30 Sep 2019 14:51 IST

IIM Rohtak team squeaks past ISB in Hyderabad semi-finals

From left, jury members KS Rao and Srinivas Ayyadevara; ICBM Principal S Zarar; the four winners from IIM Rohtak; and jury member RP Sharma

The participants had to come up with a business strategy for a detergent manufacturer to grow its revenues

A four-member team from IIM Rohtak squeaked past a duo from the Indian School of Business (ISB) in the eighth and last semi-final of the BusinessLine on Campus Boardroom Challenge, held at the campus of the ICBM School of Business Excellence in Hyderabad on Friday.

The participants had to come up with a sound business strategy for a detergent manufacturer to grow its revenues and return to higher profitability. The jury said the IIM Rohtak team, comprising Preeti Lal, Adithya Singh, Sayani Pal and Sindhuja SL, made a comprehensive presentation that tackled all aspects of the case. The ISB team of Tanudeep Bhattacharya and Nimisha Jain, that was two members short because of exams, presented a solid strategy, distilled to the essence without resorting to too many excel sheets and numbers.

The three-member jury comprised KS Rao, Senior Vice-President & Head, Investor Education & Distribution Development, Aditya Birla Sun Life AMC Ltd; RP Sharma, Head, Corporate Communications, RINL Vizag Steel Plant; and Srinivas Ayyadevara, chartered accountant and former President of the Federation of Andhra Pradesh Chambers of Commerce & Industry.

With the culmination of the eight semi-finals the stage is set for the grand finale on October 14 in Chennai with the teams qualifying from each city set to battle it out for the title of CXO of the year. The teams are Great Lakes Institute of Management, Gurgaon (from Delhi); IIM Ranchi (Kolkata); SIBM (Pune); SPJIMR (Mumbai); SMS-CUSAT (Kochi); LIBA (Chennai); SIBM (Bengaluru) and IIM Rohtak (Hyderabad).

Aditya Birla Sun Life is the title sponsor of the event, which is powered by Swiss watch brand Frederique Constant while Vizag Steel Plant and One Crest are the associate sponsors.

Aditya Birla’s Rao made a presentation to the students on ‘Your First Pay Cheque’. “Saving and financial planning are nearly as important as doing well in your field of work. Proper planning will help you realise your financial goals,” he said. Three basic factors can impact savings, he said. One is compounding. Over significant periods of time, one can earn good returns from small initial investments because of compounding. Second, where compounding helps, inflation doesn’t as money loses value over time due to inflation. So, one has to invest in avenues that beat inflation. The third factor is risk. Nearly every investment comes with risk but it’s worth taking to ensure one beats inflation. “Generally, the younger you are, the greater will be your ability to withstand risk. Mutual funds give good returns but do come with some risks, although the risk is low for long-term investments,” he said.

In his address to students, Ayyadevara told them not to get bogged down in the theoretical part while explaining a case solution. Students need to balance theoretical knowledge with the practical, he stressed. Rao exhorted the students to understand the purpose of a case. In a real-life situation, managers get only a short time with top management to explain their strategy so they need to have clarity of thought and explain their logic clearly. Sharma told the students who did not win not to get demotivated as it was a good learning experience for them.

Rao presented mementoes to his co-jury members, while M Somasekhar, Chief of News Bureau, BusinessLine, Hyderabad, offered a memento to Prof S Zarar, Principal, ICBM.

Sharma announced the runners-up and gave mementoes to the ISB duo while Prof Zarar announced the winners and presented mementoes to the IIM Rohtak team.