|East zone debate winners: (L to R)
Champs Ananda Chakrabarti and Gunjan Gupta from IIM-Calcutta
National B-School Challenge
Are You Sharp Enough?
is known for the 90 per cent-plus margins it makes on its ubiquitous
Windows software. However, can you name a product on which Microsoft
loses $100 on every sale it makes? We will let you in on a clue.
If you have a teenager at home, you know what we're driving at.
Award yourself 20 points for getting the answer without the clue,
and 10 with it. Yes, it's Microsoft's Xbox game console.
And if you are sharp enough to crack that sort
of trivia, you should have been there on the IIM-Bangalore campus
that day to watch South India's top B-school minds slug it out for
a place in the contest's final in Delhi. Over 20 B-schools took
part in the contest, with participants from all across the South,
including Kochi, Chennai and Hyderabad, not to mention host-town
Of course, more than the quiz, it was the debates
that set the wit-matching in motion. The preliminary debates-on
a wide swathe of business issues-set the pulse for the rest of the
proceedings, and by the time the finals approached, some rather
heated viewpoints had already been expressed. The sharpest verbal
duellists were eventually to clash later in the evening. And the
largely IIM-B audience was rubbing palms in anticipation. The final
motion: "Corruption is the single largest road block for the
Indian economy". For the motion spoke the IIM-B team of Bhaskar
Chaudhary and Faiz Azim, cheered on vociferously by the overflowing
galleries. The duo fired volley after volley of instances of how
corruption was hindering the growth of the Indian economy. Against
the motion spoke Christ College's Ambika K. and Aarti Krishnan,
who gamely tried to defend their contention that it was the apathy
in the system that was to blame, and that corruption was only a
byproduct of that larger social malaise. Though the tougher posers
from the judges (and even the audience) were aimed at the IIM-B
team, Chaudhary and Azim defended their stance well, and emerged
triumphant-to a near eardrum-shattering roar of audience approval.
||Tata Consultancy Services
|South zone winners: (L to
R) Quiz champs Kartik V. and Anahat Arora from LIBA, Barun Das,
Associate Publisher, Business Today, debate winners Bhaskar
Chaudhary and Faiz Azim from IIM-B
A quizzing moment:
(Top) Quizmaster Joy Bhattachary gaives away an audience prize
Gearing up: (Bottom) East zone
participants at Acumen 2003
The quiz show was no less exciting, with the
quizmaster Joy Bhattacharya keeping the participants at the edge
of their seats. Teams from IIM-B, Indian School of Business (ISB)
Hyderabad, M.P. Birla Institute and Loyola Institute of Business
Administration (LIBA) Chennai were pitted against one another. LIBA
opened an early lead and managed to hang on to it. Though Indian
School of Business tried to stage a late comeback, LIBA's team of
Anahat Arora and Kartik V. eventually prevailed.
The action for the East Zone's qualifier was
no less intense. The contest's venue, of course, was the legendary
Joka campus of IIM-Calcutta. Eavesdroppers that day would have surely
wondered what was creating all the commotion. Those who cared to
listen close enough, though, would have heard a voice asking, "If
you went to this theme park in Carlsbad, California, you would not
only enjoy its rides and games but see replicas of national landmarks
like New York City, White House, a New England harbour, a driving
school and could even build robots-using what?" The answer
was Lego bricks, it being a reference to California's own Legoland.
Yes, sharp minds were here too. In fact, perhaps
the country's sharpest, going by the simple statistic of the East
zone's quiz winner running up the highest tally of points amongst
all the zones' quizzes. The winner was IIM-Calcutta, so you can
imagine what that meant for the campus' decibel level that evening.
Globsyn Business School's quiz team made valiant efforts to catch
up with IIM-C's Rohit Kamath and Raghu Gopalan, but in vain.
The debate sessions were a treat in themselves,
and not just because of the palpitating energy of a packed house
in attendance. The final debate? "We have failed to build brand
India." Arjun Chatterjee and Vikas Srivastava of the Xavier
Labour Research Institute (XLRI) spoke for the motion, while Gunjan
Gupta and Ananda Chakrabarti of IIM-C spoke against the topic-backing
their arguments with instances of the country's global recognition.
At the end, when all the hurly burly was done, the home crowd's
roar said it all-making it a clean sweep for Joka.