Rabi Sankar Saha and Sethu Madhavan, representing Capgemini, emerged winners of the BusinessLine Cerebration Quiz, organised in association with Union Bank of India, in Mumbai on Saturday. The duo prevailed over five other teams in the final round.

The quiz, which is in its 17th year, is one of India’s toughest corporate business quizzes and received more than 900 registrations across elimination rounds in Delhi, Bengaluru, Kochi, Mumbai, Chennai and Hyderabad.

Saha and Madhavan ran up a good lead from the first round itself and emerged winners with a total of 70 points. Pranav Hari and Suhas Pai from IIT-Madras came a close second with 60 points, helped by a flourish of correct answers in the final, buzzer round.

Hari and Pai could have taken the title had they not accumulated 50 negative points for wrong answers. The winning team was awarded prize money of ₹75,000.

Saha, who is a regular quizzer and had participated in the BL Cerebration quiz in 2014, said: “It’s been an exhilarating experience. I will hopefully invest some of the money that we have won today in books as we are regular quizzers, and as we know, quizzing has no syllabus.”

The winning strategy

Revealing the team’s strategy, Madhavan said: “We were actually slightly worried because we were against the team from Delhi that had won another national quiz. So we decided to gain a lead up front in the initial two rounds while taking some risks. I am glad that worked out in our favour.”

The quiz was divided into three rounds, each testing the participants on different facets of the world of business. Quizmaster Miraj Vora from Quiz Works started the proceedings with an exhilarating buzzer round followed by an audio-visual round. Here are some of the questions that were thrown at the finalists. Which company started as a textile manufacturing company established by Oliver Chace in 1839 as the Valley Falls Company? (Answer: Berkshire Hathaway). Name the Indian ad guru who founded Madison World and Madison Communications. (Sam Balsara). Which company was named after a legend of the Lakota people about a trickster spider character known for his ability to defeat larger adversaries through wit and cunning? (Inktomi). Who started the TV production company “Perfect 10 productions” (Nadia Comaneci). Which country, known as the land of fire, was previously the jersey sponsor of Atletico Madrid? (Azerbaijan)

Addressing the audience, R Srinivasan, Editor, BusinessLine, said: “All of us editors have been ex-quizzers and have a soft spot for it. I believe it is not just a test of memory but a test of ability to react to the unknown and bringing information together.”

Miraj Vora said that having had an experience of moderating more than a thousand quizzes, what made the BusinessLine quiz different was that here, participants from established corporates, start-ups and educational institutions locked horns at the same level.

He said: “We saw a rising number of students participating this time. The diversity of this quiz is truly growing year by year. Every year we try to cover the extreme ends of the business world by bringing in questions from what has become history and also what is coming up in the business world.” The quiz master also had various audience questions after each successive round and there was enthusiastic participation from the large crowd.

Runner-up IIT-Madras, and second runner-up Deepjyoti Kalita and Aditya Chakraborty from Laxmi Mittal Niwas Institute of Technology were awarded ₹50,000 and ₹25,000, respectively.

“Seeing the kind of response that we have been witnessing year after year, we would love to take the quiz to more cities so that people from distant places can compete and be a part of this quiz, which is now one of India’s longest-running corporate quizzes,” said Srinivasan.

Mumbai regional round

Earlier in the day, Avinash Mudaliar and Rahul Kottalgi from Network 18 took the top spot in the Mumbai regional round of the Cerebration Quiz. The team from Network 18 triumphed over five other teams who were selected after a written preliminary round.

The Mumbai regional round witnessed over 100 teams competing for a spot in the finals.

Sunil and Rushi from SIMSR were the first runners-up followed by Discovery India’s Isaac John and Siddhartha Bannerjee