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NEP 2020 proposes to have Students at the centre of the learning process

All the events described in this section had just two faculty members and anywhere between 70-150 students who were part of curating, learning and applying the desired outcomes.

Innovator’s Guide

Along with experiential learning driven by student-centric activity, Dr.Mahalakshmi Sankar along with her faculty Mr. Chirag Pagaria adopted learning methodologies that demonstrated the relation between different disciplines of management. Experimenting with the diversity in the student’s culture, background, knowledge level, language skills, capability, aptitude, strength, weakness and leveraging the same through well-designed events allowed her team which included more than 100 students to not only gain subject knowledge but also provide a platform for each and every student to find his footing, his role and his part in the bigger picture.In a normal HEI lecturing followed by evaluation through standard test format is the process of learning and it is possible for even a single teacher to manage a large number of students. In the learning methodologies described in this section each learner had a role to play in curating, devising the process of learning and ultimately learning the concepts.That makes these learning methodologies different and in tune with NEP2020.


Following are the list of breakthrough events organized by the students under her leadership & guidance.

1. Biz Dramatiz 2013

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The corporate world throws out numerous scams, challenges, constraints that are dealt by the managers in their own way. These become case studies for B-schools which are analyzed, commented and documented. For the undergraduate management students, the case studies are better understood if presented in the form of a 20-30 minutes short film.
 
This event was an attempt to launch six teams which competed and released six short films on the D- Day that is 3rd of September, 2013. The storylines were picked up from real life cases like SpeakAsia( a white collar Scam that shook the country in2012-13), common wealth games as well as best- selling books like the Bankster and Inside T20.
 
The students scripted the dialogues, portrayed the characters and took care of the technical aspects of the film like shooting, editing etc. Each team had equal number of members from FY, SY & TYBMS(BMS stands for bachelor of management studies course of Mumbai university which draws students from the science,arts and commerce as well as diploma courses). These stories were intercepted with concepts from subjects that are taught in FY, SY and TYBMS like Foundations of Human Skills, Marketing management & Business ethics respectively. This way the students were able to identify concepts in the business cases much better. For example, in a scene depicting a board meeting the six thinking hats are adorned by six members in order to explain their way of thinking. 


The Book Bankster by IIM Alumnus Ravi Subramani gave the students a chance to deliberate on ethical dilemma that they studied as part of business ethics paper.
SpeakAsia ( a multilevel marketing scam)was full of marketing dilemmas and gimmicks which was beautifully portrayed by the students as they learnt how common man falls prey to marketing strategies.
The common wealth games was once again a lesson on project management failure and red tapism.
The promotion was a two-step process, firstly each of the team promoted the movies on campus by using innovative methods like dance drama, street play, announcing competition etc.It was followed by a jersey release function where each team announced their mission, vision statement and gave the reason behind their team logo, jersey color, design etc. Apart from integrating subject knowledge with a short film, students had gained tremendous practical exposure in areas like lateral thinking, decision making, creativity, team cohesiveness because they had to manage a team of 30 members for the initial rounds of the format like chart paper promotion on campus, team jersey release program on campus etc.

2. Investor’s Summit

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During the initial days of the first tenure of the NDA government in 2014-15 there was a huge emphasis on FDI and different states of India conducted their investors summit in a grand manner. Investor’s summit was very much part of the business environment and in order to give practical exposure to the subject, students were put on a competitive mode to conduct a mock investors summit were they asked to attract FDI for  four different states of the country namely Maharashtra, Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, and West Bengal. Like in any actual Investors summit students enthralled the judges and their parents with a welcoming poster depicting the essence and resources of their state followed by performing a traditional dance from their chosen state.
 
As the judges relished on the regional delicacies of the state, an orator in the team took the audience through a power packed presentation depicting the opportunities available for the investors in their chosen state. Through this the team researched and learnt a lot about business environment in these four states. Different students are talented in different performing arts and this event was a platform to bring all these skills to the fore. The learning outcomes were intangibles like team work, effective utilization of autumn vacation as well as tangibles like ability to collate content in different mediums.

3. India 1990-2020

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The rich and diverse culture of India presents many an opportunity to the marketer to provide diverse choices to the customer. Following the implementation of LPG (liberalization, Privatization, Globalization) Policy, almost all sectors had witnessed many milestones .Through this event the team once again consisting of nearly 70 students and just two faculty members revisited these milestones by dedicating an event to celebrate the two decade from 1990 to 2020 post LPG.The purpose of the event was to understand and appreciate the various micro and macro environmental factors that contribute to shaping the different sectors in India post LPG.

