Management is not only taught in closed classrooms but is also learnt through experience and reflection, and every second year student of the PGP programme gets a chance to explore this in the lap of the Himalayas. As the students prepare to assume greater responsibility in life by joining the high ranks of the corporate world, the Himalayas give them the opportunity to reflect on the one and a half year spent in the Institute and the importance of this education in future.
Started in 2010 on a trial basis, this unique course involved just 30 students who were initially sent to Nainital for a week-long excursion. Given the emphatic response of the participants, the course was formally inducted into the second year curriculum as a 4-credit course.
Every year since then, the programme, coordinated through India hikes, takes place across various popular trek routes like Kedarkantha, Dayara-Barsu , Bedni-Bugyal and Nainital.
The students go through multiple rounds of training, focusing on adventure sports and real-life challenges, designed to test their managerial and leadership skills. From rock-climbing, rappelling and river rafting, to yoga and pranayama, the Himalayan Outbound Programme offers a mix of physical and psychological experiential tasks for the students.
To elucidate, the range of activities include basic survival training – cooking competitions, firewood collection, setting up the tent, and various mountain tasks where teams strategize and perform together, which tests their leadership skills and team dynamics. The second leg of training entails engaging the students in social work by helping villages close to the base camps by providing an innovative solution to their basic problems through the application of their classroom learning.
The training is continuously evaluated by the members of the India Hikes team with each student being graded on process compliance, leadership skill, out-of-the-box thinking, quality of work, initiative, team work, timely completion of tasks and overall capabilities.
Benefits to the Participants
As mentioned earlier, the students get an opportunity to explore the Himalayas while bonding with their peers before they set out to pursue their managerial careers.
In addition, the programme sensitizes the participants towards being more aware of their natural surroundings while discovering their own selves in the process.
All in all, the programme shapes and develops the future managers to face challenges, work in a team, stay rooted to the problem at hand, while living the moment.
It is a week that remains etched in the minds of all the participants of IIM Indore and teaches them the importance of managing their own self, their strengths as well as their weaknesses before they set out to manage others.