War Room Ownage @ IMT-Team Ignus

The fever of Mahindra War Room needs no introduction in the campus of any Indian B-School. Believe it or not, some MBA students dream of participating in MWR even before getting admission into a PGDM program. This was in fact voiced by of one of the members of the team that ended up being the campus round winners at IMT, when he was asked about his source of motivation. Perhaps this passion is what it takes to be the campus winner. Meet one of the top 7 finalists of the prestigious Mahindra War Room competition-Team Ignus from IMT Ghaziabad. Here is an excerpt of the conversation we had with Akhil Midha , Sameer Doda,Varun Manglik and Apaar Gupta

1. How was the team formed?
It was more of a group of friends who shared a com¬mon goal. The fact that we knew each other very well definitely helped, but what brought us together to form the team was our interest and the willingness to give our 100 percent.

2. How the topic for the case study was chosen?
Firstly, we floated a google document with the list of the topics among ourselves and spent a lot of time thinking about the topics over and over again. We examined each topic very minutely, took a note of remarks of each member on each of the topics. Many rounds of discussions and sleepless nights went into it before we finally zeroed down on our topic for the case.

3. Tell us about your plan of action in the entire process.
We started with primary data collection. We visit¬ed malls in Gurgaon, Mumbai and Dehradun and covered a total of 14 stores for this purpose. In the second phase, we divided our team into teams of two. While one team started collecting secondary data, the other team kept working on collecting primary data. This was necessary to remain updated with the dynamics of the market.

The customers and retailers were interviewed for data collection and it was no easy task. There have been times when we were not treated very well by the shopkeeper, so many questions are at times consid¬ered unwanted interference and hence discouraged.

After the data collection, it was the time for analy¬sis. We used to meet in the academic building very frequently to ensure that every member had a clear picture of the whole project even though the tasks were divided among all. In fact, it would be more appropriate to state that all the members knew their strengths and the tasks were chosen by the members voluntarily.

4. That seems like quite a long process. What is it that kept you motivated till the end?
Each one of us had a reason to win the war room and those reasons were strong enough to keep us moti¬vated till the end.

Basically, in the first phase, one needs to take a leap of faith, with the hope that one is on the right track. As one proceeds, the words from “The Alchemist” actually start making sense in life - “When you really want something to happen, the whole world con¬spires to help you achieve this.”

5. Were there any conflicts in the group at any point of time, and if yes, how did you manage that?
You should rather ask “Was there a time when there were no conflicts in the group?” (A round of laughter follows).

Conflicts were always there and were always wel¬comed in the team. All of us had different opinions at some point of time or the other. The trick lied in not letting personal egos affect the work in any way, rather whenever there were differences; we tried to look at the matter from the perspective of the other person as well. We argued, criticized and reiterated the whole process. This practice helped us examine different aspects of a single problem thoroughly and getting better in the process.

6. According to you, how much importance should be given to the B-School competitions in the course of MBA program?
The value of a B-School competition can be realized from the learning one gets hold of while preparing for the event.

First of all, you need to set your priorities right. Participating in each and every event that is launched through your mailbox doesn’t serve the purpose. Because in order to excel, one must devote undivided attention to the goal one wants to achieve. All the classroom learning makes perfect sense when you start applying the concepts in a case study in real life.

7. What was the main contributing factor to your suc¬cess in the event?
They say hard work has no substitute and it’s true. That was the main contributing factor we must say. You just have to know what you are doing and give your best shot and that does the trick.

8. Apart from your team, who else would you like to give credit to for such a grand success?
The faculty of IMT and our friends helped us a lot in improving our performance. Once we won the cam¬pus round, we asked the other teams of IMT to help us prepare for the final event and it was of great help to us. We needed projectors to practice for the final presentation and were fortunate to have the infra¬structure help from academic building.

9. How are you planning to spend the prize money?
We are ready for some big celebration with that !