There are all kinds of stock exchanges in the world, which trade millions of dollars worth of entities every day. They largely control the money markets and price fluidity in an integrated global economy. However, in an innovative contribution to the E-week, Siri Kalluri, a fourth-year engineering student of the Vasavi College of Engineering, Hyderabad, conceptualised an exchange for innovative events which are part of the college’s e-week schedule.
The college E-cell Swayam found the idea interesting. Its members developed it further with Kalluri and created a Swayam index with a maximum value of 10,000 in rupee terms. They issued a virtual currency of a maximum of Rs 500 to 50 students of the college. They were asked to invest in five formal and 12 informal events during the E-week, where the crowd participation became the bottom-line of each event. The student whose prediction of the number of participants comes closest to the actual number who attend it gets to take the investment of the rest of the investors.
This process has multiple advantages, which can be used both by the innovative students as well as the faculty and even other people in the event management industry. First, this index invokes active student participation even among those students who otherwise are not directly participating in E-week events. When the data is collated, organisers can easily announce the ‘richest’ investor in the college who predicted the trends of events accurately. Second, it tells the E-cell how far they have been successful in creating a buzz around the events. A perfect score of 10,000 for the index can indicate the popularity of the E-week. They can also find out which events attracted better response from the investors, thus setting the agenda for future events. And, third, if the concept is further fine-tuned and extended to everyone in the audience, the way an open stock exchange works, it can be a better indicator of the popularity. This can tell the faculty, other organisers and the industry that an index of popularity of such events can be developed with virtual currency.
The Swayam team wants to add more features to the index to take it closer to the functioning of an exchange where real money is traded.