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Insider’s View on Organising Multi-Crore Festivals

Posted on Jul 14, 2018
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1.Something you don’t associate with ‘nerds’.
2.The heart and soul of IITians, and a legacy to protect

I am a student of graduating batch of 2019 at IIT Kanpur. A general perception is that IITians are a bunch of nerds who stay glued to their books or laptops. Whenever we meet our old friends, all we get asked is “Bhai kitna padhega!” (How much will you study?). But would you say that about the organizers of India’s largest multi-crore college festivals? Who’s that? These book-nerds.

They do it all on their own – from conceptualizing, planning, executing to gathering massive budgets from marketing efforts alone. So much for being book-nerds, right?

Now remember the title – it said it’s an ‘insider’s view’, so read on to know who I am. Let’s talk about how one becomes competent enough to make these festivals happen. It all starts with the first day of college. You are sitting in the auditorium, attending the orientation program and the Core Team of festivals come up on stage to tell us what it is all about. At that time the only thing you hear is concerts by Sonu Nigam, Farhan Akhtar, KSHMR, etc.; shows by Biswa Kalyan Rath, Piyush Mishra; and talks by Dr. Hamid Karzai, Abhinav Bindra among others. However, that’s just the face of the festival. The body includes international exhibitions, fun-time, lakhs of prize money for participants, amazingly fierce competitions and much more. All of this suddenly fills us with a sense of belonging and inspires us to be a part of the festival team.

“You see, it’s the legacy that makes these so special.”

Now, an unsuspecting fresher volunteers at the festival, gets addicted to the happiness that comes when everything is executed perfectly and knows that he was a part of it – the hard work, the teamwork and the regular all-nighters that made it all happen. This moment — this very moment is the founding stone of the festival’s future editions. You see, it’s the legacy that makes these so special.

It’s time to reveal why it’s an insider’s view.
I am Head of Events of the Silver Jubilee edition (2019) of IIT Kanpur’s technical and entrepreneurial festival – TECHKRITI. My primary job is to handle a team of more than 100 to plan, finalize, get participation for and execute all the competitions of the festival. For the entire festival to happen, there is a need for different sections working together in sync. The following Heads are what constitute the Core Team of the festival: Overall Coordinator(s), Events Head(s), Marketing Head(s), Public Relations Head(s), Media & Publicity Head(s), Show Management Head(s), Finance Head, Design Head(s), Web Head(s), and Security Head(s). I believe the names are self-explanatory and make it evident that a perfect business environment is simulated each year, with a turnover in crores. When there is just one month left for the festival, the total team member count exceeds 300 and still everyone manages to stay in sync and pull off this mammoth task.

Oh and I forgot to mention – the festival is a 4-day event. On the first day, participants start pouring into the campus and pressure on the team starts rising. The fest is here at the end of a year-long struggle.
The fest stays for four sleepless days where global personalities perform while the team keeps the wireframe intact. Our Core Team’s best moment is the night of the fourth day, ‘The Final Night’, where a concert marks the end of the festival and a sleep-deprived team witnesses the result of their immense hard work. To say it in one breath – team effort, the addiction to work and the happiness that follows are the real reasons why we are able to dedicate ourselves to making this happen.

Time to relax now? Sure. But it is also time for the next generation to take the reins, sustain this culture and continue this legacy. After all, that is the most important differentiator among institutes.

Guest blog by Minal Goel
Minal is currently pursuing Bachelor of Technology in Electrical Engineering at IIT Kanpur. He spent the summer at ReachIvy as a Project Management Associate.
He is very curious person who is ready to venture into the unknown to come out as a better person. He is currently Head of Events and Competitions at his college’s festival ‘Techkriti’ and is very passionate about it. In his spare time, he likes to watch TV series and learn more about smartphones.