While the global economy is still grappling with a meltdown, three final-year students from Indian Institute of Management, Lucknow, have not only ensured a place in PepsiCo, but will also be flying to New York to advise Indra Nooyi, the global CEO of PepsiCo, on corporate social responsibility projects (CSR) of the company.
The three students have been short-listed from among over 500 entries that came from top B-schools of the country and underwent rounds that tested their ability in handling business challenges.
The first round of the competition named "Taste the Success - Become Indra's Advisors - was extended to three weeks in October and November last and participating teams were from top-B schools of the country including six IIMs - Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Kolkata, Lucknow, Kozhikode and Indore; Management Development Institute (MDI), Xavier Labour Relations Institute (XLRI), Jamshedpur; Symbiosis Institute of Business Management (SIBM), Jamanalal Bajaj Institute of Management Studies (JBIMS), Mumbai etc. All full-time MBA students of these B-Schools were eligible to participate in the contest.
The three winners - Ankit Dhingra, Chittaranjan Mishra and Ashutosh Bhatt - will leave for the US on January 30 and meet Nooyi in New York on February 2.
The competition included a game on business stimulation, where the participants were given challenges keeping the business of PepsiCo in mind and then they were expected to make important decision relating to manufacturing plants, pricing etc to meet prevailing market situations.
"In the present economic scenario, the opportunity that we have got is incomparable. First, pre-placement offer from the company like
PepsiCo and then the chance to visit global headquarters of the company in New York to advise their CEO on projects relating to corporate social responsibility is great," said Dhingra, one of the members of the team called "Markaraz".
"This is something beyond our classroom or on-campus challenges. We are studying the trends and structure of the international market of food and beverages more closely than we had done for the competition," he added.
Asked if they had any strategy in mind, the team members said they would stick to the sustainability model.
"The CSR activity should be aligned with the business the company is into. Thus, in order to have sustainability in the business, we should be investing in environment and the people, which are linked to the business rather than investing in completely distant CSR activity," said Dhingra.