1st: Ranjan Banerjee and Ajay Kolhatkar (Renaissance)
2nd: Shrirang Raddi & Mohit (Infosys)
3rd: Savoir Faire
5th: Amit Garde & J. Ramanand (Persistent Systems)
6th: Wipro GE
Set and conducted: Derek O'Brien and Associates
There was a less of a lot of things that the Brand Equity Quiz usually provides. First, the budgets seem to have taken a big hit with the participants not getting too many gifts (that they've grown accustomed to paying for in the entry fee). The advertising was low-key compared to usual BEQ standards, reflecting in both the reduced count of audience & teams. And as if it was all rubbing off, even Derek O'Brien was a tad subdued compared to past performances.
What didn't change, however, were the results and quality of the quiz. Renaissance further embellished their reputation as the best Business quizzers in town with their 2nd win in a row making it their 3rd in 4 years. Their closest competitor has always been the team of Shrirang-and-partner. Shrirang was squeezing in his favourite quiz before dashing off to catch a flight and providing a stiff challenge to the eventual winners. It went down to the last question, with Shrirang having lost points the penultimate question to squander a slender lead. Ranjan pressed the buzzer on the last qn without bothering to answer the question, and though Renaissance lost points, they prevented Shrirang from taking the prize (and he knew the answer) in a smart show of gamesmanship.
In the end the best team won despite a late Shrirang surge who was shaking off sluggish form earlier (he couldn't identify a thinly disguised Sabeer Bhatia). Renaissance, in our minds, are good enough to win the National finals but have narrowly missed making the finals twice in the past. This blog wishes them all fortune and looks forward to a finish befitting their talent.
The other consistent thing was us at Persistent finishing 5th. For the last three years, we have made the lower half of the finals our own! Just underscores the fact that between Amit, Samrat & me, we're decent enough general quizzers to make the finals, but not good enough at the Business specialty to do better. Harish & Manish Manke of Infy were seventh after the elims (which had only 5 questions and a crossword to solve - we were second at it to Shrirang & his colleague).
The questions were a lot of the usual kinds, not really my style. The theme this time was films, following cricket & politics in preceding years. The theme doesn't indicate the bent of questions, of course, just the surrounding gimmickry. Though I must say, they do a good job of production which goes down well with the audience.
I've saved the best for last. For years, Samrat held the position of sle@ze king in local quizzing (i.e. one who gets those kinds of questions right). His absence has now been filled by Harish who made a strong challenge yesterday night by correctly answering "The 1st Pl@yb0y Pl@ym@te" to a question. He was of course warmly feted in front of everyone, including his father and duly rewarded for his endeavour. This promises to be a "seminal" (a word much joked upon in BC circles) moment just like the one that made Samrat's name at AFMC 5 years ago.