Acquiring PPO in Flipkart by acing Flipkart Wired 4.0

Corporate competitions had always been a key area of focus in my MBA journey as they gave me a platform to take my classroom knowledge to the real world. Having worked in a fortune 500 organization I was always fascinated with the use of technology to elevate the human experience and hence E-Commerce was a domain of my interest. When Flipkart launched its flagship B-School competition Wired I pounced on the opportunity to apply my acquired management knowledge backed up with my technical skills to solve challenges faced by a giant like Flipkart. Since I was preparing for this competition for a long time (and well yes, the chance of scoring a PPO made it more lucrative), I was closely following the developments in the E-Commerce supply chain industry regularly. After understanding that how crucial E-Commerce had become to an average Indian in the times of COVID-induced lockdown, I wanted to dive deep into the sector and develop models on how E-Commerce can penetrate in a challenging country like ours.

The case competition required us to develop a model using which Flipkart could cater to the Tier 2 Indian customers with their day-to-day purchase needs. Understanding the importance of this problem statement in the context of Flipkart’s business situation and the national lockdown scenario, our team’s objective was to design an easy to implement supply chain model that could be easily replicated across the country within a time frame of 1 year. After clearing a series of rounds our team had the absolute delight to reach the national semifinals of this coveted competition. The very fact that this competition provided me with a platform to present my solutions and ideas to the top leadership of a dynamic organization like Flipkart tremendously added to my learning curve.

Having missed a chance to be a part of the National Finals, I was overwhelmed when I was called up for an interview with Flipkart in the form of a pre-placement interview (PPI). Well as Flipkart rightly claims “Ab har wish hogi poori” they certainly fulfilled my wish by providing me a chance to kick start my career with an organization like theirs. The interview process which had three rounds (a general aptitude test followed by 2 rounds of interviews) gave me enough opportunities to understand how I as an individual could contribute to Flipkart (technically and behaviorally). The interviewers were very keen on understanding what skill sets I bring to the table and what do I look for in terms of growth and opportunity. After those three rounds of virtual interactions, I finally got to experience that most sought-after day of MBA life when finally Flipkart offered me THE job!

The entire experience of participating in corporate competitions, learning bit by bit in each of them is a continuous journey. A journey that I believe is different for every individual. I cannot be thankful enough to be a part of an institute like IIM Kashipur where the entire atmosphere focuses on making you ready for real-world challenges. With competitions taking the center stage of academic focus it was my institute that played the pivotal role in grabbing my dream job opportunity.

About the author :
Pranav Bhardwaj is currently pursuing MBA from IIM Kashipur, with majors in Analytics and Marketing. He is a part of various student bodies like the The Consulting & Strategy Club, TEDx IIM Kashipur and Prep Cell. You can connect with him on LinkedIn.

Journey of winning ‘ICICI Bank Beat the Curve 2019’ – A step towards being 4th in D2C Competitive B schools 2021

From the beginning of the campus rounds, we focused on the aspect of bringing the youth’s (millennial) perspective to our case solution. For the competition, ICICI Bank Beat the Curve 2019, we chose to suggest an innovative product that will help attract people from 20 to 30 years of age towards the services of the Bank.  

The Challenge

We started by gathering a lot of primary data by getting responses from more than 1000 individuals of varied age groups and localities. The competition had three stages – a campus round, Stage 2 (semi-final), and a Final round. We spent close to 20 hours on the semi-final and the final rounds. The mentorship provided during the semi-final round was particularly very useful. There we understood what aspects of our solution we need to focus upon.

The Winning team – Team Ideates

There were 6 teams who made it to the Grand finale of the competition. They were from institutes like IIFT, FMS, JBIMS, IIM R, etc. During the presentations of the final round, we particularly felt that the team from JBIMS had put in a lot of research in building their solution. But we were confident about our solution as well as the presentation. Both Shubham and I were part of a winning team even in the first year of our MBA. The experience and learning during that competition certainly helped us here. We had confidence in each other. While preparing for the presentation, we helped each other out in finding faults critically and correcting each other. One of us was a late-night worker and the other was an early bird. Instead of quarreling over finding a common time to work, we took it as a plus point. We worked over this across time, building on each other’s work and just cross-checking before submitting the work when we were short on deadlines!

The moments that mattered

The panel of judges was from the leadership team at ICICI Bank. The competition had a unique and amazing judgment criterion. Along with the jury panel, the audience that comprised 50 senior-level executives of ICICI Bank, scored the different teams on 4 parameters. It was based on parameters like research depth, presentation quality, innovation of the solution, and the QnA round. One key learning in this competition was that the delivery of your presentation is as important as the hard work done while building the solution. Also, it is important that you look at your solution from the audience’s perspective. This helps you judge your own presentation before anyone else does! Well, there were two amazing moments for us. One was during the QnA, where we could justify a question put up by a senior executive sitting in the audience. Later, when we took our seats after the presentation, he came to us and praised our solution. That was really reassuring. The second was obviously during the declaration of results when our team, ‘Team Ideates from IIM Kashipur‘ was announced as the National Winners of ICICI Bank Beat The Curve 2019 and we were called on stage!

About the Author:
Chirag Dixit, MBA from Indian Institute of Management Kashipur and currently works with Bloomberg in their Financial Products team.
He has also been a part of the Placement Committee of the institute for both years and has worked in fostering relationship between the institute and industry on various levels. You can connect with him on LinkedIn.