Sunday, August 27, 2006

Telecom Grandmasters 2006, SITM

Harsh Ketkar & Arnab Pal attended the Telecom Grandmasters Quiz organised by Symbiosis Institute of Telecom Management. Here is Harsh's report:

Disclaimer: Any resemblance to a cinema awards function is purely coincidental and unintentional.

First, the official description:

"Telecom GrandMasters 2005 had touched new horizons; Telecom GrandMasters 2006 would be a leap across the horizon. We, at SITM, set the pace for others, we believe in transforming dreams into reality. We have done it time and again and this time by going online for the preliminary round of the event for the second consecutive year. The Final Event in 2005 was graced by presence of Ms. Diana Hayden and Mr. Abhay Deol.

TGM 2005 itself was a "grand success", with the team from VIT, Pune bagging the first prize. The celebrities who graced the occasion included Diana Hayden and Abhay Deol."

Now, the real one:

Over 750 corporate as well as student teams across 22 cities in India participated in the quiz. The first celebrity guest was Shreyas Talpade and he kicked off the award ceremony, uh, quiz. (oops… sorry it is a quiz). The quizmaster had forgotten his name and kept on referring to him as Iqbal. After a small Q&A session with Iqbal, in which he tried to market his latest venture, he left, apologizing that he had a function to attend. That kept his presence short, and more importantly, sweet.

The next one to come was Sharad Kapoor.

QM: How was it like working with Mallika Sherawat in Murder?
Sharad Kapoor: Umm... It could have been called "Lust" or "Trust".


QM(on the stage): How was it like working with Mallika Sherawat in Murder?
Sharad Kapoor: Don't you watch movies?
QM: I do.
Sharad Kapoor: Then go and watch "Murder". I am not in it.
QM: Umm... That's why I asked you about it. Well, how did you find Pune's roads?
(Participants on stage smiling to each other)
Sharad Kapoor: Quite good. They are better than Bombay roads.
A loud gasp from the audience follows. (The poor guy has probably not travelled much in Pune to know the current state of roads.)

Then the QM suddenly realized that he is conducting a quiz and asked Mr. Kapoor to throw a few questions at the audience. Every correct answer received by Mr. Kapoor was greeted by a comment "Mind-blowing… Baap re baap."

After 4-5 rounds, it was the turn of Ashmit Patel (Aha! The questions got mixed up! That explains the "Murder" part), Aaditya Dutt (famous for directing "Aashiq Banaya Aapne"), and Geeta Basra, a Bollywood debutante. Together they promoted their new film "Dil Diya Hai". They said it was going to be a "different" film. And then the usual informal chat followed.

Here it goes...

QM: Nowadays we get to hear lots of new names like Ashmit Patel, Geeta Basra, etc... all non Kapoor khandaan names. How was it for you to make it big inspite of not being from a star family?
Ashmit: Well, It wasn't easy. But I feel that it is easier for women to make make it big in Bollywood.
Geeta Basra (with an imbecile smile): What are you saying, Ashmit? We have to work equally hard!
QM, audience and others: HAHAHAAHAAA!!

This went on for around 10-15 minutes. The participants (us included) used the opportunity to visit the toilet. The finalists on the stage just sitting and grimacing wondering how much longer will they have to tolerate this nonsense.

Oh yes, we forgot to mention about the quiz altogether. Here are a few of the "too tough, crackers, and blasters (according to the QM)" questions.

1.Where will be the FIFA world cup be held in 2010? (The team, to which this was posed couldn't answer it!)
2.What is the name of the social networking website started by a Google employee, and named after him?
3.What is the next version of Windows, previously called Longhorn, called?
4.What is the torro scale used to measure? (We answered "Hurricane", but no, it was wrong. The QM wanted "Tornado".)
5.In which year were the departments of Post and telecommunication separated?
6.How many bones does the human arm have? 29,30 or 33?

What were these questions doing in the mains?

