For the Students, By the Students - The IIM Lucknow Mess “Annapoorna”
Lucknow, 17th August 2012
IIM Lucknow is a campus that never sleeps, with students busy throughout the day and night juggling academic, co-curricular and extra-curricular activities. Satisfying the hunger pangs of this community of over 900 students, is “Annapoorna”- a not for profit mess. “Annapoorna” runs continuously for 20 hours every day from 7:00 am to 3:00 am.
“Annapoorna” is in true sense – by the students, for the students. While it caters to the hungry student community, its complete operations are managed by a student team. The student team comprises of a mess secretary, a joint mess secretary and 12 mess committee members. This team manages a staff of 50 employees and an annual budget of Rs. 3 crores. The team, responsible for serving 3 meals and evening snacks every day and operating a night mess, implements strict quality standards to ensure that students are served healthy hygienic food.
Student activities at IIM Lucknow are organized through committees, which are teams of 1st year and 2nd year students responsible for organizing events and driving activities on campus. Committee members create strong bonds with each other and to their committees such that even alumni also associate themselves with the committees they were part of as management students.
According to Chairman, Students Affairs, the faculty head for student run activities on campus, Prof. S M Satish (Faculty in Marketing), the mess committee under the stewardship of the mess secretary runs an excellent mess catering to students from different parts of India. The team is always looking to make improvements and enjoys the continued support of the Director and administration of IIM Lucknow. The student run mess is one of many examples of student driven activities on campus which benefit the IIM Lucknow community and enable students to hone their managerial and leadership skills.
Managing “Annapoorna” is not an easy task. It’s a perfect example of implementing theoretical management concepts in day to day practical activities. Manu Hoysala a mess committee member states that “We learn theoretical concepts in class on HR, Operations, Finance, IT and Marketing. My team and I experience and apply these every day in our operations. Working as a mess committee member has been an excellent learning experience”.
Each year, many changes are made to improve “Annapoorna”. According to the the Mess Secretary Rakesh Kanakavalli, in the last 6 months many changes have been made by the mess team. “We have to constantly improve our processes to ensure that we run efficiently and within our budget. Recent changes include digitizing the night mess billing process, tying up with Bharati Wal-Mart for raw material procurement and setting up performance based incentives for our employees. A major project in the pipeline is a digitized inventory management system. These changes will bring down our operating costs, benefits of which can be passed onto our customers, the students”.