All the teams, organizers and audience gathered shortly after final pitches. We were all awaiting the announcement with excitement and then came the moment, when Hero MotoCorp team announced that – the Runners Up for the Engineering category goes to the “Team Young Innovators”. I went completely numb for a couple of seconds. I simply couldn’t figure out if I should jump with excitement or shout out loud that finally, my team has won. I just had one thing in my mind – finally, I did it for my team, for my family, and most importantly for my college. 7th February will always be the best memory of my entire college life.
Probably it was perhaps one of the best competitions I have participated in. Moreover, it was something that aligned with my area of interest which happens to be automation. There are various reasons why I took part in this competition. It is a national level competition organized by one of the world leaders of the two-wheeler industry. It provided me a platform to give my college and city, a national level recognition. It also gave me a platform to build and develop my skills. Finally, it provided me with a huge opportunity for networking.
Preparation throughout the competition was a complete team effort wherein we use to take out a few hours during the lunch break and in between the free classes and also post-college hours to dedicate time for this challenge. We use to dedicate at least 30 to 45 minutes of daily discussion for the competition. We also stayed in touch with each other through social media such as WhatsApp or Facebook to discuss and give our opinions to shape our ideas.
The most challenging phase in the competition for us was the mentorship period wherein we had such eminent leaders from Hero MotoCorp like Yashpal Sardana and Kapil Sharma to guide us. To understand every small and big input coming in our way and emerging out to be the best according to their expectations was the most challenging task. At the same time, it was the most fruitful period of this competition.
Working in a team has always been my forte, as I have led a number of teams in various other competitions. I have always learnt to respect others’ opinions and views and take everyone together in a team and proceed further. I won’t say we had clashes but we had differences in opinions which are very obvious given the difference in the backgrounds of each of our teammates. The best way to tackle, we figured out, was to discuss the pros and cons of every opinion and accordingly mould our ideas and further plans.
Some of the most important strengths of my team were our undying teamwork and team spirit, good public speaking, interpersonal communication skills and finally the absence of stage fright. This in total helped us to bring the best out of us with the help of our mentors in the mentorship period and also helped us to present our ideas confidently in front of the top management of Hero MotoCorp.
There were in total 10 teams in the Grand Finale. But for us, the competition was between 5 teams including us in the engineering category. According to our understanding, the team from IIT Bombay was one of our toughest competitors, as they were from the mechanical department and this raised alarm bells for us. But, as the competition proceeded further we presented our prototype very well and hence gained an edge over other teams.
Competition in terms of judgment was extremely fair as they had included judges not just from their organization but also had judges from esteemed institutions like IIT Delhi and other premier institutions. The judging panel was diverse, just and thorough. The competition was nicely organized into various stages. Time to time emails and notifications of the stages and details helped us to prepare well and give it our best.
The competition was framed in different stages in a way that a student did not have to face problems in his daily routine. The best thing that I have learned through this competition is to stay consistent and regular. It also taught me how an industry works and I could see myself change from a student to a professional ready to enter the corporate world. The most special moments for me in this competition were the four days of togetherness with all the 10 teams. I made some new friends for life from different states, colleges, and backgrounds.