Nostalgia engulfs 1991-’93 batch of B. K. School

Time flies and memories subside,
But the feeling of belonging survives
This magnetizes each heart,
To be together again
Once again at the same magical place,
Place where we made friends,
Place where we encountered facts of life,
Place that made us realize our true potential.
To world it’s just a ‘school’,
To us it’s our own world within a world.

What if we’re able to catch hold of the wheel of time and relive the moments that were just close to ‘perfect’? The notion itself sounds enticing, isn’t it? O’course it does but I think it is a good thing we humans do not control time. Else how could we have lived moments that are kept hidden in the vaults of future! But no matter wherever you are, or whatever you’ve become, there comes a time when you get hit by the tide of nostalgia that forces you to tread down the memory lane- memories of place that bestowed life time friends, better career, unforgettable moments, and sometimes soul mates ;). Such were the memories which the 1991-’93 batch of B. K. School relived on its reunion day, organized 20 years after separation from their Alma Mater.

alumn meet

1993 Batch of B. K. School of Business Management, Ahmedabad

Dressed in black T-shirts with red colored B.K. School logo stitched on it, alums of ’93 batch looked ecstatic and thrilled standing at the place where they walked for the first time 22 years ago. Their smiling face, inquisitive eyes, hasty moves and silly jokes clearly revealed the eternal joy of being back to the Alma Mater after 20 years. Before filling the seminar hall they took time to loiter in and around the campus to notice the changes time has made to the place they saw years back.

It was 11 A.M. when the function started with a brief introductory speech by the Alumni Committee of the School. But soon it turned out to be an informal gathering as the charge was taken over by one of the alums, who started addressing each of his batch-mates in his own mischievous way; resurfacing the sweet memories of the college days. The function was graced by the presence of our director, Dr. Sarla Achuthan, who happened to be the director when ’93 batch graduated. I bet you’ll agree, we all enjoy bestowing super-funky names to our buddies and constantly tease them with those names till they forget their original one. It seemed that it is not a new thing ;). Alums of ’93 batch still called each other with the nickname they were given 20 years ago.

After a quick introduction, the alums shared with us some memories that they treasured the most. Every person present there had a different story to tell. Some had become CEOs of well know organizations, some had become entrepreneurs while some were in the making, and rest were content with not-the-top-but-the-best position in the companies they worked for. I wondered what could have made them climb the ladder of success. Was it the bookish knowledge or the real life experiences they had after leaving college? Maybe it’s the right proportion of all of it but the most important thing that could have made difference in their life must have been the constant guidance of their mentors, and support of their family and friends.

Later, the professors also briefed us with their journey and I was amazed by their memory power because even after these many years they remembered most of their students either for their notoriety or for their sincerity. But if they were fun loving people they also had imbibed the quality of perseverance and endurance. In fact, one of their visiting faculties from IIM-A also praised the commitment which those students possessed and shared his experience at B.K. School. Then it was time for the present batches to interact with the alums. We bombarded them with all sort of questions, some were silly and rest were serious ones :D. It seemed that we were trying to get answers of all the unanswerable questions at an early age. Even the professors didn’t miss the chance to question their old students.

Even after the function I found many alums loitering in the campus as if they were trying to communicate with all the inanimate objects and asking them “Hey! Do you remember me?”, “Have you ever seen a guy a like me?” It was a great day for all of us and I wish that all the students from my batch too remember each other and stay connected over years after we leave this place; this place that we call ‘Alma Mater’.

Contributed by:

Brinda KhanparaMBA (FT) 2012-14

Brinda Khanpara
MBA (FT) 2012-14

“A blend of reservedness and vibrancy reflects her true self”. Her interest includes reading novels, watching movies, and making cartoons.

Bhai, ‘Kevi Rite Jaish’ ?

There was a day similar to that of today, when he sat within the comforts of this beautiful, red-bricked structure, pondering over what he should do that would satiate his desires. At least, unlike others, he was sure of one thing: He was lured by advertising and communications industry. But I’m sure little did he know how successful he would be after graduating from B.K. in 2010. After holding various positions in a series of film production houses he founded Freeway Film Company in March 2011. And the rest is all history. Today we all know him as the Executive Producer of Kevi Rite Jaish, an off-beat Gujarati movie, but the faculties and his batch-mates at BK know him as Ritam.

That’s right. For the first time since the revival of BK Blog and rechristening it as BK Diaries, we present to you excerpts from an interview of Ritam Bhatnagar (Batch of 2010). The interview was conducted by Dixesh Shah (Member, Placecom).

The interview is divided into two parts. First part contains questions related to his experiences at BK, and the second part is about his venture into film making.

