Chemical Engineering Students from IIT Kharagpur Win All-India Data Analytics Competition

Kharagpur : Shreshth Khare and Sanskar Rawat, third-year undergraduate students of the Department of Chemical Engineering, have done IIT Kharagpur proud by winning the 8th edition of EXL Excellence Quotient, a data analytics challenge. The duo provided solution for the real-time problem of increasing the revenue earned by shopping malls which had declined, in spite of the constant footfall, because of the emergence of online shopping.

The All-India competition tests skills like problem identification, logical thinking, structured and methodical approach and efficient analysis. In the contest, which is held across 20 top engineering colleges, including 8 IITs and 7 NITs, a total of 680 teams had registered. After two stages of submissions, the top 6 teams were invited to present their case in the national finals at the EXL head office in Gurgaon.

Sanskar says, “The problem statement is an emerging one and is a real threat for those shop-owners who are spending a fortune in maintaining their shops in the physical retail upmarket like Malls. We were expected to design the ‘Mall of the future’, that is, a truly differentiated and personalized shopping experience.”

“We had to explain our recommendations after doing data analysis of the customers’ demographic profile. Thinking out of the box and showcasing creativity were the key elements to our success,”adds Shreshth.

The winning team from IIT Kharagpur, named “Team Insidious”, received a cash prize of Rs 1 Lakh along with certificates and the winning trophy. Another team from IIT Kharagpur, “Team Panacea”, comprising Anshul Gupta, third-year UG, Department of Chemical Engineering, and Anjali Bharti, third-year UG, Department of Metallurgical and Material Science Engineering, also made it to the finals although the team could not lift the trophy. Pre-placement interview offer was extended to all the 6 teams selected for the national finals.

Congratulating the students Prof. Sudhir Kumar Barai, Dean, Undergraduate Studies at IIT Kharagpur, acknowledged Data Analytics as the new big thing with customer choices, habits even latent ones, history driving the market, and also marketing strategies based on it influencing our choices, product development, and services offering.

“Be it our tri-institutional Postgraduate Diploma in Business Analytics or the upcoming Centre for Excellence in Artificial Intelligence Research or the Hospital or several other initiatives at IIT Kharagpur, we can see the growing importance of and absolute integration with data analytics. The students at IIT Kharagpur, through their academics and co-curricular activities, have been successfully acquiring skills in this area which also boosts employability. The students have proven their mettle in data analytics by offering practical solutions to real-life problems,” he said

Of the winning team, Shreshth had earned an EXL internship when the company visited the campus for recruiting interns in early October last year. Sanskar is also interested in gaining expertise in data analytics and considers the field alluring given the power of data in today’s world.

“This success will help me pursue my career in an analytics company and will also inspire other IIT Kharagpur students to take part in EXL EQ and other such competitions,” says Sanskar. Shreshth chips in, “Our win proves the prowess of our students even in fields not exactly related to their academic course structure.”