Never thought this journey will bring out the writer in me… that too like this.
It was a real journey into the midst of nature, and where better to find the nature at its best but Mussoorie. It is an hour long journey from Dehradun. The journey was an amazing experience with the nature in its full swing. Moisture in the atmosphere made it even more happening.
We started our journey in the noon and travelled all the way up to Mussoorie better known as ‘Paharon Ki Rani’. The road twisted and turned like a snake.
There are moments in life that change the way we look at life. That moment for me came when I met Mohit sir on the way to Mussoorie, and he questioned me about my DREAM JOB. Till that time I thought that being a Doctor, an Engineer, or striving for excellence in a corporate could only be your dream job. But no – things like being a travel writer, a novelist, a painter, a cook could be your dream job as well. He somehow managed to break the myth, that money-oriented work could only be found in a regular job.
So here I am, trying to pen down my experience of three days in Mussoorie in my own simple way.
At the Venue in Mussoorie
We travelled all the way to Mussoorie, a place about 6000 ft above sea-level to reach our destination – SURBEE RESORT. Once we reached the resort, we were greeted by the Host – Mr.Sumit Osmond, Branch Head for ICFAI Group office in Dehradun. It was a nice gesture shown by him. We checked into our respective rooms (pre-allotted). I rested for a while. Then we were told that, a stupendous lunch was waiting for us in the restaurant at the resort. Right message for me as I was really very hungry – given my hectic, almost non-stop 15 hours train journey from Allahabad to Mussoorie. I quickly took a shower and reached the spot where lunch-buffet was waiting for me.
Meeting with Team and Food for Life
I saw people with bigger designations than me, like Regional Managers, General Manager and Registrar for ICFAI Group already present in the crowd to helping themselves with the buffet.After wishing all my seniors, I could not hold myself back and grabbed a plate for myself, as the smell of the food has already made me more hungry. Within no time I had my plate filled with all kinds of vegetarian and non-vegetarian stuff. I settled in the corner of the restaurant and enjoyed the feast. I tasted all items on offer. Once my stomach was full, I took the sweet-dish and went back to my room.
Team on Mall Road
It was already late afternoon, and team decided to take a quick trip to the famous Mall Road. It was a welcome idea. I was ready to explore the beauty of nature and experience a culture different from what is there in UP. BMs from UP – Mr. Prankur Jain (Agra) and Mr. Abhishek Bajpai (Lucknow) and I got together. On mall road, we were left to explore the beauty of mother nature. We did not want the seniors to see how we were moving around, so three of us took the road all by ourselves. There are some protocols that need to be followed even in informal events
We started at one end of Mall Road and went till the other end, enjoying the nature at its best. We saw all kinds of people from different parts of the world and also locals. There was a stretch of shops offering all kinds of famous and ordinary things to the people visiting Mussoorie. Alas there was nothing that we could buy, so we ended up taking a rope-way to the top most point in Mussoorie. This adventure was a bit scary in itself, as I have a fear for heights. I kept on reciting Hanuman Chalisa, till the time the trio reached to the top. Once we were there, we saw a small market with various small stalls. There were things like eating joints, showrooms, and shops for fun activities. We tried our hands on ARCHERY. In this, I won 100 bucks for hitting the bulls eye, I thought that with the aim set right in my eyes I could even hit the Bulls Eye in IBSAT Campaign (sorry but IBSAT was not going out of my mind).
Then we took the same rope-way down to the Mall Road. It was an exhaustive evening. I was now waiting for the party organized in the resort. We quickly dragged ourselves to the meeting point, where we were carried away to our resort.
Fun at Night. All of Us are One.
