The finale was held at the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel, Mumbai on 29th January, 2012
January 31, 2012:
IIM Bangalore overcame FMS - Delhi, SPJIMR - Mumbai and IIM Ahmedabad who came in the second, third and fourth places respectively, in what can only be described as a hard fought final of ‘Lessons in Marketing Excellence’ (L.I.M.E). The finale was held at the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel, Mumbai on 29th January, 2012. The Honourable Minister of Railways Shri Dinesh Trivedi was the Chief Guest for L.I.M.E Season 3. In the last 2 years, L.I.M.E has become one of the most prestigious and hard fought competitions among India's top business schools.
SPJIMR – Mumbai was rated as the most entertaining presentation through an audience voting system. However, IIM Bangalore were selected as the winners of L.I.M.E. season – 3 by a jury comprising of Geetu Verma, Executive Director – Foods division, Hindustan Unilever, Sanjay Pugalia, Managing Editor, CNBC Awaaz, Piyush Pandey, Chairman Ogilvy South Asia, Devi Prasad Pande, Advisor, Indian Railways and Anjali Goel, ED, Indian Railways. They were announced winners of ‘Lessons in Marketing Excellence – Season 3’ because of the novelty and originality of the ideas they pitched for. The cases not only reflected an in-depth research and understanding of the challenge but also provided focused and relevant solutions that were cost effective and easily implementable.
The case study was offered by the Indian Railways, which is not only one of the world’s largest rail networks but also the backbone of the Indian economy and a potent symbol of the nation. The teams from the respective B- schools chalked up plans to enhance revenue and better the brand image.
Speaking on at the event, Dinesh Trivedi, Honourable Minister of Railways said; “I would like to compliment the participating teams and the judges who were evaluating them, because they have done a fabulous job. This challenge is indicative of the fact that when our young minds are given a task, they will get involved and come up with solutions. In the time constraint, they have begun to think about the railways in a new light. It would take a lifetime to understand the complexity of a system which has 14lakh employees and an agricultural nation to nurture, which has a large part of its population residing in remote villages. We have 129 new projects, out of which only 14 are financially profitable, which is indicative of a very complex social issue as well.”
He added, “I am concerned that none of the teams spoke about safely, which is one of the most basic necessities of any transport system to create confidence among the travelling public. This in part, can only be achieved through the minimalisation of human intervention. The present railway system has outlived its utility. It needs a complete overhaul, a complete mordernisation which would make it completely safe and comparable the safety standards of the Japanese. They haven’t witnessed a single casualty in 47 long years, with a 60 second leeway for punctuality.”
Nitin Paranjpe, Managing Director & Chief Creative Officer, Hindustan Unilever added, “As I look back on the last 3 years and think of the journey we’ve been on, I’m reminded of the dream we started with; a dream to put together a platform which would showcase and nurture the top talent in India. We wanted to make sure that this forum gave the top minds in India a chance to look at some of the issues we face with a fresh perspective. We wanted to create a forum which went beyond just business and tackled issues of national interest. It gives me great pleasure to watch this idea grow over the last 3 years to fulfill the role it was envisioned for.
Anuradha Sengupta, Features Editor, CNBC-TV18 said, “Every successive edition of L.I.M.E. gives us a chance to improve. While we remain the only competition that gives MBA students real life case studies from such a diverse set of sectors and a large array of companies, we are constantly innovating to make L.I.M.E. more inclusive. The 3 wild card entries were very critical in this aspect, because it opened up the competition to colleges other than the top 12 in the country. I’m happy to report that there’s a hunger in these colleges to be noticed and that they’re bursting with talent we, need to tap into.”
In keeping with the tradition, the finale of L.I.M.E Season - 3 shifted the paradigm completely and gave the finalists a chance to go beyond business and grapple with problems that were of national significance. In the first year it was the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) which looked for a comprehensive marketing plan. Last year the competition revolved around the Olympic Gold Quest looking for solutions to raise funds for the Indian athletes competing in the 2012 London Olympics.
In tandem with the previous years’ quest to answer problems of national significance, the case study was on the Indian Railways, with the final objectives being revenue enhancement and re-positioning of the Indian Railways. To this effect, the criteria for selection of ideas for revenue enhancement were in line with vision 2020. Any revenue generation idea had to be better than alternative modes available of roadways and air. Cost effectiveness was another criterion of importance, along with elaboration of any alliances possible and in keeping with the railways vision to improve customer satisfaction through maximizing productivity of assets and reduction of costs.
Criteria of selection of ideas for brand image were that most of the advertising money is spent on tenders, the money intended to be spent for brand building is not more than Rs 60 cr per annum, focus on service improvement and promotion using the word-of-mouth quantum and velocity. Innovation in service implementation and a ‘never done before’ action would lead to better results in each of the segments.