Tuesday, February 9, 2016

L'Oréal Brandstorm West Zone Round @ SJMSOM,IIT Bombay

SJMSOM,IIT Bombay was delighted to host the West Zone Round for L’Oréal Brandstorm for the third year in the running. Brandstorm is L'Oréal's unique business competition for students that provides a platform to unleash their creativity and apply ground-breaking ideas to one of L'Oréal's international brands and distribution channels every year. Since 1992, Brandstorm has given to more than 70,000 students worldwide: the possibility to work on real life challenges and be coached by top L'Oréal executives.

The 2016 edition of the competition featured La Roche Posay. Created in 1975, today La Roche-Posay is recommended by 25,000 dermatologists worldwide. Thanks to the product’s strong values of efficacy and tolerance, transparency and honesty, caring and empathy, it has also become the consumer’s brand of trust. All of La Roche-Posay’s products offer minimalist and effective formulas, containing its very own unique French thermal water as the miracle not-so-secret ingredient.  The challenge for this year’s competition was to help the brand on how to attract and recruit new young consumers to the brand (15 to 25 years old).  Also, what digital communication or services or strategy can you come up with to stay close to the brand commitments whilst innovating and addressing the next LRP generation of consumers.

Ms. Divya Gera  (Corporate HR-Talent Acquisition, L’Oréal India) began by commenting on the lively audience that turned up for this event. She described the journey and evolution of Brandstorm over the years which is currently spanning over 46 countries. The competition is now in its 11th year in India and has consistently produced finalists competing in the global finale and the battle has only become much more intense with each passing year. That was followed by a short AV clip being played about Brandstorm 2016, its problem statement and a trip down memory lane with Brandstorm 2015.

Ms. Divya Jain welcomed all and conducted a quick poll about how good people felt about their skin and highlighted the problems that every individual faces when it comes to skincare and the promise La Roche Posay holds for everyone. La Roche Posay has a heritage spanning over a 100 years and is recommended by over 25,000 doctors worldwide. She highlighted some telling statistics concerning skincare and dermocosmetics and also, the efficacy of La Roche Posay when it comes to complete dermatological care. She went on to comment on current trends of marketing in the digital era and concluded by wishing all the competitors the very best.

Ms. Ojaswini Mishra graciously welcomed everyone and thanked the venue partner, SJMSOM for holding the event for the third consecutive year and wished all participants well. 

All participants were given a minute for setting up their props and presentations. The evaluation criteria for all teams would consist of the analysis and the strategy they employed as well as their style of presentation and the team spirit they displayed.

Gist of presentations:

# Team 1 - Makhan Pao: NMIMS

The team made a very engaging case about how skin deserves preventive care in today’s age and presented insightful statistics about the dermocosmetics market size across geographies including Asia and Western Europe. Depicted La Roche-Posay as a knight in shining armor for dealing with various skin afflictions through the viewpoint of 4 different individuals across the globe.

Theme of the Campaign: All Skin is Sensitive

# Team 2 - Enthu Cutlets: MICA

The team highlighted the global trends in the dermocosmetics market in China, Indonesia and India and demonstrated the concept of "Asianification" for natural skin care trends, stressing on the values of Innovation, Efficacy and Minimalism. They portrayed the profiles of 3 customers namely:
1. Taufique- A social media enthusiast
2. Kiki from Laos – An avid instagrammer
3. Merlin Filla – A working professional who is
extremely concerned about her looks.
The team proposed the “My Skin My Feel initiative” and a host of innovations ranging from gamification to digital mirror and a novel Free Hugs campaign. Their “Reapply reminder app” had a host of ingenious ideas.

# Team 3 - Avant Garde: NITIE

The team had an interesting approach to their presentation depicting a boy involved in a relationship, who goes on a 12-day trip to Paris. The solution to the case was displayed in a 12 step format including various aspects of the case like identifying the problem, an in-depth analysis of the health and beauty market, SWOT analysis of the competitors, business opportunities available among various target consumer groups and the various platforms they intended to mobilize for marketing La Roche Posay.

