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'Branding is everything' - Talking to the Brand Relations Team's K!ores

Right around the corner of the biggest technical event held on campus, two final year students Sanduni Kodagoda and Srivibhav Lakshman - student directors of CTF's newest team - took some time to chat with us on their work and why it helps everyone. Here are the excerpts from the talk we had after settling down into a secluded corner of the CTF room that was otherwise as bustling as ever. 

Q. For the sake of all our readers, can you first elaborate on what team ‘Brand Relations’ is and highlight its role within CTF?

‘Brand Relations’ as such is a new official team in CEG Tech Forum this year. It was initially introduced by a senior from last year who began working on this domain. The primary reason for the creation of this team, was to alleviate the overwhelming amount of comments, social media posts and ranking protocol procedures that the Dean’s office constantly receives. Kurukshetra has always seeked to brand our college and adds value to our overall image, so it was a synchronous addition to the CTF team to include a branding unit for our College of Engineering Guindy. We do not have a specific function just towards Kurukshetra but we are totally involved in helping everyone at CTF as and when needed. 


Q. Can you throw some light on the team and how you function.

Our primary goal revolves around branding initiatives of the college and as a novel team we do not have set rules that govern our actions but a more evolving pathway charting our course. For example, we worked on ranking forms that are sent by agencies and contact other ranking bodies to include our college. In that pursuit, we were ranked in the QS rankings for the year 2016. The team is headed by the two of us in final year now and we have a few juniors who work along with us. We welcome anyone who matches our ideas and can help in executing them, there is no bar frankly. 


Q. What makes your team different and are there any innovative initiatives that you are going to perform or are performing already ? 

We have created brochures for CEG that is meant for general purposes as well as a separate placement brochure.  We are going to start an official facebook page for CEG soon as we currently don't have one. A main difference between other teams and ours is not having to work under pressure towards only a particular deadline. Unlike all other teams who have to work thoroughly with the set focus only on Kurukshetra, our work revolves around the entire year and overall progress too.


Q. What sort of skills did you develop and what kind of training did you pursue in order to be working in the core team of kurukshetra?

Presence of mind, team management and ability to ’swim in any ocean’ - like adapting with the surroundings - was the criteria that made us Student directors of the brand relations team at CTF. Now, we have also learnt on how to be more responsible in a group, how to co-operate more efficiently, and how to train their mind to their respective tasks. 


Q. How important is branding to a college’s reputation? Would you say the necessary branding initiatives have always been in place for projecting our college ? If not, how do you see to improve it ?

Branding is everything. Other new private institutions and colleges see a huge surge and have grown tremendously, gaining so much recognition because of this vital tool. Unfortunately in the case of CEG, even our milestones and achievements are not being broadcasted as much. We found that people need to really put effort to find the CEG details 
We are trying to promote the CEG logo more than the Anna University logo and boost our brand name consciously at every step. We need our alumni and students from CEG to start identifying ourselves as ‘Guindyneers’ or ‘CEGians’ to help the brand sustain and prolong as it is undoubtedly the oldest and most prestigious.  


Q. How do you try to protect the overall image of CEG?
Frankly, we do not have to actually protect it, but try to elevate it by projecting our college news, events and other live coverage to reach the public domain. Sadly, there is no properly structured channel to publicise our college to the outside world. But that being said, there is a lot of ongoing research aimed to look for the aids.


Q. Do you advertise our college to foreign institutions?

We do take part in international rankings for technical institutions. We do have a semester abroad program that has tie ups with several foreign institutions. Students can take advantage of this and get a better understanding of these options by just visiting the Centre for International Affairs in campus. 


Q. How do you maintain a strong bond with the alumni?

In order to maintain a good connection with alumni we conduct exclusive meetings on a monthly basis where we reach out to them and exchange ideas. We seek their help on what new branding initiatives we can adopt and how to do it better.  Moreover, CEG alumni are one of the best in the world holding important global positions in pioneering disciplines. They are a diverse set who proudly identify as ‘Guindyneers’ or 'CEGians' and are keen to help their heirs which makes it doubly positive for all of us. We routinely follow their updates and keep a tab on their achievements which we can project as that makes a huge impact on the quality of students CEG has produced over the last century or so. More importantly, as students we now have the duty to work closely with the administration to bridge the gaps.

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