The rounds were strictly okay for a national level quiz. There was a round of infinite rebound (bounce), the usual buzzer round, two "choice of subject" rounds, including a rapid fire round and a three question round; and a normal passing round with no IR. But the questions were absolutely bad. We don't blame the QM. He tried his best. There were instances when we answered the questions and the audience did not applaud. The poor folks are not to blame. The questions, which were outright sitters (“sitters” is a very charitable description, mind you, they were worse) were to blame. They should keep the students away from setting the questions and allow only pure quizzers to set the questions. If not, then they should outsource it. And the QM and the quiz setter should be the same person. Even inter-collegiate quizzes in Pune and the ones held informally at BCQC are better by a factor of ten.

The QM was irritatingly stubborn at times. There was a connect round, and the answer was "Windows 95" The team answered it like this: "Windows 98, uh 95". The QM refused to award the points to them. Now this is childish. If they have got the funda, why not just give it to them? But the QM thought otherwise.

Quizzes conducted by B-Schools usually are very well managed but this time round the overall organization of the quiz was found wanting. Also the quiz stretched on for almost 3.5 hours, which is too long, thanks mostly to our celebrity guests. We also think that the organizers should stop inviting celebrities to the quiz. They seem hopelessly out of place. Finally, they should cut down on the protocol and formalities; they are simply not required. As quizzers we just want a good quiz, and nothing else.

So will we participate next year? Very unlikely.

1.Jayakanthan R & Venkatesh N.A.
TCS, Chennai (125 points + tie breaker).
2.Sumeet Kaul & Chandan Mohanty
Infosys, Pune (125 points).
3.Harshvardhan Ketkar & Arnab Pal
College: VIT, Pune (120 points).

:: Harsh


Ramanand said...

See, if we had the SPCQQ, they could have responded to a distress call and halted proceedings, taking the organisers into preventive custody.

Time for uprising! :-))

(this account was awesome - you should go next year. I think I definitely will try ;-))

Harsh said...

Considering Dani's description of Symbiosis junta as "Quiz Nazis", we must have been declared persona non grata by now. Of course, if they have read the post, that is.

How about a SPCQQ blog specially for such quizzes? Quizzers of the world,unite!

Anonymous said...

accepted that the quiz went out really too long and yes the QM was arrogant with th celebrities but how did u conducted urself ??

i remember u moving out in between of the quiz for a pee... well if u dont know and since i was there let me inform u that the QM was waiting for u for 3-5 minutes. i really blame the organisers for not chucking u people out of the contest. Just imagine that a national level event is happening and people just get up and leave for a pee without even informing the coordinators.speaking of event management skill???

No, i m not from sitm , i was part of the audience from infosys.
nd i attended a lot many quizes, but believe me every event will have some goof-ups ... evn th international one....

as far as the questions wr concerned let me remind u that u guys wr lagging behind till the last round... that explains whether the quiz was easy or tough... for that matter i dont remember u answering any questions during the toughest round of the photographs one.. where one was supposed to identify the brand with the given snaps....

grow up kid... nd i m sure u will participate next year .... becoz from last 2 years u have won thousands thru this quiz....
grow up

BRIJESH said...




Harsh said...

You are right, anon. I should have announced it over the mike that i am popping out for a quick pee. Or better still, I should have shown schoolboyish charm and asked the QM, pointing out my little finger:"Sir, may I please go to the toilet?"

I am not saying that because we lost the quiz was bad. Heck, i dont even attend quizzes for winning or losing. We quiz just because we love it.
I fully respect the abilities of the other quizzers on the stage. In fact, I pity them for facing such an assault on their intellect.

Mr. Anon, it would be better if you shed your anonymity and come out in the open. And yes, it is better you attend a few real quizzes before you do some anonymous commenting.

Harsh said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

it hurts ,isnt it harsh!!!
when someone really toils for a contest nd pple come up with such irresponsible... isn't it??
now just imagine the way those guys of that college worked for some 3-4 months to make this event a success. A feedback from you could have been the measures to improve and have better quizing .. which ultimately is everyones aim...

i kno that this platform is to bring reality... but believe me u too need to be a bit responsible while u comment....

btw u guys performed really well...
and at times u wr far better than the one blaming u on those fronts
best of luck for your future...

