IIM-C invites Buddha to check out best routes to SEZs.

Kolkata, Dec 30 | Updated: Dec 31 2006, 09:50am hrs
When Chief Minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee readily accepted the Indian Institute of Management-Calcutta's invitation to its Intaglio fest, the country's oldest business school decided to expose him to the best ideas on how to set up special economic zones (SEZs) by making it the theme of its business plan contest.

On January 7, the chief minister would be present as the six shortlisted teams discuss their plans on the third and last day of the IIMC's Intaglio fest.

On the shortlist are three teams from the IIM-C, one from the Xavier Labour Relations Institute (XLRI) at Jamshedpur, one from the IIM-A and one from the FMS Delhi. The total prize money is Rs 100,000 --- with the winner getting Rs 50,000.

Prof Saugata Ray, the faculty coordinator for Intaglio, said that, when the Chief Minister agreed to be the special guest, the IIM-C team began thinking if it could do something for West Bengal. It was then decided to ask for a plan focused on a subject that would help the state government.

"The authors of the business plans have the copyright but the government can always follow up with the winners and their venture capital backers," Prof Ray said.

Judging the plans will be a senior member of Reliance Industries, and some from infrastructure consultancy Feedback Ventures, including its founder RS Ramasubramaniam, an IIM-A alumnus.

"The juries have representatives of leading VCs," Prof Ray said. "If the groups are serious, there will be VCs to take the plans forward."

"Since the theme is SEZ as a business proposition, it will help those seeking to enter the business. The different revenue models, the different models for land acquisition, utilisation of land and getting revenue out of the land, getting the support of those who lose their land --- all these are expected to figure in the plans," he said.

An IIM-C spokesman said Intaglio has attracted students from Harvard Business School, Wharton, Yale, MIT Sloan, National University of Singapore, Nanyang Technological University- Singapore, Asian Institute of Technology, Thailand, and China Europe International Business School, Shanghai.

Intaglio has the largest cornucopia of events across b-schools in the country, and the total prize money is around Rs 14 lakh.