Friday, 20 August 2010

Tata Crucible 2010 - Hyderabad Round - I came, I saw ... and I left it unconquered!

Today is Aug 20th, 2010.

An otherwise ordinary day but one which marks the onset of this year's season of Tata Crucible. And if you don't know what that is, well ...

So, today I along with my awesome teammate participated in this battle of brains and we made it to the top ten. And this blog is just a description of that. Will it add value to your day today? Who knows! When the world over people are publishing everything from when they brushed their teeth to what they had for dinner, I thought let me also hop on to the bandwagon, for a change. And the result is this blogpost which is a deviation from the usual 'insightful' posts I write (Ok! No need to take it that literally! And accept it, it's my blog and I can write anyting. Right to freedom of expression :P!).

So the event began with a rapid fire prelims followed by a wild card round which led to the Hyderabad Regional Finals. And when the dust settled, the pecking order had been totally shaken up. Infosys, for the first time in the history of Hyderabad, emerged as the overall winner defeating the likes of Google (the defending local champion), Vizag Steel (the reigning national champion), Mahindra Satyam (one of the team-members is International Champion at Campus level), IBM (winner at this year's Brand Equity) and Microsoft (multiple times regional finalist) and of course us, first timers on the corporate scene who ended up being like babes in woods. 

Some questions (re-phrased) that I can recollect from the prelims are - 

1. The need for power for cameras led to the creation of which brand by Mr Rubin and Mr Mallory? (Ans - Duracell)

2. United Artists was started by these four people. Three names given one missing. (Ans - Charlie Chaplin)

3. Band Aid has three types of variants in India - regular, washproof and _____. (Hint: India specific; Ans - Band-Aid Turmeric)

4. The consultant/author/business-thinker who has been named this year's Global Indian. (Ans - Ram Charan)

5. What latin phrase means a portion of employee's compensation package, over and above his salary. (Ans - Bonus)

6. What english term means "a financial incentive doled out to retain specialists at a firm". (And - Golden handcuff)

7. Which GM company originally manufactured sewing machines and bicycles. (Ans - Opel)

8. Which Hotel brand was prevented from using its brand name in India as it clashes with a local hotel based in Sirohi, near Mt Abu, Rajasthan? (Ans - The Hilton)

9. Elizabeth Arden recently launched "Honey", "Ribbon" and "Mine Again". Named after which celebrity? (Ans - Mariah Carey)

10. What sports good is manufactured by Masincedane Sports, whose sales peaked in 2010? (Ans - Vuvuzela)

11. Who was the Master of mint in 1710? (Ans - Sir Isaac Newton)

12. What major brand started as a service by Air France for its employees to ensure a "home away from home for them"? (Ans - Le Meridian)

13. Conway's Law - "There is always a man in a firm who knows what's going on. He should be _____" (Ans - fired)

14. Which web entity vociferously challenged its departed co-founder's allegations that they encouraged "child pornography" (Ans - wikipedia)

This was followed by some visuals (all in all 25 quesitons, some of which I have missed here - this is all based on memory) including one showing the poster of "Once Upon a time in Mumbai" on which the quiz master Giri aka 'Pickbrain' asked "Which production house made its entry to cinema with this movie", answer to which was stated as 'Balaji Productions'. Although I answered that correctly but I think the question is incorrect since Balaji has already produced a couple of movies already including "Krishna Cottage".

I don't remember much of finals because for the initial part I sat shocked at my exit and rest of the time I was too busy enjoying the show! Giri was at his quick-witted best and the whole show was awesome. All I could think of that analogously describes this kind of event would be a gladiatorial combat, the ones prevalent during the Roman times. So while I enjoyed the adrenaline rush, the fact is I lost. And it doesn't really make things better knowing that I lost to giants as described above. It's like you lose your girlfriend but feel happy because that other guy is a direct descendant of Edward Cullen. And that is an absurd thought. So while this event was a good exposure, I will have to see how I fare in the next edition. But the sad thing is it's an annual event and we'll be able to figure out how far the improvement is only next year. That's like presenting a gift to your girfriend on her birthday and waiting for an entire year when you present a gift again and she comments "Yeah, this year it's better!". Sigh! Let's see what the future holds ...