A two-member team from IIM-A, Soumya Shaw and Kartika Mittal calling themselves The Pirates of Vastrapur , won the first edition of Agon 2013, a business case challenge organised by Capgemini, the consulting, technology and outsourcing services multinational.

The team won a cheque of Rs 1.5 lakh in prize money from Aruna Jayanthi, CEO, Capgemini India. Chappan , the team placed second, with Sudeep Mohan and Alok B of IIM Indore, won Rs 75,000 while Griffindors , with Swetha T. and Anilkumar of IIM Lucknow, took home Rs 50,000.

Agon (Greek for competition), offered a competitive platform for B-school students to showcase their ability in solving a real-life business challenge through digital transformation.

In this first edition of Agon, Capgemini had invited participation from top 10 B-schools across India, which included IIMA, IIMB, IIMC, IIML, XLRI, FMS, IIMI, IIMK, S.P. Jain, and XIMB. Students were required to build teams of two to five members within their respective institutes. After registration, the students were assigned a real business challenge. They had to come up with a digital strategy for a Western luxury apparel brand.

The contest received an overwhelming response from 350 teams within a week of its launch. The entries were evaluated by a group of senior experts across Capgemini. Three teams were shortlisted based on parameters such as innovativeness and feasibility of the solution, and its ability to reach out to a global customer base by leveraging digital tools. Capgemini CEO Aruna Jayanthi said, “In the era of a digital economy, we are happy to offer a platform to next-gen leaders which enables them to leverage the capabilities of digital tools to solve business challenges. Looking at the overwhelming response, we would like to extend this platform in its second edition by inviting more B-school institutes and external industry experts.” Two members from each of these teams were flown to Capgemini’s Mumbai offices to present their solution to the jury for the final verdict. The jury comprised external and internal experts, which included Natarajan (Nat) Radhakrishnan, Offshore Head for Consulting, Rajesh Padmanabhan, Head, HR, and Ashutosh Misra, Head of Delivery, Capgemini India while Business Line ’s Senior Deputy Editor Vinay Kamath was the external jury member.

The winning strategy

The winning duo, who articulately defended their position, said that they were clear that a digital strategy is just a part of the entire business strategy.

“It was the complete business strategy that would need to be revamped. The business model would also undergo a change from being purely a push model to a mix of push and pull, and this demands that not only an excellent customer support be put in place, but also a robust delivery network be there along with a strong ERP system. Also, directing high-end consumers to make a switch from the physical shopping medium to the online one would pose a challenge,” said the two winning ‘pirates’, Shaw and Mittal.

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