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It is time to radically change the way companies think about the future, and the Accenture B-School Challenge takes a step in that direction. (Shutterstock)
It is time to radically change the way companies think about the future, and the Accenture B-School Challenge takes a step in that direction. (Shutterstock)
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Reimagining the future of business with Accenture B-School Challenge

Season 4 saw students from premiere B-schools of the country solving real-life business challenges. The team that stood out was the one from IIM-Ahmedabad.

The adoption of digital technology in India has grown immensely and the need of the hour is to deliver on this promise, albeit with human ingenuity. So, from chatbots to e-changing rooms and personal shopping assistants over chat apps, the universe of consumer outreach options that technology has thrown open is just endless. The key themes emerging are the growth of digital commerce, resilient business models, and efficient supply chains.

In order to emerge successful amid this disruption, leaders have had to adapt rapidly to the new trends.

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The Accenture B-School Challenge is aimed at identifying innovative ideas in this fast-evolving business landscape as well as young talent for the digital economy. Season 4, which was held virtually this year, had the theme of ‘Reimagining the Future of Business’—how organizations across geographies today are outmaneuvering uncertainty.

The grand finale saw stellar presentations by 10 teams 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.

The Accenture B-School Challenge addresses the need of the hour in times when we are all adapting to the never normal by offering the leaders of tomorrow a great learning opportunity.
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The Accenture B-School Challenge addresses the need of the hour in times when we are all adapting to the never normal by offering the leaders of tomorrow a great learning opportunity. (Accenture)

The teams came up with elevator pitches and presentations across diverse industries, such as banking, retail, consumer goods, natural resources, energy, automotive, and life sciences, to celebrate the spirit of innovation and entrepreneurial zeal. They were judged on the basis of innovative ideas, analytical thinking, use of new-age technology, implementation and scalability of the idea, and resonance with the overall theme.

The team that stood out was the one from IIM-Ahmedabad. The first and second runner-up prizes went to teams from IIM-Calcutta and IIM-Lucknow, respectively.

In addition to looking at parameters of content, research, and commitment, the three-member teams were adjudged on the inclusion of the element of responsible and sustainable business, a theme that is becoming core to organisations across the world. More and more companies are now committing to look after both their shareholders and stakeholders – clients, people, communities, and governments.

To reach the finale, the students went through three rounds of challenges. The first round was a rapid-fire online quiz, in which over 1,700 teams participated. This was followed by a business simulation round, where around 50 teams selected from each campus stepped into the shoes of a Chief Executive Officer (CEO), to solve a real-life business challenge.

Twenty teams from each campus made it to the third round - a case study challenge - of which the leading 10 teams presented their analysis to the Accenture leadership, and the best team from every campus was chosen for the grand finale.

The 10 winning teams which made it to the event were mentored by the Accenture team for final presentation and judged by an eminent jury comprising Sangeeta Pendurkar, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Pantaloons; Edsel Pereira, Group Vice President – Information Technology, Glenmark Pharmaceutical; Abhay Johorey, Head, Digital Strategy, ICICI Bank; Piyush N Singh, India Market Unit Lead and Lead for Growth and Strategic Client Relationships, Asia Pacific and Latin America, Accenture; Anurag Gupta, Managing Director and Lead – Strategy & Consulting, Accenture in India; Sanjay Dawar, Managing Director – Global Strategy and Consulting, Accenture; and Sonali Kulkarni, Lead – Financial Services, Accenture in India.

Accenture B-School Challenge addresses the need of the hour in times when we are all adapting to the never normal by offering the leaders of tomorrow a great learning opportunity as well as a chance to land their dream job. The 10 teams that qualified for the grand finale will get a pre-placement interview opportunity with Accenture.

It is time to radically change the way companies think about the future, and the Accenture B-School Challenge takes a step in that direction.

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