In an attempt to find extraordinary young talent early on, the Future Group organised one of the biggest campus competitions, Ground Zero, which came to an exhilarating end at its corporate headquarters in Mumbai, on 3 October.
Ground Zero was conceptualised to inspire young minds to predict and design the future of retail in India. 5,271 students and a total of 520 teams from 15 prominent campuses across the country participated in the competition. Ground Zero tested the imagination quotient of the teams wherein they had to do design thinking for building futuristic solutions to solve real-world business problems.
Talking of the initiative, Kishore Biyani, founder & group CEO, Future Group says, “All successful businesses need to evolve to stay meaningful and continue to create value for various stakeholders. In order to do that, they need to imagine scenarios and use their left and right sides of the brain to do scenario planning. With Ground Zero, we are trying to stimulate the balance of creativity and control in the next generation of business leaders. I am delighted with the enormous response in the very first year, and we will make this competition bigger next year. All the teams had brilliant futuristic solutions, making it tough for us to shortlist for each round.”
The format of the competition was an interesting one. In order to be a part of the race, students were expected to play individually as an investor or in teams comprising four to five members, to build futuristic solutions. Registered individuals were given virtual money to invest in the right team and win rewards, while teams used it as their capital money.
Students were given several dimensions from each of the company’s concepts to work upon. The registered students and teams were supposed to pick up any of the group’s store formats. The competitors adopted design thinking approach to build prototype solutions imaging the future scenarios.
Only the top 30 teams were shortlisted for the national round after a rigorous evaluation by Future Group’s business leaders. The teams had to also attract the maximum amount from investors to qualify for the next round.
Nine teams from these 30 made it to the finals, from which the best two were rewarded for the finest futuristic solutions. Other than the winner and runner up for the competition, some of the other teams from amongst the nine participating ones were also given pre-placement interview (PPI) and pre-placement offer (PPO).
Team ‘Stark Zero’ from the Symbiosis Institute of Business Management won the chance to work with Future Group’s founder & group CEO, Kishore Biyani, in addition to PPOs and cash rewards. The runner-up team ‘Strategists’ from the Indian Institute of Foreign Trade, Kolkata, received PPIs, cash rewards and an opportunity to work on a project with Big Bazaar.
Biyani presented the trophy to the winning team, while congratulating the top nine teams on making it to the finish line after a tough 28-day tournament. Members of the Group’s senior leadership were on the esteemed panel of judges.