BANGALORE: When Kiran Mazumdar Shaw, chairman of the board of governors of IIM-B, gave the wrong declaration at the convocation ceremony for the flagship course at the institute, the hall fell silent. When she corrected herself, and deemed the 382 students worthy of the PGP degree (she read out Executive PGP earlier), the crowd erupted in joy. They laughed, clapped and hooted.
Convocation caps were thrown into the air. When the students bowed in unison and sat down, it marked the end of two strenuous years for 541 students in the country’s best B-school. They graduated at the 39th annual convocation from five streams on Thursday at the 100-acre campus on Bannerghetta Road. Of these, 382 belonged to the Post-Graduate Programme in Management.
Ritesh Agrawal was awarded the first rank, gold medal and all round performance. “I’m from a family of businessmen. For many generations, we’ve been self-employed,” he said. His mom Manju beams proudly when she says he’s been a topper since childhood. “He’s a gift from God,” adds his father Ashok Agarwal.
“The institute gave us opportunities and exposure I couldn’t have found anywhere else. I always ensured studies were my priority. But I always found time for dance, sports and extra-curricular activities,” said the IIT-Bombay alumni.
It’s cultural activities that made life at IIM-B a lot of fun, say students. “There was so much learning outside the classroom. The teamwork, projects and CSR activities gave us lessons beyond what was taught,” said Ishan Vishnoi, who was ranked second in the PGP class. Ishan donated the book grant he was awarded to the underprivileged after he was in the director’s merit list in the first year.
For an institute which came in for criticism for the skewed gender ratio, seeing Bhuvana Ramachandran on stage to collect her gold medal for PGP in Software Enterprise Management was heart-warming. She said: “It’s an advantage being one of the few women here; you get noticed easily.”
Sanket Deshpande, who came to the stage in a wheelchair, got the biggest cheer. The Nagpur boy now takes up an assignment with HSBC.