Our college just witnessed a successful edition of one of its most coveted fests- Kurukshetra. The reason for this could be attributed to various factors but one such core that requires due credit is the finance core for channelizing and mobilizing all the ideas of the other core departments. In this conversation with Harish Kanna and Vinithra, we find out more about The-Monetization of Kurukshetra!
- On what basis do you select the core of the finance team for Kurukshetra?
A person in the finance team should know what would contribute towards the success of k! and should think in multiple aspects before taking a decision. Anyone who applies to be the finance core will be tested on their ability to assess whether an endeavour is worth spending money on or not. Each team prepares its own budget and it is revised by the finance team at the end. Basic knowledge on banking systems and capability to prioritise on expenditure is also expected of a core.
2) How did you plan the budget for the fest?
This year we revised the total budget four times before the fest happened. As the sponsors and partners came mostly in the month of January, we made the final revision of the budget during the first week of February. Internally, we initially framed the budget for the best, moderate, and critical case for all teams except Industrial Relations. We then matched each case inflow by Industrial Relations with the other teams. Then, a nine by nine matrix budget was framed for each team. Based on the status and plans of each team, the budget was revised periodically.
3) Which part of Kurukshetra demands a huge sum?
It is the logistics team, because each and every team comes under them. Moreover, we have spent a lot on flagship events like Robowars, Godspeed and also for some new events like water rocketry.
4) How did you decide on the sponsors and approach them?
Actually it was the work of Industrial Relations team. This year, it was done by all the cores. Each core tried their best for bringing in sponsors and partners. We had been approaching sponsors from the month of September. At that time no one turned out, as our fest was only in February. Most of the sponsors and partners responded only in the month of January.
Despite many tragic crises this year, we have presented a successful k!
5) How difficult or easy is your job in comparison to the other cores?
Finance is a team which has to say a lot of no's. You should be mentally prepared to handle issues. Handling administration will also be a problem at times.
6) What is the major issue that a finance core is prone to face?
There are two factors- external and internal. The external includes uncertainties that might occur. For example, a sponsor might back out in the last minute. You should be prepared for that. The internal one is that one team might tend to compare their budget to another team. The finance team is one which sees k! as a single entity and distributes the budget among the teams. Moreover, it is important to make an investment which must appeal to the participants as well as the audience. This is the primary aspect in which a finance core should think.
7) What happens if the budget ends up being larger than you thought?
Scenarios like that are quite common for which we have allotted some general expenses as a buffer. Moreover, this year we had a great turn out which in turn will compensate for the additional expenses. Generally the IR team handles that.
8) How do sponsors react when you first approach them? Are they always welcoming?
This again comes under the IR team. From a finance perspective, certain companies sponsor us because they come to CEG for placements while other companies come because of the alumni. The companies approach us if they have a specific purpose to sponsor us. The IR team will be able to give you a clear picture.
9) Do we receive donations for the event?
Not at all. It was solely based on sponsorship and the income which we generated.
10) A rough idea about the expenditure?
Well, approximately, it was more than 50 Lakhs.
11) How do you decide the prize money for different events?
We discuss with the events team about the quality of the events last year, and we then change the prize money for various events accordingly. We also fix the amount based on the investments are made by participants. So, for events like Robowars and Godspeed, the prize money will be high. Coding and management have a different range of prize money. It will be decided based on the difficulty level and complexity of the event.