Imitation Games @GIM (Goa Institute of Management )

In an effort to make learning fun, faculties at GIM use various simulations-based games in their courses. Prof. Hemant Kumar Padhiari who teaches Strategic Management with Capstone business simulation, feels that simulations like Capstone provide students with an opportunity to test assumptions and learn from mistakes so that they are better prepared to step confidently into their business careers. Through Capstone, students get the chance to apply what they’ve learnt across all disciplines of business in one strategic, competitive, and engaging learning experience.

Prof. Hemant divides his class into competing teams of about 6 students each, setting out their business’ financial objectives, and coming up with a coherent business strategy, which is to be implemented through decisions to be uploaded into the system. In this process, the students acquire a strategic/holistic mind-set towards business. They understand the entire business process and its nuances in a simple and unforgettable manner. The simulation is cross-functional. Teams get to run a $100 million company for 8 ‘virtual’ years. They make decisions relating to inventory / cash / capacity management, R&D, equity / bond / short-term financing, production, sales/promotion, TQM, HR, disaster management etc. Teams compete against each other for Profit, Stock Price, Market Share, ROA, ROE, ROS etc. The programme is web-based where the teams draft their Vision and Mission statements and adopt a strategy. The teams figure out what is happening in the industry including the competition and feed their decisions with respect to their stated strategy, into the software. At the end of each round, conceptual inputs are provided to the students to enable them fine tune their strategies. Furthermore, the inputs of all the teams are processed and the results in terms of financial performance and other parameters are given to the participants. Teams must plan not only for short-term profits, but also for long-term objectives; “the name of the game is not just tactics, but long-term strategy” says Prof. Hemant.

Prof. Tarun Pasricha who is a marketing faculty uses another simulation called MarkStrat, which according to him helps in integrating the students into the real life and the day-to-day choices that companies face in a competitive environment. MarkStrat is a strategic marketing simulation, which offers MBA students and professionals a risk-free platform to test theories and make decisions. As per Prof. Kapil (Marketing Faculty), every aspect of the game is real: from competitive forces to the effects of sales, distribution, R&D and advertising.  Each team’s actions will have direct consequences on the market, thus competitive analysis is a must. Competitors’ actions and reactions, new product launches, sales and distribution strategies define how teams will manage their own product portfolio, R&D projects, positioning, pricing and distribution channels.