It took us a minute to process what we all had just heard. All the pain and stress of back-to-back sleepless nights spent working and reworking the financial model of our business idea, drafting and redrafting our final report and presentations, suddenly vanished! We were overjoyed that we won the challenge for IIM Ahmedabad and for our batch PGPX 2018-19.
We felt it would be the best platform to validate our B-school learning. For the preliminary round, we did a lot of research and detailed group discussions. We hardly had 48 hours for this round. For the final round, we had about 4-5 days to work on the idea. We had industry help in the form of our mentor Mr. Rahul Chaudhari from Amazon. Before we could type a single word, 80% of our time was spent on just refining the idea. It was quite an enriching learning experience because our batch mates were very helpful and pitched-in some of the most amazing ideas during the closed group discussions.
Competing in the national finale in the middle of exam season was itself the most challenging and unforgettable experience for us. After the finale, we landed back in the campus and headed straight to the examination hall. We worked like a well-oiled machine as we had split various aspects of the challenge amongst ourselves. Conflicts did arise while discussing the positioning of the product or while talking about the revenue model. However, one of us would always play the role of a mediator and resolve the conflict in an amicable manner.
Our team, by now, has a good understanding of ‘customer-centricity’. We are confident that whichever organisation we end up working with, we’ll be able to come up with a compelling product for our customers.
From the 10,000 participants, five teams progressed to the finals. We realised that the other four teams had put an equal amount of hard work in developing their respective solutions. There was a hair’s width difference amongst us. In the end, we were able to convince the judging panel that our solution was feasible.
The judging panel did not make it easy for us. They grilled us by asking questions from every possible angle – finance, marketing, and technology. The judging quality was absolutely top notch. The competition was very well organized from start to finish. Our greatest learning during the competition was that every business challenge has a solution. It only needs teamwork and perseverance to find that solution. Holding the trophy aloft was definitely a special moment for us.
Do you have your eyes set on winning ACE Challenge 2018? Read more about ACE Challenge 2018 and the organizers Amazon to cover all your basis. Other competition organised by Amazon is Alexa Skills Hackathon.