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Identifying Signals of Change with Accenture B-School Challenge

This year’s theme, ‘Signals of change – Discovering new opportunities in a disruptive world’, is designed to bring together brightest talent across campuses and develop sustainable solutions to thrive in the new world order that is emerging today.Premium
This year’s theme, ‘Signals of change – Discovering new opportunities in a disruptive world’, is designed to bring together brightest talent across campuses and develop sustainable solutions to thrive in the new world order that is emerging today.

Season 5 is designed to train young brains through a blended gamified challenge, helping them dip their toes into the world of consulting.

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“The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails."

This popular quote by William Arthur Ward, couldn’t be more appropriate than it is in the transient times we are in today. The pandemic has changed the way we consume, live and work. As organisations navigate the human and business impact of Covid-19 and transform their business models to make it future-ready, there is an overarching spirit of reinvention that is being seen across industries.

Leaders face an unprecedented challenge: to identify what works for a new and evolving world today and what will be required to thrive tomorrow. Decisions made over the next 12 to 18 months could determine the difference between thriving and struggling to survive in the next five years. Now is the time to capitalize on changes and seize the future.

Echoing this very spirit of change was the fifth edition of the popular Accenture B-School challenge, which returned in an all-new virtual avatar. This year’s theme, ‘Signals of change – Discovering new opportunities in a disruptive world’, is designed to bring together brightest talent across campuses and develop sustainable solutions to thrive in the new world order that is emerging today.

The much-awaited annual event brought together students from top B-Schools across the country to brainstorm disruptive ideas that shape the workplace of the future and help create top talent for the digital economy. It is aimed at igniting discussions on key changes that are sweeping the business landscape today and the changes that the leaders need to initiate to thrive amidst all the disruption that we are witnessing.

The month-long event saw participation of more than 8,500 students from 16 top Business Schools from across the country, including Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad, Indian Institute of Management Bangalore, Indian Institute of Management Calcutta, Indian Institute of Management Lucknow, Indian Institute of Management Kozhikode, Indian Institute of Management Indore, Indian Institute of Management Udaipur, Indian School of Business, Faculty of Management Studies, Jamnalal Bajaj Institute of Management Studies, S.P. Jain Institute of Management and Research, Xavier School of Management, Indian Institute of Foreign Trade, Management Development Institute, National Institute of Industrial Engineering and Tata Institute of Social Sciences.

The virtual challenge opened with 2800 teams, each comprising three members, who came up with stellar case studies across varied industries, from banking, telecom, consumer goods and retail, to natural resources, energy, automotive and life sciences. They were judged on the novelty of the ideas they brought in, how logical the thought process was, and how well they solved specific business problems.

After two rigorous rounds of rapid fire quiz and a business simulation where they donned the hat of a CEO to offer fresh perspectives on business profitability, 160 teams made it to the next shortlist, wherein they made presentations to Accenture leaders.

This was followed by the grand finale round, where eight winning teams were mentored by Accenture experts for the coveted final presentation, before which they underwent a storytelling workshop to hone their skills and an in-depth industry masterclass to gain deeper business insights.

The eight finalist teams were from premier B-schools including IIM-Ahmedabad, IIM-Bangalore, IIM-Calcutta, IIM-Lucknow, IIM-Kozhikode, Indian School of Business, Faculty of Management Studies, Jamnalal Bajaj Institute of Management Studies, SP Jain Institute of Management Studies and Research, and Xavier School of Management.

They were judged by an eminent jury comprising Piyush N. Singh, Senior Managing Director, Lead - India Market Unit and Lead - Growth and Strategic Client Relationships, Asia Pacific and Latam, Accenture, Sanjay Dawar, Managing Director and Lead Capability Network – Global Strategy and Consulting, Accenture, Dipti Vaishnav, Managing Director - Strategy & Consulting, Accenture in India​, Deepak Sharma, President and CDO, Kotak Mahindra Bank, Karunakaran M, Chief Financial Officer, Shoppers Stop, Anil Matai, Former Managing Director, Zydus Healthcare Limited​, Nagesh Basavanhalli​, Chief Executive Officer, Greaves Cotton Limited, Samrat Das, Chief Operating Officer, PNB MetLife​ and Jayanta Banerjee, Managing Partner, ASK Pravi Capital Advisors.

The top prize was bagged by the team from Xavier School of Management, Jamshedpur, followed by the team from Indian Institute of Management Bangalore, who were first runner up. The second runner up team was from Indian Institute of Foreign Trade, New Delhi.

In today’s competitive environment, events such as these offer leaders of the future a great learning opportunity and a chance to land their dream job. Members of all eight teams that qualified for the grand finale will get a pre-placement interview opportunity from Accenture, in addition to other exciting prizes.

Students also get an opportunity to hone their problem-solving skills and gain from the rich experience of industry to prepare them for life beyond their learning years in the campus.

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