IIM Raipur

On an honest note, this being first such interaction for most of us, the day began with apprehensions as to how exactly will we manage being active for five straight hours. However, to our surprise the thought dissipated almost instantly with the swift rise in energy level of the atmosphere that came in with our guest. We were introduced to the founder and CEO of Backspace Consulting, Mr Partha PD who was one could say as passionate as it gets. A prolific speaker and a dynamic communicator that he was the rest of the session was a continuously exciting rollercoaster of information and wisdom for the attendees. On the academic front the first session began with case studies, their analysis, how to approach them logically et cetera. We were introduced to the basic facets of consultancy and more importantly how a consultant’s mind should work. The session covered topics ranging from learning about revenue streams for firms to the difference between sympathy and empathy; from delving into market metrics to understanding how design thinking may influence lives; from analyzing the way forward for an organic farming startup to analyzing the brand value of an already (in)famous music sensation and many more. We were introduced to some new ideas in lieu of ‘guess-it-mates’ and the instances of disruption in consultancy followed by some out of box solutions to real life business problem scenarios in sectors like aviation, services etc. The highlight of the sessions were interviews being conducted at regularly spaced intervals and the major lessons that we received were – to do a thorough SWOT analysis of self, to approach the interviewer with a positive mindset abandoning any trepidations, to be prepared and updated with one’s surrounding and whereabouts, and last but not the least, to be fairly honest with absolute humility choosing your words carefully reflecting the same. We have realized since that there is a vast scope of potential improvement wherein our self-presentation skills are concerned and the aim is to be a much better interviewee by the time we meet Partha Sir next, hopefully not too long from now. The day two of the workshop began for us with positive anticipations as to what new we will experience and learn. It started with a case study on a hotel in Goa which taught us the right questions to ask in any particular scenario. The major chunk of this session was dedicated to a thorough understanding of the need of and approaches for guesstimations. With the help of cases and questions we were introduced to guesstimation – the top down and bottom up ways to arrive at a required number. Furthermore, we learnt how to apply this technique to decision making in real life situations. Throughout the workshop we were taught to view the basic management concepts ranging from marketing to supply chain to CSR and more through a consultant’s lens. The constant first hand interaction with everybody in the room throughout the sessions kept everyone actively engaged in the workshop whilst it happened and those individual moments have been a source of motivation even after the same has ended. All in all we can express with gusto that our initial insight into the field of consultancy was so wonderfully insightful that it piqued our interest into further exploring and learning about the same. We sincerely hope to see more of Mr Partha PD and hear more about Backspace Consulting LLP in future and wish for our associations to evolve over time on all levels be it professional or interpersonal.