Three Indians have grabbed top positions in an online contest, Build Your Own Virtual SUBWAY® Global Challenge, launched by the SUBWAY® restaurant chain across 100 countries. The winners are Vidhi Vankani of Pashim Medinipur, West Bengal; Damar Dhaval Naresh from Vadodara, Gujarat and Nithyanandam Yuvaraj Dinesh Babu, originally from New Delhi who now lives in Singapore. All of them made it to the top after battling six rounds of building a virtual SUBWAY® store and thereby creatively promoting the business to build sales of the restaurant.
Two of these top three winners visited SUBWAY® headquarters in Milford, Connecticut, USA, on May 05, 2014, for a VIP tour and to meet with various departments, from store design to global marketing, to present their winning ideas. A noteworthy fact is that five out of top ten finalists are of Indian origin. This clearly indicates the enthusiasm and active participation of Indian youth on the social media platforms as well as their strong entrepreneurial spirit and keen understanding of business. Launched in association with the Young & Successful Media last year, the second round of SUBWAY® Global Challenge kick started in November 2013. The purpose of the challenge was to enable players to build, train, operate and promote their own virtual SUBWAY® restaurants as a way to learn business development and entrepreneurial skills.
“The Global Challenge is the most widely distributed global online competition and allows aspiring entrepreneurs to compete against their peers in over 100 countries,” said Don Fertman, Chief Development Officer for the SUBWAY® chain. “The three Global Challenge winners had great ideas and showed a real entrepreneurial spirit. Hearing from all three – and having Vidhi and Dinesh come to Subway headquarters to meet with senior staff – was as much an eye-opener for us as it was for them. Presenting the Global Challenge and meeting with the winners has allowed us to look at our business from a new perspective,” he said. Vidhi Vankani, 26, a Senior Media Planning Manager with a leading communication firm, said, “I had been following the challenge since last year. Starting something of my own is something that has always been there on my mind. Ideas were however limited to discussion with family and friends.” For Vidhi, the SUBWAY® Global Challenge was not merely a challenge but rather an opportunity to gauge her potential at running a business with real life challenges being stimulated virtually.
All SUBWAY® restaurants are completely owned by local franchisees who are entrepreneurs that appreciate the opportunity to work hands-on. Manush Sethi, owner of the SUBWAY® restaurant in Delhi, said he had been watching the contest unfold ever since it started online and the excitement around it was enthralling. “The challenges in contest are similar to real life, which gives you first-hand experience of what it is like to run your own business.” SUBWAY® provides training and support to franchisees through its world headquarters in Milford, Connecticut, USA; five regional offices and various country offices across the globe, making the chain further appealing to potential franchisees from around the world. Franchisees are supported by dedicated locally-based Development Agents and their staff that provide additional business expertise. This makes operating a SUBWAY® restaurant an enjoyable and learning experience.