Nope, I am not talking about the Arnold Schwarzenegger movie here (although the movie is worth a mention). I am talking about my Index team, that recently won the Citibank project. The project is one of a kind (It is the only live project that would be implemented based on our results, making our work all the more important!)
For those who are feeling terribly confused now, some background stuff to clarify what I am talking about. "Index" is a unique fair organized by the students of IIM Lucknow. It is based on the concept of "Disguised Market Research" where we try to get the information out of our target audience and gain insights into the needs of the consumers through games designed in such a way so as to not reveal the true nature of our research to the customer. Now you may ask "Why should you go through so much work and pain to get the information from the customer? Can't you do it through a questionnaire format?" Well, we can do that, but there is something called as the "Sensitization Effect" that comes into play here.
Well, Sensitization is the process wherein the respondent becomes sensitized to the measuring instruments after repeated interviews (Wimmer and Dominik, "Mass Media Research: An Introduction"). It so happens that the respondent becomes biased if he/she knows what they are being asked about. So when the respondent to such an exercise is ignorant of the fact that he/she is being observed, the inputs given by him/her are not biased. By designing games and other tricks, we try to get a unbiased opinion.
Now top companies like CitiBank, Amul, J&J etc send the briefs for their projects and teams of 20 students (10 from 1st year and 10 from the 2nd year) are formed in advance to send their proposals for the projects. There are 14-15 teams but only 9-10 proposals, so the competition is immense to get a project. he company then evaluates the proposals and awards it to one of the teams. The top 3 names are mentioned because in case a team wins more than one proposal, it has to drop one proposal, effectively giving it to the 2nd placed team. In such a process, we secured the proposal of CitiBank project by coming 1st in it!
What is this project all about? Well, that is a secret (CitiBank told our project lead Bharath Jhurani not to mention the name of CitiBank or the project name anywhere during its research). But I assure you it is a really exciting project!
What was my contribution to the team? Well, I gave the team its name "Total Recall" (Thank God Jhurani Boss accepted the name!) and contributed to the Business Context for some of the proposals (including this winning one!). The bulk of the work was done by the Marketing God Bharath Jhurani, Marketing Prince Srinivas Jarkula and Mogambo Saurabh Gaur, with technical analysis by the Statistics-God Krishna Mahale. The rest of the team also chipped in pretty well. I, perhaps was the least active member of the team.
The Index fair takes place for two days, in the last week of November, and is conducted in Lucknow itself. I hope our team wins it and wins it well. This project has given me a very important CV point for my placements (due in March 2009). Hope its ends on a winning note!