As Eleanor Roosevelt beautifully put it across, “The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for a newer and richer experience.”
Every day, I wake up from bed thinking I have to make the most out of today. But life is not easy. Just as the rose has thorns, life has pitfalls. But one should remember that every pitfall is a step towards a new awakening. So has been my MBA life at SIBM, Pune. The second year of college was keeping me busy with corporate case study competitions where we are required to look for breakthrough business ideas and solutions which will take the company’s products or services to newer heights. Everybody was busy in cracking one case or the other and even I geared up with all might and main.
Case study competitions are not just about brainstorming about the ideas; rather it encompasses a lot of other facets like coordination, teamwork, networking, research and information gathering which can take the idea forward. The presentation should go exactly in a manner that has been predetermined and practiced multiple times so as to put forward our point in every second of the pitch. Also, the solution should align with the thought process that the company is looking for.
My journey with RPG Blizzard began as a wild card entry. It felt like I was shooting in the dark, as only one team had to be selected without any campus round. But there was something that struck a chord with me from the moment the competition was launched in the campus. Perhaps, it was the idea of ‘Happily Unconventional’ that the company follows. The moment I heard it, my mind started to work towards it and I was determined to give my best to win this competition. We formed a team, registered for the competition, chose one case among seven challenging case studies after much deliberation and effectively analyzing all of them closely. Finally, after zeroing in on one case, we committed ourselves, put our utmost effort and submitted our ideas in a week full of persistent hard work and passion.
With eagerness and curiosity about the results, just like a patient farmer waiting for its crop to yield, we used to check the company’s page ‘RPG Campus Connect’ numerous times a day. After a month, we were filled with joy and thrill that our hard work had paid off and we have been shortlisted.
This was the start of a new journey for us. The second-round case was even tougher than we had anticipated. This fuelled up our efforts to give in more than what we did the last time. This time it required us straight away to think from the point of view of the top management and to outperform the current situation for two companies under the RPG Group. The challenge was wrought with challenges such as lack of information available in the public domain, no prior knowledge or experience of the sector and also various events and academic activities clashing with our schedule in the college. Nevertheless, we put in all our blood, sweat and tears into it, approached it to step by step in a structured manner and researched in as much depth as possible to make it S.M.A.R.T
This time, though the teams were less in number but the competition was even intense as we were competing with the best of the best minds of the country. Surprisingly, the result was declared the very same day and Lo and behold! We had made it to the Finale! This was one of the most euphoric moments for us on this journey as learning from our previous mistakes had made us wiser and our learnings had borne sweet fruits.
Now was the time to present our solution to the heads of the businesses in detail.
This was not going to be a cakewalk but we were equipped well. This year the competition was based on the Marvel Cinematic Universe theme built around superheroes, and we were representing Guardians of Galaxy among other houses such as Spider-Man, Iron Man and Captain America. Finally, the D-day arrived: 29th November! We were called in the morning in the RPG House and we waited in the ‘Locker Room’ which had all the fancy pieces of stuff. Right from Sachin Tendulkar’s T-shirt to Mary Kom’s dress to Muhammad Ali’s gloves, we felt as if we had gone back in time and are watching these players perform live.
But this was not it as then came the makeup artists who helped us wear the Marvel costumes so that we were all prepared. Not only us, but even the judges were dressed in sync with the theme. There were a few members of the company who entirely replicated the characters from Marvel right from Dr. Strange to Wolverine, to Gamora and even Thanos. The entire hall was decorated keeping in mind the theme and we felt that instead of Earth, we were suddenly transported to a different galaxy.
We performed to the best of the abilities while letting each moment of this huge event sink in us. We wanted to live every second which kept telling us that hard work never goes unrewarded. When the results were announced, we were not the winner of the competition but certainly, we won a few other things. As they say, “Success is a journey, not a destination.” The experience was fantastic and the individual feedback by the judges became lessons for a lifetime. The day ended with a grand and scrumptious dinner that was arranged by the RPG team and we had the pleasure of rubbing shoulders with the top stalwarts of the company which in itself was a huge opportunity for an MBA student like me, who aspires to become one of them or maybe the first one of my kind, embarking on the path self-created. The blend of experiences I got from here will be my Launchpad into a place that will help me grow.