Anonymous said...

Ahhh. How true.

I recently had the misfortune of conducting a quiz for my own college juniors. And after the teams' miserable performance in the prelims, had to end up setting questions very much like the ones you have described above. It does feel pathetic. An insult to intelligence to set questions like that. But then, the QM can't be blaimed.

Anonymous said...

Hey Harsh
Well written
And my take on the so called event which was the worst quiz I attended in Pune(no there was an SISCR quiz , that was the worst!)
Fuck All that is what I would call such an event. The QM dude, was a PJ king himself, trying to elicit laughter every now and then and I do not understand why he was trying to mimic the military theme of BEQ, grow up guys come with some original stuff!!! and why was Chandan Mohanty's case taken most of the times(Prolly he tried to do a Giri style, but Mr.QM , u can't match a Giri!!!)

It was NOT a TELECOM QUIZ, neither was it a Business Quiz, it was a melange!!!

IDEA sponsoring this event does not mean, SITM should stoop to the level of bringing a QM read MC IDEA decides....
IDEA-open ur senses, know what Business Quizzing is....
Please do not kill quizzing, esp B Quizzing....


PS:cant post using my beta blogger account-upgrade 2 beta blogger

Anonymous said...

BIZQUIZ SUCKSSSSSSSSSSSSSS................and blowssssssssssss

And bizquiz is ignoramus' bitch

Samuel Mathew said...

i ll not use the words like grow up i kno u guys are still undergrads....and SITM ppl are to b blamed for allowin u to participate in the first place....but account was well written where u pointed out all the misarrangements!!!......i wd hv blvd all tht if i were not thr.....the way u guys went runnin frm the stage.....with all the ppl gapin in air waitin 4 u was really a point of mismanagement proven ..u guys should hv been disqualified for goin out widout informin anybody....
A close acquintance took part in the prelims and he only told how the level ws.....kudos tht u qualified....... but blame game is so easy boys ...... not difficult for anybody to play....using all those words u used blamin all those workin for tht event makin all tht comfortable arrangements for u ppl......
my concern for them is coz i ve been thr organizing similar kinda events for my event management assignments blv me its not easy......u hv to slog hard and .....if Mr.Mehmi can announce tht it was of the level of Brand Equity ... (u shud not forget his stature and his experience abt the events....he is the one behind tht iifa awards organized at international level).....u shud b proud to b part of tht event...i was thr to map the standards and gain sme ideas for my events.... and really kudos to them for a gr88 show they put on guys i feel tht was not a typical quiz like u xpect in mastermind .....otherwise wats the difference .....they tried to put on smething different in which i think they succeedded.....

anywayzz guys keep up the spirit......

Harsh said...

And I have been forced to reply. We participated in the same quiz in 2005. The organization was a hundred times better. Even the level of questions was better.
Check this out:

@Samuel Mathew:
You are missing the point.
I really dont care much about the organization part. Give us a good quiz. That's it.
If telling one volunteer that we're getting off the stage is not enough, then what is? Announce it to the audience? This is the mismanagement(and lack of communication) we're talking about.
The SITM guys just put the cart in front of the horse. The organization of the quiz was given more importance than the quiz itself.
And talking of mismanagement, the SITM website has still not been updated(as of 14/9/06). Which wasnt the case last year

Arnab said...

A lot has been said about us leaving the stage to go for a leak. Let me clarify that we did inform the sitm students who were backstage that we are going to the loo. And they were okay with it. I feel it was their duty to tell the organizers that the participants have gone to the loo.

dj said...

TGM certainly has come a long way right from our small convention hall to the main stage. We've tried to make it bigger and better each year. The same goes with TGM 2006. Right from the online payment mechanism to the questions to the 'pampering' to the sponsorships to the celebrity guests, every little thing is handled to its entirety by the students. And believe me when I tell you this it's no mean feat organising an event of such magnitude (the numbers are quoted, weren’t they?) Let's not talk too loudly about TGM 'wanting organisation’.

