Updated: Jun 29, 2020
Sankalp Gupta is a first year B.Tech student, who volunteered to share his National Level Case Study winning story with all the members of this platform to share some tips and tricks that his team used in the competition. He and his team member, Udit Sharma, were ranked the Second Runners-Up of MARKSense, a case study competition organized by Department of Management Studies, IIT Roorkee.
1. What was MARKSense Competition all about? Can you share how many registrants and colleges were there?
MARKSense was a PAN-India Quiz and a National Level Case Study Competition organized by IIT Roorkee. It was a part of the annual business fest Confluencia organized by IIT Roorkee every year. Initially, 1,000+ teams registered for the Online Quiz (first round) out of which top 100 were shortlisted and for the final round (on-campus) Top 20 teams were selected based on an abstract Case Presentation.
Some of the colleges that participated in final round were:
SP Mandal Welingkar
SRCC, Delhi University
SSCBS, Delhi University
2. How did you get to know about the competition? Have you participated in such competitions before?
I didn’t know anything about Case Study Competitions and neither had I participated in any such competition prior to this. I am a first-year B.Tech student, who is inclined towards management rather than computer science. I am looking forward to pursue an MBA in the near future. During my research about MBA and CAT on Quora, I landed on the Non-Engineers blog and got to know about the D2C platform. That's when I also got to know about Case Study Competitions and their importance in adding a great value to one's CV.
3. Who all were a part of your team? How did you go about selecting your team members?
My team comprised of 2 members. I found my best friend, Udit Sharma, to be the best member I could have got as he had a sound knowledge of Digital Marketing, Market Research and he was also excellent at giving presentations. I will not recommend anyone to select their team members based on friendship, rather you need to look for like-minded people who can understand the importance of such competitions and can also bring valuable skills to the table.
4. How many rounds were there? What was the case problem?
There were 3 rounds out of which the first 2 were elimination rounds in this competition. We managed to make it to the final round and were quite surprised about that. In the final round, 10 minutes were allotted to each team for the final case presentation.
The Case Statement was:
Case Study: NIVEA
Critically evaluate the assembly of NIVEA marketing mix of the existing product offerings and give recommendations for mix optimization to gain traction with the customers.To what extent, do you think NIVEA can rely on its brand alone for future growth? Construct the strategies that you would recommend to NIVEA’s marketing manager to ensure continued success in the 21st century.
5. How did you go about the preparation for the different rounds? Which resources did you use?
The actual preparation started before Round 2, in which all the 100 teams needed to submit a 3-slider presentation on the abstract case solution. We did a bit of research on Nivea and its existing Marketing Mix. After gathering a bit of pointers on their competitors' strategies, we submitted the presentation and finally made it to Round 3.
For Round 3, we realized that we needed to do a ground-reality check. So, we decided to do an offline survey of Wholesalers, Retailers in our city to figure out the problems in NIVEA's distribution strategy. Out of this, we extracted the problems statements. We kept our PPT pretty creative and simple. We followed the simple chronological order in the presentation and showcased all the solutions backed up with practical implementations.
The magic happened when the judges saw the videos, images of our interviews with the wholesalers and retailers. We also handed them a file of actual surveys with the visiting cards attached as a proof. They were surprised as they didn’t expected it to happen. That is where we felt that we outperformed our competitors and this was one of the reasons for our victory.
6. What was your learning in this competition? What value do you think such competitions add?
We were there to learn, not to win. This competition was open to both postgraduate and undergraduate colleges. But, in the final round, more than half of the teams were of MBA students. Initially, we felt uncomfortable thinking that in front of such students from Top B schools, we won't stand a chance but we gave our best in the end. One of my learning from this competition is that never underestimate yourself when it comes to opportunities like these. My basic knowledge about case studies, market research was based out of the subject Entrepreneurship, which I had opted in Class 12th as an optional subject.
I was exposed to the field of management and attended various workshops conducted by the heads of various MNCs, e.g. Nielsen, the world’s largest marketing research company. All I know about these competitions adding value to one's CV is that they help to showcase your keen interest in management to the other party.
7. What are the top skills required to crack a case study like this? How can one develop them?
Some of the skills which are required are – Confidence, Decision-making, Leadership, Business Development and Effective Communication. These are the skills which everyone can develop over a period of time, but the most important is a business strategy mind-set to understand the problem and find a practical solution.
8. What are some tips you would like to share with the members of this blog?
The judges out there are looking for something to be amazed which might be in your presentation or in your solutions. Overall, there should be some X factor from your side. Try to keep everything in the presentation as simple as it can be, you need to be absolutely clear about each and every word in your presentation.
To get the best thing, you need to ask for it. Never hesitate to ask from your seniors, mentors or anyone out there who you think can help you in this regards. Wish you the best!
Sankalp and Udit were awarded a cash prize of INR 15,000 along with a certificate of recognition:
Many congratulations to both of them and tonnes of gratitude to Sankalp for sharing this story with us.
If you also wish to improve your profile, look at several ways listed in this post. Happy learning to you all!