PART I:

How was your experience being a student of BK?

It was a good experience being a part of a college which has such a glorious past and well placed alumnus. The faculties are experienced and their guidance is much helpful even in your professional life. That makes me come back to BK even now, for teaching or seeking help from faculties.

What special thing still attracts you towards BK?

The level of interest the faculties show in your career is one thing which always pulls me back to this college. I can visit the faculties anytime for discussions, and they are always ready to help. Also, they have faith in their students, because of which I was given an opportunity to be a visiting faculty at the institute just a year after graduating. That’s a big leap.

How do you consider BK to be different from other colleges in the state?

There is an academic freedom in BK, unlike other MBA colleges which only tend to keep you tied up 10hours a day. This freedom, apart from classroom learning, can be utilized in the best possible manner, for industrial exposure, networking, visiting professionals, visiting industries, or taking up projects.

Any special memories that you still cherish?

We miss the time we used to take extra projects from Mrs. Sarla Achuthan and sit in the classroom even after lectures got over, sometimes upto late night, and discuss, debate, argue, brainstorm, and even fight. We were given deadlines for the projects and we used to compete for being the earliest one to submit. That used to be fun.

What are your comments and suggestions looking at the initiatives taken by our batch (Batch of 2013) ?

Lot of good things have happened beginning from the placement committee functioning to the website. Though small initiatives, but they make a larger change in the canvas. The alumni connect has begun to a larger swing, which is a very essential part of any college to sustain for a long. The extra-curric activities you have planned this year, will equip students with better managerial skills, be it selling or budgeting.

PART-II

How did you venture into entertainment industry?

It was during the search for summer internship at BK School that I was looking for advertisement companies. I had a tough time searching companies and it grew worse as the summers approached. It was during that when I came in touch with a start up entertainment company who were going to do an international film festival in Ahmedabad. Bassphir everything was all about grabbing the right opportunities, and missing the wrong ones.

How was your experience in making an off beat Gujarati film which was a hit among urban youngsters who still avoid watching typical Gujarati movies? And how did the idea of making such a movie strike you? 

It was a dream since past 3 years to revive the Gujarati cinema. I used to hear a lot of people talking about making a contemporary film in Gujarati, but no one would ever make one. It was all talks. Amongst this, I found a group of people who were of similar thoughts and believed that a good Gujarati film could work. What else is needed. If there is courage, which leads from willingness, good things are bound to happen.

Believe me, it takes whole lot of guts to stand apart from people and make this happen. There are lot of people who blabber against your efforts, but when courage is at peak, nothing holds you back. This film is not a haywire film, but a result of planned managerial efforts. We did a market research to begin with. Hardly this happens in this industry.

How was the experience of working with Bollywood singers?

Working with Bollywood singers is very easy, as to what our perceptions are. They are very grounded, which makes things easy. I’ll share an incident we had during recording of a song. One of our singers, a new guy, was to record his song. We began recording at 8am and it took him 2pm to sing a 4 minute song. An hour later, Suraj Jagan entered the recording studio for another song, and by 4pm, the song was done. That quickness comes from their bundle of experience.

What are the prospects for managers and what role can they play in this industry?

Film industry has a big scope for managers as nowadays, most of the tasks are undertaken by managers. For example, the production has a manager. So as with the marketing or finance team. Also, the distribution requires lots of managerial skills. Film is all about Resource management and People management.

What skills do you think a manager should have to be able to work in this industry? Or is there any difference in working for this industry and any other  industry?

Majority of film companies are going corporate way, and with this trend, their requirement for managers is only going to increase. There are no special skills required for being a manager in this area, and its very much like any other industry. In fact, 9 to 5 jobs have become an “in-thing” now in this industry.

How different is the culture of this industry when compared to a ‘typical’ corporate culture?

The major difference comes that the Indian film industry is still unorganized sector. There is less of professionalism, even in making the film, and in managing the film. The organization has begun to happen since past 5-7 years, but it’ll only take few years until it turns to be an organized sector.

What are your future plans?

This is a very difficult question. As I said in the above statement, film industry is an unorganized sector and majority of people involved, be it producer or a spot boy, are all freelancers. However, as I distributed a Gujarati film across multiplexes, there are lots of offers to distribute other Gujarati films as well. Apart from that, work on some other films has already begun.

Can we schedule a small presentation on entertainment industry and the requirement of managers in changing scenario anytime this month?

Absolutely!

Ritam Bhatnagar (Batch of 2010)

Founder, Director

Freeway Film Company Pvt. Ltd.

Best quote: Everything was all about grabbing the right opportunities, and missing the wrong ones.