 

Through different methods of story-telling, cartooning, fashion show, drama the students brought home the transitions in varied sectors from banking to fashion, communication technology to food retailing. The entire twenty years period transition was captured in a mere five-minute depiction highlighting influential incidents covering consumer behavior and environmental drivers as well amazing marketing strategies. While the banking sector was depicted as sketch art work using digital medium with voice over, the team representing the transition in the apparel sector opted for a fashion show as a voice over covered the market dynamics from consumer behaviour to GDP influence on how Indians dressed through this twenty-year period. Changes in communication was the winning sector as the team sketched the story of transition in the way Indians communicated through the twenty-year period focussing on the disruption brought about by technology. Even hours of lecturing would not have left as effective a footprint as this since the students researched the sector intensively to present the transitions in a capsule.

4. BMS Premier League

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The academic interaction of first year students through classroom is always severely restricted because of delayed admission process, continuous movement of students across colleges. In order to complement classroom teaching, group learning was initiated through a IPL model based competition. Groups of students came together to adorn a team name, tagline and color as they vehemently used the Diwali vacation to prepare for their semester 1 examination consisting of 7 subjects as diverse as statistics, economics, accounts and human skills. Also given the fact that BMS draws students from Arts, commerce and science streams during admission to first year makes it all the more complex for the teachers.
 
For this cohort, the Business Chemistry model proposed by Consulting firm Deloitte was applied. Consulting firm Deloitte created a system called Business chemistry that identifies four primary work styles. The four work styles are pioneers, Guardians, Drivers, and integrators. The leaders have to foster productive friction, by pulling opposite types closer and seeking input from people with non-dominant styles and pay attention to sensitive introverts.
 
In order to implement this model, the department of management studies conducted a real-life case study of groups of students coming together to be successful in the semester 1 examination. The result was a mega-event that was judged by a distinguished alumnus of VES and an HR manager of Bank of China, Auckland Ms. Shwetha Gandhi on the 16th of February, 2018. The process started way back in October 2017.
 
The entire competition went through 5 stage process, firstly the students were divided into 8 groups evenly distributed on the basis of academic capability and people skills. The teams took the name of IPL teams & decided on a colour for their team, had a photo shoot and gave a tagline representing their team.
 
The pre-exam preparation consisted of leaders conducting mock exams, explaining law concepts through examples, making and sharing notes, WhatsApp assignments and deadlines. The semester 1 examination performance was given a weightage of 25% and the team Gujarat Lions topped the table with the maximum average marks followed by Kolkata Knight Riders. Short movies made by teams to represent team cohesiveness were judged by an expert. While some teams depicted the entire process they had undergone, some took up the concept of Swatch Bharat to depict teamwork, while others recreated their process with the way UNESCO handles a health crisis. As a tribute to the multidisciplinary approach one team had a dance show to depict their journey.

5. The Next Prime minister

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The year 2019 saw the world’s second-largest democracy go to the polls with the best available marketing tools in hand. In order to sensitize the students towards the various issues facing the country and the role that political parties play in shaping the ecosystem of the society, the students were asked to adorn the role of four different political parties with pseudo names. But the ideologies that they adhered to was real and based on these ideologies they chalked out their marketing-driven election campaign which had all the elements of the political drama with students dressed up like powerful politicians, coming up with their own tag lines in both Hindi and English (to encourage vernacular students), print advertisements as well as TVCs.The winning team was selected on the basis of both continuous evaluation and summative evaluation. The continuous evaluation was the marks scored when the different deadlines for well-dictated learning outcomes like coming out with a poll manifesto, deciding on a leader image for the party, tag lines, print and TVC commercials were met by the student groups. The summative assessment was the speech delivered on the D-day by the leader of the student group on a politically dressed platform in front of eminent judges. The speech summarized the ideology of the pseudo party in shaping the future of the country. The content of the speech the style of deliver , the attire of the leader, the voice modulation was well researched by the team and rehearsed to the optimum level.
This event not only made students understand the marketing concepts like digital war rooms and data-backed political campaigns but also made them responsible first-time voters.

6. India: A Travelers Heaven 2020

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One of the most popular sectors in the Indian economy is the tourism sector and many services related to this sector saw a spike in their growth during the past decade. This also increased the competition amongst the organized players and a need for professional intervention was felt.
 
To prepare the students for a career in the tourism sector as well as to expose them to the rich and varied culture of different states of India, this event was conceived. Four states-Odisha, Kashmir, Tamil-Nadu and Assam were chosen as the competing states. The mandate given to the four groups of students was to effectively sell a tour package to a family of four during the summer break of 2020.
 
The team worked on the heritage and modern sites and visits to be covered, explored different accommodation options, experimented with the regional menus and crafted eco-friendly promotional posters. The concept of segmenting, targeting and positioning were well understood as they worked within a specified budget and calculated their expenses on actuals as available in the websites of hotels and rail and air travel sites.
 
As they made their presentations in front of the average Mumbaikar looking for a travel break they were scrutinized on all aspects from knowledge about a given place, the history behind a cuisine, their time management skills during the proposed tour as well as asked to justify the pricing.
 
In case of some states like Kashmir there were additional instruments like insurance and safety that were discussed. The learning outcomes were designing a service product like a tour package for a specified target audience.

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