In evening, time came, when all the designations across the departments in the organization break down and people mingle as a cohesive and collective unit. Yes it was the time for much awaited party to get underway. The venue was the conference hall in the resort and it was 8pm (not the other 8PM, but time). The moment I entered into the hall I saw snacks laid out, but my eyes were reaching for the main ingredient – you know what I mean (I am sure most of the attendees were having the similar feeling). As the saying goes that if you are desperate to find something, you will find it soon – same happened, I saw a waiter standing in the corner with the stuff I was looking for. I took no time in understanding that it was my destination for the evening. I almost forgot everything and went to the waiter. The moment he asked me – which one sir, I took no time in saying – one large… It looked as if I was just waiting him to ask. I took my share and went down to see a place for myself where I can relax and enjoy. I found one for myself. I sat there and was enjoying the party, which was in full swing with the DJ playing at the centre-stage. With the disco lights, in the full swing, my drink kept on decreasing in my tumbler. I cannot recall that how many glassed I was down with, as I was enjoying the party with the dance performances from the Chandigarh BM and few singing acts by other members. With the corner of my eyes, and to my surprise – in my own senses, I could see image of our Registrar – Mr. RR Reddy, General Manager – Mr.Raghab P Panda, and Regional Managers sitting on the centre table and enjoying the show to the fullest. It was an event which paved way for all the attendees to share a common platform, as we all had a common motive to make ICFAI reach to new heights. So, it was quite entertaining informal environment.
Then was the time for the dinner to be served. As most of us were quite exhausted and down with the drinks, few of the attendees could enjoy the super dinner that was lavishly decorated with all kinds of cuisine. I had my share, as I could not hold myself back from eating, and having a sweet tooth could not leave the ice-cream that was served as sweet dish. We all departed from the dining hall one by one after finishing our dinner.By the time the day ended for the attendees, we had already made friends out of the people we only see on IBS Marketing Group Facebook page. All the people used this platform, of an informal gathering, to develop relationships and exchange numbers. The day ended, but not before friends were made out of the regions.
Presentations: Experience Sharing and Learning
The next day was the most awaited and the REASON why we all were there. You guessed it right, It was the day for the PRESENTATIONS. In the morning everyone ready to step into a more serious affair of discussing the area/branch/region etc. Everyone in the morning was shining bright with the IBS B-School T-Shirts. They were new and ivory white. Each one of us enjoyed the breakfast – fast, as we had to gather for the discussion about the campaigns and the strategies to be undertaken.
The venue was Conference Hall. I was amused to see the same hall as the hotbed on brainstorming and day long discussions, which were about 12 hours witnessed full swing of masti and maza. It was a completely metamorphosis.It was smartly organized, with The Registrar and The General Manager and the Regional Managers taking the centre seats in the back, and Area Managers sitting with their respective BMs on the two ends of the arrangements. It was the D-Day, which started with the presentations from the BMs on parameters like what was their learning from recently concluded campaign (IBSAT-12 & PGPM-13), what changes could be made, what are the targets (branch-wise), and what measures could be taken up to achieve those numbers.
Firstly it was the turn of Delhi NCR team to present their views and learning under the guidance of Mr. Avneet Bagga (AM) &Mr. Brijesh Arora (AM). It started off well with Ms. Rakhi Gupta (BM, North Campus), the lone soldier representing the female category in the entire Annual Meet – 2013. Then the stage was taken up by UP & Uttarakhand Team under the guidance of Mr. Vishal Singh. With the exchange of ideas, people new into the system got to know their roles and responsibilities in more clear fashion. Then we took a break for the award presentation ceremony, which was presided over by the dignitaries from ICFAI University, Dehradun. The awardees were felicitated and those who did not get an award took it as a real challenge to give the winners a run for their money in the upcoming campaigns. So, it was a gaining situation for every attendee.
Form here we had a lunch session, where again the Surbee Resort lived up to their image to serve the best what they have got. It was again lunch worth for every single penny spent. It would not be wrong to say that the resort was worth putting in the money. People took this break as a lifesaving medicine from the presentations that were becoming monotonous, with almost same thing in presentation after presentation. Anyways, the learning was of high quality.
