A brilliant idea and a gang of fresh eager minds was all it took for the marketing plan contest to progress into so much more than just a game. Mr. Ravi Richard a professor at St. Joseph’s College of Commerce decided to link his MIB 3rd semester students with a few start-ups and watch how the entire process of up-scaling a business become an immense learning experience for the rookie minds.
The attempts paid off. After weeks of working with the entrepreneurs and their start-ups, 5 teams from the batch presented their plans with creativity, feasibility and great attention to detail. Suggestions included revamping Advertising techniques, Product differentiation, increasing variations in the price range and widening the product offering.
The start-ups: CraftMyGift.com, Odigma, Choco-Factory, Mamatha’s Foods Speciality and Chaya’s Candle Craft are all promising startups each with their own element of uniqueness. The advice and suggestions received from the students could prove to be invaluable, not to mention free of cost!
The afternoon started off with a presentation on Miss Jyothi Ramnath’s start-up, “CraftMyGift.com”, an internet based company which lets its users customize their gifts, adding a personal element that turns an ordinary gift into something truly special.
Then came Odigma, another Internet based marketing company founded by Mr. Advith Sahadev, that focuses on Social Media. Odigma, via sites like Facebook, Orkut and LinkedIn promotes the products of their clients through “Like” pages and discussion boards that enable customers to connect on a higher level with Odigma’s client companies.
Next was Choco-Factory, a new venture from a family of entrepreneurs. Mrs Hema Tanmay who is registered with AWAKE, converted her hobby of making chocolates into a business with the help and support of her family and friends. She and her crew specializes in a variety of gourmet chocolates including liquor and diabetic chocolates using only high quality imported chocolate blocks.
Next came the team who worked with Mamatha’s Foods Speciality Pvt Ltd. This is a venture into the Easy-to-Cook meals market, with a focus on south Indian breakfasts. The mixes offered are healthy and do not contain any artificial preservatives. Still in its initial stages, the company already has it products available in the super-markets of Bangalore, Hyderabad and Mumbai.
Lastly, Chaya’s Candle Craft World, a venture by Mrs. Chaya Umesh Chandra, also registered with AWAKE. She started this company in 2002. Their product offering includes a wide range of hand crafted designer and scented candles, wax statues and terracotta items. 3CW currently faces a of competition from its Chinese counterparts in the market. A unique aspect of this company is that it provides employment opportunities to prisoners.
The Participants in the marketing plan game had the chance to experience first hand the challenges faced by start-ups and brainstorm ideas on how to overcome these difficulties. Judges present were Dr.Adarsh Patil and Mr. Manish Singhal who questioned and cross-questioned the students strategies until all their doubts were exhausted. The game had its winners with the team working for Mamatha’s Foods Speciality taking away the largest portion of the cake, leaving the team for CraftMyGift and Odigma to share the 2nd and 3rd places.