1.)How has your journey been at BPHC?
My journey at BPHC has been full of surprises. When I first came here, I was a shy kid. I wanted to break out of my shell. Despite being a dualite, I joined around 7 clubs and departments. I gave the inductions for almost every club or department which even interested me slightly. In my first semester when we got our mid semester grades, I had scored a 5.5. After ATMOS I started attending classes and improved my grades. Eventually, I got Computer Science at the end of the first year. In my second year, I focused on the department and clubs I was working in. At the end of my fourth semester, I had a grade of 7.8 which stooped down to 5.7 during my fifth semester. I have tried almost all the things which our campus provides and the best part about it is that I do not regret any of them.
2) What led to your interest in marketing and management?
When I came into the campus, there was a lot of hype about some departments like DoSM, DePP and Controlz. Then my seniors told me that if I wanted to interact with people, DoSM would be the best choice. Utkarsh Parashar was one of my closest seniors and he asked me to come for the inductions. At that time, I was a very shy person. I was shy to interact with people or to talk on stage. But as I worked for the department, it started increasing my confidence and presence of mind. During our meetings for the fests, we used to have many motivational sessions as well. I think I have achieved a lot in the marketing field but being a part of DoSM and working for it has helped me improve as a person also. I have transformed from what I was when I first stepped in this campus to what I am now.
3) How did you manage your work and academics being a dualite in your first year?
First of all, it is not very hard. I realized that we need to compromise on certain things. Earlier, I was very interested in gaming. I used to invest a lot of time in it. We have to give up on some things and use that time into doing productive work. Even when I was working for many departments in my first year, I tried to make it a point to attend the classes regularly. It was a methodical way of living. It is all about time management. Also, CGPA is not just a number, it is much more than that. When you sit for placements, even after having a 20-page resume, you need to have a CG above 7.
4) How did you deal with the pressure in your 6th semester?
In my 6th semester, I was the Head of the Department of Sponsorship and Marketing for Pearl 2016. The biggest contribution to the pressure was that my family was unaware of the post I held. We had frequent visits to sponsors in the city and hence we would end up spending lots of money during all these trips. The number of people working alongside you matters a lot. When I was in my third year, I had just two or three people working alongside me. I really appreciate those people who helped me with the department’s work and made that Pearl a huge success. It was their belief in me that helped me give my best without caring or bothering a lot about other things. I am really glad.
5) What was your overall experience being the Head of Sponsorship and Marketing, Pearl 2016?
The overall experience of Pearl 2016 was really good. The best part was that I got to interact with many people during Pearl. I remember that I met a guy named Ameya from OML, who was handling Abish Matthew’s show. On the first day of Pearl, when I initiated conversation with him, we came to know that both of us were from Mumbai. It has been two years now and I am still in contact with him. Currently he is pursuing his MBA in Sydney, Australia. At that time, I was working alongside Prudhvi who was the President back then. In fact, I remember an instance when Ameya offered me and Prudhvi to join him at OML if we didn’t wish to sit for placements. Definitely working for Pearl has helped me build many contacts outside my friend circle, who will help me whenever something goes wrong. These people will help because they know that you can pull a task through. This is an experience that almost every DoSM head will have.
6) Any particular instances you would like to share from Pearl?
We had Abish Mathew and Farhan Akhtar’s show on the same day. That day we were already out on 4500 passes. We had no idea where the parking would be. We had no idea how DoSH and the 20 bouncers we had were going to manage the crowd. I remember that day it was 4 pm and Farhan had just done his soundcheck when Abish was on his way to campus. At that time, we were sitting on the auditorium stairs and we thought how are we going to handle all of it. At that time Prudhvi completely handed the Abish Mathew show to me. He just gave me a paper full of details and left. Later that day, I saw him at 9 pm, after Abish’s show when he came to me to asked if everything was fine. There was one instance when Prudhvi, Deepak (Head of DoSH for Pearl) and I fell asleep on Stage-1 as we were discussing the parking scenario for the next day. Another instance was before the huge Farhan Pro-show, we had SSD sir and KPN sir at the main gate handling the crowd along with DoSH. Prudhvi and I were constantly shuttling between Main gate and Stage-1. At one time we came to main gate and saw it was completely empty, so we asked the guards and they said that they had left all the crowd inside. Hearing this we ran to Stage-1 to see a huge mess of people everywhere. People had climbed to the F Block rooftop and at crazy places. When Deepak and I escorted Farhan back to his car, we left a huge sigh of relief.
7) What did Pearl 2016 teach you?
