Monday, October 29, 2007

McKinsey BTO Challenge @ ISB - A report

The McKinsey & Company's Business Technology Office (BTO) conducted the McKinsey Business Technology Challenge for the first time at ISB. The challenge was to use breakthrough technologies to bolster the competitive positioning of leading companies. The technologies to choose from included crowd sourcing and co-creation, ubiquitous broadband and persistent connectivity, virtual worlds and smart network elements.

Senior management from the Mckinsey Business Technology Office, Mr. Oliver Schein from the Germany office, Mr. Shameek Kundu from the London office and Mr. Akil Jain from the Dubai office visited the ISB for the final presentation on 27th October.

The challenge received twenty five entries out of which only six teams were short listed on basis of the quality of the plan submitted. The finalists then made a presentation on the spot illustrating the innovativeness, impact and practicality of their plan. This was followed by Q&A.

The six teams did a fabulous job with innovative plans on a wide range of areas. The six plans covered as diverse segments as a 3D virtual banking environment for a leading bank, smart vending machine for one of the world’s largest soft drink providers, a virtual world environment to aid recruitment process of a top consulting firm, sourcing creative inputs and market data from internet users for animated movies and TV shows of a giant media and entertainment corporation and credit card fraud detection using broadband connectivity for one of the ubiquitous banks. All the ideas were backed by their economic impact, implementation plans and risks mitigation strategies.

Commenting on the plans, Mr. Schein from Mckinsey said, “What distinguishes these groups at ISB is not just the technical content but also the quality of the discussion.” He emphasized the importance of balance among ideas, implementation and risks that brings out the best of technology and strategy giving the competitive edge. Mr. Kundu also appreciated the quality of work of the teams at ISB.

The excitement in the room was accentuated in the end when the audience was told to decide the winners by voting. The team comprising Udayabhaskar Bidurukontam, Sarat Burle, Neha Mittal, Atul Saraogi and Nitin Pandey was voted as winners. Hemant Garg, Rohit Sehgal, Nishant Rawat and Avinash Tiwari were the runners up. These top two teams got latest iPods and the winners also get to enjoy a sponsored trip to the McKinsey office in London.

“Imagine Disney making Hanuman! This can really happen with our idea. It was awesome the way we pulled it off with our presentation.” recalled Atul.

“‘Exciting and great way to showcase and listen to ideas; but more importantly it was fun.” added Hemant.

“The McKinsey BTO Challenge was a fantastic way to explore the application of emerging technologies to specific industries. The entire experience from brainstorming the various combinations of technologies and companies to choosing crowd sourcing for Disney to the unique peer voting to select the winning idea was very exciting.” concluded Udayabhaskar.
Overall an amazing experience, they all agreed.

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