Just as much as we tried to have it in professional manner, we expect the same from everybody (including the audience). If there occurs a hiccup during the show, it's only natural that everyone maintain the dignity and have the issue sorted out as easily and quietly as possible. Running away to the loo in between doesn't speak any better. We're not that advanced (right now) to have the QM fitted with earphones to whisper into the QM ears. And please, no one has to raise their little fingers to catch the QM attention. Even people suffering from ASD would be embarrassed. I'll leave it to the world to figure out a more dignified way of informing him directly on stage and not backstage.

For the uninitiated and the intimidated TGM was never a Telecom Quiz. It was conceived as an event to have corporates and students battle it out for the gold. The questions have always been a mixed bag. With technology obviously being a part. You might ask the previous veterans about it. And, let it be official now that SITM doesn't beg any of its sponsors to provide any assistance what so ever in the 'quiz' (note: it's 'quiz' and not TGM).

Now coming to the questions. Let's first understand that the questions maybe of different types demanding different and varying explanations and answers. Some maybe dead sitters which he can use to quote an incident or follow it up with an even interesting one and so on (it isn't too hard to figure that one out, is it?). Now unfortunately due to time constraints, the QM might've purposefully omitted details. Coming up straight to the issues, firstly the quality of questions. Compared to TGM 2005, the standard of questions have definitely gone up. And for people thinking they were out right bad, kindly google around. The toughness of questions is very very relative. (Let's take an example. Consider "Which brand of Nike shoes, has the tag line 'Run barefoot'?". It's damn outright sitter for any Nike fan or for that matter anyone who's recently been to their show room. How charitable is that? Btw this model has become damn popular.). Hmm, if you think about it, a good quiz is really an ‘assault’ on the intellect. So let's not be too harsh in conniving judgements, shall we? SITM has always developed the questions for TGM, but all help from the virtuous and the unblemished 'pure quizzers' are always welcome. Sarcasm aside, if anyone does have constructive and valuable suggestions (and not hot air) please do let us know.

For what so ever time TGM (or for that matter, any quiz) is going on the QM is god. If he feels that hurricanes don't occur over land, then it stands. At times he uses his discretion too. And if he feels that the first response ought to be taken (leaving little room for the other teams to challenge), then who are we to question him?

So people, it all boils down to this. We want to take TGM to the next level (and we will), and you quizzers need quality quizzing. So think straight and leave all the uprising to the groundhogs.


Rohit said...

It seems to be a heated debate. Some of the points by Harsh were true but some were very biased.
Since I was there during this quiz, thought may be I can suggest and comment on few issues

Quality: It was good quizing. Questions were well selected. But the representation was wrong. Most of the questions were of some 8-10 lines.Making it difficult for the audiences to read them.Next time onwards may be you can make the language easy as well as understandable.

Management: Management was pretty fine. Kuddos to SITM guys... it was a well disciplined crowd.Otherwise at certain time the situation could have gone worse.Yes at times people need to be a bit formal when celebrities are around.
As far as participants discipline is concerned, i think this type of situations must be pre-instructed by the organisers.Otherwise also there is something called corporate ettiquette, which was seriously missing with some participants.

Guest : Personal opinion, celebrities were showstoppers, breaking the continuity of the quiz. I failed to gather the idea behing celebrities. Ofcourse it mite be free publicity, but is all publicity a good publicity? specially for brand and quality conscious b-schools, you people need to rethink on that next year.
You want to portray yourself as knolwedge aggregators, so better concentrate on that part, publicity will follow on.

QM: He had a good command over language but unfortunately he was pretty rude and uninformed. I am sure he dint new the names of the celebrities or ever read the questions before he climbed on the stage. He need to do his homework.
SITM guys , u must rethink on whether you want to continue with him.

Altogether it was a good show. I enjoyed being a audience there, hope to see more such quizzes around.


Nikhlesh Agrawal said...

