Airtel iCreate 2019 focused majorly on Product Management. So, we didn’t know what to expect from the case. When we got the case, it was pretty different from a generic product management case. The case focused on the high-speed broadband services around the nation and we had to interact with all the stakeholders of the value chain, right from a servicing executive to a product manager, to get to know about the ground realities of the industry.
Challenges we faced
The deadline for submission was after the Diwali holidays and this made it difficult to coordinate between ourselves as we were staying at our respective hometowns. From 1400 participating teams, top 15 teams were selected from top B-Schools around the nation, for the grand finale. All the teams brought their best to “the day” and each of them proposed some of the most innovative solutions to the problem statement. We believe, Team 7 from IIM Indore gave us the toughest fight in the finale as the deployment plan of their proposed solution was really exhaustive.
The team – Ideates
We as a team, have been participating in various competitions from our first year of MBA. We learnt from every competition that we participated in. On our journey from Kashipur to Gurgaon, we tried to enjoy to the fullest to forget all the stress that was building on our minds. We both were foodies and that’s why we made various stops at McDonald’s, Subway, Dhabas, etc. Also, we really had a blast during that journey to the Airtel Center, Gurugram. We had dreamt of winning a corporate competition right from our early days at IIM Kashipur. Fortunately, we made it in the end.
Our team, Ideates, have participated and won 10+ B-School and Corporate Competitions throughout our MBA journey. This helped us understand the strengths and weaknesses of one another. Thus, we were able to work with the best possible efficiency. The one thing that we have in common is that we both are tech geeks.
We believe, it was our teamwork, which helped us in getting selected as one of the only 3 wildcard entries from all B-Schools in the nation. It was this forte, which made our journey from a wild card entry to the National Winners of Airtel iCreate Product Challenge 2019, possible.
Why was Airtel iCreate 2019 different?
The competition was judged by the senior management of Airtel: Mr. Adarsh Nair, Chief Product Officer; Mr. Rohit Raghav, Chief Product Officer, Wynk Limited; Mr. Abhishek Biswal, VP – Product, Airtel.
We went through a rigorous Q&A session after our respective presentations which covered each and every aspect of the solution, right from technology to the financials for checking the feasibility of the solution. The structure of the case was such that the deliverables were pretty specific and to the point. We had one of the best learning experience while coming up with the solution for the case.
Our major takeaways
These were the following learnings from Airtel iCreate Product Challenge 2019 which made us a better product manager for the future:
1) Customer Experience is the most important aspect of your product/service. If we want to build a future proof and sustainable product, we need to understand the requirements and the problems faced by our target market.
2) We need to analyse the roles and responsibilities of all the stakeholders of the value chain to build a sustainable business out of our product.
3) We need to find out as many use cases as possible for our product/service before launch. This will help us in determining the possible roadblocks in the future.