by Mr. Rahul Sinha
As I approach the end of the first month of AFP 2017-18, at IIM Ahmedabad, I have gotten used to the infamous question, "have you read the case?" It is the same question that drives students to spend sleepless nights. The question that drives group members to meet at odd hours to discuss the direction that the group will take when the session begins. This is the question that the professors open their lectures with. If your answer is in the negative you might as well leave and head back to the dorm, because nothing in the class will make sense in any case. The professors too are sharp enough to know who has read and who has not. "your body language says it all" as professor Sobheshkumar Agarwalla put it, "if you are constantly looking at the blank page of your notebook, it is very obvious that you are lost in the case!"
The famous case study method, which forms the backbone of the curriculum at top business schools in the world, is a grinding process, especially when one is on the receiving end of the case. Not only do you have to study and understand theory, you have to apply it too. And all this before you come to class and discuss the topic. It opens the doors to discuss to very real-life situations and puts you in the shoes of the protagonist of the case. It lets you play the game on paper and presentation. What would you present to the board? How will you tackle this situation?
The experience in class is rich too. As the class progresses, you live your own triumphs and realize your own shortcomings. The process is so personal that the lessons learned are more a change in perception and behavior than just a lecture on theory.
Having moved from one class to another, one week to the next, a new subject to a new topic and stand at the end of the first month; I close my eyes and see the future…
… Have you read the case???