27 Sep 2019 18:31 IST

Symbiosis pips IIM-B in Bengaluru semi-final

Seated, from left: Winners Trushna Atre, Kunika Pandey and Abhishek P James. Standing, from left, jury member KS Rao, Arun D’Silva, India Director, Frederique Constant (FC), jury members S Sivakumar and Shikha Sabharwal, Jayanti of FC, and Prof Avil Saldanha of SJIM.

The seventh and penultimate semi-finals was held at St Joseph’s Institute of Management

A team comprising Abhishek P James, Trushna Atre and Kunika Pandey of Symbiosis Institute of Management (SIBM)-Bengaluru, narrowly won the city leg of the BLoC Boardroom Challenge. The event in Bengaluru, the seventh and penultimate of the eight-city semi-finals, was held at the St Joseph’s Institute of Management (SJIM).

A team from IIM Bangalore bagged the runners-up title. The team, comprising Terry Larsen, Vinodh Kumar, Sourabh Choraria and Kundan Thakan, lost by a whisker to SIBM. The jury said the difference between the two teams was the ability of the SIBM team to defend its position stoutly and passionately when questioned closely. The teams had to present their strategies to the jury for a detergent maker to increase revenue growth and return to higher profitability. The other teams in the fray were from TAPMI, Welingkar and St Joseph’s Institute of Management.

There are now two teams from SIBM in the grand finale of the BLoC Boardroom Challenge, to be held in Chennai on October 14, with the SIBM team from Pune having qualified already. The other five teams are Great Lakes (from the Delhi semi-finals); IIM Ranchi (Kolkata); SPJIMR (Mumbai); SMS-CUSAT (Kochi) and LIBA (Chennai).

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.

Fr Manoj D’Souza, Director, SJIM, welcomed the jury and participating teams, and said the B-school was glad to host the event on its premises. The jury comprised KS Rao, Senior Vice-President and Head, Investor Education and Distribution Development, Aditya Birla Sun Life AMC Ltd; Shikha Sabharwal, Senior Brand Manager, Black Dog & Vat 69, Diageo India; S Sivakumar, a Performance Development Enabler with Potential Genesis, and Prof Avil Saldanha, Assistant Professor of Marketing, St Joseph’s Institute of Management.

Rao made a presentation to the students and the participating teams on ‘Your First Pay Cheque’ and the importance of investing early when one enters corporate life. He explained the benefits of investing through mutual funds as the investment in equity and other instruments is done by experts and students don’t need to look around for expert advice.

Shikha Sabharwal, in her address to the students, said all teams made good presentations, but those who went the extra mile to understand consumer insights, and passionately solve the case for both profit and positioning were able to deliver the best solutions for the brand and emerged as front runners.

Jayanti and Arun Marc D’Silva, Directors of Retail Interface Pvt Ltd, which markets Swiss watch brand Frederique Constant, presented mementoes to the runners-up, IIM Bangalore, while Rao presented mementoes to the winning team, SIBM.