The 5th Annual Q8OQ-2018 sees fantastic participation

The Alumni Association of India’s Premium Institutions, IITs & IIMs, organized its spectacular annual Kuwait open quiz program (QOQ-2018) for the fifth year running on 30 November at the grand Cambridge School Auditorium in Mangaf, Kuwait. IIT IIM Alumni Association organized the event in collaboration with their associate partner, IBPC, Kuwait, who has been a part of the endeavor for the last two years.  M/s KGL was the event partner for this Year.

The uniqueness of this event is, it is open to all irrespective of age, nationality, qualification, gender or profession and the entry is free to everyone. The quiz was conducted by the very renowned globetrotting quizmaster and an alumnus of Harvard Business School, Giri Balasubramaniam from India, popularly known across the world as ‘Pickbrain’.

The event proceedings began by the young compere Miss Astha, welcoming all the dignitaries, members of IIT-IIM and IBPC, the Contestants and all the spectators. She invited the Quiz Master, Mr. Giri Balasubramaniam to take over the proceedings. Giri then gave a brief on the format and salient features of the competition format as well as the program.

The contest comprised of three levels – Written Prelims, Semi-finals and Grand Finale. Earlier, schools conducted their intra school qualifying tests, before forwarding their best teams to the event day prelims. Open teams joined directly into the written prelims, unlike the school kids. Every team consisted of three contestants. Initially, all the teams went through a qualifying round of tough 20 common questions. Top six finishing teams each from schools and open category competed in two separate semifinals. The top three teams from each semifinals went into grand finals.

The inaugural 2014 as well as the subsequent four years from 2015 to 2018 events were resounding successes with more than 100 teams (3 members a side) from different nationalities, age groups, professions and schools participating for the Crown. A Quiz contest questions and determines a person’s ability to quickly provide the correct answer from ones’ repository of knowledge matched equally by unlimited imagination and zest.  This year the program has reached new scales of test, crossing the high bar set last year with the enthusiastic participation of over 100 quiz admirers from all walks of life, sizes, ages, gender, nationalities including many ankle biters. The quizmaster too was an exception, with his distinctive style of high quality quizzing, great sense of humor, impromptu quick wit and affable personality. The quiz participants and the avid enthusiastic audience were enthralled with a great range of interesting questions posed.

Once the written test was completed, while the answer papers were being corrected, the audiences consisting of teachers, dignitaries, contestants, members of IIT-IIM Alumni association, Indian Business and Professional Council, Kuwait, school children, families eand others were kept busy by the highly gifted, much admired local quizzer of the IIT-IIM Alumni Core Team, Mr. Calai. He conducted an equally engrossing and challenging multiple rounds of quizzing, open to all the audience. This has kept the audience attention and interest at the highest level as there were many fabulous spot prizes at stake. Many well-informed and enthusiastic passionate quizzers in the audience got several valuable prizes. They returned home feeling proud, cheerful and happy with something to cherish and etched into their memory lane landscape.

Mr. Bhasin, President of IBPC, spoke on the importance of knowledge pursuit competitions like quiz, and congratulated all the persons from the school kids and the young at heart adults for having come enthusiastically to participate, enjoy or just to cheer.  He said their organization is proud and happy to be associated with this prestigious event and the brand IIT-IIM for the second year in a row and promised to extend their support in future to encourage all, especially the children, to inculcate the knowledge quest.  He urged all those present to associate with their organization by joining it, which mainly promotes the bilateral trade between the two great friendly nations, India and Kuwait.

The semi-finals and main grand finale event began after the felicitations of the honorable guests and co-hosts. Peeyush Jain, the President of the IIT-IIM Alumni Association thanked the Star Quiz master, Mr. Giri the Pickbrain and the dignitaries and distinguished guests who graced the occasion making it a grand success. He expressed his gratitude to all those who whole-heartedly supported the association like the event partners Indian Business and Professional Council, Kuwait (IBPC), who stood by IIT-IIM Alumni in organizing this event as the associate partner. It was well represented by the large presence of their members led by the current Chairman, Bhasin, and Vice President, and Anant Kapadia. The IIT-IIM Association also felicitated, both of them who continue to be a great motivators and ardent supporters of the association’s proceedings, be it music or any other literary event. He further thanked KGL, the event partner for Q8OQ-2018. He felicitated Mahesh (KGL CFO) for always been willing to support such CSR events for the society.

The IIT-IIM Alumni Association President Peeyush Jain along with HE The Indian Ambassador to Kuwait, Mr. Jeeva Sagar felicitated the quizmaster Mr. Giri Balasubramaniam and his deputy Mr. Vishnu Rao.

The President, Peeyush Jain, thanked the Chief Guest, the Indian Ambassador to Kuwait, H.E. Jeeva Sagar, for gracing the occasion. He thanked and felicitated all the sponsors by presenting with mementos to Bhasin and Anant Kapadia of IBPC, Mahesh Krishnan of KGL, the Event Partners, Rajul of Al Shaya Group (received by Calai on his behalf), Petrofac, Gulf Cryo, Nitin Sanghvi of ATC – Advanced Technology Company, Ajay Goel of City Centre, Bhasin of Bhasin Sports & Uniforms, Growmore (Mr. Shailendra), Zahid Kalolwala of Oman Exchange Co. W.L.L and AK Modern.

The IIT-IIM Alumni Association President expressed his sincere thanks to the Principals of the participating schools. The association also recognized some personalities who have devoted themselves in providing a good education system in Kuwait. Anju Dhiman, Principal of FAIPS, Asha Sharma, Principal of Learners Own Academy, Dr. Shantha Maria James, Principal of Indian Central School, Anis Ahmad, Director Salmiya Indian Model School, Dr. Binumon, Principal and Senior Administrator, Indian Community School (Seniors), and Malaji Moosa Koya, Director, India International School were felicitated by the Indian Ambassador Jeeva Sagar.

