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 ...


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