Management Lessons Learnt from T-Nite

Written by Abhiram R, a first year Media Cell member 

T nite!

They said it would be unbelievably hectic. They said we’d have to sing, dance, walk the ramp, shout slogans, write newsletters and do other things we had never even thought of doing before. They said managing the above with academics would lead us to having less than three hours of sleep a night. They always used to say that the experience would leave us with some of our best memories of IIM Ahmedabad.

Boy, were our tuchchas right on all counts! The phenomenon called T-Nite took the campus and us fachchas by storm between the 5th and 8th of August. Those four days seemed to pass us by in no time, as we moved from preparing for dances, class performances, fashion shows and the like to actually taking part of them – from making numerous posters to rushing to find the best spots on campus to put them up – from creating slogans for our respective sections to screaming ourselves hoarse while chanting them – from spying on the other sections for faux pas to thinking of ways to inform the campus about them – from preparing for the next day’s classes to attending them, irrespective of how sleep deprived we were. Yes, we did it all!

Along the way, the management student in us couldn’t help but observe how T-Nite involved applications of different streams of management in one way or the other.

Managing the limited funds of a section to the last rupee, wisely investing in useful and not-so-useful assets (chart paper, coloured pens, wigs, costumes, beards) and finally creating a detailed account of where the funds were used is an apt example of accounting. Creative printed material, slogans, videos and themes to differentiate your section from the others definitely sounds like something every successful marketeer would attempt to do. Ensuring that a missing white lungi is found and delivered to the fashion show stage on time, procuring different materials required within the given time and budget constraints – Examples of practical applications of operations and supply chain management.

Yet, perhaps none of the streams of management would be more applicable to T-Nite than the area of Human Resources – especially team building and motivation. Who would expect all the eighty odd people of a section to sacrifice sleep and endure fatigue to contribute to their section in any and every way possible. Every management programme has a course on team building in one form or the other. T-Nite was the best example of a group of individuals getting together for the first time, working towards a common goal and in the process, becoming the thickest of friends. Add the challenge of finding the right person for the right job and we cover every aspect of human resources, in four days!

Perhaps sometime in the future, an enthusiastic student will write a case study on T-Nite. Needless to say, it will be at least twenty pages long, as anything shorter would not do justice. It would be interesting for a bunch of sleep-deprived students to start their second day of T-Nite, at 8:45 am, to hear an amused Professor begin the case with “So, what should the Class Representative of section A do?”

Needless to say, that would be one case for which pre-class preparation would be completely unnecessary!

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