1. Did you need to prepare for the contest? If yes, how did you prepare?
A: Yes, I knew I will have to compete with best minds in India hence I prepared hard for the Olympiad. I looked at all the project management related topics on the internet. I had downloaded study material on my laptop and phone and I prepared hard for 2 weeks. I was preparing for my PMP hence the PMP training also helped me.
2. Imagine the moment when contest’s finals was starting and you were amongst the top 4 finalists. Were you intimidated by the competition?
Not really. I was happy to be in the semis and that in itself was satisfying and felt rewarded. When I met the other participants at the event and found them experienced and very knowledgeable, I knew I was in a great company. I didn’t even expect to clear the semifinals round and I was happy to make good friends at the event. And as they say, it just happened.
3. Please share the first thought when you realised that you have won Manager’s Olympiad.
It was totally an unbelievable feeling. Although optimistic, because I had prepared myself, it took me time to realize that I have won the Managers’ Olympiad. When 100s of managers in the room come and congratulate you, naturally you feel on top of the world.
4. How did your friends, relatives and colleagues respond to your win. Do you remember any particular comment from your colleagues or company that you will like to share?
I was very happy informing each one of them as they had supported and encouraged me all along. They congratulated me and were happy for me. One of my colleague joked that “now that you are the winner of Managers Olympiad, I will not argue with you in any discussion”. Though that never happened but it did help me to gain more respect in my team and gain more visibility in the company.
5. Quite a few managers wish to participate again in Manager’s Olympiad. Will they have to compete with you – winner of 2015?
Yes.. they have to beat me to win the title from me
6. Please describe your experience of the day the contest was held?
It looked normal day till the results came in J When the results of round 1 was announced and I had to make a call whether to travel to Bangalore or not, I was wondering if it would be a worthwhile to travel to another city on a weekday. Keeping aside the winning part of the contest, the learning I got there was amazing. It was a busy day but a day well spent. They UNICOM team was simply amazing and they made sure that everything went smooth without any glitch.
7. What do you think differentiated you from rest of the participants? What do you think they should have had in breakfast to win?
I really don’t think there was big of a difference between me and the others. I think luck was on my side on that particular day. What to eat in the breakfast? No I am not letting out the secret
8. Do you think companies should encourage their managers to participate at the prestigious Manager’s Olympiad 2016 due in April in Bangalore?
Off course yes. This event is one of its kind in India. The event provides an opportunity for managers to come a platform, discuss their challenges, share their learning and best practices and learn about new technologies and methodologies.
9. Should cost of participation ne borne by individuals or by their companies?
It is a prestigious event and participation also includes access to the conference where experts discusses the problem faced in the industry. There is lot of opportunities for participants to learn. I think company should support their associates. My company supported me financially including my travel from Hyderabad and that was decided before I won the contest.
10. What message you have for those reading your interview and undecided about participating at the contest?
Just go for it. Its not about winning but about learning new things. We are so busy with our everyday work that we don’t get time to learn. Manager’s Olympiad provide a great opportunity to learn from experts, get to know the new stuffs and it provides a great opportunity for networking.
(appeared on Unicome Learning website: http://www.unicomlearning.com/Blog/interview-of-swapnil-saurav-winner-at-managers-olympiad-2015)