Organizing Events: IITs can give them a miss

Mood Indigo, IIT Bombay

I was a core group member of Mood Indigo 2009. I have fond memories of time spent with the team, artists and college students during my tenure.

I would have spent close to 2000 hours in my 2 year association with Mood Indigo. That is a lot of time. A lot, to question : Does it add the sort of value to justify the time it demanded?

Having worked / interacted with a lot of people from organizing committees of colleges festivals, here is what it does not bring to the table:

  • No better leaders: They do not come with exceptional leadership skills. The team dynamics and the motivation to work is very different in college festivals. The same is not applicable in a corporate setup and most of the experience does not come handy.
  • Professionalism + Work ethics: This, interestingly, has been lower than the average audience. Nobody bothers about work ethics at college festival level. The same casual (‘careless’) attitude carries forward, with a lot more rigidity.
  • Tangible Skills: Itineraries, Negotiation, Effective Google Search; basic level of work distribution and preparing excel sheets would summarize my key learnings from Mood Indigo. This is great, but I would have wanted to do more in 2000 hours. Coding, product management, business analysis would top my list.

What it does bring to the table is:

  • Exposure: They come with a higher level of exposure of the outside world as compared to the average audience.
  • Network: They have a much wider circle of ‘influence’. They seem to know a lot more people and an equally large number seem to know them.

It seems to be an outdated vehicle adding very limited value in the current scheme of things. It might have created amazing leaders many years back, but the world is not the same anymore.

We need people to have exposure to real industry problems, global technology and entrepreneurship trends. We need people to see how companies operate at scale. We need to create amazing engineers, developers, product managers, growth hackers, data scientists and business analysts. And the 2000 hours can be put to excel in one of these.

Had the opportunity to learn and experience growth hacking been presented to a 17 year old kid, in as glamorous a manner as Mood Indigo, he might have opted to go for it :)