My days at XIMB were an eye-opener and the institute seemed a totally new world (although I hail from Bhubaneswar). It made me acutely aware about my huge shortcomings and yet, progressively imbibed in me a confidence and a killer instinct. It taught me neither to be obsessed with existing competition (my batch mates) nor be fixated at short-term (current semester performance) results. It taught me not to be overwhelmed by competition but to try to think out of the box, stretch my management skills and convert threats to opportunities.
Mark Twain had said, “never let school interfere with your education.” I must confess that there were ample scope of learning outside the classroom as well. In fact, there was no clear demarcated border where the classroom ended and hence the education. We were able to spend quality time with professors, staff and batch mates around the campus. It was easier then as the institute was new and everyone was raring to go and had a point to prove. It was made easier as our class size was 48 which seemed like a typical Indian joint family. The grandfathers were the late Fr. Bogaert and Fr. D’Souza. Funnily, some of our batch mates were like father figures. I was the infant being newly minted from college whereas we had 40 year old mates with families to look after and I am not talking about the executive or evening programmes. The sex ratio was highly skewed (about 1 to 5 in favour of men) which would have made even Haryana blush. That didn’t stop many of our batch mates to change their marital status while in the campus. The typical mating season was the very first semester but a mid-course correction took place at the beginning of the second year. After that people settled down well and focussed amongst other things to improve their CQPI.
An embarrassing moment at XIMB was when I mistook a new lady teacher (name withheld) for a student of the junior batch and I got into a mild ragging. And when the teacher came for her first appearance to our class, I was twitching and twirling. Fortunately, she was magnanimous and mature enough not to settle score through grades (I couldn’t have got any worse!). She just settled the score by enjoying my embarrassing stupor in class. We were lucky to have some excellent faculty like Prof. Vijayraghavan, Prof Govindrajan, Fr D’Souza, Prof Uday Damodaran and Prof Suma Damodaran. Singling out any one of them would be unfair but the true efficacy of these teachers were understood when I have been doing business in the big bad world. And today we are facebook and linkedin buddies with our teachers.
It goes without saying that my life would not have been the same had XIMB not been one of the institutions that shaped my personality. Today, I am running an entrepreneurial business with a turnover of about USD 400 million and am able to hold my own against the major global trading companies – which is a testament to XIMB. It gave me a well-rounded knowledge and the wisdom to remain a student throughout my life.
The author, Mr. Pinaki Rath, is an XIMB Alumni (batch of 1991).
He is currently the Managing Director, Gold Matrix Resources, Singapore