I was elated when I got to know that I reached the National finalists of the PepsiCo Change The Game Season 3. I was surprised but not shocked as I knew the amount of hard work I and my partner had put in the research work.
The theme of the competition was “Sustainability”, which is the need of the hour. It is a noble initiative by PepsiCo with the aim to reduce plastic consumption. I wanted to be a part of this initiative and wanted to contribute towards the well-being of Planet Earth. I was partnered up with a senior from my college. As soon as we were partnered, we started working on the problem. He acted as my mentor and guided me throughout the competition.
By far the most challenging phase was to decide the final solution which we were going to present out of multiple solutions that we had thought. Gradually, as we dug deeper into each solution, we realized what our solution will be. We came to the same page and then the brainstorming was even more effective.
I was fortunate enough to learn a lot from this competition and my teammate. We never had conflicts as we understood each other’s strength and weaknesses (constraints). My teammate understood that I lacked certain presentation skills but was good at analysis. Similarly, I also knew that my teammate will be busy during his exams which clashed with the competition. Hence, we divided work accordingly and one would put in extra effort whenever necessary.
Our teams’ forte was discipline and cooperation. We would set short term goals after completing those we would meet to discuss and brainstorm further.
There were 10 teams in the finale of Pepsico Change The Game Season 3. I would consider the team from FMS as my toughest competitor as their solution was very structured. They had all their bases covered. The competition was admirable in every aspect. The judges were very accommodating and tried their best to make us feel comfortable. They were engaged in the presentations and discussions which provided us with confidence.
To quote a personal example – During the final round, my team was supposed to go to Gurgaon headquarters of the PepsiCo and present there but we both had our exams on that day. However, the organizing team accommodated our request of letting us present via Skype that too at a time suitable for us.
The learning that I have garnered is immense. I came to know how to approach a particular problem and then how to present your solution in an effective manner. I also understood the key aspects and bases which need to be covered while presenting the solution.
During the final round, the judges waited 30 minutes to listen to our solution as we had our exams going on. This was very special for me as it showed how much interest they had in our idea and overall how much accommodating and engaged they were in this competition.