First of all, congratulations Arpit on being the national winner and also for representing the country on an international platform. Tell us how did it all start?
Thank you. To be frank, on the launch date this competition seemed a bit too much for me and my teammate Harsh as well, as we were exhausted from another case study event in the morning on the same day and it was only Abhijeet’s determination and zeal to participate that we decided to give it a shot. The structure of the event was simple enough - it had 4 rounds of Q&A related to the detailed case study given and the different scenarios which were stated in there.
But even before we could get to any of that, we were logged out of the system due to technical issues and we're about to get disqualified from the event with no mistake from our end. So, we requested to be allowed to login again but there was no technical fix available. Hence, we were sitting there in the classroom with nothing to do but watch others continuing with the process. About 45 minutes later, we were asked to re-register and start the competition. But we had to complete the entire thing within next 50 minutes as no extra time was given for the lost hour - so no scope for overthinking.
Finally, when the results were announced, we had a score of 569 which was the highest in the room we were in and as it turned out later, the highest in the entire campus as well. "Team Stalwarts" had won. Needless to say, we were very happy and I could personally describe that day as one of the most important days in the college.
How different was the National round?
Quite different. We were informed by the HR that the national round would be held around February end. We received another case study related to the Gillette brand on Friday evening and had to present the same on Monday. That weekend, we worked day and night.
On Monday, we were the last team to reach the venue as we were still finalising our presentation and making some last-minute changes. All the CXOs of P&G India were present there along with teams from all the top colleges - IIM A, B, C, L, XLRI, SP Jain and JBIMS. We knew that even though our chances of winning were really slim, it was a great opportunity to present in front of that esteemed audience. On lucky draw basis, we were presenting as the 6th team.
It went better than we expected and we also managed to give satisfactory answers in the Q&A session that followed. Nearly 15 mins later, we were called again for the results and the CEO India, Al Rajwani, gave some feedbacks on all the presentations in general and what he expected from us. He then announced the runner up team - SP Jain and the winner - NITIE. We were so overwhelmed that I could barely speak but Abhijeet thanked P&G for the fantastic journey we have had in the competition.
And finally, tell us about the experience of the International trip?
The International round was scheduled for May, a time where all of us would be in the middle of our internships. We talked to the organising HRs about the situation and they were very accommodative to schedule the event during 29th April to 2 May so that we had to take only 1 day leave from our internships. The entire trip was really well organised, from travel to hotel, every small detail of the transportation. We reached Egypt on the evening of April 29th and had our dinner with the Head HR there along with the teams from other countries, Morocco and Egypt. The team from Dubai could not come for the competition due to some issues. Next day they planned the entire trip around Cairo, where they took us to The Giza Pyramids, The Phoenix and the Government Authorized Scent shop where there were around 50 different types of scent for various purposes. By the evening, we reached P&G office and were given Addition data regarding the same case given in the National round. We even had the opportunity to interact with the Brand Manager of Gillette. Next day, our presentations were scheduled post lunch. After the presentations were done, the brand Manager himself gave us individual feedback about our solutions and the declared Egypt Team as the winner. We went to a great sea-food restaurant for dinner, before catching a late-night flight to India.