HUL Carpe Diem Season 5 was one of the very first competitions that we participated in during our MBA days. Honestly, we did not have any major expectation. The campus round results came in while we were in the auditorium for a session. It was only after a few people whispered ‘Congratulations’ to us did we realize that we had won that round. It was a surreal feeling, to say the least. There was a smile on our faces for the rest of the session.
The feeling after the results of the finale was overwhelming. “In the end, it was between one of the two MICA teams and the winning team is…”, one of the judges announced. Even though our team did not bag the first position (the other MICA team won), it still is one of our greatest achievements.
We were always intrigued by HUL as a brand. Therefore, a marketing competition in the 2nd month of MBA by HUL exclusively for the 1st year students was a great learning opportunity. We grabbed it with both hands and gave it our all.
We prepared by trying to avoid the mistakes we had made in HUL L.I.M.E where we had teamed up for the first time. So, we did intensive primary and secondary research before brainstorming on an idea. We laughed off some ideas, argued over some, picked our brains for most.
The most challenging phase was probably the night before the final presentation. We were burning the midnight oil to make our presentation perfect. Now that we think about it, we cannot disagree with agreeing on what a certain Bollywood song said, “Safar khubsoorat hai manzil se bhi”.
Our team was diverse with its own core strengths and weaknesses. What made our team unique was someone or the other always playing the devil’s advocate. And that in a way helped to build on an idea or reject it. All of us had thrown our egos out of the window. Hence, the conflicts, criticism only helped in making the solutions better. All three of us are from very different backgrounds, temperaments and life experiences. Each one of us brought the most unique vision to the board while sticking to the brand mantra.
There were 14 teams in the finale. Tough competitors like MDI Gurgaon, NMIMS, and SIBM Pune were ready to battle it out with us. But the toughest was probably the other team from MICA. We knew that the focus MICA provides in marketing right from the start would always give an edge to the representing teams.
My most special moment was a funny one. While waiting at the luggage belt at the Mumbai airport, we realized that we had left the bag, that had our shoes, in the hostel. We went for shoe-shopping before reporting for the competition. The three of us wore an identical pair of shoes for the finale and that still cracks us up!
HUL Carpe Diem Season 5 was probably one of the best-judged competitions we have ever participated in. The judges did not ask questions for the sake of it, rather it was a discussion where we learned a lot. After the competition, we knew what went well, what didn’t, and what we should work on.
My experience was amazing, to say the least. The high tea session with HUL’s Brand Managers at Bandra was one of our better experiences in our MBA life. The session was a day before the finale. It had a calming effect on us and we weren’t intimidated at all by what lay ahead.
We learned what is brand equity, how important is it to know your category as a brand manager. A line that will always stay with us is “What does not add to the brand equity takes away from it!”.
Each corporate organized competition is unique in its own way. From structure to judging criteria. Read more about HUL Carpe Diem Season 5 and the organizers Hindustan Unilever Limited (HUL). Other competitions organized by Hindustan Unilever Limited are HUL Big Brand Theory, HUL L.I.M.E. Season 10, HUL – IT Reboot, HUL FinAce Season 2, HUL- The Premier League.