Feb 01
Wise & Young
Wise & Young
‘You get work from the young and advice from the old’ is a celebarted proverb from Sicily, an island in southern Italy. Sicily is famous for the arts, music, literature, and architecture.
That individuals and businesses across the globe celebrate the Sicilian proverb, in practice, is due to the practical wisdom it upholds. However, with digital technologies growingly disrupting the process and span in which knowledge is acquired and applied to, this philosophy may not entirely hold true in the days to come!
But who’s the one that can concede this fast-changing reality and embrace the future? Of course, it is the wise and the experienced. L&T, thus, with operations in 30-odd countries and a legacy of excellence spanning over 81 years, is growingly inculcating the culture of lending an ear to the young. In other words, the wise is taking advice from the young!
As part of this endeavour, in October through November 2019, L&T hosted a unique contest ~ OutThink ~ for the students of India’s top B-Schools. OutThink is an annual contest wherein B-School students are given a case study and are asked to think out-of-the-box for better and futuristic solutions.
The idea is to draw fresh and innovative perspectives to address an issue or subject, says Mr Kasi Viswanath, Head of L&T’s Head Office HR and Young Professional Talent Acquisition. In OutThink, while the students get hands-on experience in dealing with an industrial scale issue, L&T evaluates the solutions proffered by young minds and explores applicability in business operations.
It is, however, not that students from any B-School can walk-in to this coveted competition. “We identify the B-Schools first and send out invitations. The entries are then sifted by the Corporate HR team along with the team from featuring business, and the shortlisted teams are handed out the case study,” explains Mr Ashish Wadekar, Senior DGM, Young Professional Talent Acquisition, Corporate HR.
This edition of OutThink saw a jump in the number of entries: to be precise,38 institutes and 4,425 participants. But as the two-month-long competition progressed from Round 1 to Round 2 to Round 3, only six teams could survive for the finale.
The finalist teams brainstormed on a case study of epic proportion~ Managing Kumbh, the largest congregation in the world. To say the least, it was tough, for L&T itself had successfully managed the latest Kumbh at Prayagraj (Allahabad) earlier in 2019. And to advice the expert is anything but easy!
Yet, on 22 November, when the six teams ~ IIM Sirmaur, Faculty of Management Studies-Delhi, Symbiosis Centre for Management and Human Resource Development –Pune, IIM Kozikode, IIM Trichy, and IIM Shillong ~ turned up at L&T’s Powai campus for the Grand Finale, they were brimming with confidence.
Mr Yogi Sriram, Senior Vice-President, HR & Member of ECom, L&T, raised the curtains off the Grand Finale, underscoring that OutThink is an initiative to explore how data can make things better. “After all, L&T is in the business of keeping people safe and better,” he said.
Each of the six teams but the IIM Kozikode comprised of three students. Two members of IIM Kozikode could not turn up as they had exam on that day. But that hardly proved an issue in this era of virtual technologies: the two joined-in through video-call.
This apart, the other stand out feature was the all-girl team, IIM Shillong, from faraway northeast. Along with the five other teams, they hit the stage at an all decked-up NB-II Multipurpose Hall.
The jury comprised experts from various businesses and verticals of L&T. They included Mr Atul Mathur, VP & Head of Delivery for Emerging Markets at L&T Infotech; Mr B S Saluja, Head- Corporate Learning & Development at Corporate HR, L&T; Mr Balaji Kumar, Head-Leadership Assessment & Special Talent Initiatives, Corporate HR; and JVS Ramakrishna, Head – Analytics Platform & Solutions, Smart World & Communication Business, L&T.    
Assisting the jury and taking care of the overall arrangements was Corporate HR’s Young Talent Acquisition team comprising Sambit Mohanty, Mayank Dhingra, Pooja Acharekar, Medha Kaushik, Sandeep Jadhav, and Aashita Sharma.
One by one, the participating teams made presentations in a packed hall and answered the queries posed by the jury in quick succession. The young talents weighed the bouncers, stole a minute or two to discuss but batted without fumbling.
The Grand Prize of the Finale was bagged by the visitors from the Capital ~ FMS-Delhi ~ who called themselves Inquisitive Innovators. They, however, had to wait a while in bated breath since Mr Wadekar started announcing the runners-up first.
SCMHRD-Pune stood out the 1st Runner-up, while the ladies from IIM Shillong bagged the 2nd Runner-up position elbowing out the other teams.
With other dignitaries present on the dais, Mr R Srinivasan, EVP & Head - Smart World & Communication Business, L&T, gave away the prizes: a cash reward of Rs 1.5-lakh to the Winner, Rs 75,000 to the 1st Runner-up and Rs 40,000 to the 2nd Runner-up.
And Below Is What The Six Finalist Teams Have To Say About Their Journey to OutThink Finale ...
Jan 31
Truly Triumphant
Truly Triumphant
Participation in L&T OutThink Case Study Challenge 2019 came as a reassurance that we are on the right track!  Making it to the Finale in a competition of this magnitude was an emotionally overwhelming experience.