# Team 4 - Albatross: IIM K

Analyzed the geographic details about global trends in skincare and beauty market following a discussion about changing life styles, competitive and target group analysis. A survey on dermatologists, actors, models and a sample group from target audience helped them find out that the ingredients used in the product are the major concern in this age. Proposed Touch points like an app with multiple features, derma network, live interactions, category specific communities, a campaign with micro detailing via multiple digital channels, remarketing and monitoring techniques that can be presented via Google Analytics.

# Team 5 - Bubbly: IIM Bangalore

Started off with the latest trends and innovations in digital and beauty market. Recommended a product “Sensoband”, a digital wearable gadget to monitor lifestyle and habits. Launching an app named “PERMA”, which supports the Sensoband, and has different features including Skin scan, recommendations, etc. Viral Campaign: based on the theme “Are you Sensitive?” which can make La Roche Posay closer to its target audience.

# Team 6 - Triple S: SCMHRD

Started with a primary and secondary research of the dermocosmetics market and followed it with competitor and SWOT analysis. Plan of launching a campaign named “Why Cover Up when you can be Cover Girl?” on the World Skin Health Day. Launch a Skin Deep beauty App along with marketing by means of La Roche Posay bag and In-Flight brochure.

# Team 7 - SParsity: SPJAIN

Theme of the Campaign: #BeSensitiveBeStrong. They suggested establishing a strong emotional connect addressing issues like bullying. Also, the team defined competitor positioning with their research based on inputs from dermatologists and professors. In order to increase awareness of Sensitive VSkin, they planned to host customer engagement campaigns across premium malls, using Virtual Reality technology for an experiential video.

# Team 8 - Northern Lights: SJMSOM

Started their presentation with introduction of customers and stressed on the significance of 15 to 25 age segment and the opportunity presented by this segment in the digital marketing sector. The team then discussed Health and Beauty, Skincare and Dermocosmetics as market segments with special focus on customer interaction in the segment. Their strategy was based on the theme of MySkinFamily, supported by sub-themes such as MySkinChampions and MySkinScheduler, which were proposed to be implemented with campaigns such as #Welcomebacktocommunity and MySkinStories. Summarized their theme with a futuristic idea in Virtual Reality and its potential for La Roche Posay.

# Team 9 - Transcending Bizzare: JBIMS

The team started with Defined Market Segmentation for the skin products and mapped them on the value matrix. They also mentioned the constraints of the skin care products market like customer understanding, geographical breakdown etc., stating how La Roche Posay can overcome them. They have conducted strong primary research by engaging doctors and customers with their secondary research about customer behavior. They suggested mobile gaming, tie-ups with doctors, kiosks at airports to increase online and off line promotion of La Roche Posay.

# Team 10 - Goal Crushers: SIBM,Pune

The team started their presentation with an overview of La Roche Posay and an analysis of the dermocosmetics market along with target consumer behaviour and competitor analysis. They used the concept of Internet-of-Things paradigm through the use of a Digital Mirror. Gamification as a means of marketing through the “Au-Naturel” app and use of Native Advertising to advertise La Roche-Posay as a product .

Theme of the Campaign: “Take Your Skin Seriously”

# Team 11 - Empresarios: IIM Calcutta

Presented data on Skin Problem Influencers and their effects followed by an analysis of Consumer preferences and patterns of usage. Analyzed the various complements and substitutes to La Roche Posay Their theme was based on the introduction of a Skinography App with features such as DermoConnect, Product QR+ and MySkin Journal and creation of content on Social Media along with usage of minimalist posters and infographics to portray the brand’s importance.

After the presentations were over, the judges applauded the efforts put by each team and did admit that the teams did put them in a spot while choosing the winner. Eventually, they decided to select 3 teams to qualify for the National Finals. Triple S (SCMHRD), Goal Crushers (SIBM, Pune) and Makhan Pao (NMIMS) were declared as national finalists for Brandstorm 2016.

Winners of West Zone Round

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Interview with Nagodra Kartik Nileshbhai, a student @ SJMSOM, IIT Bombay

1. How and why did you decide to pursue a management degree?
Coming from a traditional Gujarati family doing your own ‘bujiness’ as we say it was always on my mind. However, when I started my own venture with a couple my friends during the final year of my undergrad, we failed in managing the various management aspects of our venture. As a result, we had to shut our venture down and that is when I decided to pursue an MBA to understand the various intricacies of management. 

