- Developing an in-depth understanding of the problem
- Coming up with a solution revolving around these key parameters
- Feasibility of implementation
- Focus on innovative and disruptive solutions backed by scientific rigor
- Scalability in terms of implementation
- Availability/access to a pilot test/example pertaining to the context of the case
Let us have a look at each of these aspects in detail.
Developing an in-depth understanding of the problem :
Having a clear and in-depth understanding of the problem is the first and foremost step. The strategy that helped us understand the problem in detail was to not just restrict ourselves to the details given in the case, but instead, take it a step further by reaching out to the respective stakeholders in the organization. The insights gained helped us immensely in understanding the existing systems/processes in place and in narrowing down the problem to key areas that we could target to come up with a solution.
It is almost a survival instinct that triggers people to research about any case study competition mainly on Google but our team’s go-to research medium was the Annual Report of Asian Paints. The reasons for these are multi-layered.
- Authenticity – Since the content of the annual report is regulated by SEBI, the numbers would be authentic and would give a glimpse of how various entities of the organization have an impact on the P&L of the company.
- Language – The annual report of the company would speak the language of the organization. This would help connect better with the panel.
- Leadership Talks on Social Media – CEO statements and news reports on the past year’s performance and plans for the future helped us align our line of thinking to the future plans and strategies of Asian Paints. Our solution rested heavily on adding value to the plans of Asian Paints which also adds weightage as far as the implementation and adoption phase of the solution is concerned.
- Values of the organization – Asian Paints' annual report calls out the values we live by. The value pillars of Asian paints - Creative Zeal, Audacity, Standing for Each Other’s Success, Integrity, Scientific Rigor, and Customer Passion were as good as cheat codes for our case study strategy.
Reaching out to key stakeholders to understand the problem in detail and thorough research provided us with a solid base to generate ideas that were aligned to the overall objective of solving the problem.
Coming up with a solution :
While we brainstormed ideas, we made sure to touch upon the factors of feasibility, innovation, disruption, and scalability. While we wanted our solution to be innovative and disruptive, we did not want to overhaul the system/process that is already in place. This took care of the two other aspects of the solution: feasibility and scalability. Having a scientific backing in terms of research papers/annual reports also helped us validate that our solution is implementable and that it adds value to the existing systems in place.
Once we had a few solutions in place, to check their feasibility and acceptance we took it to the customers/target audience and gauged the acceptance levels. The idea is to execute the solution by running a pilot or showcasing an example, thus providing tangible proof of your concept. This can include contacting companies for estimates, implementing ideas using mock-ups and selling through social channels, or creating video samples of your idea and testing with respective demographics for requirement and acceptance.
Last but most importantly, teamwork is something that is understated. Having a great team with complementary skill sets, with each of us pushing our boundaries helped us in winning the competition amongst a peer group of some of the best brains in the country.
However, the best part of any case study competition is the journey. While you would definitely want to win, the idea is to enjoy the experience because that would create memories and learnings for a lifetime!