I was slightly surprised but delighted to know that we are the National Finalists of the L’Oréal Sustainability Challenge. The team had put in considerable effort towards the execution of the idea and we were expecting a positive response.
My team members and I were attracted by the name of the competition. The idea of sustainability appealed to all three of us and we decided to go ahead with it. We saw this competition as an opportunity to make a small contribution to the betterment of the environment.
Preparation of L’Oréal Sustainability Challenge
We started by exploring and discussing multiple ideas. Some ideas seemed really attractive but we realized that any idea had to be feasible as well. It took us 2-3 sittings to finalize an idea which could be executed in our college campus. We wanted our design to be practical enough to be used by anyone. We tested the product outside our college campus as well. The positive response from a group of test audience encouraged us further. Once the idea was conceived, it took us a week to design the prototype, test it in various scenarios and make necessary modifications to it.
It was a wonderful experience being a part of Team Nimbus- the name Nimbus taken from Harry Potter’s magical broomstick used in Quidditch. The novelty and simplicity of ideas shared by Priyanka and Himani, my teammates, kept on surprising me. The only conflict we had was regarding the selection of the idea. We resolved this by discussing the feasibility of the options suggested by each member. The execution part did not throw up any major conflict and we were on the same page often. They were wonderful to work with and I wish to participate with them in future competitions too.
The difference in each individual’s personality, but a common ability to listen instead of speaking to make one’s views heard is our team’s forte. Priyanka is the calm one who has the ability to analyze a situation or a problem from multiple dimensions. Himani is the perfect analyst. She puts forward the right questions. I was lucky to work with them.
L’Oréal Sustainability Challenge Finale
There were five teams in the finale. I felt that the team from MICA was our toughest competitor. Personally, I loved their idea. It was simple, practical and intended to solve a problem which we all face, but never gave much thought to.
The judgment was of the highest quality because multiple entries had been diligently vetted before selecting the finalists. I can say so with confidence because, on the day of the finale, one of the judges could easily point out the best features of the ideas of the finalists and also of a few who couldn’t make it to the finals. The L’Oréal Sustainability Challenge had clearly defined the output expected from the participants. There was clarity at each step of the competition.
Learning from L’Oréal Sustainability Challenge
The most important learning was that simple solutions resonate best with everyone. I also realized the value of a good presentation. A good presentation often enhances the attractiveness of an idea. However, an unsatisfactory presentation can kill a good idea. By presentation, I do not mean the attractiveness of the slides but the way the idea is put forward.
The organizers were helpful throughout the competition. They addressed our questions promptly. The hospitality provided by L’Oréal on the day of the finale was delightful. The office tour, the food matched up to the high standards that L’Oréal sets for itself. The team at the L’Oréal office were friendly and cooperative. The interaction with the senior leaders was engaging and insightful, making me want to go back to L’Oréal.
The most special moment was an interaction with a street vendor while testing our prototype. After seeing and using our product, he asked us “Market mein kab la rahe ho? (When are you going to bring it in the market?)” This was a moment which gave us satisfaction and the confidence to emerge as winners.
Do you have your eyes set on winning L’Oréal Sustainability Challenge? Read more about L’Oréal Sustainability Challenge and the organizers L’Oréal to cover all your basis. Other competitions organized by L’Oréal are BRANDSTORM 2018 and Innovation Runway Challenge.