Thursday, November 10, 2005

Mind-Games !!

MastishK 2005- India’s Biggest Fully Online Business Challenge, organized by the management students of NITIE, Mumbai, has just concluded. This was the 2nd edition of MastishK. If MastishK 2004 was a hit (with 2500 registrations, and 17,500 hits from 21 countries), MastishK 2005 was a block-buster (with 5000 registrations, and 50,000 hits from 25 countries). As part of the core team which was involved with the initial conception of the event, I feel absolutely elated.

The idea of creating a fully online management games extravaganza, was the brain child of one man, Nikhil Kulkarni. Although, Hemant, me and several others joined in later, it was his initial vision that resulted in the birth of MastishK. During our initial steps, hardly anyone believed a novel idea like this would see the light of day. Their skepticism was valid too, since we were planning to do everything, from the conceptualization of the games, to writing the code and developing the website, inhouse. This was a Herculean task, never attempted before. But we had no alternative, as we had no money in our pockets to be able to outsource any part of our effort to an external agency. And no sponsor was willing to back such an untested concept. At times, even I has doubts about the viability of our efforts. But as they say, “Necessity is the mother of invention”. Not only did MastishK 2004 lift off, but it moved into stratosphere !

If in MastishK 2004, we faced the challenge of getting an innovative concept on the ground, in MastishK 2005, our juniors faced the challenge of taking it to the next level. After the success of MastishK 2004, they had to make sure that MastishK 2005 was an even bigger hit. They knew, if MastishK 2005 fails, there may not be any MastishK 2006 next year. But the roaring success of MastishK 2005 has not only ensured the event’s future, but also placed it as an important fixture in every B-school calendar.

Oday, my mind goes back to one of those early days, when we were in the process of coming up with an appropriate title for India’s 1st fully online management games event. Nikhil and Hemant, who had been rummaging through truckloads of exotic names in the net for over a week, had prepared an extensive list of the same. One night, the core team met to decide the final title. One by one, each name was discussed, and rejected. After exhausting the whole list, each of us decided to come up with ingenious titles of our own, in a last ditch attempt to find the most suitable one. Suddenly, someone amongst us blurted out, “Hey! How about ‘Mastishk’?” (I cannot recall who has the person who 1 suggested this. Was it me? Or KC? Or someone else? Nikhil, if you remember, let me know). All of us knew in an instant, we had got the title we wanted. Nikhil, Hemant and me spent the rest of the night designing the logo for the title. Soon, Hemant discovered the image of a human head, with gears rotating inside the brain, which was to become the proverbial ‘face’ of MastishK. Soon afterwards, Arbit Choudhury was born......

...... And the rest, as they say, is history !!


Nikhil Kulkarni said...

Shubham asked me specifically to comment on this post so as to 'complete' the post
Hmmm ... at the risk of sounding modest, I must first mention that the original idea would have been useless had I not received support from my friends and juniors. The event as it stands today is credited to all of them and not to me!!
Reflecting upon those days, those were intoxicating moments when we were all under influence of 'making it happen'. When I first proposed the idea to our batch, all I had received was laughs, smirks and ignore. So when our small team started to create it - we were really swimming against the tide. The event as it came to shape in all its gradeur finally was not only beyond imagination of the audience, it was beyond our own imaginations. Under the influence of just 'making it happen' we had actually worked much harder and had surpassed our own benchmarks.
MastishK was a great energy booster for me personally. It helped me regain a lot of personal confidence, acted to refuel my entrepreneurial ambitions, and most imortantly gave me some real trustworthy friends (which includes juniors)!

Shubham said...

No great idea can succeed by the efforts of one individual. A leader an only show the way, it is his team that has to deliver the goods. Even Lord Ram could not have defeated Ravan without Hanuman and Vanar Sena. Gandhi could not have battled the brits without the entire nation behind him.
The intial stuggle during the birth of MastishK and it's eventual success reminds me of a quote from Gandhi-
First they ignore you,
then they laugh at you,
then they fight you,
then you win!!