On Unique Selfie Challenges, Eureka Moments, Meeting CEO Of PepsiCo And More – Monika Mishra, CTG Winner, 2016

Hi, we are team “EnLiven” from the Indian School of Business CO’17. We, Monika and Smriti were the first runners-up of the 2016 PepsiCo ‘Change the Game’ challenge, India region.

PepsiCo Change the Game Challenge is unlike any other competition because of its expanse and the quality of cohorts that one is up against. It is one of those corporate competitions that we can’t afford to miss! It is a test of resilience with multiple rounds stretching over a month. We had a riveting experience right from the round 1 to being the first runners-up in India region.

It started with the launch of CTG in 2016 which grabbed the attention of many. As the challenge was big, even bigger was the reward “An international job opportunity” with PepsiCo. The journey of any such competition starts with forming a great team which in our case was quite easy as we had already nailed a few other case competitions by the time CTG was launched. Both of us have complementary skills and that essentially empower us as a team.

The first round was the UNIFIE (unique selfie) round. We tried every possible craziness to make our selfie stand out in the pool of entries. Then was Round 2 where we had to champion nutrition space with our unique idea. We had to think of an innovative nutrition product that PepsiCo could include in their product portfolio. We had to present an elevator pitch (90 seconds long) and business case (maximum 10 slides) to introduce our idea. It was a real struggle to think of something that is not available in the market but is implementable and will be warmly accepted by the consumers.

Even after a week of brainstorming, we had nothing concrete to start with. And then one evening came the Eureka moment when we were on our way back from the spa and regretting the number of hours we spent there. Well, how great it would be to have a drink that makes our skin healthier and radiant and can be consumed daily. That would save us so many hours. Yes! We got our idea and there we started from.

Round after round the competition got tougher. In the last round, we had to present our idea to the panel of judges. These rounds are designed to help you gauge your strengths and weaknesses which would eventually prove helpful in your corporate journey.

I peculiarly remember the day 11th November 2016 when we came to PepsiCo’s Gurgaon office. That was the first time we got to meet the CEO and CFO of PepsiCo India. Everyone was so humble and welcoming. The more time we spent in the office, the more was our desire to win this competition and be a part of their team.

Our presentation was followed by a gruelling Q&A round. The panel covered every aspect of the drink starting from the product design to manufacturing, distribution, marketing and P&L. Let me confess here nothing can be more satisfying than having a discussion with leaders you follow online and getting recognition from them. Later we were announced as the runners-up and were offered a role in PepsiCo India. Currently, we are undergoing our training in Leadership Development Role.

Working at PepsiCo has been an amazing experience.  The company has a warm and friendly culture. The management here is approachable and emphasises on the openness of views and invites and appreciates varied thoughts. It offers you an excellent platform to prove your mettle.

Our message to the future participants would be to be as creative as possible, think harder to get new concepts to the table and participate with confidence. We get limited time to present, so manage your time well. As a participant, we tend to overthink and deviate from the topic. Focus on what the round demands, break the problem statement into questions to be answered, don’t miss out the webcasts and stick to the topic. If you focus on tackling each problem statement step by step, you shall be best positioned to take the most out of the entire experience.

 

 

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