2. How was your MBA Entrance exam experience?
I started my MBA entrance preparation in my final year of the Bachelor’s degree. I used to work in a group along with 2 of my friends and we ensured that we were able to complete most part of the syllabus before the mocks began. Although I couldn’t qualify that year, the preparation helped for the next year as I only gave mocks and need to prepare the basics from ground up. Giving mock exams regularly and analyzing my mistakes in them went a long way in getting the desired result.   

3. How has your SJMSOM, IIT Bombay journey been so far?
It has been full of amazing experiences. In the past 6 months, I have had a chance to interact with people like Mr. Kaushik Basu and Mr. Siddharth Roy Kapoor. Also with the plethora of student activities constantly happening in SJMSOM and IIT Bombay, the campus life has been always abuzz with something or the other. Also because of the prestige of this school, I also got a chance to go for a study tour at TEM University, Paris. So yes, it has been one of the most wonderful journey  

4. What were your expectations before joining this college and how different has the experience actually been?
The campus has exceeded my expectations. It is one of the most tranquil places in Mumbai. We have the Sameer Hill from which you can see the Powai skyline and then we have the Powai Lake, which is equally calm and soothing. However, what strikes me the most is the amount of effort people put in various tasks, whether it is a class assignment or an inter hostel competition. That itself motivates to strive and work hard.

5. The first semester of MBA is really hectic. How did you manage your time effectively?
Before joining SJMSOM, I knew that there is not going to be a free meal any day. Studying in one of the finest colleges in the country, you need to ensure that you are always on your toes and grasp as many opportunities as possible. The transition from working in a firm to college is a bit difficult but I used to prioritize my work every day in the morning and did not procrastinate which made life that much easier.

6. Can you state a few qualities or habits that have helped you thrive in your first semester?
I think that if you remain calm and persevere through the initial days in the B school, then you learn to manage and get the best out of your time. I used to attend almost all classes as the instructors are among the best in the country and if you pay enough attention in class you can focus on other extra-curricular activities during the other time.  

7. What aspects do you like the most about your college?
In SOM, the student strength in a batch is only 120 and so rather than being colleagues and classmates it is a one big family. There is never a sense of internal competition among the batch mates and everyone will help everyone else. Also the seniors are always there to help us and would selflessly give up their sleep in order to help the juniors.  This is one of the most amazing cultures we have at SOM and hopefully will continue in to the future. 

8. What were your favorite subjects/areas of academic interest in the first semester?
I really enjoyed the classes on Statistics as well as Marketing during my first semester. In statistics, the cases that we went through helped us in grasping a lot of statistical techniques and their application in daily life. Also in marketing, there were a lot of interesting case studies that were discussed in class. Also the course content is constantly modified to increase its relevance to the current context. When we discussed marketing strategies and its impact for a product as ubiquitous as Parle G, it was quite interesting as well as enlightening.

9. Any advice for other MBA aspirants?
“It's a cruel and random world, but the chaos is all so beautiful”

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Interview with Ankit Nayyar, a student @ SJMSOM, IIT Bombay

Ankit Nayyar, a first year student at Shailesh J. Mehta School Of Management, IIT Bombay is an Electronics and Communication engineer from NIT Allahabad. He has work experience of 20 months as a Software Engineer with Novell Software Development(I) Private Limited. Ankit here is sharing his experiences and life at SJMSOM, IIT Bombay with us.

1.      How and why did you decide to pursue a management degree?
After completing my engineering, when I started working for a software development firm, I realized that apart from having a strong technical knowledge, one also needs to learn to manage different things to be more successful than the rest. I met many successful leaders during my college and work life and saw the stark difference between people who could influence, manage resources well and were respected all around and the people who barely completed their work and were not effective as managers or leaders. The latter type, more often than not, slowdown the growth of their subordinates, who do not have a sense of direction from their leaders. All of these highlighted the importance of a good leader and manager and I decided that if I wanted to be one, an MBA from a reputed institute such as SJMSOM would definitely give me an edge over others.

2.      How was your MBA Entrance exam experience?
At some level, I was already preparing to be a manager even before I started my MBA. As I was working while preparing for entrance exams, juggling between hectic office hours and exam preparation was challenging. It required discipline and committed efforts to keep me focused. I have always been relatively good at quantitative aptitude, so I directed my efforts towards verbal section. I religiously read newspapers every single day and that helped me quite a lot during the group discussions and the interviews that followed. Having soiled my hands with the mock tests well in time before the actual examination, I had developed a positive feeling and was confident about my preparation. I knew that maintaining my cool on the exam day would be the key to my success. This was exactly what I did, and it worked wonders.

