BLoC Boardroom Challenge – Semi-finals at XIME

XIME hosted one of the prestigious inter collegiate B-school competition called The Boardroom Challenge conducted by The Hindu newspaper on 29th August, 2017. The competition aims to find out the best students who can be future CXO’s of the company. Students from different B-schools participated in the competition and they had to analyse a case study of Nokia’s revival in India. Nokia is now a part of HMD Global which is strategically trying to build its market in India. And thus, the participants had to present their strategy keeping up the limited funds of $ 500 million that had been provided to them. The participants had to critically analyse the situation and provided innovative solutions in terms of business, strategy and in financials. The semi-finals round in Bangalore division had 12 teams selected from a total of 1600 teams in the region. The judges for this event were Mr. Ramanujan Sridhar, CEO, Integrated Brand-Comm Pvt Ltd. and Prof Sam Placid, Director (External Programmes), Administration and Students Affairs, XIME Bangalore.

Participants came up with unique solutions on how they are going to achieve the target. The focus was to decide the product range through which the company should start its business. While most of the teams talked about the brand image that Nokia already has related to its durability and long battery life, they focused mostly on bringing the feature phones in the market considering to maintain the same image in the minds of customer. As the feature phone market segment is highly clustered, a strong brand like Nokia would surely be able to capture the market was the notion of many teams. Some also focused on the premium smartphone range where the profits generated are high. The teams in their own understanding created different product strategy in which some developed a small product range while others created a portfolio of product.

Location of manufacturing and distribution was the next major decision that the teams had to take. Given the collaboration of Nokia with Foxconn, they have to decide whether to setup the manufacturing in India or in China. Participants showcased that China gives a potential savings in terms of manufacturing of the product, India gave them an edge in responsively distributing the products. The teams who looked for China as manufacturing had shown an inventory storage of three months in their hands for smooth distribution. For those who kept their manufacturing in India were keen on building multiple warehouses across the country.

The product marketing strategy provided enormous opportunities which they can utilise to gain the market. Newspaper, print ads and hoardings were the common solutions. Unique solutions like sponsorship for sports events, collaboration with TV serials, support of in-built government apps were mentioned. The sales of feature phones were mainly focused through retail stores; smartphones sale should be done by flash sale on e-commerce platform was the opinion of many teams.

Judges analysed the teams by asking questions related how they have allocated their resources and will these allocations help them in achieving profits in the given term. They also asked questions related to the market perception of the brand in the minds of people; and how teams will be able to generate the market share that they are expecting. The first prize was bagged by the team of Symbiosis Institute of Business Management, Bangalore and the second prize was won by XIME Bangalore.