There’s a rule that, if you miss more than three sessions in a row, you have to leave the club. We do not require for a person to be really very well versed in the business concepts, but rather express their interest towards it.
Tell us about the origins of B Club. What was the vision it started with? How has that vision evolved over the years?
The club was started in the year 2014. It all began when three of my super super seniors, wondered why there was no club related to business in our college. They had just finished their intern and realised that as undergraduates here, we are only taught the engineering part of the industry.
They wanted to create a space where people could understand how the non-technical part of the industry works. So they decided to start a small organisation, where they could give an insight into the business world and how industries are related to it. Starting last semester, the organisation is now an official club of the college. The club is more popular among the students these days and we’ve been conducting more and more events.
Until recently, what was the reason behind B club choosing to remain unofficial since its inception?
Initially, the problem was there were many student organisations involved in clubs. When our seniors founded B-Club, they wanted it to be purely based on a student’s interest and not due to pressure from any side for a student to join the club. It should be purely based on his/her interest. Since we were unofficial, you couldn’t really put B-club on your resume.
So if a student joined the club, it was beyond doubt that he/she was interested in the club and wanted to learn something new. This has been our main priority for the past 4 years, but then we realised that to reach out to the student community, we needed a platform to express ourselves. The only way this was possible, was by becoming official. Getting permission from the higher authorities is not always easy as they have busy schedules. As an official club, we have the faculty advisor helping us out with the permissions. When a club becomes official, the proceedings become official and this helps us organise events such as guest lectures with credibility. Secondly the college funds you for the events.
According to you, what are the cons of being an official club?
As a club, we want to do events which we are sure will help the student community, but when the club becomes official, we are sometimes forced to do events. There is also the fear of people joining for the sake of certificates alone. There are pros and cons to everything and in this case, the pros seemed to outweigh the cons, so we decided to go for it.
As an official club now, can you expound your mandate and objectives to the student community?
It’s tough to explain our mandate, because it’s not latched on to a particular aspect. We don’t confine ourselves to the stock market or MBA. In our club, I might know about supply chain, another about marketing, someone else about finance or entrepreneurship. The people in the club are our priority. Each of us, educate the rest on our respective areas of study and thus exchange concepts and ideas. We don’t force anyone to learn anything. Whatever intrigues them, they learn it and explain it. This is basically how our in-house sessions work. We have about 4 of them per week. We seek to gain knowledge through this and whatever topic we are well acquainted with, we teach the student community through events and guest lectures.
B club is infamous for conducting inductions only for 1st years and having no proper screening criteria for current members who wish to be a part of the club next year. Do you think this has led to a decline in the talent the club could have had? Will there be any change in the selection criteria next year?
In the initial years, like any organization, our organization also expanded rapidly. Eventually, most people who joined weren’t interested in learning. Abiding by the rules of the club, we had to let some of the members go and formed a smaller group of interested individuals. The past two years, we didn’t induct any student and prioritized making the current members stronger in their concepts. We decided to expand, from the next semester. Next year onwards, we will have the usual induction, which will be open to the first, second and third years and their participation in the club will be noted. We do not generally have interviews for the ones who are already part of the club because we have a simple system. There’s a rule that, if you miss more than three sessions in a row, you have to leave the club. We do not require for a person to be really very well versed in the business concepts, but rather express their interest towards it. In our in-house sessions, a lack of interest, does not pass without notice. Hence, it becomes easy to determine who stays in the club.
With the advent of a new club, Finwiz, do you feel there is any conflict of interest? Is there any competition or do you feel that your mandates are very different?
The main focus of Finwiz, is the stock market and trading. There’s even E-cell whose focus is on startups. Our mandate has, but is not restricted to these aspects of business. Ours is a general idea of all the domains concerned. We are not particularly interested in their aspects, in the same depth as they are. Both their domains of interest, intersect with ours, but that’s about it. So even if our mandates intersect, it’s just first come first serve basis for events similar to the business world. No one has a blatant right over some domain or an event. They might be focussed on a certain aspect, but even we have managed to do stock market event that was very successful with almost 170 participants. We have an experience of conducting events for three years so we know how to conduct certain events better.
Now that you are official, what changes are you expecting to see in the club and what are your plans for next year?
Firstly, it would be to increase the number of events. Second aim would be to incorporate guest lectures. If you see the top consulting and accounting firms like KPMG and Boston Consulting Group who hire engineers into their company, they go to colleges which have well established business clubs. If you want to get recognized by business companies, you need to have a very good platform. A major advantage I see is that the student community is going to benefit a lot more from us. We will continue to have in-house sessions for both the newly inducted members and the existing members. Our online page also plays a very crucial role, as many students benefit from it. Earlier, we had a restricted number of events, because of the restrictions faced by an unofficial club and also because we focused on learning the concepts thoroughly before we’re ready to teach. Now, the students can look forward to events like case studies, workshops and guest lecture series!