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Rajarshi Chanda emerges National Champion at Tata Crucible Corporate Quiz 2022

February 7, 2023

The 19th edition of Tata Crucible Corporate Quiz, a knowledge initiative by the Tata Group, culminated with a spectacular Grand Finale, held at Taj Lands End, Mumbai. Rajarshi Chanda from Fujitsu Consulting, Pune clinched the national championship with the grand prize of ₹ 2, 50, 000/-* and took home the coveted Tata Crucible trophy in a National Final that witnessed some power-packed quizzing action.

1. Introduce yourself, giving details about your academic (college name and university) and corporate (names of places where you worked before), background, and current workplace.

Hi, I am Rajarshi Chanda, the current defending ‘National Champion’ of the Tata Crucible Corporate Quiz 2022-23. I currently work with Fujitsu Pune, looking after business development, presales and strategic program management. Over the last 20 years, I have worked in Presales, Account Management and Program Management, with organizations like Capgemini, Infogain (Blue Star), Kotak Mahindra, and Prudential UK, to name a few. I graduated from Bharati Vidyapeeth University, Navi Mumbai in the year 2000 (not so young anymore)

2. Tell us about your recent achievement and experience in the Tata Crucible Quiz, especially the final round. Which people did you outsmart? What prizes did you win?

Winning the coveted title of ‘National Champion’ at the Tata Crucible Corporate Quiz is a dream come true for me. Having faltered at the Zonal Finals twice earlier (2014 & 2017), I was hoping to be 3rd time lucky and reach the National Finals at India’s biggest business quiz. My strategy for the semi-finals was to play it cautiously, one step at a time, to be in the top-3 to qualify for the finals. The finals, however, demanded a contrasting strategy, so I decided to up the ante and step into overdrive from the very start. Being pitted against former champions like Naveen and Preetham, I ensured I took calculated risks where possible and avoided the negatives, to keep the pressure on them at all times. The finals went down to the wire, however, my strategy and everything else fell into place and I ultimately emerged victorious to become National Champion, after more than a decade of patience and perseverance. As the National Champion, I won a prize of Rs.2.5 lakh, but to me, the real reward is winning the most sought-after National Championship trophy and the pride, respect and accolades that accompany this ‘Holy Grail’ of quizzing.

3. Which month did the regional and zonal elimination rounds begin? How many people in how many cities did you outclass across the country? Who organises the quiz?

The regional/ cluster rounds started in December 2022 and my cluster finals took place on 13th Jan 2023, just a week before the National Finals.

There were over 10,000 participants who registered this year, from which the top 144 (12 from each of the 12 clusters), had to win their respective clusters to earn a spot in the Semi-Finals and National Finals. In all, I had to conquer 6 levels (2 elimination rounds, 1 cluster knock-out, 1 cluster final, 1 semi-final and finally the Grand Finale) to win the National Champion’s trophy.

The quiz has been organized by the Tata Group since 2004 and is hosted by noted quizmaster Giri Balasubramaniam (Pickbrain).

4.  To whom do you owe this achievement? Who are your mentors?

Nothing worthwhile is ever gained without sacrifice – Martin Luther King Jr. 

This achievement would not have been possible without a few sacrifices, particularly those made by my wife and daughter who have not only been very understanding, but a constant support when I have been occupied or away on several weekends for multiple quizzes. I never had a mentor in quizzing, but there are some fellow quizzers whom I look upto and try to emulate and learn from. However, this list would be incomplete without the mention of a few amazing quizzer friends whom I had the pleasure of teaming with, over the last decade, who have not only helped instil greater confidence in myself, but have also enabled me to sharpen my skills and made me a better quizzer over the years.  

5. How and when (month) did you prepare yourself for the quiz, especially developing time management skills?

For most of the quizzes I participate in, I do not prepare at all, but rely on my daily reading of key facts and events and occasionally brushing up on the fundamentals. 

However, when it comes to Tata Crucible, I follow a more elaborate preparation schedule. As a corporate employee, the real challenge is in being able to squeeze time from your busy schedule, especially if you’re working in high pressure roles like delivery or sales. For this edition, I started my preparation once the cluster dates were announced, ensuring I am able to devote an hour at least for my preparation every day, juggling personal and work-related commitments.

6. What are your future plans?

For now, I intend to savour this victory and not plan too far ahead. On the personal front, I am planning to take a vacation with my family very soon, to celebrate this long-awaited win. 

At the same time, I also believe “Success is never owned; it is always rented, and the rent is due every day!” So, next year, I will be back, defending my title at the next edition of the Tata Crucible Corporate Quiz 2023-24.

Also read: Tata Social Enterprise Challenge begins hunt for social innovators

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