Posted on: October 3, 2012
KIAMS loves Feroze Khan. For the last 18 years, hardly has a batch gone by that has not been a great fan of his. Before you begin to wonder why, we would like to clarify that it is not Feroze Khan the filmstar, but Feroze Khan the super-popular ‘Electrician-turned-canteen owner’ of KIAMS who’s being discussed here.
“I’ve been in KIAMS since 1994,” says Feroze Khan with unmistakable pride. “I live in Harihar itself. Earlier, I was making a living out of fixing electrical equipment someplace outside. I saw the problems that students had, as they had to keep running a long way out of the campus to fix minor problems in their electrical devices; so I opened a shop here. I still remember that day. The students were so happy to see this shop.”
When you’ve lived at a place for 18 years, you naturally develop a keen sense of observation and notice the smallest changes. Feroze Khan has observed a marked difference in the attitude, expectations and evolution in both the students and faculty of KIAMS over a period of time.
“Back in the ‘90s, communication was a major issue for students. So I created an STD booth next to my shop, so that students could make telephone calls. With time, mobile phones and computers came in and changed our lives, so I also changed my shop accordingly. Earlier, it was just an STD booth; today I sell mobile and SIM-cards of all companies and other basic goods, including groceries.”
Clearly, Feroze could have ‘adaptability’ as his middle name. Some students seek him out for marketing tips on their projects; others give him marketing tips on taking his shop to the next level. He gauges the demand – and the mood – of his customers, and sells and stocks accordingly. Students share their class-room experiences and learning with him, and he applies the same learning on them. It works almost every time! He enjoys being teased by students, as much as he enjoys teasing them back. Some ask him for phone numbers of distributors and companies, and even seek him out for brand knowledge for their assignments. Over almost two decades, his opinion has been sought on the practical application of basic to advanced aspects of management; Feroze has always been more than willing to share information. In short, Feroze Khan is pretty much the ‘Man Friday’ or the ‘Go-To’ man for KIAMS.
“It’s my native place. This is where I belong and I love it here. So many families now depend on this KIAMS campus for livelihood and profits. Students from all over India land up in KIAMS and, sooner or later, at my shop. I gain so much from them and their culture.”
It is well known that the alumni of KIAMS may forget many things about life in KIAMS, but they never forget Feroze Khan. “Whenever Ex-students visit KIAMS they come and meet me. Everyone remembers me and that is my greatest reward.”