On the 11th of April 2020, we organized One Pitcher Down 1.0, an online competition to test the marketing skills of students who are aspiring to become future entrepreneurs. This was the first time an online competition was being conducted by the Entrepreneurship Development Cell and we were more than excited. We bagged a great response getting more than 25 enthusiastic participants enrolled in two days. We called upon Miss Bhavana Rajagopalan & Dr. Atmaram Pawar to be the judges for the evening and evaluate the participants.
Miss Bhavana Rajagopalan is from Nagpur. She has done her under-graduation in BMM (Bachelor of Mass Media) with a specialization in Advertising from Mumbai University. She had interned with the renowned advertising firm Ogilvy after which she pursued theatre for a while. She is a vocalist, a dancer, a writer, an education mentor, and a blogger. She was working at her own family business, Metaphors Advertising Incorporated. She then joined The Minimalist in Mumbai for a year. She pursued her MBA from the Indian School of Business, Hyderabad, and will be pursuing a full-time career in Marketing and Advertising hereon. Dr. Atmaram Pawar, alumni of Poona College of Pharmacy has nurtured his career in academics at his alma mater since 1992. At present, he is serving as Professor of Pharmaceutics, Head Pharm. D. Programme, and Vice-Principal at Poona College of Pharmacy and he is the Dean of Faculty of Pharmacy and Member Board of Management, Bharati Vidyapeeth University, Pune.
All the participants were given 60 seconds to pitch their business model in front of the judges in a way they would have done in front of potential investors and customers to sell their product/service/idea. The theme for their business models was given to them twelve hours ago, which were:
- A business idea/product/service that could sustain a quarantine period like this profitably.
- A business idea/product/service to help the booming e-Pharma industry.
Each participant was judged on the basis of problem-solving capabilities, opportunistic attitude, creativity in idea creation, pitching techniques, public speaking, etc. While most of the ideas were new and innovative, a lot of them were an improvement to the current technologies and services as well which were all well appreciated by the judges. The judges also took the time to analyze each of their ideas and comment on the feasibility, drawbacks, and the way they could further develop these ideas.
At the end of the event, the judges shared their valuable experience and insights on the working of the startup world and what the future means for upcoming businesses. We tried to understand which startups could sustain such tough times of international lockdowns during a pandemic and still be able to help and be profitable.
Narayani Mahule- Winner
Deepika Ganotra- Second Runners Up
The funds collected from this event went towards the PM Cares Funds for COVID patients in the name of ED Cell, Poona College of Pharmacy.
Overall, it was a learning experience for these young and eclectic entrepreneurs of the future who are striving to get that one right idea, that one right shot at their dreams, and this event was just a stepping stone bringing them a little closer to their goals.
“When we are selling our ideas, the audience must first buy us.” - Peter Coughter, The Art of the Pitch: Persuasion and Presentation Skills that Win Business
At last, we would like to thank all officials, teachers, staff, members, and Ms. Bhavana Rajagopalan for making this possible.