An immersive and gamified simulation tool, MarkStrat empowers students to take ownership of a virtual company and compete against each other for the best possible share price growth, over an action-packed 48-hours.

My childhood had its fair share of gaming experiences and, in my opinion, gamified learning is a wonderful way to teleport yourself into scenarios that are modelled on real-life business situations.

With every ‘year’ being only a few hours in real life, Markstrat is a software that lets you run a company in a fiercely competitive market. Players must make decisions on marketing, pricing, people, customers, R&D, and others, in the hope of outperforming their peers. It’s no wonder that the top business-schools globally have this tool as a part of their curriculum.

Amit Joshi Professor of AI, Analytics and Marketing Strategy, set us up for an exciting two days, incorporating multi-faced learning from each of our prior courses, where every decision (no matter how small), makes an impact on your performance. Information overload, multiple scenario possibilities, and a continuously changing leader board, led to a roller-coaster of emotions in our ‘control rooms’ (dungeons, for those of you familiar with the IMD campus), most of which were either enlightening or head-scratching, in nature.

The teams in every industry were randomized, and a small portion of the first day was spent in trying to decipher which of our classmates were in which team, based solely on the team’s name (team names ranged from Severus to Roma and to Mega Pint). By the time we were in the middle of the second day, we had a good idea of who was in which team, and more importantly, we were trying to predict the strategy of the competitor, to try and stay one step ahead of the curve. Predictive analyses (mostly mathematical, and sometimes otherwise) can be a boatload of fun.

Here’s a photo of me ‘meditating’ (nothing to do with the lack of sleep) while we wait for updates between years.

Our Dean Omar Toulan says ‘strategy is about making choices’ – a simple statement with a powerful implication. Whether it’s in a game, or in the business world, or in any important life decision, a structured problem-solving mindset (sometimes with limited data), can really help us make an informed choice – a facet of reflective and responsible leadership.

Nishant Savio

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