Energy Masters: A Refreshing Change in Indian Corporate Quizzing
I have been conducting corporate quizzes for about 5 years now. (Read about them). In
most all cases here’s what happens. I reach the venue about an hour or so before the quiz, conduct the quiz, declare winners and leave. My interaction with the participants is restricted to those two hours on stage. And obviously, most of it is impersonal, deals with the questions, rules et al. Albeit, a little bit is about knowing more about them. But Energy Masters: A Business Quiz for Power Sector professionals seems to me as the future of quizzing. Energy Masters is an initiative of JSW Energy, which intends to bring Power Sector professionals together “to interact, learn and share the tacit knowledge gained due to their experiences, with each other”. And boy, what a beautiful venue Kaladham was to launch the event. Located inside JSW, Vijayanagar, the Hampi style structure of Kaladham is an ideal venue not only for a quizmaster but any kind of performer. The excitement of being a part of Energy Masters brought 19 different teams from across the country to Vijayanagar early in the morning. The teams spent the rest of the day visiting the plant, discussing the industry, coal auctions and of course the World Cup group stage marquee clash – India vs South Africa. At 1730 hours, with the sun setting behind the stage, we were ready to start with the preliminary round. The JSW staff had worked hard to create a wonderful set for the quiz. The quiz began with a few PJs (quizmaster’s constituency) to calm the nerves of the participants. Did you just ask what those were PJs were? Here (Not explaining because “analysing humour is like..”) In a span of 25 questions, we were able to identify the 6 teams for the final. And they were- 1. NTPC 2. Rourkela Steel Plant 3. Indian Oil 4. Jindal Power Ltd. 5. JSWPTC, and 6. Bokaro Steel Plant With a few questions on the buzzer, the first round was a high scoring round that was a sign of things to follow. With only NTPC, Rourkela and IOC feeling comfortable, it was a three way fight till the end for the 1st Energy Masters title. After the end of Round 1- NTPC 30, RSP 15 and IOC 38. The second round had all the questions on the buzzer. And the teams made full use of buzzers to their advantage as well as disadvantage. IOC, the leaders after round 1, took a risk and “shot themselves down” (their words not mine.. mother swear) when they missed out on an obituary of Kalashnikov by identifying it as Alfred Nobel’s. By the time they recovered, NTPC built a healthy lead thanks to an essay-esque answer eventually featuring the key words Three Gorges Dam in its climax. With 3 questions remaining in the second round- NTPC now 54, IOC 33 and RSP 23. It seemed that Energy Masters was decided even before the batting power play started (mandatory cricket analogy). But the veteran quizzers from IOC came back strongly with three back to back answers. NTPC 54, IOC a close 47 and RSP 23. This quiz was “going down to the wire” (again, not my words but you know who’s) The third round required the teams to strategize well while risking an opportunity to even stay in the game. While the teams were living on (off?) the edge, the audience and yours truly were enjoying the high intensity drama.. that met an anti-climactic end (phbbt). With 1/3rd of the last round done NTPC increased their cushion to 11 points. IOC’s strategy and luck got worse as the game progressed, as OHTs and sitters – both were missed by them. The eventual winners, NTPC, hyper-inflated their lead when they answered the final question of the evening with Gideon Gono as the Governor of the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe. Final scores (they don’t justify the epic clash that I was lucky to witness and be a part of)- NTPC, the 1st Energy Masters Mr. Chandan Shahi and Mr. KM Prashanth, 74 points IOC, finishing a commendable 2nd, Mr.K. Suresh and Mr. Deepak Taneja, 31 points Find a few of the questions from the quiz here.