The National Student Management Games “Chanakya” is a business simulation conducted by AIMA-All India Management Association every year for Management Students. Everything below is the result of my 2 years of experience playing this amazing game.
What is Chanakya ?
Chanakya simulates a business environment for the students so that they can compete and learn about real life business strategies and how forces work in a complex economy. At the start of the game, there are 8-11 teams in a group which are allotted team numbers. Teams play for 4-5 quarters typically, beginning from quarter 0 . The team with the highest cumulated profit per share wins. There can also be a trial quarter if it’s the beginning of the game. The teams are given a case study which could be of a product manufacturing / service providing firm or both. In the case all details regarding the company is mentioned. viz. Market Position, Market Share, Products, Services, Philosophy behind the companies, situations prevalent in the chanakayan economy etc..
Apart from general information, financial statements of the company are provided which lists the Income, expenses, assets & liabilities of the company. With this a report of current and forecasted market share, opening and closing stock of raw materials, composition of various products and the ratio of raw materials requited to produce one unit, packaging, warehousing, selling & distribution, marketing and other costs are included.
In the game !
Initially the teams play with one or two products and gradually as quarters roll on, teams are given options to launch new products. They are provided with sector, market and other company updates with the quarter’s result and standing alongside other teams.
Teams have to calculate the exact amount of raw material to be ordered for each product, which is dependent on future market predictions, current closing stock of raw materials and finished goods, details about the product, previous quarter raw material purchase(qty. restrictions). Apart from this, other decision like product launching, pricing strategy, branding strategy, investments, loans etc. have to be managed by the teams. The worst condition a team can go through is getting eaten up by a shark ! Shark loan as they call is 4 times the PLR. Normally Chanakyan PLR is 10% which means shark loan is 40%. Shark loan is applied on the amount deficit from the minimum cash balance requirement.
Chanakya is an extremely complicated but logically sound program that uses random numbers to simulate market environments and internal conditions for the teams. There is no particular strategy to win except sticking to the basics and calculating each and every unit, every rupee to the dot. Using excel or any other statistical software for calculating raw material requirements, warehousing costs, packaging costs and projected cash flows is extremely useful.
The decisions regarding products launches have to be well calculated and timed. Remember you win on cumulative profits and selling to a niche market at high costs may not be a great strategy in the long run. A little bit of early aggression helps and may lead you through till the final battle. Investments in TQM- Total Quality Management, R&D , Vendor Development, Worker Training and even fixed deposits always pays off. Timely decisions pay off quite well. If you are going to play this game in the near future, put all basic economics and accounts to test. Take risks and feel that it’s now or never.
Enjoy the feeling of the simulation and be a part of it thoroughly.
Arpan Samuel Ramtek