Manipal , September 09, 2021.
Welcomgroup Graduate School of Hotel Administration, Manipal wins the Accor Take Off! Challenge, an annual competition hosted by the company to nurture ideas of C.S.R. from young minds across the world by Accor S.A. is a multinational hospitality company based in France.
From WGSHA, Team Conquistadors comprising of Nathan Alston Dsouza, Sadhika Venkatesh, and Subhash Praveen Ullal of 8th Course BACA presented their idea of “Linen for Women”, which aims to combat one of the largest sources of waste in a Hotel, Laundry Linen. Biodegradable cloth pads can be made from this waste and given to women who do not have proper access to Menstrual Hygiene facilities. It is a nation-building activity empowering women by providing employment and at the same time adding Brand value to Accor.
And Team Flower Power from WGSHA, comprising of Lavanya Raja, Siddhant Raina and Neha Mathew Chakola of 32nd Course BHM presented their idea of involving the underprivileged members of the local community in converting hotels’ flower waste into incense stick and fragrance soaps, creating a blooming initiative while saving the planet.
Speaking about the great success of the students Chef K. Thirugnanasambantham, Principal,Welcomgroup Graduate School of Hotel Administration, Manipal, said “Congratulations team WGSHA for winning the 10th edition of Accor Take Off! Challenge. I have witnessed your commitment, passion, perseverance, and dedication during your academic tenure. This is a great achievement in your career, we are happy that we are part of your journey. You have created landmarks in WGSHA’s, these accolades will be a great asset to the institution. I am sure this will be great motivation for your junior students. On behalf of the students and faculty team to thank all Parents, Industry professionals, and our well-wishers for their support and motivation to our team. Special thanks to Accor Hotels for giving us this amazing opportunity to these young minds.”
Both the ideas were well received by the jury members and the ideas were shortlisted for the finale along with teams from Indonesia, Cambodia, and France. The finale was hosted for the teams in Pullman & Novotel Aerocity, New Delhi on September 6th, 2021. One member from each of the team joined from Muscat, Oman, and Dubai, UAE because of their inability to travel to India. The teams had to connect to the Paris Office of Accor S.A. through a web conference. Teams were given a 2-hour preparation time, post which, the teams had to present it to the panel members. It was an intense session, where teams had to dwell upon aspects of Marketing, Financials, and Project Feasibility.
Team Flower Power bagged the runners-up spot while Team Conquistadors emerged as the champion of the Accor Take Off! Challenge 2021. Mr. Bazin, the CEO of the Accor Group committed to discuss the winning project with the team in the Paris Office and implement the same.
The finale was web cast across the world and graced by Mr. Sebastien Bazin, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer of Accor Hotels. It is for the first time, a team from India has secured the top spot in this competition and we take a lot of pride in this achievement of ours. 500 participants from across 86 Schools in 25 Countries formed 165 teams for the first round.
The preparation for this contest began in the month of April where participants had to make a photomontage representing their project and provide a brief description of the same. The ideas were put on the public forum for voting and 50 teams were shortlisted based on the public vote. A jury further shortlisted 16 teams of the 50, who got a chance to pitch their ideas to a jury of 17-panel members.