Once again the VM Chal­lenge this year, an ex­cit­ing pre­lude to the 2014 VM&RD Awards night, saw thirty tal­ented vis­ual mer­chan­dis­ers in six groups ‘dis­play­ing it out’ for the top spots in a na­tional live win­dow dis­play con­test.


The 2014 VM Chal­lenge con­test was Or­gan­ised on 30th Jan­uary 2014 at The Westin Ho­tel, Mum­bai on the eve of the VM&RD Re­tail De­sign Awards 2014,. This was the third edi­tion of this one-of-a-kind na­tional level win­dow dis­play con­test that pro­vided a prom­i­nent plat­form for the tal­ented VM fra­ter­nity to demon­strate their cre­ativ­ity and in­no­va­tive think­ing in cre­at­ing dis­play so­lu­tions for busi­ness sce­nar­ios. The event was an­chored once again by Suren­der Gnanao­livu, Mahin­dra Re­tail and sup­ported by Anu­raag S, Madura Gar­ments. The con­test com­prised of six teams led by spe­cially in­vited leading se­nior vis­ual mer­chan­dis­ers from leading re­tail brands sup­ports by five tal­ented mem­bers each who were selected from a pool of reg­is­tered con­tes­tants on a first come ba­sis.

The six teams were :

Team Jade – Leader: Ar­den J D’souza, Shop­pers Stop

Team Opal– Leader: Parag Dal­wadi , Ce­lio

Team Topaz – Leader: Pawan Na­gar­wal , Cen­tral Team Sap­phire – Leader: Ga­j­pal Rathore, Gant & Nau­tica

Team Am­ber – Leader: Amit Shanklya, Chem­istry

Team Ruby – Leader: Nida Kagzi , Gi­tan­jali Group The teams were gath­ered to be briefed by Suren­der Gnanao­livu at the start of the event. The brief was based on a thought pro­vok­ing Busi­ness sce­nario of a Com­pany called Good’e’Green which was started by two ex­em­ploy­ees of a leather ex­port com­pany’s waste dis­posal man­age­ment depart­ment. Their brand ‘Un­like Oth­ers’ of­fered re-pur­posed hand crafted Bags, Belts, Footwear, watches and Scarves. Cus­tomers were ac­quired when they ‘Like’ the brand page where they were in­formed of Prod­uct deals and the lat­est lo­ca­tion of their pop-up store lo­ca­tion that changed ev­ery 3 months, through FB posts. The Store win­dow strat­egy was to set up Mo­bile / Pop-up win­dows at hired lo­ca­tions at the TG’s wa­ter­ing holes. The chal­lenge was to plan and ex­e­cute a ‘win­dow on wheels ‘ that pro­moted a new range of ac­ces­sories for Valen­tine’s day called ‘Love On Line’ collection in an IT park Food-court where only 40 min­utes is given for set­ting up the win­dow. Each team was pro­vided with a glass cage win­dow with LED ac­cent light­ing (spon­sored by Plus Light­ing), Man­nequins (spon­sored by 3S Man­nequins), a collection of fash­ion ac­ces­sories (Spon­sored by Cen­tral depart­ment store) and a VM Tool Kit. The teams went into a great start af­ter a quick hud­dle, think­ing up a dis­play strat­egy, draw­ing a plan and light­ning fast ex­e­cu­tion. It was a real treat for the spec­ta­tors to watch top vis­ual mer­chan­dis­ers in live ac­tion putting to­gether great win­dow dis­play con­cepts and in­stal­la­tions right be­fore their eyes. What looked chaotic ini­tially un­folded into fab­u­lous dis­plays that were in­no­va­tive in­stal­la­tion that helped pro­vide a so­lu­tion for the busi­ness chal­lenge.

An­chored by : Suren­der Gnanao­livu

The spe­cial jury had to do some se­ri­ous study and pon­der­ing over the en­tries be­fore se­lect­ing the win­ner. Team Opal led by Parag Dal­wadi was de­clared the clear win­ner of the VM Chal­lenge while Team Jade led by Ar­den J. D’souza was given the Run­ner-Up Award. Team Am­ber lead by Amit Shanklya and Yogesh Joshi got a spe­cial men­tion for their very close scores to the run­ner-up spot

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