The fact that we were competing with some of the sharpest minds from India’s B-Schools made us feel like we were the winners already! A truly triumphant feeling! OutThink is a unique competition in the sense that it tests the participants on fundamental understanding of core infrastructure and financial principles. We scanned through several research papers, spoke to many stakeholders and noted their opinions and suggestions. It was a real joy to interact with such brilliant minds.
As regards the team, we gave ourselves enough space so that an individual gets to focus on his core area of interest and expertise. We maintained a balance between team spirit and the level of competitiveness at all points in time. There were conflicts on time management but those were resolved expeditiously.
The key learning from the competition was the importance of research, especially when you are dealing with a highly technical subject, and how to present an idea attractively.
Jan 31
A Surreal Experience
A Surreal Experience
We are team ‘Inquisitive Innovators’ from Faculty of Management Studies (FMS), Delhi. The three of us embarked on the journey to OutThink 2019 by undertaking extensive secondary research so to predict trends and analyse future opportunities for smart city projects.  
We went through several research papers, newspaper reports and articles, and analysed crucial statistics. It was amazing to discover the amount of work that has been accomplished both at the national and international level as regards smart cities.
Each of us took our core strength to the table. While Sourav put to use his knowledge as an electrical engineer and experience as a consultant, Ashwini Kumar refined the ideas by providing constant critique and thus, making our concept foolproof. Nivedita was instrumental in perking up the presentation and ensured that the ideas flew cohesively.
During the exercise, the three of us had quite a few brainstorming sessions on the topic. We were constantly instigated by thought-provoking queries that L&T had provided in the case study. On being selected as one of the finalists, we gave our best in shaping our ideas in a well-knit structure so to stand out from the crowd.
As we touched down in Mumbai for the D-Day, L&T left no stone unturned in providing us a comfortable stay. They also organised interactions with industry leaders working on smart city projects.
And much to our delight, we clinched the title as the national winners of OutThink 2019. It was really a surreal experience! We would like to thank L&T for providing us an enriching learning opportunity such as this.
Jan 31
Focused on Precision
Focused on Precision
The journey to L&T OutThink was really exhilarating! The setup and esteem panel present at the Finale added immense value to the overall experience.
The organising team was extremely accommodative in allowing only one of us to be present physically at the Finale while the other two members joined on video call as they had exams that day. One of the biggest learnings for us from the Finale is the realisation that we could’ve focused more on precise recommendations and should have brainstormed more on the basic questions.
The Finale was throughout interactive by way of leadership talks and small quizzes and this was great! OutThink 2019 was also unique in terms of case statements that were very detailed. Through all the three rounds, the problem statements pointed at the level of commitment required for making a presentation on a platform like OutThink.
Jan 31
Boost to Capability
Boost to Capability
It was an exhilarating experience to be in the Grand Finale of one of the most coveted corporate competitions, L&T OutThink 2019. The journey was genuinely mesmerising, where we all came together from different backgrounds to put on our thinking hats and come up with innovative ideas for smart city projects.
Learning about smart city planning, upcoming technologies and in turn, the efficiency that they generate for the citizens helped us in shaping our approach.
One fantastic thing about the 2nd Round was the case related to traffic congestion, and no place could have been more apt than Shillong to feel the importance of this for a city. Shillong is the city where the roads remain overcrowded, and yet the traffic is handled well in this hill station dotted with numerous educational institutes.
We, as a team, believe that no idea and strategy is complete unless it is feasible and sustainable in the long run for all the stakeholders ~ both the implementation agency and the users ~ and this helped us to tread beyond our capabilities to look for a simple yet sustainable solutions for smart cities.
Jan 31
A Lifetime Experience
A Lifetime Experience
To us, the case study for OutThink 2019 ~smart city project ~ was like exploring a new zone amidst the usual curriculum of management studies.The aspects encompassed through all the three rounds of this annual competition gave us a new horizon for a holistic approach while evaluating large infrastructure projects.
The final round was an absolute wildcard entry in the thinking process. While all the tasks carried out in Round 1 and 2 was about evaluating the past events, such as, Ardh-Kumbh and data on road accident fatalities; the final round was about exploring innovation and improvement for future mega congregations like Kumbh.
The experience at the Finale was absolutely mind blowing! Firstly, we were overwhelmed by the warmth extended to all the finalists for the three days as regards travel, accommodation and food.
During the presentations at the Finale, we got a hands-on lesson of evaluating a project of such magnitude as the Kumbh. In academia, the focus is on innovative thinking and frameworks but here, the corporate leaders gave us the much-needed insight that feasibility in terms of applicability, cost and returns is much more important. In all, participation in OutThink was once-in-a-lifetime experience for us!
Jan 30
A Big Thanks!
A Big Thanks!
The two case studies assigned to us helped in analysing a lot about the present scenarios and gave us rich insights as regards further improvement by way of offering innovative solutions. The Grand Finale in Mumbai helped us come across the perspectives of the other finalist teams. The sharp questions and all-encompassing feedback from the jury led us to dwell more into the subject.
A big thanks to L&T for providing us a platform to present our findings in front of the top corporates. Overall, the journey to L&T OutThink 2019 has been an enriching experience for our team.

 ‭(Hidden)‬ Blog Tools