For a change, the boardroom meets the classroom. The Rs 1,899. 57 crore Dabur India’s efforts to enter B-school classrooms in search of innovative ideas and business strategies to double its turnover and profit by 2009-10 has already thrown up around 100 potential acquisition targets for the home-grown FMCG giant. Dabur, in an attempt to infuse some fresh thinking and forge closer ties with campuses, is conducting a national case study contest called ‘Navigator’. Several innovative ideas and business models were suggested by the B-school students.
Under the contest, B-school students were invited to propose a business plan for Dabur towards achievement of Vision 2010. The two-pronged intent was to tap the brightest minds to give fresh perspectives and innovative ideas for growing the company and to dispel the traditional image and be viewed as a contemporary employer. The company had received entries from over 120 teams and after shortlisting by internal senior managers, 46 teams were invited for the regional round.
The contest was thrown open to students, either individually or in groups of three from each B-school, with no restrictions to the number of entries from each B-school. This shortlisting was done on structured parameters such as originality of proposal/recommendations, quality of research and analysis, feasibility of implementing the recommendations, among others. Ten teams – including IIM-Ahmedabad, ISB Hyderabad, FMS, NMIMS Mumbai and IIM-Kozhikode — have made it to the National Round, which will be held on February 3, 2007 at Hotel Taj Mahal, New Delhi. Ideas have been generated across the themes of Innovation, Acquisition and Expansion by B-school students. Apart from the obvious benefit of generating business ideas for the organisation’s growth, this is also being seen as a way of building the Dabur brand among students who could be prospective employees in a year. Every year, Dabur India recruits 15-18 students from premier B-schools in the country as management trainees, apart from 50-60 lateral hires.