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Linking Young Minds Together
    Volume 2 Issue 43| November 07, 2010 |


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Battle of Minds steps into its 7th Year

Safwan Ahsan

It seems only yesterday that a handful of talented enthusiasts from British American Tobacco Bangladesh walked into an auditorium in East West University to set in motion Battle of Minds 2004. Battle of Minds started its journey with a room comprising of 20 participants from 5 universities and a very small crowd of curious final year students. Right from that moment everyone knew that Battle of Minds would change the conventions of a talent hunt, not only in terms of sourcing talents from universities but also from the point of developing talent within academic institutes. In the years that followed, Battle of Minds evaluated a total of more than 4000 individuals across academic areas exposing them to various forms of corporate networking activities, grooming sessions, evaluation techniques and most importantly a fantastic source of “enjoying work”.

Battle of Minds is a perfect case study on how a competition evolves over the year in terms of its appeal, effectiveness and social contribution. Initially, Battle of Minds was solely corporate talent hunt. With a growing emergence of corporate competitions, Battle of Minds soon became the only competition that focused on developing participants within its scope. In 2007, Battle of Minds took a bold initiative and surged across Bangladesh, covering a wider range of universities. The results were clearly reflected in the quality of the projects that were being taken up. Battle of Minds had stopped being a theoretical “case solving” competition and had moved on to identifying and proposing projects in areas significant to national development. Participants had started to overwhelm judges (who were noted dignitaries in their own right) with their in depth knowledge in major sectors of Bangladesh's economy. Industry revival strategies in clay, jute, and tourism are only a few of the areas that were covered in the competition.

Battle of Minds 2009 participants along with the organisers

From the participants' point of view, the success of Battle of Minds in these 6 years remained constant. While candidates from the 2006 Battle of Minds learnt a lot on team building and trust, candidates from 2008 were amazed by their own ability to build relationships across teams to achieve objectives. Yet after all 2009 marked a significant change in the tournament where teams were asked to form a company and prepare for the launch of a real life product. One of the themes of Battle of Minds that has notably contributed to the consistency of participant feedback was - “it's not just another competition”.

In practical terms, Battle of Minds gives all its applicants and participants a scope to identify their own strengths and weaknesses, a foundational understanding which is required across organisations.

A total of 17 universities are participating this year, with Business, Agricultural and Engineering final year students. Application window for Battle of Minds 2010 is now open where participants can log into www.bdjobs.com/batb and apply online. After the application closes on November 10, Battle of Minds will visit the nationwide campuses starting from November 25, followed by a Grand Finale of the competition which will take place between 19-21 December. Institute of Business Administration, University of Dhaka won the title consistently from 2004-2006 followed by Khulna University on 2007, BRAC University in 2008 and North South University in 2009. As the competition steps into its seventh year in 2010, the challenge for all the universities is just getting bigger.


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