7 months ago

IBA-DU team crowned champions in 'Battle of Minds 2022'

Team Drogo from IBA, University of Dhaka, with the champion trophy; (from left to right) Sadid Jubayer Murshed, Tasmim Sultana Nawmi, and Syed Shadab Tajwar
Team Drogo from IBA, University of Dhaka, with the champion trophy; (from left to right) Sadid Jubayer Murshed, Tasmim Sultana Nawmi, and Syed Shadab Tajwar

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With a broad goal of making a positive impact on changing people's lives and thinking beyond borders to create a sustainable future, business competitions came into being. This also came with a unique opportunity to familiarise students with real-life business scenarios and bring out their entrepreneurial genius.

One of our country's most prominent business competitions is 'Battle of Minds', organised by British American Tobacco (BAT). Team Drogo from IBA, University of Dhaka, became the champions in 'Battle of Minds 2022'. The team shared with this writer its journey throughout this competition. The insights were overwhelming.

The key to cracking a business competition is forming a team where each member has a unique feature, and it is very crucial to sort a balanced team to proceed through the rigorous rounds.

Reminiscing about their team formation, Sadid Jubayer Murshed, the guy behind the numbers and the ideas of Team Drogo, said, "We have known each other since our first year at IBA. Shadab and I were perennial course teammates until we took different majors in our final year. We also competed in multiple debate competitions together and achieved considerable success.

However, we had never done a business competition together, and we thought Battle of Minds would be an excellent opportunity to change that. Nawmi and I did the HSBC Business Case Competition together previously this year. We knew we would make a great team because we had prior experience of success, complete faith in team member’s abilities, and divergent skills and personalities that fit together neatly."
Does the winning team have previous experience in other business competitions? Unsurprisingly, all three members of Team Drogo have participated in quite a handful of business competitions earlier, but this was their first time as a team.

"I have been doing business competitions since my first year of undergraduate studies and got a fair bit of success here and there. Earlier this year, I won the HSBC-IBA Business Case Competition. I have also had the privilege of representing my institution and country in two global finals namely HSBC-HKU Global Business Case Competition and Cornell University EMI Case Competition," said Syed Shadab Tajwar, the marketing and branding engine of Team Drogo, about his previous experiences in business competitions.

Explaining how the competition was different from the other ones they participated in, Tasmim Sultana Nawmi of Team Drogo said, "Battle of Minds gave us an experience of what practically working for a corporation would entail. Every task pushed us to explore the applicability of the strategies we came up with and the feasibility of the business idea we started with. It taught us how different actual field outcomes can be from the theories we so often rely on."

To go through the rigorous and challenging rounds in a business competition, the teams need proper planning and accurate implementation of their ideas.

When asked about their key strategies to overcome the challenges faced in each round, Nawmi said, "Our key strategies included analysing the situation/task given to us in depth before getting to work.

"We made sure we spent enough time understanding the scenario and discussing the potential ways we can address them using the best of our strengths. As we progressed through the stages of the competition, we became more attuned to each other's roles and our team's working style. This helped us progress more efficiently through each step."

‘Battle of Minds’ is a unique experience for the participants. It is a rollercoaster ride in brief. The overall experience of this competition is often great for the participants, and agreeing with this, Sadid said, "Battle of Minds was a thoroughly stimulating experience that demanded the best out of us. The Boot Camp was an excellent opportunity to meet new people and build connections. The most challenging task of the competition, which forced us to work outside of our comfort zone, was the real-life brand activation we had to do for Lenor in Savar. In the final round, we found the opportunity to present our idea standing on a colossal stage in front of a large crowd to be quite exhilarating."

Adding to Sadid, Nawmi shared the experience when they were declared champions, "When our team's name was announced, our first emotions were contentment and gratitude. That one moment made all the hard work, the all-nighters, the toiling under the scorching sun, and the missed hangouts and classes all the more worth it, especially as we received our award in the presence of Professor Mohammad Abdul Momen,director of IBA, as well as our friends and family."

As they are the undisputed winners of one of the hardest-to-crack business competitions in the country, and each of the members has a history of success in this arena, who else to get some advice from than them?

Shadab said, "My advice to newcomers would be to form teams where members have different yet complementing skill sets. This will give them a competitive edge. Another piece of advice would be to enjoy the activity while going at it because looking back at business competitions is one of the many beautiful memories I have from university."

Business competitions help you learn about the top skills required for the workplace and practical life, giving you a unique taste of the real-life business world. It's a platform for students to channel their inner potential as business leaders whose idea is about different industries' functionality. It's a big opportunity for students to apply their theoretical learning and gain practical knowledge and experiences. Participants should view it as a learning platform more than a competitive field, only then they'll never cease to grow.

The writer is a third-year BBA student at the Institute of Business Administration (IBA), University of Dhaka.
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