Panel Discussion on ‘Business Innovation in the NEW’. Photo: Accenture
Panel Discussion on ‘Business Innovation in the NEW’. Photo: Accenture

Accenture, a global professional services leader has successfully concluded the second edition of the annual Accenture B-School Challenge aimed at identifying top talent for the digital economy. More than 5000 students from 10 premier business schools in India participated in the annual competition. Designed to celebrate the power of disruptive ideas in the digital era, this year’s challenge focused on the theme of ‘Business Innovation in the NEW.’

“Disruption, volatility and reinvention at speed and scale define the new reality that businesses face today. Navigating this reality requires well calibrated strategies, and a special kind of talent. It’s exciting to see disruptive ideas coming through from students who participated in the Accenture B-School Challenge," said Anindya Basu, geographic unit and country senior managing director, Accenture in India.

This year, the challenge was divided into four stages: rapid-fire online quiz, business simulation where students stepped into the role of a CEO to make their company profitable; case study challenge, and finally, the grand finale in New Delhi where top teams battled it out on an overnight case study challenge. Out of the 15 teams per campus selected in the second round, 5 teams made it to the third round, and eventually one team per campus was chosen in the final round.

In each round, the participating teams demonstrated their innovative ideas to reshape businesses for the digital era in all aspects such as customer experience, internal operations and the business model. Throughout the final round, a well-versed group of mentors from Accenture guided the students, inspired them to strategize for a digital future and provided key insights into the work done by Accenture.

The grand finale held on October 13 in New Delhi saw the top 10 teams presenting their ideas to a jury panel consisting of leading professionals and industry experts including Sanjay Dawar, Accenture Capability Network India Lead, Products Global Capability Network Lead, Accenture; Rohit Thakur, managing director – Human Resources, Accenture in India; Avnish Sabharwal, managing director – Accenture Ventures in India; Arati Deo, managing director – AI capability for Accenture Technology; Rajeev Batra, Group CIO, BCCL, Nitin Bawankule, Country Director, India, Google Cloud; Prof Janat Shah, Operations & Supply Chain Management at IIM Udaipur; Anuj Tiwari, CEO of Digital Business for Aakash Institute, and Srinivasan Iyengar, COO at Reliance Nippon Life Insurance. In the final round of the challenge, the teams were required to showcase their skills towards digital transformation journey in an industry of their choice.

Winning Team of IIM Lucknow - Kaushik, Debasmita and Sharang. Photo: Accenture
Winning Team of IIM Lucknow - Kaushik, Debasmita and Sharang. Photo: Accenture

The team from IIM Lucknow won the first prize for their outstanding idea on digital disruption in the agricultural sector. The first runner up team was from IIM Ahmedabad, followed by second runner ups from IIM Kozhikode.

“It was a once in a lifetime opportunity and an enthralling experience. Our presentation was on digital disruption in the agriculture sector. The challenge provided us with a great platform to network, collaborate and innovate together. The guidance and mentorship provided by the Accenture Leadership Team was insightful," said Kaushik, Debasmita and Sharang, from Team IIM Lucknow.

More than two-thirds (69 %) of Indian companies are facing disruption with ~$1.8 Trillion in market cap at stake. This is both a threat and an opportunity! The good news is that our research shows that disruption has an understandable and predictable pattern which can be explained by Accenture’s ‘Disruptability Index’. In summary, companies need to transform and grow their core business while simultaneously creating and scaling new businesses by leveraging digital for ‘Business Innovation in the NEW’. All 10 campus teams made excellent presentations on how disruption could be mitigated through - Business Innovation in the NEW," said Sanjay Dawar, Accenture Capability Network India Lead, Products Global Capability Network Lead, Accenture.

Winning team of IIM Lucknow along with IIM Ahmedabad and IIM Kozhikode. Photo: Accenture.
Winning team of IIM Lucknow along with IIM Ahmedabad and IIM Kozhikode. Photo: Accenture.

The top 10 Business Schools which participated in the challenge included IIM (Indian Institute of Management) Ahmedabad, IIM Bengaluru, IIM Calcutta, IIM Lucknow, IIM Kozhikode, ISB (Indian School of Business), JBIMS (Jamnalal Bajaj Institute of Management Studies, S. P. Jain Institute of Management and Research, FMS (Faculty of Management Studies) and XLRI (Xavier School of Management).

Digital technologies are changing the way we live, work and collaborate. Accenture helps clients pivot from thinking digital to being digital at the core. From interactive experiences that captivate customers, to new intelligence that is applied across every industry, function and process, and the digital reinvention of Industry through smart, connected, products, services, plants and workers—Accenture is ushering in the ‘New Applied Now.’ This year, Accenture was ranked first for its digital transformation offering in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Client Perception Study 2018, surpassing other top consulting firms in the region.

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