Pearl taught me a lot about teamwork. Prudhvi was the kind of person who liked to work on his own. All of us had a dispute over the fact that he would take the complete pressure on him. We didn’t get the chance to attend a single pro-show during Pearl because of the workload. Amidst all the preparations for the fest we became best of the friends. We all had a lot of trust in each other. At the end it was the fest that mattered. It was a great experience because the fest organizing body was so good.
8) How did you overcome the difficulties you faced in DoSM?
The main problem was money. When you think you can raise good sponsorship but at the end if that did not happen then you are in trouble. The most difficult thing was to tackle the General Body Meeting. If the budget is not passed then that is it. The fest will not happen. For many it is only a fest of three days and they don’t see the need to spend so much of money. Even if it is 200 rupees things can happen but it will slow down a lot. Even if it is 50 rupees more it can make a lot of difference. But for 20 to 30 people, it is more than six months of work. After so much of efforts, we wondered whether the budget would be passed in the GBM. Even just before the vote there were apprehensions that the fest will not happen or will not be allowed to happen. This was the most difficult thing to manage. I have always resented it, but it is fine as everyone has a perspective and a role to play.
9) How do you think that your experience in campus will help you in your future?
It has already helped! Being into so many things actually helps you. I started with 19 companies during my placements. I was shortlisted by 6. Two of them rejected me because I was qualified to be a marketing person and not a developer. I was sitting for IT role though I answered all their questions, they said that I am fit to be a marketing person and not a software developer and that I should consider doing an MBA in marketing. So, I went into an argument with the Interviewer. You have to think and answer the questions and thinking on the spot helps not only in the interview but also everywhere. The experience you get here, helps you in answering quick and making others to believe that your answers are right.
10) What is the scope of marketing and management fields?
Marketing is a dynamic field and it is not everyone’s piece of cake. It is natural. It cannot be developed. If you have the ability it can be polished. Of course, I am pretty sure that BITSians will excel into successful managers, because they meet so many people in these four years. Also, BITS culture is like that, not only in Hyderabad but the whole of BITS.
11) Any suggestions for people who are really interested in marketing and how to start?
My suggestions would be to join departments and to work. Get in touch with your department head. Start talking with them. Some random person will come to you and ask you to sell something. You could be confident enough to open your mouth and speak for 2 minutes. Second and third years are the most productive years. Join DoSM. People say it is lot of work. Rejection by companies is very high. You can ask anybody is in DoSM. My conversion rate is very less. For every one company, I lost 40 companies. But it takes lot of effort to call the 41st company. Because more the companies that reject you, more the learning you get. Nobody is going to judge you and if companies want to reject you, let it be. It is okay.
12) Any tips from your placement experience?
Resume of people going for IT jobs are not diverse. It helps in the HR selection, but not for technical section. Keep your CG intact. Getting 8 is not a big deal in placements. Many companies told us that CG is not a matter. They have an idea of what kind of person they want. You should know what you are going to say. The experience you get here, helps you in answering quick and making others to believe that your answers are right.
13) Can you tell us your future plans?
I will be in IT field for 3 years and may do MBA probably in Europe and not in USA after that. Parents are very friendly and it is pretty easy when you are frank with your parents and you say whatever you do in the campus. Actually, when I was done in 3-2, I was already down from 7.9 to 7.1, my Dad asked me “What happened?”. I told him everything. When I was in 4-1, when I went for training, he asked me do I have anything to do in this semester. I said “No” for which he said “that means, you can get a good CG now”. He never scolded me. At the end the support from them would push you through. Even in the interviews you feel that, it helps. So be frank with your parents or at least with your siblings.
14) Some words of wisdom to the juniors.
I was a very different person when I was in 10th, 11th and 12th. These four years are the ones that define you and make you a person who you will be in the next 5 to 10 years down the lane. It is not just about working but about exploring everything. Make sure that you are not averse to trying something you are not good at. For example, I am good at marketing, but I am not working at it. So, by the time you get your degree in the Convocation, you should know what you are good at and what you are bad at. If you work very sincerely for the department and if you bring results and money for the department, then you will be called in the department meetings as a person who achieved something and you will be talked much about by others. At the end, every person out there likes a little bit of appreciation for their efforts. This is what the case is outside also. You will get a name if you have done something well.
15) What is the current scenario in our campus regarding Sponsorship and Marketing?
We are doing well in the last three years. Last year Keshav and Vignesh have been doing a pretty good job. My interaction with Manas and Vignesh has been very good and I found them to be very hard working. I feel that the number of people working are less and this needs to be improved.
We would like to thank Mr. Akshay Bhat for his time and support regarding this.
The SWD Nucleus is inviting suggestions for further interviews. Feel free to fill the suggestions in the attached google form.