March 17th saw the Warwick Alumni Mumbai (WAM) group come together for a social event at the prestigious Bombay Gymkhana in the Fort area of Mumbai.
Organised by Janak Sheth and Bhairav Desai, it was promoted from the WAM page on Facebook and direct mails from WAM and and the Warwick India databases.
The venue was steeped in a rich history. The first ever test match in India was played at the Gymkhana grounds between India and England in front of 100,000 spectators in December 1933. Some of the luck from that spectacular turnout seemed to have rubbed off on this event as 10 confirmations were transformed into 45 in the blink of an eye.
Representing Warwick were Kanika Marwaha – India Representative – Warwick India Office (Delhi), Jon Lees – Executive Director – the Warwick MBA and Derek Condon – Senior Teaching Fellow, Academic Director, the Warwick Executive MBA and Deputy Head of the MSM Group.
Bhairav Desai, Janak Sheth and Prateek Jain from WAM and those representing Warwick reached the venue in advance to check the arrangements at the venue, ensure that event signs were put up and the buffet counters were properly laid out. Kanika had prepared name tags of those who had registered and made a few blank ones for walk-ins. Janak had pre-filled datasheets of those who had registered to allow them update their contact details and had space for programming suggestions. These were handed out to the attendees for updating the records.
Once around 25 people were in attendance. Bhairav welcomed the alumni, citing the programmes that were carried out recently including the monsoon trail at Sanjay Gandhi National Park, drinks gathering for an IPL match and the Sewri flamingo watch event and called asked for suggestions for future activities.
Many attendees, it was found, would have attended events had they known about them. The WAM core group encouraged everyone in attendance to join the WAM Facebook page as it was a convenient platform to share information and promote programming activities.
Jon Lees was introduced to say a few words on new developments at Warwick and WBS, shed some light on a decline in rankings, providing support to returning alumni, and raising the profile of Warwick in corporate India. According to Jon, Warwick did not play the ranking game but appreciated that ranking matters and that Warwick/WBS are looking at number of ways to improve the rankings in the next few years.
For the Warwick MBA, it is being made compulsory to study abroad. Jon added that the quality and calibre of the students accepted to the programme would be enhanced. Many new infrastructure developments were taking place, many extensions to the department buildings were being added and some completed projects were already being utilised. These factors would lend Warwick a boost in the rankings.