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Barefoot MBA

107 pages1 hour


The book begins with entrance exam and interviews of prospective students at IRMA. Then the scene shifts to the first day at the Institute. The character actors and the quiz syndrome along with usual novelties of B-School such as night out, group assignment and business games are highlighted next with practical examples straight from the classroom. A rural research method fieldvisit to a rustic locale in Gujarat is thrown in to showcase the real life application of classroom teaching, research theories and their real life applicability. The fear of Manac (management accounting), QT1 (quantitative techniques) and MAC (Managerial Analysis and Communication) and how they psyche out the students is brought to the fore along with coping mechanisms. The scene then shifts to Mid Term and End Term Examinations and how the protagonist (Vinnu and Saboo) fare in it. The Fieldwork term and its learnings are then showcased to show application of education and knowledge to field realities that can benefit people and NGOs. Life turns turtle in the horror of the Third Term – a make or break term at the end of the first year. If a student fails in third term – exit from IRMA is the only way out. The MTS or Management Traineeship Segment follows next – the equivalent of summer training in most B-Schools. Life changes for the better in fourth term when everyone scores high grades. The Fifth Term or the term with just 1-2 written exams is used to prepare for value additions and work out future options. The ppts and placement season begins and the two protagonists redeem their tryst with rural destiny cornering a job in a blue chip of the rural sector.

The approach traces the predicament of the two protagonists – Vinnu and Saboo – and how they find themselves to be complete misfits rural academically. The term performances are such that they become listless and low in morale. The disdain gets magnified through “partiality” of instructors and their inability to beat the system. The triumph happens when real life practical terms emerge that require a fair degree of “experience” and “nuanced handling” of organisational and people issues.

The coverage is rural management life vignettes through the prism of pressure cooker situation that plagues the students throughout the terms. The brouhaha and lighter vein seeks to alleviate their sufferings.

The emphasis is on pressure management and how it is the bane of B-school students.

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