The Quizmaster for the event was Giri Balasubramaniam, popularly known as Pickbrain is a world-renowned leading quizmaster, seen every weekend on several Indian television channels hosting quiz shows. He has presented close to 2000 shows across 92 destinations in India, Singapore, Sri-Lanka, Japan, Kuwait, Middle East, UK and USA. Giri is known for his distinctive techno savvy style of quizzing, sense of humor coupled with great flair and approachable easy nature, which has earned him several accolades. Tata Crucible Business Quiz for Colleges & Corporates, TCS IT WIZ quiz for Schools, Reserve Bank of  India IQ quiz, Times of  Oman Quiz are some of the most popular shows hosted by Giri. He began his career as a media sales executive in 1992. In the year 2000, he quit a division of Walt Disney

india Pvt. Ltd to pursue his passion for quizzing as a profession. Now, he heads Greycaps India Pvt. Ltd, India’s largest onstage quiz Company, headquartered in Bangalore.

He is also a very popular author and creator of several knowledge based books and architect of designing educational programs for schools across India. A popular speaker, educator, motivator and youth mentor who is regularly invited to deliver Keynotes or as a guest of honor at various educational institutions. He received several prestigious awards and he holds seven Limca records for quizzing. He is an alumnus of the iconic elite Harvard University and also holds a Master’s degree on the Gandhian Philosophy.

The quiz was of very high quality, with great range of cryptic questions drawn from different fields of arts, science, sports, politics, fiction etc. from medieval to modern ages, and needless to say the competition was very stiff.  Pickbrain in between kept the audience glued with his very interesting and fascinating audience questions, as many prizes were open to them as well.

This year winners were the top team from DPS FAIPS, participated under the team name “TRIADS”, represented by three brilliant kids, Aishwarya Shaji, Aaron John and Sharath Menon who were simply superb throughout the contest. They topped both the prelims and finals with cool calmness combined with spotless star performance outwitting everyone on and off the buzzer. They were the well-deserved true winners in every sense of competence metrics as they held their cool by playing a safe waiting game and intelligently avoiding falling into a Hobbesian trap, especially on the last tie-breaker question.

The top two were deadlocked at 85 score and in order to break it were taken to a sudden death tiebreaker question. The auditorium experienced all through the finals between these two top teams a 20-20 cricket match. The runner up team, QUIZTELMATH, represented by Ramu Menon, Ramesh Athreya and Sanjay Samuel gave the winners a run for their money until the very last second as they were just edged themselves out on the tiebreaker question which they answered believing it to be their whizzy moment and a strategic preemptive strike to the top honors. Then comes the climax. The quizmaster, in his true dramatic fashion, repeated the answer in a non-committal inquiry, followed by his endless spirals of silence and raising the expectations of the audience, and the two top teams and tricking them to believing that it is all over for the team TRIADS. Triads were seen crestfallen while the QUIZTELMATH were jousting up and down in their seats hugging each other while the audience clapped thunderously. When the climax reached the zenith, the quizzing guru, “Giri the great grill shocker” stepped in revealing the moment of truth while thoroughly enjoying the fact how he tricked everyone and announced that the QUIZTELMATH should take a walk as the winners of the evening are TRIADS, shocking one and all into deafening silence except the winners. This intense moment is the reason why IIT-IIM alumni bring Giri every year to conduct the Quiz, as he is superbly entertaining.

DPS FAIPS were closely followed by their fellow schoolmates named Inquizives in 3rd place represented by Kurian Thomas, Aditya Kashyap and Sharon Maria Thomas. Two teams from Gulf Indian School were placed 4 and 5th while another open team, Q8QZQIDS occupied 6th position.  These brave hearts challenged top three teams through prelims and semi-finals to reach the finals. To be in the top six in itself, is a worthy achievement, and the organizers duly rewarded them as well with prizes.

This year too, the quality and the value of prizes was raised substantially higher to attract the best lot of the talent among the competing teams. The Principals of DPS and GIS, Anju Dhiman and Shyamala Diwakaran, respectively, were made to feel proud by the achievements of their wards.

President Peeyush Jain thanked caterers M/s Winners, all the participating teams, Principals, teachers and coordinators, all the contestants and the audience. He welcomes all to be a part of this event in coming years too. Vote of thanks was followed by the Prize distribution.

IIT IIM Alumni Association in Kuwait and its Core Team, thanks Pickbrain, Chief Guest HE Mr. Jeeva Sagar, Indian ambassador to Kuwait, other dignitaries, Mr. Vishnu Rao (Pickbrain’s assistant), all the quiz contest participants, teachers, parents, volunteers (Astha, Anish, Jasmin, Fritzie, Suzzette, Akram, Binoy, George, Ajay), Ms. Jasmin for providing all artwork and lovely designs for the event, and all the concerned who have contributed in making the event an enjoyable and extremely invigorating quizzing experience!

The Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) and The Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) are globally renowned premier Indian institutions of higher education in the fields of Engineering Technology and Management, respectively. The association can be reached at or the official website

The IIT IIM Alumni Association in Kuwait is an association of alumni of the premier Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) and the Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs), registered as a professional association with the Embassy of India in Kuwait, the association functions under the auspices of the Honorable Ambassador of India to Kuwait as its Patron. The Association represents a vast blend of talent and experience from very senior executives to the high energy of youngsters who have just embarked on their professional journeys.

It is the aim of IIT-IIM Alumni association to promote the knowledge quest, high quality competitive spirit and expose the residents of Kuwait especially the young students to take a path of knowledge seeking and in the process improve themselves and the society around them. With this noble high aim, the Association conducts this Annual Quiz Event, which is its signature event.