Management students of the Gurgaon-based Management Development Institute stand a chance of advising PepsiCo CEO Indra Nooyi, right after they graduate.
After winning the PepsiCo challenge 'Taste the success Become Indra's advisors', the three-member team is set to present their case solutions to Nooyi. If found viable, the plan will be incorporated in Pepsi's annual plan and the team will get an opportunity to be engaged as advisors on an ongoing basis with PepsiCo to operationalise their ideas.
"We are looking forward to meeting Indra Nooyi and are confident that our strategy will be implemented at PepsiCo," says Supreet Kaur, member of the winning team, who aspires to enter the food and beverages sector after her MBA.
PepsiCo had invited students to present business strategies on unlocking the latent demand for beverages in India. Entries were asked for from the top 10 business schools across the country.
These included the likes of the five Indian Institutes of Management, MDI, Faculty of Management Studies, and Xavier Labour Relations Institute. Over 200 teams, comprising three members each, participated. The top six entered the final round.
All the 18 candidates, who made it to the final round, were offered a chance of pre-placement interview from PepsiCo. MDI bagged the first and third positions in the challenge, following which, as many as six students have received interview calls from PepsiCo.
The team from FMS was declared the first runners-up. Interestingly, the winning team comprised all first year students, who now have an offer even before their summer internship projects.
"This is unusual for any management student and as a team, we are thrilled to have won the contest," says Anand Mohan Sharma, member of the winning team.
"It's an achievement not only for us but for our institute. It was an excellent exposure for all the management students like us. The contest was really challenging for us as most of the top business schools of India were participating. Even though the project was done exclusively by students, the support from faculty and peers was immense," adds Kaur.
The project required extensive research, both at the primary level as well as the secondary level. On what was the most important finding of their research, Anand Trivedi, the third member of the winning team, said: "The basic finding was that the market for carbonated drinks will soon get stagnated and that companies in this sector will need to diversify. There the market potential is huge."
Sanjeev Chadha, CEO, PepsiCo India, says: "Every case study that we received from the management students were extremely insightful and innovative. We are looking forward to working together with the students of MDI to implement the winning business strategy at PepsiCo. Going by the overwhelming response, we look forward to more such initiatives, further engaging and leveraging the talent pool in business schools across the country."