Saturday, October 11, 2008

Drishtikone - The debate with a difference

(From Day 1)

The excitation is quite palpable as the “new found voice of FII” takes center stage to announce the teams who have qualified for the first round of Dhrishtikone – the debate with a difference. The team names sound like the survey of the best business schools in India. How else can it be when the event is Vista, the king of B fests?

I had heard that the teams had spent their nights analyzing a 30 page mammoth case on one of the toughest problems to crack in today’s business world – the problems faced by the airline industry. The scene is dismal not only in india but around the world with the airline industry facing a loss of around $200 billion.

To judge the event, we had Professor Sourav Mukherjee, professor of Organizational Behavior and Strategy at IIMB, one of the most liked professors in the campus.

The first team to present the analysis was from IIMC. Quite a deep analysis of the problems faced by the airline industry without resorting to much graphics. They proved that plain is simple and simple is beautiful. We crossed over to the other end of multimedia in presentations next with IIM shillong starting with a video on problems faced by airline industry. Quite an effort in such a short time. And they went on to solve the problems of environment and people, though they didn’t dwell much on improving the profits of the airline industry.

Numericals, tables and graphs dazzled as the team from XLRI took over. And in 5 minutes they had covered strategies for reviving all the carriers in india. The audience had a bit of information overload with that heavy dose J but their presentation was informative for sure. The team from MDI gurgaon followed it with their talk on managing demand, fleet and finances.

There were two teams from IIMK and the first team presented on multiple aspects of the industry giving both the company and government perspective. Well, I rather liked the title of the other team from IIMK “bit more than it could chew”. ( Well, they should be called the “well” team, given that the presenter started almost every sentence with “Well”. ;-) Oops, looks like I caught on the bug). “ Tail spin” was the title which SP jain team had given to their presentation, and it was very well rehearsed. The two presenters alternated for every single slide as they spoke their well planned lines.

Shyam U & Pritam Sarkar from IIMB took the stage over next to prove that the Indian airlines industry is bleeding. It was a great presentation with Shyam’s oratory skills and deep analysis of the industry. They categorically proved again that the industry is bleeding and went on to give suggestions on how to save it.

With that, it was the turn of Prof Sourav Mukherjee to provide feedback. He was impressed with the overall quality of presentation, but gave some improvement tips. Some of the teams had jumped to the solution too fast and some had given solutions out of the case. Time handling was a critical factor, the teams should learn to take care as most had overshot the limit of 5 minutes.

And the results .. IIMB & XLRI moved on to the next round.. Updates later..

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