Brandstorm is L’Oréal’s global innovation competition with over 60 countries competing since 1992. This year, six teams gathered at L’Oréal India HQ to compete at the national finals of Brandstorm. Team StormTroopers from Narsee Monjee Institute of Management studies (NMIMS) Mumbai emerged as the winners, the first runners-up position went to Team Marketrons of S.P. Jain Institute of Management and Research (SPJIMR) and second runners-up were Team Insight Hawks of Shailesh J. Mehta School of Management (SJMSOM). NMIMS and SPJIMR will represent India at the global finals on May 17 in Paris.
The competition gives students of three teams a chance to tackle a real business case and innovate new ideas for L’Oréal’s 34 international brands. The theme of this year’s challenge was to ‘Invent the professional salon experience of the future’ for L’Oréal Professional.
Jean-Christophe Letellier, Managing Director, L’Oréal India, said, “It is overwhelming to see how these young minds are reinventing the future. In comparison to previous years, it was marvellous to see how teams are using technology to transform the beauty industry. Many teams have used digital tools like Augmented Reality, 3D, etc. to revolutionise the salon industry in India and thereby enhance customer experience. In the growing digital connected world, human touch plays a pivotal role in the salon industry. The winning idea was an amalgamation of technology and human touch.”
With over 3,000 registrations from students from over 58 campuses, the competition has intensified over the years. Having commenced in 1992, this was Brandstorm’s 26th year globally and 12th year in India. A key differentiator this year is that L’Oréal encouraged students to factor in the aspect of environmental footprint in their innovative idea. Brandstorm and L’Oréal Professional Products Division invited students to work on a challenge where they had to exhibit a Business-to-Business-to-Consumer (B2B2C) model. The innovation had to respect both types of the professional industry customers: hairdressers and end-consumers. The competition focuses on up-skilling students on the business of beauty and digitisation through Facebook lives, webinars and a specially designed e-learning platform.
Roshni Wadhwa, HR Director, L’Oréal India, said, “As these students are about to embark on their professional journey, competitions like Brandstorm help them channelize their minds to come up with differentiated and out-of-the-box ideas to drive business growth. Apart from innovation, through this platform we aim to entrench students into aspects like long-term feasibility of an idea, scalability across locations, practicality of implementation and cost effectiveness for profitability. Brandstorm is also integrated into L’Oréal’s talent acquisition strategy and serves as an innovative recruitment tool for scouting the best marketing talent.”
Expressing their excitement over winning the national finalists from NMIMS College, Anirudh Mittal, Kushal Gupta and Visakha Agarwal, said, “L’Oréal has offered us a grandstorm opportunity at the start of our careers in the form of Brandstorm. We are all really happy to have won. This is a dream come true situation for us after having spent three months of continuous hard work. We want to take this opportunity to thank L’Oréal to offer us this platform and being part of our journey. We look forward to the finals and hope to make everyone proud.”