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By: A Skype Interview with 2004-06 Rajagiri MBA student Glisha Gleetus in Dubai on 13th October 2017 by
Interview with Glisha Gleetus, Founder of Inflore
Nasrin Samsudheen: Hello Glisha, Good Afternoon!
Glisha Gleetus: Good Afternoon!
Nasrin: Glisha, the 13th INFLORE just got over recently. About 140 colleges participated and it was a grand success!
Glisha: I know! I was supposed to come down there, but couldn’t as I fell ill. I feel like a proud Mama watching her child grow up.
Nasrin: So, proud Mama, we would like to hear how the conception happened and how the gestation period was, how the delivery was! Is there a father too?
Glisha: Definitely! My partner in crime is Nishant, my batchmate (2004-06) who is also working in Dubai. Nishant was a mature, confident person while I was the enthusiastic one. To be very honest, when I joined FORMS, I had no clue what FORMS was. One fine day Manoj Mathew Sir informed us that we are representing FORMS. One activity we did as part of FORMS was to help organize an International Seminar. But we did primarily the back end activities; we didn’t know who were coming and what their qualifications were etc. Later Nishant and I decided that “if we are here, let’s make a mark and go!” and that’s when the idea of a Fest came in. Though the idea was a bit daunting, we said to ourselves: “we are management students, we have to get this done no matter what. That’s what we are here for, and that’s what they are teaching us. So let’s put what we learnt into action”.
Nasrin: So how did you present this in front of the management? Was there any difficulty in convincing them?
Glisha: We went and told Manoj Sir, and he said: “Wow! That’s a great idea! But it’s not easy as you think it is, as we will need lots of money to get it going”. So he said, “Why don’t we make a budget and find out where we can get sponsors?”.
That’s when we went around in the market and among many I visited Mather Builders and presented our case. They were very impressed by my enthusiasm that wrote a cheque of Rs.50,000 right away! (laughs) Excitedly we met Manoj Sir, who jumped out of the chair and said, “Yes! Let’s do it”
So we went to meet the Principal. There were other professors in the room and I felt I was entering a court room. It was a new idea and there was concern about its feasibility. They were perplexed that someone had already written me a cheque. One name to mention at this point is Shirley Ma’am. She was the one who really understood our sincerity and enthusiasm. In the face of indecision and discouragement, Shirley Ma’am said, “Let’s give them a chance. If they fail, so what?” So finally, we got the idea through. Am very grateful to her and Manoj Sir for their support.
Nasrin: Tell us something about the first INFLORE - the first organizing student team, the sponsorship, the events, the participation etc.
Glisha: The primary team was just the two of us. Then we had a team of juniors, who were very supportive. If I remember correctly, they were Hari, Nimmy, Sonia, Thomas, Sunit, and Satheesh. We had events related to Management – HR, Finance, Marketing, Operations, and Non-Management events too, I don’t remember all the events. We also had various committees. We even had a prayer committee! Their main job was to pray for the success of INFLORE! (laughs)
After the committees were made, the next step was to bring in sponsorships. So we made a policy that whoever brings in sponsorship will get 10% of the amount. That was a motivator! I had already made 5000 with that first sponsorship. I don’t remember how much we got overall, but I do remember we left back some money in the account for our juniors for the next Inflore.
Nasrin: These practices still exist! Keeping 10% of what you brought in as well as leaving money for the next years Inflore.
Glisha: That’s good to know! The next important thing was participation. We actually had our students travelling to Christ College, Bangalore, Coimbatore to invite colleges. It was Manoj Sir’s idea. We had to beg these colleges to come and participate. There was so much worry wondering if any of them would actually turn up. I used to wake up during the nights close to the date of the event, worrying about that. I still remember the day of the event. At around 5.30am I got a call from my friend saying the first team has arrived! Halleluiah! Then every 30 minutes participants started coming. About 7-9 colleges participated, but the campus was full of students!
Nasrin: Did you pick the ideas for the events from other college fests?
Glisha: Yes, of course. We had to speak to those who had experience in participating in fests. I myself had participated in the Best Manager event in CUSAT as well. I got information from friends who were in other colleges who helped too.
Nasrin: We are curious about the name ‘INFLORE’, who christened the event so?
Glisha: The name was brought by two girls who were very good in communication. They suggested the name. I don’t remember both the names, so maybe it’s better not to mention any. There was a bit of trouble with the name as some would pronounce it Inflora, Inflor, Inflori! (laughs)
Nasrin: Was there any problem in getting judges for the events?
Glisha: For some events, we didn’t have judges till the last moment. We just grabbed them from UST, TCS etc. We would ask students whether any of their relatives were working in companies and we would ask them to get them whatever their designation. But there were last minute withdrawal from judging. We were immature. We had last minute surprises. But then yes, we faced it all!
Nasrin: Did you ever think that INFLORE would reach this heights?
Glisha: I wanted this to happen for at least for 2-3 years. The gesture of handing over the remaining capital amount to the juniors was a part of that. I knew my immediate juniors would definitely carry it forward and I hoped it would last for some more years as lots of tears, sweat, laughter, pain and insult had gone into it.
Nasrin: How do you feel now knowing that it has gone on for 17 years?
Glisha: Extremely proud! It makes my eyes well up with tears. It is so unfortunate that I couldn’t come down there for INFLORE this time.
Nasrin: Do you have any message to our present INFLORE team and the future INFLORE team yet to come?
Glisha: You guys have been doing a fabulous job! Always try to go one notch better than the previous year. When you organize Inflore, that’s when you understand the value of the course that you have done. So it’s not that you are doing an event, you are putting into practice the theories that you have learnt. This will certainly help you to move forward in your life.
So there ended the lively chat with the mother of INFLORE. The enthusiasm and the passion that she had in her voice while talking about INFLORE is the proof that she truly is the MOTHER of INFLORE!
You can contact Glisha at Gleez83@gmail.com