Solstice 2016 - A Grand Homecoming

Solstice 2016 — a truly unforgettable celebration.

Over 900 alumni and their families celebrated Solstice 2016 at ISB, with a mixture of nostalgia, anticipation and high energy. The Hyderabad campus was abuzz with activities from December 16-18. 
The campus welcomed alumni on Friday afternoon, Day 1 of Solstice, with a relaxing sundowner at the amphitheatre, featuring great lounge and house music, delicious food and drinks. The d├ęcor and vibrant atmosphere were reminiscent of an NH7 Weekender event, setting the lively tone of the evening.
The social clubs of Co2017 took over the stage and put up fabulous performances one after the other. The Theatre Club put up an ISB-themed version of the Mahabharata that had the crowd in splits. The Stand-up Comedy Club of Co2017 opened for the star performer of the night, comedian Kenny Sebastian, who took the madness up a few notches, leaving the crowds demanding an encore.


The Dance Club of Co2017 set the stage on fire with power-packed performances by five groups presenting different dance forms — from lyrical hip-hop to classical, bhangra, salsa and Bollywood. Finally, alums were treated to a special whacking performance by Prerana Nepali of India’s Got Talent fame, who gave them a glimpse of what she had in store for them at the workshop she was set to conduct the following day. Day 1 closed with a big bang at the ‘08 lounge with a high-tempo performance by international DJ duo Lost Stories. The DJs created an experience on par with any international EDM concert, and the live food and bar counters gave the revellers a chance to refuel anytime they wished.
On Day 2, as per Solstice tradition, there were academic sessions and interactions with faculty during the day. A huge spread was laid out for lunch at the atrium, which became a hot location for bumping into old friends and networking over the three days.
Day 2 began with a memorial tree plantation ceremony to remember and pray for ISB alumni who had passed away in recent years. During the day, alumni, right from the Founding Class to the Class of 2016 had formal discussions with the School's leadership. There was a special Back-to-Class session for the Founding Class with former Dean of INSEAD and Kellogg School of Management, Professor Dipak Jain. For all the other classes, there was a Back-to-School session with our in-house finance guru, Professor Ramana Sonti, who had an invigorating discussion on demonetisation, what it entailed and its expected impact on the country. 


The ISB Alumni Mini Literature Book Fest was organised by the Alumni Relations team in association with the LRC for the first time at Solstice 2016 with an objective to preserve, promote and foster authors from the ISB community on Day 2. This event provided a common platform for the like-minded to join together in strengthening the ISB author community and to network with one another as well as with budding talents in the field of writing. With more authors from the ISB community expected to come together over their common love of literature and writing, this promises to become a great platform to network with fellow authors, publishing houses and literary agents.

As we all know, Solstice is not just about coming back to School and participating in academic sessions; it is about coming home. To give alumni a chance to relive their ISB days once again in all their glory, special sports tournaments, fun games and dance workshops were held on Day 2 and Day 3.
The alumni fought tooth and nail with Co2017 in several sports and even in the much anticipated Bar Wars—two hours of back-to-back games that pushed participants to their limits while testing their fun quotient. Needless to say, there were huge crowds cheering on the participants at this particular event at the recreation centre.

Over and above the incredible line-up of activities and events, Solstice 2016 was particularly special for us as it coincided with ISB completing 15 years of existence. There was a panel discussion with three academic stalwarts — founding Dean Pramath Sinha, current Dean Raj Srivastava, and Professor Dipak Jain, who discussed their views on ISB’s journey thus far and the possibilities that lie before us as a school of global stature.

Co2017 stepped it up this year with Amit Trivedi as the star performer at the flagship musical night on Day 2 of Solstice 2016. Alums were first treated to a special performance by The Jukebox Project ho proudly opened for Amit Trivedi's troupe. The 18-member group belted out their most popular tunes, from films like Dev D, Udta Punjab, Shaandar and Kai Po Che to Trivedi's famous Coke Studio collaborations. A mammoth crowd of 1,000 ISB students, alumni and professors gathered on the lawns at the recreation centre to enjoy the performance and could be seen swaying to the catchy tunes.


On December 18, our enthusiastic alumni attended a special talk with renowned film actor Aamir Khan and his co-actors from his latest film Dangal. Another huge feat for the organising team was the successful execution of ISB's first-ever, cashless event! Yes indeed, in keeping with the times, Solstice 2016 was absolutely cashless, thanks to our partnership with Zeta.

About the writer:
Sanjana Arora is a PGP Student from the Class of 2017.