After lunch, we again gathered in the Conference Hall, where the turn was of UP & Uttarakhand to start and then followed up by the teams from North – II and East Regions.
With the inputs from the distinguished guests – The Registrar and The General Manager, the session proved to be of immense learning. If I talk about myself, I got to learn a lot from the people old in the system through their experience and learning. The session ended up with a brief speech from our respected Registrar and the General Manager. The session wrapped up with the seniors wishing the team members all he best for the upcoming campaigns.
Another Party. More Fun.
Then it was time for another party. This time it was a bit different from the one, the day before. This time everyone was a kind of free from the mental stress of presentations and all, as it had gone all well. Hence, the time to enjoy the drinks, a free mind and fresh attitude.We gathered into the same CONFERENCE HALL, which gave another new look from what it was during the presentations, it was time for us to carry from where we left 24 hours ago. Once the bar was open, people took the tables by a storm. It got difficult for the waiters to cater to such a big crowd, all wanting their share of drinks. Within no time, everyone was with their glasses filled to the brim and enjoying the arrangement that was done this time under open skies. The music got into full swing with the dance numbers. Slowly and gradually the drinks started to show on the members. Then came the ANTAKSHARI round initiated by Mohit Sir, and being a referee for the same. People came and joined the team irrespective of which region they belonged. They just could not hold themselves back from singing. There was no winner in the end from the event, but everyone won the friendship in an informal gathering.
The masti got to its peak when even our Registrar – Mr RR Reddy and General Manager – Mr Raghab P Panda, could not resist the foot tapping music, and joined the team to showcase their style of dancing. Once people saw the dignitaries joining the dance everyone joined in and we had people enjoying both – the drinks and the music.
The day ended with the dinner served for our team. As most of us were out with the heavy consumption of drinks, so many refrained themselves from having dinner. Poor fellows, they can not imagine what they were missing on. I had my share and really enjoyed the feast, sharing the table with RR Reddy Sir, Raghab Sir and Jatin Sir.
Early Start. Time to Bid Adieu.
With the early dawn of the day, everyone in their respective rooms were busy with packing their bags for it was the time to leave the HEAVEN. As and when the people got ready, they got down to have their breakfast and boarded the vehicles which were to take us to ICFAI University campus at Dehradun. Most of the people had their eyes grey, as we never wanted to leave the scenic beauty that Mussoorie had in offer, but as the saying goes – all good thing come to an end.
The Annual Meet was soon about to end. Quickly we all had our breakfast and boarded our respective vehicles. We started off with our journey back and again we encountered the snake like roads that twisted and curled into the greenery. The entire view during our course of journey to Dehradun was beautiful, or should I say it was second to none.
At IBS Dehradun, on our way back home.
After about an hour, we reached ICFAI University, Dehradun. There we meet the students, faculty, admin staff and exchanged thoughts. This visit added to the learning that I picked up during the Annual Meet – 2013. I learned a lot with the experiences of the faculty and students. Managed to meet students from across India. Then in the cafeteria, the lunch was served, and it was the last event of our Annual Meet – 2013. The lunch again served our stomach well and we were full.
We all then gathered at the University entrance to bid adieu to the friends that we made during the event. I did not want to leave, but then there was a team in Allahabad, that was waiting for their leader to come and guide them through thick and thin. I cannot leave them alone.The feeling of parting from the members who are now friends was making me sad, but then as one poet has said –
“..woods are lovely dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep,
And miles to go before I sleep
And miles to go before I sleep”
……… I had to move on, which I did.
Change for Good. Aiming for Excellence.
The Annual Meet – 2013 has brought good changes in me. I am a bit more mature as far as the learning goes. I am striving for excellence for me and my team (by seeing the awardees) and more than that I have made friends from different regions, who at one point of time were not more than a picture in IBS Marketing Group.
Contributed by Lalit Prakash, Branch Manager – Allahabad (IBS Marketing Team)