|Champs from the West: (From left) Debate
winners Sunil Rao and Suchit Bansal of IIM-I, Prof. Dastoor
of NITIE, Barun Das of BT and quiz champs Amol Alonz and Parinay
Pakhriwal of SCM HRD
gusto was evident at the western qualifiers of the Business Today-Standard
Chartered Acumen 2003: The National B-School Challenge, held at
National Institute of Industrial Engineering (NITIE), Mumbai, in
association with Tata Consultancy Services (TCS). Some of the region's
finest B-school students were itching to grab some pre-career glory.
And, of course, a chance of winning the grand prize-a two-week summer
course at Middlesex University, London.
Day one, amidst the scenic environs of NITIE's
Powai campus, saw volley after volley of debating action, with topics
ranging from 'Eat or to be eaten' and 'Leadership is an inborn talent'
to 'Only the paranoid survive' and 'Corporate hierarchy is obsolete'.
The weaker teams got 'eaten' away at this stage.
Day Two, held at NITIE's impressive packed-to-capacity
auditorium, saw the intensity of competition rise. The semi-final
debates saw the host team and Indian Institute of Management-Indore
(IIM-I) edge out their respective opponents, Narsee Monjee Institute
of Management Studies (NMIMS) and Nirma Institute of Management
Pulses across the hall were racing by the time
the Western qualifier's final and vital debate kicked off. The topic-'We
have failed to build brand India'-though familiar to keen followers
of other BT debates, was enough to get the hall's brains ticking
in anticipation of a major clash of viewpoints. The home team NITIE
spoke for the motion, and IIM-I against. And indeed, the arguments
got expectedly steamy, with both teams oozing example against example
to fit their points. While NITIE turned India's law-and-order cracks
into its central case, IIM-I harped on spirituality and Sachin.
The debate went right to the edge, however, and it was eventually
the judges' questions that saw the home team trip itself up. The
contestants found themselves all sweaty and tongue-tied under the
heat of some smart yet lucid brainteasers thrown at them. Thus did
IIM-I go through to the all-India finals.
The zone's quiz contest, conducted by the renowned
Joy Bhattacharya, narrowed itself down to a fight amongst Symbiosis
Centre for Management and Human Resource Development (SCMHRD), Pune,
Jamnalal Bajaj Institute of Management Studies (JBIMS), S.P. Jain
and L.N. Welingkar. It was an interesting affair, and left many
a brain reloaded (and nail chewn). The audiences participated with
enthusiasm-encouraged by the Park Avenue gifts vouchers, FasTrack
watches from Titan, and other sponsored giveaways. As the end neared,
though, it was a contest between Jamnalal Bajaj and SCMHRD, with
the latter eventually winning the day-and a place at the all-India
finals, to be held sometime later in Delhi.
So far, we have IIM-I and SCMHRD from the Western
zone, to be pitted against the Delhi University's Faculty of Management
Studies (FMs) from the North. Which teams will make it from the
Southern and Eastern zones? Keep track.