NOV 23, 2003
 Cover Story
 Personal Finance
 Back of the Book

Motherhood In

Motherhood appeals in Indian advertising were once assumed not to change very much. Well, guess what?

Universal Advertising
So, which shall it be for the Indian market—universally watchable or culture-specific ads? The debate.

More Net Specials
Business Today,  November 9, 2003
Restive For Recognition
The South and East zone rounds of the BT-Standard Chartered Acumen 2003 quiz-cum-debate contest, in association with Tata Consultancy Services, saw their share of verbal antics.
East zone debate winners: (L to R)
Champs Ananda Chakrabarti and Gunjan Gupta from IIM-Calcutta

National B-School Challenge
Are You Sharp Enough?

Microsoft 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 Bangalore.

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.

Standard Chartered 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.

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