Cipher pips i-flex at the post

BANGALORE, APRIL 24. Just what does the term "razor-and-blades-sales" mean? Or for that matter, do you know what "green washing" is? If you are in marketing or just a quizzer, these terms will sound familiar.

On the other hand, if you had been present at the Bangalore round of "The Hindu Business Line Quiz 2004," you would have seen a whole lot of bright people reeling out the answers to such questions.

The first term, incidentally, comes into play when a company subsidises its main product but sells product accessories at a much higher prices. And the second term comes under "dirty PR" that "makes a company look eco-friendly when it actually isn't."

Two-member teams from various corporates and institutions, and in one case, a magazine, took part in the Bangalore rounds. After a few preliminary sessions, six made it to the regional qualifier: the M.S. Ramaiah Institute of Technology (MSRIT), Pidilite Industries, NITIE (Mumbai), Rave magazine, i-flex, and Cipher.

The quizmaster, Suresh Kumar, teased the participants with seven rounds, including one with video clips and another with slides.

Audience participation was highly vocal throughout. If the teams appeared flummoxed, the audience readily replied and got Rs. 1,000 vouchers or shirts, in return.

Competition between the teams was tight.

Though i-flex with 65 points, was the leader till the very last question, Cipher ultimately piped it at the winning post with 70 points.

"The Hindu Business Line Quiz" is now in its 10th year. The winning team of Ajay K. and Mitesh from Cipher will go with runners-up K. Prasanna Kumar and Damodaran from i-flex, to the quiz finals at Chennai on May 7. Before that, there will be another regional qualifier in Hyderabad on April 27 to select two more teams.

Six teams will compete for a grand prize of Rs. 50,000 in the Chennai final. K. Venugopal, Executive Editor of The Hindu Business Line, was present on Friday evening.

The quiz sponsors were: Union Bank of India (title sponsor); ITC Ltd., Titan, Amco Yuasa Batteries, Reynolds, Club Mahindra Holidays (co-sponsors); Savera Hotels Ltd., (hospitality); Amity University (academic partner); and Canara Bank, TTK Prestige, ITC Foods Ltd., Garden City College, Mallya Hospital, and Atria Hotel (regional sponsors).

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