A trio from SP Jain Institute of Management and Research (SPJIMR), Mumbai, — Nikita Philips, Arpit Jain, and Divyansh Agrawal — won the grand finale of businessline Campus (BloC) Boardroom Challenge 2022. XLRI Jamshedpur was the first runner-up while IIM Trichy finished third. SPJIMR Mumbai finished a close second in the Mumbai semi-finals and locked a spot in the finals as ‘Juri’s Choice.’ The other finalists were IIM Bangalore, IIM Sambalpur, IIM Amritsar, SIBM Pune, and JBIMS Mumbai. For the finals case, participants had to present strategies to tap the growing power of women in the formal investment sector.

The two-month-long contest saw around 1,115 teams from top B-schools participate in the online preliminary psychometric test. In the second round, 33 teams were shortlisted to take part in the virtual semi-finals rounds across eight cities. The trio from SPJIMR Mumbai bagged the coveted title of CXOs of the year and ₹1 lakh in prize money while the team comprising Kushankur Datta, Debajyoti Das, and Varun Mikkilineni of XLRI Jamshedpur won ₹75,000 and the IIM Trichy team of Ankit Sahu, Jay Vaishnani, and Pratik Nayan Dash, take home ₹50,000.

The announcement of the winning teams was made by A Balasubramanian, Managing Director and CEO, Aditya Birla Sun Life AMC Ltd, the presenting sponsor for the case study challenge. Balasubramanian said the idea was to work with student communities across the country and enhance the knowledge of mutual funds and the capital market as these youngsters are the future leaders.

The jury comprised KS Rao, Executive Vice-President & Head, Investor Education & Distribution Development, Aditya Birla Sun Life AMC Ltd; Vishwadeep Kuila, Founder-Director, Brand Vectors; and Lokeshwarri SK, Data Editor, businessline.

‘Women-centric plans’

There were many takeaways from all presentations, said Rao. All teams came with a focused approach and did a phenomenal job. The teams have presented great insights and financial inclusion strategies to empower women into becoming an important investor segment for the mutual funds’ industry going forward,” he said. Kuila said most teams did a brilliant job comprehending the case and coming up with solutions. “I really find the quality of students coming out of B-schools going up. Such clarity of thought and brilliant presentations,” he said. Lokeshwarri pointed out that many well-researched, fresh, and out-of-the-box ideas around women-centric plans were discussed by different teams.

This unique case challenge for B-schoolers is in its sixth year. In 2017, the first year of the challenge, LIBA Chennai were the winners, followed by ISB Hyderabad in 2018, IIM Ranchi in 2019, SIBM Pune in 2020, and IIM Shillong in 2021.

Up until 2020, the semi-final round of the contest was held at B-schools across various cities and the grand finale in Chennai. But in 2020, the challenge went completely online. This year, too, it was conducted entirely online, including the semi-final rounds and the finals.

“The semi-finals case tested the participating teams on the knowledge of finance, marketing, strategy, and decision-making skills while the case for the finals tested the knowledge of the financial sector, especially mutual funds,” said Vinay Kamath, Senior Associate editor, businessline.

Focus on students

It has been a truly national case challenge, said Raghuvir Srinivasan, Editor, businessline. We’ve had some sparkling presentations by all the teams drawn from the top B-schools round the country. This has been a truly national case challenge, given the participation of B-schools from Jamshedpur to Mumbai, Sambalpur to Amritsar and down south from Tiruchi and Bengaluru. The Boardroom Challenge is a part of The Hindu group’s larger focus on students and on education,” he said.

The 2022 edition of the contest was sponsored by the Aditya Birla Sun Life Mutual Fund while the Exchange Partner was BSE and Knowledge Partner Brand Vectors. The preliminary round questions were set by Chennai-based executive coach Siva Kumar.

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