13 Aug 2018 20:47 IST

IITM-DoMS wins BLoC Boardroom Challenge semis

Impresses judges with pragmatic business plan; LIBA, the runners-up at Chennai event

The semi-finals of the Boardroom Challenge hosted by BusinessLine on Campus (BLoC) kicked off on Monday in Chennai. Presented by Indian Terrain, the event was held at the campus of Loyola Institute of Business Administration (LIBA), Chennai.

Written by Vishwadeep Kuila, IIM-A alumnus and founder of marketing company Brand Vectors, the case required the students to come up with strategies on how a new company can enter the highly-saturated toilet soaps segment in India. The participants were expected to come up with a sound business plan to reach a certain level of profit by the end of the third year.

The three-member panel of judges consisted of Kuila, executive coach and trainer S Sivakumar, and Prof Shanthi, Associate Professor, Marketing Management, at LIBA. Six teams, shortlisted from 1,800 country-wide, presented their strategies in an interesting and focussed manner. The teams were from TAPMI, Manipal; LIBA, Chennai; MOP Vaishnav College for Women, Chennai, DG Vaishnav College, Chennai; Hindustan University, School of Management, Chennai; and Department of Management Studies, IIT Madras.

A three-member team from IIT-Madras (DoMS), comprising Soumay Bansal, Chetan Agarwal and Vedant Diwan, were declared the winners, while Team LIBA — Roseann D’Souza, Marvin Tellis, Vivek Baliah and Sandeep S — was judged the runner-up.

The IIT-M DoMS team impressed with their attention to detail and meticulous calculations on company financials, while the runners-up made a convincing case about the product differentiation and pricing strategies in an intensely competitive market.

Jury Member Kuila, commenting on the rationale behind selecting the winning team, said: “The IIT-DoMS team stuck to the questions posed in the case, and analysed the ‘what-ifs’ based on the numbers provided. There was clarity in the presentation, with no repetition of case facts. And even the assumptions made were backed by logical reasons.”

The winning team from IIT DoMS will compete along with six other teams in the Grand Finale of the Indian Terrain-BLoC Boardroom Challenge, to be held in Chennai on September 5.