As someone told me (Ajay Poonia) privately “Udaan is a quiz that has grown with you, and you are a quizmaster who has grown with Udaan“. Maybe the speaker did not intend as much weight to this thought when he said it but for me the growth of Udaan corresponds with my career as a quizmaster. Out of 11 of its editions, I have hosted 9. From back in 2013, when I had a head full of hair and preferred a clean shaven look, and had mini-anxiety attacks taking the stage in front of the bigwigs of Indian quizzing to its most recent edition which was held completely online with participants logging in from different parts of the country for a nerve racking set of quizzes. And well such is the joy of online quizzing where yours truly, the QM, can neither deny nor confirm if he was wearing any pants ;p
Below is a short review of what transpired in each of these quizzes. Hope you’ll enjoy watching them as much as I enjoyed conducting them.
11th UDAAN Business Leadership Quiz 2021 – East Zone
Right from the beginning to the end, it was a two way tussle between multiple time former national champion Sampad Mishra from Rourkela Steel Plant and last year’s east zone winner Rabi Sankar Saha from Capgemini. Eventually, it was Rabi who prevailed over Sampad but both both qualified for the national final anyway.
11th UDAAN Business Leadership Quiz 2021 – West Zone
The competition ebbed and flowed in the first half uncertain of which way the winner’s trophy was headed but eventually it Shantanu Sharma from IIM Ahmedabad who kicked into action in the second half and so did Rajarshi Chanda from Capgemini who did just about enough in the last few questions to ensure a place for himself in the national final. There was a bit of scorekeeping confusion towards the end as one of the participants, I presume, did not take certain risks towards the end which he should have taken thinking he’s qualified. But unfortunately for him, it was a Duckworth-Lewis-esque miscalculation for him. *shrugs*
11th UDAAN Business Leadership Quiz 2021 – North Zone
The competition was arguably the most closely fought among all the zonal rounds. While Rohan Khanna from Barclays was quick off the blocks Subhasish Kispotta from Bokaro Steel Plant and last year’s national runner-up Ayush Awasthi from EY accumulated points little by little, with Ayush taking a more risky approach than Subhasish. While Subhasish lapped up points in every round, Ayush pushed the pedal to the metal in the last round leaving Rohan out of the two qualification spots with just one question. Rohan had to take a shot on the final question for taking a risk-free approach during the game did not quite work out for him.
11th UDAAN Business Leadership Quiz 2021 – South Zone
Such were the contrasting nature of the opening and the closing segment of the competition that amongst all the zonal finals, the south zone final was the ideal candidate for the ‘how it started’ and ‘how it ended’ meme. When the game started, 4 out of the 6 participants registered their presence on the scoreboard quickly but when the fast paced action made way for more settled thinking, calibrating and then answering, the game really started to take shape as former national champion Jayakanthan from TCS kept distancing himself from the rest. And the rest kept fighting amongst each other till eventually Kapinjal Chowdhury, also from TCS, managed to scrape through.
11th UDAAN Business Leadership Quiz 2021 – National Final
If there was copybook style of winning a quiz, then Jayakanthan’s performance was it. Start strong, make others panic and thus coax them into making a mistake (or two), accumulate a few more points while you still can and then rest on your laurels as others fight amongst themselves. That is exactly how the game panned out for him. While among the rest, it was a three-way tie going into the final round and a two-way tie after the last round. But eventually on the tie-breaker question it was Ayush Awasthi who prevailed over Rabi Sankar Saha to finish runner-up second year in a row.