Alokananda Chakraborty

IIT (Mumbai) School Of Management wins FCB-Ulka Comstrat 2003

The Shailendra Mehta School Of Management – IIT (Mumbai) has won the eighth FCB-Ulka Comstrat Advertising Case Study Competition held last week

The Shailendra Mehta School Of Management - IIT (Mumbai) has won the eighth FCB-Ulka Comstrat Advertising Case Study Competition that was held in Mumbai late last week. IIM (Indore) emerged the first runner-up, while NITIE (Mumbai) was declared second runner-up. This year's case study competition had eight business schools competing for top honours, and apart from the three already mentioned, these included IIM (Bangalore), Jamnalal Bajaj Institute Of Management Studies, Mumbai, Narsee Monjee Institute Of Management Studies, Mumbai, KJ Somaiya Institute of Management Studies, Mumbai, and NL Dalmia Institute of Management Studies and Research, Mumbai.

The annual FCB-Ulka Comstrat is the first ever - and probably the only - business school-level case study competition in India to be conducted in the area of advertising and communication. A concept creation of FCB-Ulka Advertising, Comstrat came into being in 1995 in partnership with KJ Somaiya Institute of Management Studies, Mumbai. "In our interaction with management institutes, it became clear that despite many management competitions being around, there was nothing for students in the critical region of advertising and communication," MG (Ambi) Parameswaran, executive director, FCB-Ulka Advertising, explains the genesis of the competition. "Almost everything was in the areas of marketing and finance. So we partnered with KJ Somaiya Institute to start Comstrat, where the focus will be on devising communication strategies for brands."

The strength of the Comstrat competition lies in its accent on ‘real-life' communication strategy case studies. For instance, this year's communication strategy case study that management institutes had to crack was on ‘Philips Mini Hi-Fi Systems: The Sound Of Leadership'. "The advertising case studies that students are exposed to in classrooms date back to the seventies and eighties," Parameswaran points out. "The reason we give students a current real-life case study is because we want them to get a feel of solving real-life communication problems. The brief is written out with the client's approval and clearance, and a representative of the client judges the presentations, so that the competition carries an air of authenticity and gives students a sense of working on a live brand." Past case studies at Comstrat include ones for Cadbury Schweppes, Hutchison Max, Tata Indica, ITC Ltd, Marico Industries and TVS Victor.

For the record, this year's panel of judges comprised Sharmila Sahai of Philips, Kinjal Medh of FCB-Ulka and Dorab Sopariwala. Commenting on the competition, Medh (vice-president and head, strategic planning, FCB-Ulka) said, "FCB-Ulka Comstrat is a forum which offers an excellent opportunity for the industry to build an interface with budding advertising talent and also offers a platform for young minds to hone their skills working on ‘live' case studies."

Speaking about the growth of Comstrat, Parameswaran observes that while the inaugural year saw participation from eight or nine schools from Mumbai, today the competition attracts more than two-dozen entries "from premier institutes from all over the country". He is also of the opinion that the standard of the competition has improved significantly. "The quality of the presentations has gone up dramatically, both in terms of spit-and-polish and the content. The thinking is definitely superior to what one saw, say, five years ago. In fact, today, it is hard to choose between the winner and the runners-up." © 2003 agencyfaqs!