Backwaters (management festival)

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Backwaters is the annual national management festival organized by the Indian Institute of Management, Kozhikode. It represents a confluence point for management students in India as corporate honchos and academicians adjudicate over events dealing with leading burning issues. Competitive events range across marketing, finance, operations, strategy, systems, human resources, social responsibility and entrepreneurship. Backwaters is organized by the various student committees of IIM Kozhikode like EPS, Pro-lit cult etc. Backwaters over the years has been associated with a core idea, and the current edition, Backwaters'18 is themed Disruptive Diversity.

Annual Management Festival[edit]

Backwaters, the annual management festival takes place towards the end of every year. Each year, it attracts participants from all across India besides business leaders representing diverse business sectors. The festival is held over three days and features close to twenty events in addition to a few flagship events. Backwaters also attracts significant corporate participation in most of its events besides providing a separate platform in the form of Horizons - The Management Conclave.[1] This speaker series sees corporates from India Inc. enlightening the IIMK fraternity with their insights on contemporary issues.



Backwaters attracts over 3000 students from over the top 50 management schools in India.[2] Participating institutes include Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad, Indian Institute of Management Bangalore, and Indian Institute of Management Calcutta. Backwaters also holds a plethora of workshops for school students, graduates, and working professionals seeking out the various facets of management education.


Horizons- The Management Conclave organised during Backwaters has come to serve as a platform for leaders - past, present and future - to discuss and debate issues relevant to the prevailing times. Earlier editions have seen several esteemed speakers gracing the event such as Dr.A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, Mr.Kiran Karnik, Prof. C. K. Prahalad, Mr. Rajdeep Sardesai, and Dr. Chandan Mitra among others.

Backwaters v2.10[edit]

Backwaters v2.10 is to be held from 19–21 November 2010. Backwaters v2.10 will focus on India and discovering the difference with events and talks on the three days lined up along the lines of Revive, Redeem and Reaffirm. Revive will look back at India's glorious heritage; Redeem will focus on India's brand equity in the global economy, and Reaffirm will attempt to look into the future and chart out India's growth trajectory.

Flagship Events[edit]

White Knight[edit]

White Knight is the B-Plan contest held as a part of Backwaters.[3] One of the key flagship programs in Backwaters, White Knight has a social angle to it which has resulted in small-scale ideas being presented over the years. Backwaters v2.10 has seen White Knight being opened up to working professionals as well.[4]


Bizzathalon is the flagship Corporate Quiz of Backwaters which is being held for the very first time. Open to working professionals, Bizzathalon as part of Backwaters v2.10 is being conducted by renowned quizmaster, Mr. Avinash Mudaliar.


Labyrinth is the online treasure hunt event of Backwaters. With over 3 million hits in its previous avatar, Labyrinth is one of the most eagerly anticipated treasure hunt contests in the country. By having multiple paths to the final destination, Labyrinth introduces loops, dead ends and turnarounds to turn the sequential puzzle into a complex maze.


The hunt for the next CEO as it is known, Avatar is the search for the individual with skill-sets needed to run an organisation successfully. In this event, chosen participants will be tested over 3 days on various business aspects and the winner declared the Avatar.


Konsulenti is the flagship strategy contest of Backwaters in which participants tackle a real-world scenario and chart out a path for the selected organisation. The problems given as a part of Konsulenti generally represent actual problems being faced by organisations.



There are a number of marketing events spread over the three days at Backwaters. Main among them include Trilogy, Survivor, and Maul the Mall. These events test most facets of product and brand placement with focus on social media and customer-centric marketing.


The Operations events at Backwaters are veered towards testing the ability of participants to manage the day-to-day logistics of an organisation and the impact of such decisions through events like Chain Reaction and Optimizer.


The events in the Finance vertical at Backwaters are generally held on simulated trading platforms reflective of the working of the world financial markets. They contain a spread of events testing quantitative aptitude alongside sector specific nous.


The thrust in systems' events in Backwaters is on making the right technology calls when put in charge of organisations whose core competency may not necessarily be technology with special emphasis on project planning and scheduling


Strategy events in Backwaters focus on decision-making with associated short-term and long-term impacts quantified. The emphasis is on pulling a fast one on your competitors through events like Beat the Market and C-Strat.

Human Resources[edit]

The time-tested principle of an organisation being made by its people is what the HR events in Backwaters try to test. Negotiations and team-building skills are brought to the fore in events like Boot Kamp.


The student run Backwaters Committee is in charge of conceptualising the festival, external and internal branding, and corporate sponsorship and support. The Industry Interaction Cell is in charge of Horizons- The Management Conclave which is held along the lines of the core theme of Backwaters. Various other student bodies and interest groups assist in the design of the individual events held along various verticals


Backwaters is funded primarily by corporate partnerships and sponsorships along with significant assistance from the institute

Social responsibility[edit]

Backwaters has been associated with various social pursuits in the past. The Social Services Group of IIM Kozhikode took the initiative in organising the Calicut Mini Marathon.[5] It has regularly partnered with PETA in its endeavour to prevent cruelty against animals.


  1. ^ "IIM Kozhikode - Horizons 2011". Archived from the original on 24 October 2011. Retrieved 24 October 2010.
  2. ^ "About Backwaters - IIM Kozhikode". Archived from the original on 20 October 2010. Retrieved 24 October 2010.
  3. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 19 September 2010. Retrieved 1 June 2019.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  4. ^
  5. ^ "IIM, Kozhikode Successfully Organizes Calicut Mini Marathon". Retrieved 24 October 2010.

External links[edit]