IIT KGP among Toppers at Asia-Pacific Global Conference

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Students from IIT Kharagpur have finished among the toppers in the CoreNet Global Academic Challenge 5.0 organized by CoreNet Global Summit Singapore. The Asia-Pacific global conference which was held in March 2020 had participation from 24 leading universities across 18 countries. Among the other toppers are University of Sydney and Delft University of Technology, Netherlands. 

The competition involved the role play of an internal corporate real estate team and develop a proactive strategy towards firstly ‘Recession-proof’, to the extent possible, the corporate real estate portfolio, secondly continue to support the business objectives of the corporation, and thirdly ensure that such a strategy does not negatively impact the company in the unlikely event that a recession does not materialize. The teams proposed innovative solutions to problems faced by real estate professionals linked to top global MNCs.

The team from IIT Kharagpur comprised third-year undergraduate students Vikrant Gupta (Mathematics and Computing), Krishnam Kapoor (Electronics and Electrical Communication Engineering), Amrit Goswami (Industrial and Systems Engineering, Financial Engineering), and Eknoor Malhotra (Civil Engineering). Their problem statement involved preparation of a comprehensive action plan for the recession-proof real estate portfolio of an American multinational manufacturer of home applications. The team emphasized on minimizing the negative impacts of such recession proofing in case the anticipated economic downturn does not materialize. 

“We prepared and presented a detailed action plan for each of the components in the company’s real estate portfolio including Offices, R&D spaces, Manufacturing Plants and Distribution centers followed by a thorough lease management strategy. Our focus was on leveraging recent technologies including RFID, Blockchain, Advanced Analytics, etc. to enable the company to properly optimize space, inventory, and performance. The goal was to reduce expenditure along with incorporation of flexibility and sustainability in their real estate portfolio to prepare the company for the upcoming recession without hampering its growth potential,” Eknoor. 

The competition was open to undergraduate and graduate students all across the world. The first round witnessed a participation from 42 universities across the globe. In the subsequent round, teams had to develop an efficient real estate strategy for a given company in either the financial services, IT, or manufacturing sector. Finally, the top 3 teams presented their solution strategies to an expert panel of senior professionals from organizations including Standard Chartered, HSBC, EY, etc. during the conference.

Prof. Bhaskar Bhowmick from Rajendra Mishra School of Engineering Entrepreneurship, who mentored the four-member team from IIT Kharagpur said, “I congratulate the team for their podium finish. It is a proud moment for IIT Kharagpur. I encourage them to continue their endeavors in this domain and wish them luck for the future. Tackling real-world problems is not a piece of cake. Competitions like Corenet provide a great learning curve and I’m glad to be a part of this team. This performance of the IIT Kharagpur team will encourage many such competitors on the campus.”

CoreNet Global is a non-profit association, headquartered in Atlanta, GA, representing more than 11,000 executives in 50 countries with strategic responsibility for the real estate assets of large corporations. The organization’s mission is to advance the practice of corporate real estate through professional development opportunities, publications, research, conferences, designations and networking in 46 local chapters and networking groups globally. Visit the website to learn more.

By Shreyoshi Ghosh

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