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B-school students prove their mettle

Computer makers eyeing ‘raw talent’ in the country to gain traction in digital marketing space

NetElixir Clix 2013

WELL DONE: Team of students that won the NetElixir’s Clix 2013 contest in Hyderabad.

As the penetration of the internet is registering a fast paced growth, companies are now focused on harnessing the talent of the professionals to reap the benefits of the meteoric rise in mobile users for promoting their products and services.

Leading computer makers are now eyeing the abundant ‘raw talent’ in the country to gain traction in the digital marketing space. “There is amazing analytical talent here, but it is pretty raw,” said Arijit Sarker, India operations head of Google.

Though students are strong in analytics, the segment does not mean just number crunching as it involves drawing inferences from the data to make real business proposition, Mr. Sarker said.

His comments were not out of place, because students from leading B schools in the State have successfully prepared blue print of holiday package for PC and tablet maker Lenovo at a competition held here the other day.

Students took unto themselves the role of managers in finalising and recommending the most optimal digital marketing channel mix that can maximize returns on advertising spend by Lenovo during the holiday season in the North America in November – December. These teams were given a raw data of Lenovo for the past 18 months and asked to analyse and derive insights from real business data for a strategic digital media plan for the holiday season of the current year. Of the 75 teams registered from the Indian School of Business, ICFAI Business School, Gandhi Institute of Technology and Management, Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies and Institute of Management Technology, five qualified for the finals and these teams donned the role of Lenovo’s digital marketing manager with a multi-million dollar budget at their disposal.

“Digital marketing in India is at US $ 7.3 billion and the market is wholly traditional. We need to have an ecosystem to be put in place to make sure the year-on-year growth of 50 per cent is leveraged by the companies,” Mr. Sarker said. global e-commerce business head Ajit Sivadasan said the growth of digital marketing and e-commerce would not be linear, but the segment would witness exponential growth in the coming days.

“There seems to be a mismatch between the demand and services. It all depends on how many people are online and how do you engage them,” he said. The talent displayed by the students was amazing in the sense that they pored over the real business data in a very short time and came up with blue prints that the company was sure to consider in the holiday season.

Udayan Bose, founder and CEO of NetElixir that organised the contest, said the problem was with exposure.

“A whole new bunch of entrepreneurs is emerging on the internet as also the transformation that is happening. We need to create market and these students have proved that they are capable of designing effective plans to monetize the growth of net users either through traditional PCs or mobiles,” Mr. Sarker summed up.

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