3.      How has your SJMSOM, IIT Bombay journey been so far?
Getting into a prestigious B-school like SJMSOM, IIT Bombay was like a dream come true. The minute I stepped into the program, I found myself knee deep in a multitude of tasks and sessions. The first week went away in an attempt to realize the kind of transformation I needed to undergo to become a student once again. The student inside me was lost in the two years I worked as an employee of a firm. In the last few months I have realized that MBA is much more than just academics. You are out of our classroom and then you find numerous sessions from alums and industry experts, projects, presentations and assignments always waiting to keep you occupied. While it took a little time for me to adjust to this hectic schedule, I was surprised to find myself having a lot of fun just as once I did. The learning outside classrooms is what differentiates a good B-School from the rest and I feel that SJMSOM has been doing extremely well in that context as well.

4.   What were your expectations before joining this college and how different has the experience actually been?
After reading and hearing about life at B-Schools, I was all set to roll up my sleeves when I entered the gates of the school. The first few weeks were exactly how it was expected to be, but once I adapted to the schedule, things started feeling lighter, I got to experience a variety of things in the campus.  And while the going does get tough at times, other times are full of fun and enjoyment. Moreover, because SJMSOM is a part of IIT Bombay, this makes it different from the conventional B-Schools of the country. The rigor of a typical B-school is very well complemented here by the liveliness & innovation of a Tech school.

5.      The first semester of MBA is really hectic. How did you manage your time effectively?
Well, it was quite a challenge to begin with. I used to find myself with hardly any time to sleep, let alone keep in touch with family and friends. But I have learnt the importance of time management during that phase. I used to make a timeline in my mind for each day in the morning and I tried to make sure I stick to it. Sometimes when things took longer than expected, I just bumped off less important things from my list. Even then, I had to cut back on sleep a couple of days. The most important thing was to find time for self-study everyday, which made half of the things easier in the classroom.

6.      Can you state a few qualities or habits that have helped you thrive in your first semester?
The most important quality that helped me in the first semester was definitely my punctuality. When you have it in-built in your system to be on time everywhere (even back to your room for self study, when needed), you just know how to manage your time before and after that. Apart from that, paying attention in the class and maintaining a track of what was being taught every day helped me keep pace with my studies. I also constantly read newspapers with articles related to what was being covered in course, which helped me develop a comprehensive understanding as well as increased my interest in the subjects.

7.      What aspects do you like the most about your college?
As I already mentioned, the best thing about SJMSOM is the fact that it is a part of IIT Bombay, and that keeps the spirits high at all times. Moreover, the college offers an opportunity to pursue our hobbies and passions, be it sports, music dance or anything else, if we really want to do something, the college provides excellent guidance and infrastructure. Also, the Professors here are approachable and their way of teaching helps bring out new ideas about things in the minds of students. Another very important part is the help from the seniors. I am not sure about the participants in other B-Schools; we definitely received a lot of guidance and help from them. The whole culture within the school about cooperative relationships and everyone, even the professors, always eager to learn and improve is truly motivating.

8.   What were your favorite subjects/areas of academic interest in the first semester?
The first semester was full of interesting subjects, out of which, I personally liked the courses on Financial Accounting, Economics and Operations Management more than the rest. These subjects helped me to enhance my interest in the field of Finance and provided me with a good base to build my problem solving skills on. I also enjoyed the course on communication. It was very useful and helped me overcome some inhibitions I had, prior to the course related to interpersonal communication.

9. Any advice for other MBA aspirants?
I think it is good to have an idea of what you are expecting from an MBA course. This is important because MBA presents a plethora of opportunities and if one can plan ahead in time and figure out a direction for himself then he can most efficiently gain from such a dynamic course. Apart from that, it is very important to be informed about the changes that happen around the world. MBA can only help you enhance what you already are. Choosing specialization subjects blindly can impact your career irreversibly. Apart from that, keep your cool during the selection process and don’t get disappointed when things do not go your way. You will end up where you are most fit to be.