal to the rural market.

“We all know about the impact of recession-hit external environment on both local and global markets. But it’s good that the reality has found a place in these games as students prepare to take on the challenges of the corporate world, ” said Professor Sougata Roy of IIM Calcutta.

According to him, asking students to come up with ideas for the rural market — around 80 per cent of the total market size — is an indication that India Inc has realised where the true potential lies.

This element of reality woven in the games gives the participants real exposure, feels Manish Singla, who passed out from IIM-C and is currently working with a consulting major. He admits that during his two-year stint at the B-school, there wasn’t any cost-cutting or smart-sizing game. “These games are new. They are in for the simple reason that students feel they will have to deal with such issues once they are out in the real world.”

But Ensemble 2002 — one of the biggest B-school meets in this part of the country — will have simulated games not only to test the cost-cutting and smart-sizing skills of the budding managers. The competition will cover all the disciplines of management like finance, marketing, strategy, operations, information technology, human resources and industrial relations.

“It’s all about applying theoretical knowledge to crack real-life cases. This will not only add value to the skill set, but will also raise the level of confidence,” says Kar, explaining the rationale behind the reality bite.

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