The Great Indian B School Debate 2014 has finally reached its conclusion. Team Lucy in the Sky With Power Points from IIM Trichy (Venkat Iyer and Bhanu P) has won the competition. We congratulate IIM Trichy for coming out on top on what was the culmination of one grueling debating tournament, with multiple rounds of battles and arguments with well-matched opponents. Team Twisted Minds from IIM Lucknow (Swati Thakur and Reshal Jain) thrilled audiences during the earlier rounds with the lucidity and creativity of their arguments, but ultimately fell short in the final round. IIM Lucknow are the defending champions of the Great Indian B School Debate, and they will now pass on the baton to IIM Trichy.
A brief chronology of the Great Indian B school Debate 2014 is given below.
The competition was thrown open to all B schools this year, and the first round was an elimination round, where teams had to refute any of the articles previously published on InsideIIM. Some of the most frequently and vociferously refuted articles include - Things you won't learn in an MBA and In 2014, You can't be an effective manager without being comfortable with numbers.
With more than 30 teams, sending us more than 60 rebuttals to earlier articles on InsideIIM, we had our hands full whittling down the teams to a shorter list. We managed to do that and brought down the list of teams to 12 (2 teams from IIM Trichy, and one from IIM Ranchi, IIFT Delhi, MDI Gurgaon, Delhi School of Economics, IIM Calcutta, IIM Bangalore, IIM Lucknow, XLRI Jamshedpur, IIT Kanpur and IIT Kharagpur).
In the second round, the each of the twelve teams was in battle against a selected opponent - drawn by lots - therefore there were six match-ups between the twelve teams. The topic for each battle was given to the two competing teams, and one of them was assigned to speak in favour of the motion, while the other was assigned to speak against the motion. After submitting their opening arguments, both teams had to submit their counterpunch - a rebuttal of their opponents arguments. We recommend that readers go through some of the best debates at this stage - including the debate on E-Commerce between IIM Trichy and IIM Ranchi, as well as the debate on capitalism between IIM Lucknow and XLRI Jamshedpur, and the debate on marijuana between IIFT Delhi and MDI Gurgaon.
At this stage, we further culled the list to four semifinalists - IIM Trichy, IIM Lucknow, IIM Ranchi, and IIFT Delhi. We had already made it clear that teams were competing against all their opponents and not just each other, and that's why both IIM Trichy and IIM Ranchi made it to the semis despite taking part in the same debate.
The semifinals were hotly contested. We used a Live Debate format - where both teams would present their opening arguments and then continue the debate in the comments section of the article. The first semifinal - a debate between IIM Trichy and IIM Lucknow on the future of tablet computing, brought very interesting perspectives on the future of this device from both sets of participants. The Live Debate was vigorous and both teams stuck to the topic while arguing their points (read it here). The second semifinal - a debate between IIFT Delhi and IIM Ranchi on whether football would overtake cricket in India - was a slow burner (read it here) and neither team helped its cause by straying from the main topic.
Thus, the finals was a repeat of the semifinal clash between IIM Trichy and the defending champions IIM Lucknow. The topic for the finals was - 'The MBA Degree In India Is Over-Rated'.
Both teams were asked to argue FOR and AGAINST the motion and record their arguments on a youtube video.
IIM Lucknow's arguments can be viewed here
IIM Trichy's arguments can be viewed here
IIM Trichy's arguments were well made and well organized, while IIM Lucknow probably found itself in a hole when the same speaker decided to take up both sides of the argument - that meant that points were taken up in a haphazard manner.
Team Lucy in the Sky with PowerPoints from IIM Trichy (Venkat Iyer and Bhanu P) are hereby declared the winners of the Great Indian B school Debate 2014. They receive a cash prize of Rs 15,000. They also get bragging rights for winning the most grueling B school debating competition in India. IIM Trichy earns the tag of the national champion of the Great Indian B School Debate, for at least one year.
Team Twisted Minds from IIM Lucknow (Swati Thakur and Reshal Jain) are runners up at the Great Indian B School Debate 2014. They receive a cash prize of Rs. 5,000. Hearty congratulations to them as well.