Financial Daily from THE HINDU group of publications
Saturday, Dec 04, 2004
Industry & Economy
Business plan contest evokes spirited response from students
Kochi , Dec. 3
MERA Gaon Mera Desh, a business plan contest with the intent of bringing out unique business ideas that have the potential to create value for rural India, commenced in October 2004 across 22 premier business schools in the country and 12 business schools abroad.
With substantial campus awards and overall prizes and pride at stake, the business plan contest generated considerable enthusiasm among the student community.
This contest is one of the most talked-about in B-school campuses this year because of the huge pride and prize money involved. With Rs 6 lakh for the overall first prize and Rs 1.5 lakh prize money per B-School, this event saw one of the fiercest competitions ever across campuses.
Out of the 300 plus business plans submitted by 34 B-schools, 38 were submitted by IIM Kozhikode (IIM K), which was the highest among all the participating business schools, a press release from IIM K said.
All the ten teams which made it to the final round at IIM K were presented certificates of merit. The ideas presented were novel, innovative and involved intense efforts by the teams to provide a viable and unique business plan.
Announcing the winners, Mr R.J. Jacob, Head Corporate Quality and Product Development, ITC, emphasised IIM K's participation in the contest and thanked all the participating teams for their commendable work.
He stressed that it was difficult to judge from among the selected teams as all the plans featured innovative ideas and extensive groundwork to put together a viable plan.
The top honour and cash prize price of Rs 1 lakh was bagged by the team `Kites' comprising Mr Chittaranjan Tripathy, Mr G. Krishan and Mr Deepak Krishna S.S., with their idea of tapping into the lucrative organic food market by influencing farmers to adopt organic and contract farming.
The plan sought to capitalise on ITC's widespread presence in rural areas while at the same time, removing price uncertainty and generating employment in villages.
A close second was team `Pied Pipers' comprising Mr Varun Madhok, Ms Jasleen Kaur and Mr Shailendra Rana for their vision of realising the potential of the highly lucrative markets for virgin coconut oil and other value-added coconut products.
Their plan aimed to empower farmers to take up the challenges of managing farms and processing units on a sustainable basis by imparting skills through training activities.
The finals of the contest are to be held in Kolkata on January 15, 2005, which will see participation from foreign business schools also.
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