MICA’s Story of Mahindra War Room Victory

Mahindra War Room (MWR) is one of
India’s most prestigious annual business school competitions; this year was the
8th Season of MWR.

MICA has over the years been a close
contender in MWR, with us securing Runners Up position two years ago and making
it to the CEO’s round last year being among the top 23 in the country. This
year, Team Zealots from MICA were national winners, an accomplishment I
consider one of my most significant.

From picking the case among the list
of 22 cases given, choosing something that seemed relevant, interesting and
disruptive was what we as a team had in mind while making the initial

After hours spent doing primary and
secondary research, brainstorming with team members, poking holes in our idea,
ironing out the creases, the day for the West Zone Regionals approached. MICA
being a wild card entry was up against other prominent B-schools in the West

Our first hurdle was a pat on the
back for us when we were announced the West Zone Finalists. The next step was
to present to the CEOs of the Mahindra Group in Mumbai. The top 23 teams from
an initial 10, 000 entries in this year’s competition made us feel special and
pushed us to work harder.

Refining our idea while retaining the
nuances and story-telling was our strategy. With the spirit of disruptive
innovation in the air, we were fuelled further to make sure we built a strong
case, supported by numbers, rationale and the MICAn edge.

The CEO’s round had us pegged against
five other premier MBA institutions with the finest minds presenting on a range
of cases: Agribusiness, Two Wheelers, Auto, Technology, Hospitality and Retail.
Being a part of this process was tremendous learning and gave us a chance to
interact with our contemporaries across the country enriching our

Post the CEO’s round results we were
overwhelmed to know that we made it to the TOP 8. Up next was the opportunity
to present to the Group Executive Board, Mahindra & Mahindra, industry
stalwarts, heads of businesses that we admired and Anand Mahindra. With TV
cameras, excitement, zeal and the desire to win we walked onto that stage and
told our story. The rest is history, Team Zealots made history that day. We were
the first MICAn team to ever win Mahindra War Room, with our case on Club
Mahindra being a disruptive innovation in the vacation ownership space.

As for the myriad feelings that
consumed us? Ecstatic wouldn’t even begin to cover it. The feeling of accomplishment,
the joy of winning, the sense of satisfaction was compounding. My teammates and
I celebrated a victory we will all remember, as friends, colleagues and most
importantly, as MICAns.

Anila Saldanha

PGDM-C 2014-16