In Speaking

The NIT Trichy Visit – An Overview

I was at NIT Trichy to talk on ‘The Business Side of Blogging’ to the MBA students. Here’s a quick recount of the trip and the talk.

I’ve heard a lot about NIT Trichy (previously REC Trichy) over many years but got to visit for the first time. The hospitality of the students was fantastic. They had taken full care of my transportation and accommodation. Satadal Payeng was at the railway station at the wee hours of the morning to pick me up. Satadal, btw, has a nice 2 wheeler blog and within a month, has started earning $100 a month.

We made the 20 kms journey to the campus where I was put up at their guest house.

There were about a 100 students in the seminar hall. Considering it was a four day holiday weekend, I was surprised so many chose to stay back in the campus.

The MBA dept has been in existence for 29 years and is only the second engineering college in Tamil Nadu, after Anna University, to start a management course. It’s reputation can be gauged by the fact that every single student has got jobs in campus placement.

I was quite impressed with the course fee. It’s Rs.1.2 lakhs fees includes the full two years course fee, hostel and even mess bill. All inclusive. Compare that with Rs.5 lakhs that a few MBA colleges charge for a year.

BIZZDOM is their first intra-departmental fest and it looks like its going to turn into an annual event.

After the customary talk by the Director, HoD, the lighting of the lamp and a premature coffee break, my two hour talk began. As expected, the students were a bit rusty but soon opened up. My usual empty promise of cadburys for the first few questions never fails to work!

I was particularly impressed with a bunch of no-nonsense questions that the students asked. I liked their attitude to challenge the basics. There were some very good questions that were raised and that helped in making the session a lot interactive.

See that big audio speakers in the picture above? Those are some of the best I’ve seen. Very good audio clarity. The mic had a small problem and I used the opportunity to chuck it and mingle with the crowd. I’ve learnt the trick that if you want the crowd to participate in the discussion, its important to have a level playing field. I guess, that helped. Not so for my throat though. Two hours of speaking aloud kinda drained me out but the session was fun.

The students have done a good job in organizing the event but coming from a bunch of soon-to-be MBA graduates and that too from a premier institute like NIT, I had expected more. The event started half-hour late and when you land there early, the wait seems much longer. Punctuality is a direct indicator of professionalism.

The biggest irritant was when my speech was interrupted by the organizers to read out the bio of the second guest speaker who had just walked in. And it couldn’t have happened at a worse time. I was mid way narrating a passionate story to illustrate a point and the interruption punctured the poignancy of the moment. I’m sure the organizers didn’t mean harm but these are subtleties you would expect them to know.

The second session was on ‘Seven Habits of Highly Effective People’, yes, based on the bestselling book by Steven Covey. Mr.Srikant, a professional trainer and a seven habits evangelist was the speaker. I have always wanted to read this book ever since it started topping the New York Times bestseller list many years ago but never got to finish it. ( in spite of it sitting on my book shelf). Srikanth spiced up his talks with examples from his own life and how it influenced him. He gave a nice overview and it motivated me to start reading the book again, hopefully finish it this time and apply the learning in life.

It reminded me of the Business Book Readers Meet that we used to have. We were four friends and each one of us would choose a business book to read. Once a month, we would meet at the Loyola college grounds to give a brief synopsis and key learning from the book. This way, it gave a satisfaction of having kinda read four books and actually gives you the motivation to finish reading some of those book. Gotto restart that nice business book meets.