The most exciting thing for a b-schooler is to work on real-world problems of one of India’s top federations. And what better way than to do it with case study competitions? Mahindra War Room is a unique opportunity for business school students. In this series of Mahindra Warriors, we feature the 20 teams – the finalists. The ones who have made it to the last leg of the competition. The series comprises of the Warriors’ journey.
Meet the Mahindra Warriors in this series and tell us who do you think has what it takes to win this year’s Mahindra War Room. Let us know in the comments below!
Introduce each member of your team!
Hailing from the scenic state of Uttarakhand, Anshul Mittal is a travel enthusiast who likes to spin stories on the go. He likes to analyse and over-analyse situations, plans, problems and maybe even life. He has idolized elements of the personality of Rahul Dravid, Arsene Wenger, M. S. Dhoni and Dr. Kalam and puts the highest value on application and implementation.
Having completed his Bachelors of Engineering in Civil Engineering from BITS Pilani, he took up his first job with Tata Housing as an Execution and Contracts Engineer. Twenty-Four months and 368 apartments later, he found his calling in Management and enrolled for the two year flagship management programme at XLRI Jamshedpur. Having done his Summer Internship with The Boston Consulting Group, he has developed keen interest in India’s logistics sector. Currently, he is the Senior Investment Executive at the XLRI Students’ Investment Fund and is covering the logistics and warehousing sector.
Due to his passion for his Alma Mater, he has been associated as the Marketing and Communications team of BITS Alumni Association International since 2016. He has been associated with marketing the “BITSian Day” event and “Burn-A-Million-Calories Challenge” over the last two years for the organization across 111 countries.
For his passion for writing, he has also been leading the revival of the annual magazine “The BITSian” as the Editor of the publication over the past two editions.
Raised in a family of defence personnel, passion, commitment and discipline became an integral part of her personality. She continuously seeks multifarious challenges to enhance and diversify her skill-set and her education and career choices are also driven by the same. During her B-tech in Mechanical engineering, she was among the top 10 rankers of her college, headed the sponsorship team, lead SAE Foundation’s “A world in Motion”, and won various competitions at National as well as inter-college level.
She worked as a Design Engineer at Fluor Daniel on some of the world’s biggest refinery projects. Her journey at XLRI has been equally exciting and diverse. As a Tata Administrative Services Intern she worked for Tata Motors in their latest Mobility Services Division and detailed out a pilot project plan for increasing sales of Tata Nexon. She was elected as the Senior Executive member in sponsorship vertical for XLRI’s annual fest team. Specializing in Marketing, she believes in application and implementation of theory in real life problems. She was the Regional finalist for Loreal Brandstorm, First Runners up for ITC Interrobang and Campus finalist for Nestle 4P & American Express Challenge.
Syed Abbas Shaheer
Abbas spent his childhood in the quiet town of Sindri on the border of Jharkhand & West Bengal. Coming from the coal belt of the country, he developed a lot of interest inthe environmental impact of the business. He was an active participant in debate competitions, member of the rotary club & students’ club where he worked on a number of issues ranging from leprosy awareness, social & environmental impact of coal mining, tree plantation drives etc.
Abbas did his engineering in electronics branch from UP technical University where he developed a passion for quizzing. He was a member of college’s quizzing club & has been a winner/finalist in a number of regional & national quizzes like Tata Crucible, AIMA National Student Quiz, inter college quizzes etc
He joined Hindustan Aeronautics Limited as a design engineer for their Mission & Combat systems platform. He was a part of team that developed Smart Cockpit Display System for the Light Utility Helicopter and the Integrated Architecture & Display System for Light Combat Helicopter. He has worked with a number of stakeholders varying from the Indian Air Force to DRDO during helicopter testing & clearance phase.
Post his stint in Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, he joined XLRI in its 2-year Business Management programme. He is a member of the Committee for Public Policy Research where he is working on policy related projects with media outlets & political groups. He did his internship with PricewaterhouseCoppers in their Management consulting division, where he worked on a Cost optimization project for a FMCG client. He developed a keen interest in logistic sector while observing their Post GST network reconfiguration and thus took the decision to work on the case to develop the logistic model for Mahindra Logistics during Mahindra War Room.
Rupansh Deshkar belongs to Ujjain (MP), which is also known as the ‘Greenwich of India’. After graduating in Mechanical Engineering from NIT Bhopal in 2014, he joined Mahindra & Mahindra – Automotive Division (Product Development) in Chennai. He was an integral part of the Vehicle Integration team and had worked in cross- functional teams in many live projects like KUV 100. After working for 33 months and gaining exposure to the management side of the business, he decided to pursue an MBA and thus landed up at XLRI, Jamshedpur. Having interned at Reckitt Benckiser (RB India) in the Supply Services function, he has gained an exposure to the Inventory Management and Warehousing aspects of the supply chain in the FMCG Sector. He is currently a Senior Executive Member and handles the publication of its Operation’s Management magazine at AXIOM (The Operation’s Club) in XLRI.
