IIMC Students win Best Teams at X culture

Five students from the 56th batch of the two-year full time MBA Programme at the Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta are proud members of the five of the BEST TEAMS in the X-Culture 2020-2b competition.

X-culture is a renowned global team competition launched in 2010 by Dr. Vas Taras. Students from different countries virtually come together as a team on a term project to solve real international business challenges of real companies.  In the process, they experience the challenges of cross-cultural teamwork, and also learn best practices of international collaboration.

Along with their international team members, IIM Calcutta students Soham Basu Chaudhury, Ikjot Kaur, Arun Sharma, Haritha Unnikrishnan and Ritika Verma were recognized for their excellent performance in a highly competitive process. Their teams were selected among 45 BEST TEAMS from 1277 teams worldwide, consisting of 5,955 MBA students from 150 universities in 78 countries.

Each team was given a problem-solving task for an international business and collectively created a business idea which was submitted in a report. These reports were sent for evaluation to a large group of International Business experts, mainly International Business professors and coaches from around the world (174 people from 45 countries). Each report was independently evaluated by 3 to 7 experts along multiple dimensions, such as report creativity, clarity, the viability of the ideas, style, as well as evaluation of each report section. The BEST TEAMS were chosen based on the feedback of these experts.

Prof Ramya Venkateswaran of the Strategic Management Group said: “The X-Culture project is a greatly engaging pedagogical element in my international business course that brings alive the context and challenges of doing business across borders. The opportunity to apply theoretical knowledge onto a live company project, interacting with global practitioners, while simultaneously negotiating cross-cultural challenges in a global virtual team, makes for a rich and deeply reflective personal experience for my students that boosts their confidence to take up international assignments in the future.”

Prof Anju Seth, Director at IIMC said: “I am absolutely delighted by this recognition of the achievements of our students under the able guidance of Prof. Ramya Venkateswaran. Internationalization is one of the key pillars of our strategy at IIM Calcutta to prepare our students to be effective managers and leaders in the global workplace.  We encourage all our students to expand their horizons to international business and provide experiential learning opportunities including Study Abroad. In the year of the COVID-pandemic, the X-culture competition provided a particularly valuable opportunity to students to collaborate virtually on a global platform and develop a winning strategy for international businesses.”

Student Winners and Experience

Name: Ikjot Kaur, 23, said :  “My team designed the strategy for a Saudi Arabian ed-tech firm’s entry into Egypt. It was an empowering experience to take end-to-end ownership of such a crucial decision and devise a realistic implementation plan factoring in all aspects from marketing and pricing to product features and staffing. I thoroughly enjoyed the tough but rewarding experience of learning to coordinate across time zones, continents, and cultures.” Client Name: Nomuo, Saudi Arabia

Name: Haritha Unnikrishnan, 25, wrote: “I worked with a diverse team to develop an international market expansion strategy for a Saudi Arabian EdTech firm into Sweden. It was an interesting, albeit challenging experience to work with people across cultures and deliver a report that was both practical and unconventional.” Client Name: Nomuo, Saudi Arabia

Name: Arun Sharma,25, shared: “Our team worked on a market selection & entry strategy for a Canadian Ski and Hospitality firm. The project although demanding has helped me apply international business strategy in live project, generating real-time impact as well as refine my people skills. With cancellation of student exchange in these turbulent times, the project provided an excellent opportunity to have a cross-cultural experience. At the end of the project, I have been able to build friendships not barred by time zones, cultures or continents.” Client Name: SkiBig3, Canada

Name: Ritika Verma,28 stated: “Our task was to take a holistic approach in designing an international expansion strategy for a multinational organization. Getting an opportunity to collaborate with a cross-cultural team could not have been more fortuitous for us in such testing times. I learned about team dynamics and tapping into the potential and power of our differences while working with a diverse team.” Client Name: Middelo, Columbia

Name : Soham Basu Chaudhury,26, elaborated: X-Culture was a very enriching experience both in terms of first hand experience at solving real world business problems, practical application of theoretical frameworks and at coordinating within a multinational team. We designed the international expansion strategy for a US based startup by evaluating realtime risks and business opportunities in diverse markets. The biggest takeaway was the fortune to foster friendships that transcend geographies!” Client Name : DartDrones, USA

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