Indian students stars shine through Unilever future leaders league

Cornetto challenge rounds off worldwide search for tomorrow’s leader.Three graduates from India won the grand final of our Future Leaders League global student business competition, entered by 30,000 applicants, as Unilever continues to inspire future leaders committed to sustainable business growth.

In a business challenge set by sponsors Cornetto, Team India won Unilever’s largest-ever Future Leaders League competition by beating 90 other finalists from 30 countries to top prize at the grand final in London.

The Future Leaders League brings together students from all over the world who share our vision of a better future, setting them real-life business challenges around sustainable growth while giving them invaluable leadership experience.

After winning the qualifying rounds in their home countries, the finalists had a month of mentoring with Unilever marketing teams in their home countries, and three days’ preparation in London – which included meetings with Unilever Chief Executive Paul Polman – before presenting their ideas to a standing ovation from Cornetto’s judges.

“Insightful and very powerful ideas”

“We saw some really excellent presentations from some very talented graduates, and it is fair to say that the judges were blown away,” said Anish Singh, Leadership Development Director, Global Markets.

“Their ideas were insightful, simple and very powerful. The Future Leaders League is designed to give talented graduates the chance to experience life in Unilever, to meet our leadership, and to feel what it is like to work with us, but it also gives us the chance to learn from them.

“Recruiting outstanding graduates is crucial to Unilever's sustainable ambitions – these are the leaders of tomorrow. We are already the No.1 employer of choice in 32 countries in the FMCG category, but our ambition is to be No.1 in at least 50."

More than 140,000 Facebook fans

The 2015 competition had 30,000 entries and attracted a fanbase of more than 140,000 on Facebook, with a significant following on other social media channels including Instagram and Weibo.

The winning students in Team India qualified through their national competition, contested by 10,000 entrants and with rounds televised on CNBC TV 18.

Team India returned home with a $5,000 prize to donate to a local charity, as well as individual certificates and MacBook Pros. But Unilever’s judges and leadership are hopeful that many of the competitors will follow in the footsteps of contestants from previous years by taking up Unilever internships or places on the Unilever Future Leaders Programme.

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