Rupansh has been an admirer of the automobiles since his college days and he enjoys long drives and road trips. He is also an avid reader and holds a keen interest in philosophy and fiction; Polo Coelho is his favourite author. He is also passionate about football. He had represented his college in football in the inter college tournaments at Bhopal. He also likes to follow and analyse the game; especially English Football – Manchester United being his favourite club.
A tea aficionado, Rupansh believes in living a moment to the fullest. He believes that tackling any problem with composure and optimism gives out the best result and that one must always strive towards the betterment of the self and the society.
What made you to participate in Mahindra Warroom Season 11?
The prestige attached with the competition is unmatched in the B-School case competition circuit. While, around 30-35 different case competitions test the marketing, entrepreneurial, financial and strategy skills of the participants in isolation, there are very few which tie all of these elements together and look for a solution that can be run as a pilot in the market on day one. Mahindra War Room is perhaps the prime example of such a case-competition platform and the hours we have put in researching, brain-storming and validating our solution is a testimony to this fact.
Needless to say, the perks attached with just qualifying for the finale of the competition outweigh the goodies offered to the winners of other competitions.
But it is the grandeur, scale and the glory that compelled us to enter the War Room, and now that we know we’ll be presenting to Mr. Anand Mahindra himself, our excitement knows no bounds.
After getting to know the group better through the competition, what does Mahindra Group stand for, in your mind?
Through this competition, we have realized that Mahindra & Mahindra has a strong foothold and intends to maintain a leadership position in its businesses. Mahindra Groups is a diverse group of industries that believes in providing the ingenious solutions that are global in their ramifications. From Mobility to Rural Prosperity and IT, from Financial Services to Clean Energy and Business Productivity, Mahindra Group is empowering enterprise everywhere. The governing spirit of "Rise" binds the group as one Mahindra, dictating that it empowers people everywhere to not only chart new frontiers, but to conquer them too.
The variety in the case studies pertaining to different sectors made us realize that Mahindra Group challenges conventional thinking and motivates to think alternatively encapsulating the betterment of all the stakeholders. With strong and inspirational leadership, the Mahindra Group has sailed through the tests of time and have emerged as a formidable Group.
How did you go about picking your case and solving it? Tell us a few team anecdotes.
All of us had just come back from our internships and interestingly all of us were working on some part or the other of the Warehousing Puzzle in India. Some were working as consultants, while others were working with the FMCG majors or Conglomerate houses and all of us combined perhaps had a 360-degree view of the industry.
In our first brain storming session, while we were brain-storming over which of the cases to take up, there were 3-4 alternatives that we could have taken instead of the one floated by MLL because of our background and work experience. But all of us had this nagging feeling of not having cracked the problem of logistics in India despite putting in two months-worth of effort.
While sitting under the Bodhi-Tree in our campus and enjoying the sumptuous Bala Dosa (a must try if you are in Jamshedpur and anywhere near the XLRI campus), we saw a delivery truck standing right beside the Dosa Stall having come to deliver packaged food items to the on campus provision stores. The local store owner was yelling at the sales representative of an FMCG major for the late delivery, to which his reply was that part-truck load was not available and full truckload is too costly for a location like ours and thus they received the material late as well. I think the “Chaupal” never met to select our War Room case post this event.
How are you preparing for the finale?
With the crazy Durga Pooja fervour in this part of the world, Dandiya DJs blaring in the lawns, we are all wired onto YouTube, analysing every second of the previous years’ finals. The only thing on our mind right now is to extract the most out of the 420 seconds offered to us, and making a lasting impression on the esteemed jury. Having gone through our story and after ironing out every possible slack, we are pestering our friends to comment on our rehearsals, going through all the reports related to the case, fine-tuning our excels and taking care to put everything in place to the last dot in our PPT. Win or lose, the War Room is going to see the best of us.
What is the one question you would like to ask Mr Anand Mahindra when you meet him in person?
With in-house start-ups like SmartShift & Trringo, which might intrinsically seem not in line with the core business, how does M&M bring synergy into the organization?
Your plan with the prize money?
As our MBA draws to a close, we are reminded of all those crazy grad trip plans we thought would never materialize. We realize that there was always this hope in our heart of hearts. Well, hope is a good thing, and no good thing ever dies ☺.