IBA wears Unilever bizMaestros 2016 crown | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, November 24, 2016 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, November 24, 2016

IBA wears Unilever bizMaestros 2016 crown

Beating 283 teams from top universities of the country, Team Potter from IBA, University of Dhaka became champions of Unilever BizMaestros 2016. The team will now proceed to participate in Unilever Future Leaders' League (FLL) 2017 which will be held in UK, at Unilever's global head office. In 2016, Bangladesh became champions at FLL and now Team Potter will fight to continue the legacy.

The 7th season of BizMaestros began with Unilever conducting sessions across campuses. This year, the event's theme of “the thrill of real business” came to life through four stages of screening. In each round students were given business challenges which gave them an opportunity for a sneak peek into their future. The first round of BizMaestros took place at Le Méridien hotel that tested stress management and on-spot thinking. Over 200 teams went in and only 22 teams made it to the second round. 

The second round had teams experience their first taste of a side of brand management no one talks about – data analysis. The teams were briefed during the first half of the day, followed by an inspirational interactive session from the 2015 winners of BizMaestros and consequent winners of FLL. The 22 teams then had six hours to reach a pricing decision for Lux. This required them to look at a bunch of data ranging from financial data to consumer panel insights and market dynamics. The teams raced against the clock to crunch the data and reach an optimum solution for the case. The following day they defended and justified their pricing decisions to a panel of expert judges. In the end, 10 teams made it through to the semi-finals.

The semi-final round required the teams to hit the markets – each team was assigned a cluster of stores and in two days they conducted an in-depth research in those selected outlets to create retail store and consumer profiles, and craft a growth plan to drive sales for selected brands at those outlets. The teams had their tasks cut out for them as the judging panel consisted of veterans from the Customer Development Leadership team and brands. After much deliberation, four teams earned their right to the grand finale, with only one more challenge separating them from winning the championship.

The stage for the grand finale was set at Radisson Blu Water Garden Dhaka, with four teams fighting it out to win the chance to represent their county at the global Unilever stage and have their shot at the coveted FLL trophy. Teams were asked to come up with a marketing campaign for LifeBuoy hand wash, a daunting task considering their judging panel consisted of the Management Committee of Unilever. Mastura Tasnim, Tanzir Islam and Rakib Ibnay Hossain – Team Potter from IBA – came up with the best strategy and impressed the judges to lift the trophy as winners of Unilever BizMaestros 2016.

When asked about their journey towards the final destination, Tanzir Islam recalls, “We spent an entire day surveying various markets around Dhaka to understand who buys hand wash and why they buy it. We asked our relatives, neighbours and even those in our villages to gain insights about their hand washing practices. We found out that mothers within the middle income bracket were ready to pay premium when it comes to the well being of their children.” 

Rakib Ibnay Hossain remembers the second round when he left his wallet back home and had to go back to get it. If he were a minute late to the venue, the team would have been disqualified. Mastura Tasnim, who also happens to be a contributing writer at SHOUT, is pumped up to represent Bangladesh at Unilever's global head office in London next April, but for now, she just wants to catch up on her sleep and reading. 

Team Challenge Accepted from IBA, University of Dhaka, secured the first runner-up position whereas Team T-Cube, also from IBA, became third. The grand finale also featured a live performance by Shunno.

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