Hey Harsh and Arnab,

Was it necessary for both of u guys to go to the loo together? A one-by-one approach would have been better, i guess...Until and unless it was so urgent, or is it tht u guys need to help each other in loo...

comeon guys... its no point cribbing about the entire thing if u lost. The Format of the Quiz and the Level of Questions were 10000 times better than the previous time..just goes on to show how these guys have been working and improving things. Its just that u came with a mindset and u just cudnt adjust to the format of the Quiz. U guys are cribbing like kids..

I agree on one thing though- Carson Dalton is rude at times but then Did u mention in ur previous year's "review" the way he screwed the L&T "Couple"...seems u liked it last time since it was u who won..

U say that "Windows95 uh 98" should be given rite... This is a National Level Quiz--not a small time event in small tech schools as urs...U need to be accurate before u answer..just getting the funda doesnt work...

Please learn to appreciate wat has been done in the Quiz. If u think the organization was so bad- then try doing something in ur college... I can bet on it that u cant do anything- not even 1% os what SITM is doing. Companies like Patni and Idea dont sponsor events if they r not worth it...

and i know it would hurt that as Winners 2005, U might not even Qualify for the Main Event next year--bcoz this event is gonna improve...
I happen to be an SITM alumnus...

Harsh said...

I think this should suffice.

niranjan said...



Well said, Brijesh!

niranjan said...

"i ll not use the words like grow up i kno u guys are still undergrads....and SITM ppl are to b blamed for allowin u to participate in the first place....but account was well written where u pointed out all the misarrangements!!!......i wd hv blvd all tht if i were not thr.....the way u guys went runnin frm the stage.....with all the ppl gapin in air waitin 4 u was really a point of mismanagement proven ..u guys should hv been disqualified for goin out widout informin anybody...."

0. i cnnt rd dis "kno, u, ppl, hv, blvd, thr".
1. If one is trying to save on letters, why is one wasting all the dots "...."?
2. And why not msarngmts, msmgmt, dsqlfd, infrmn, ptcpt, ugrds? If one can save some vowels, we can always ship them a place like Croatia. They really need them there. Remember Prso and Srna?

Harsh said...

I am simply ROTFLMAO, Niranjan!

I had simply given up trying to answer these loony Nazi comments..Thanks a lot!

Nikhlesh Agrawal said...

hahaha... The last one was good harsh...u actually have a good sense of humor

Anonymous said...


Telecom GrandMasters Quiz
Harsh Ketkar and Arnab Pal of VIT won the Telecom GrandMasters Quiz organised by Symbiosis Institute of Telecom Management on 5th Aug 2005. Here's what Harsh has to say:

Telecom GrandMasters Quiz was a national level Business quiz, with over 600 participants taking part, corporates and students alike, in the written eliminations round. Five teams were selected; two corporate teams and three student teams. The corporate teams were from Computer Associates, Bangalore; and from Avaya Software, Pune. The other student teams were ICFAI Business School, Hyderabad; and Symbiosis Institute of Management Studies, Pune. Our team from VIT was the only undergraduate and engineering college team.

The questions were mostly easy. Some were repeated, but the easy nature was compensated for by the buzzer and rapid-fire rounds. I'd give it a 6/10 on the toughness level. Plus there was a crossword round, and a gambling round, where you had to play for 10 or 20 points, and lose 5 or 10 for the wrong answer. At least two rounds had negative marking. We fared a bit badly in the logo round, and the B-school blokes were good at that. But the others were okay. We managed to lead all the way through, in the end the difference between us and the number two team narrowed down to 25 points, from a peak of around 50 points.

One more thing: those SITM guys pamper you like as if you are competing for a gold medal at the Olympics. We were kept in a VIP room just before the quiz, served water, and a volunteer took care of our baggage. On stage, there was a bottle of Aquafina, two glasses, and a bowl full of toffees. After the quiz, they had arranged for snacks; chicken sandwiches, pastries (Pineapple and Black Forest), coffee, tea, wafers and cheese sandwiches. One hell of an ego massage!

Harsh Ketkar

Anonymous said...

Quite by chance i stumbled upon this blog... and and was happy to note the popularity of TGM..Thanks Harsh for the feedback. Am gonna watch out for u at the next quiz i host..hahhahahha