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Undergrads fly SMU flag high in global case competition arena

30 Oct 2017
Cognitare teams claim championship titles at 2017 Global Business Case Challenge in Japan and Thammasat Undergraduate Business Challenge in Thailand

Two SMU teams from Cognitare, Lee Kong Chian School of Business’s business case club, have made the University very proud by winning the championship titles at the 3rdGlobal Business Case Challenge and at the 20thThammasat Undergraduate Business Challenge (pictured above), both held this month.

2017 Thammasat Undergraduate Business Challenge (TUBC)

The team of four representing SMU in Thailand comprised Ian Chua Yong Kwang (4th Year, accountancy and business), Tan Jing Han (3rd Year, economics and business), Michelle Ann Lim Pei Ying (3rd Year, business) and Sashikumar Kannappan (2nd Year, business and social science (PLE)).  They beat 19 other teams representing top universities, such as Tsinghua University, National University of Singapore, University of California Berkeley and University of New South Wales.

Hosted by Thammasat University, TUBC is Asia’s premier and longest running international business case competition.  Each year, some of the brightest minds from universities across the world gather at TUBC to solve real-world business problems and showcase their business acumen, analytical skills and creativity.

Celebrating its 20th anniversary, the competition held its finals (10 - 14 October 2017) ‘live’ on the grand stage of Centara Grand – a Thai luxury hotel and home to Thailand's biggest shopping mall, Central World.  To commemorate this notable milestone in TUBC’s history, the organisers took the competition to the next level by introducing a new ‘live consulting’ case format, which simulates a real-world consulting project.  Teams were required to engage directly with senior executives of the client firm – Thailand’s longest-established retail bank, Siam Commercial Bank (SCB) – to understand its needs as well as to conduct primary on-ground research to collect key market insights.

Within a tight 48 hour timeframe, teams were to conduct their research, analyse data and develop a set of strategic recommendations to help the 110-year-old bank convince SME shop owners in Bangkok’s leading wholesale mall, Platinum Mall, to use SCB as their preferred bank.  SMU impressed the judges with their proposal of a location-based mobile application with a ‘backtracking’ feature that will leverage on-ground shoppers to provide the bank with predictive data and valuable performance insights based on the shoppers’ movements and behaviour.

Ian, the team leader, was delighted with his team’s performance.  “The new competition format was unfamiliar to us but I am extremely proud that our team displayed great adaptability, teamwork and determination despite being some of the youngest participants in the competition.  We took the challenge head on, put forth our best efforts and accomplished what we had set out to do.  This achievement would not have been possible without the invaluable guidance and support from our professors, alumni and club members.  The rigorous training we received in SMU definitely helped us in framing our case and prepared us for this challenge,” he said.

2017 Global Business Case Challenge (GBCC)

Earlier this month (2 - 8 October 2017), another team of four undergraduates also overcame stiff competition at the GBCC in Beppu, Japan, to emerge global champions.  Into its third edition, GBCC is organised by Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University to showcase the analytical capabilities of undergraduates of business schools globally.

The SMU team comprising Raghvendra Narang (3rd year, economics), Jamie Lim Zhi En (3rd year, business) and Darren Hernandez Tan (2nd year, business and economics) and Wong Wan Yee (2nd year, business), competed against 10 other teams from top universities hailing from six countries.  They included University of Pennsylvania (The Wharton School), The University of Florida, University of British Columbia, Thammasat University, National University of Singapore, Keio University and The Hong Kong Polytechnic University.

[Photo: The SMU team triumphant in Japan. (L-R) Jamie Lim Zhi En, Wong Wan Yee, Darren Hernandez Tan, Senior Lecturer Ma Kheng Min, and Raghvendra Narang.]

Teams were given 24 hours to develop strategic recommendations for Mani Inc., a Japanese medical equipment manufacturer which was facing threats from new substitutes for their medical equipment, as well as the rampant counterfeiting of their products in the emerging economies.

The team’s strategy and presentation impressed the judging panel, which comprised top level executives, industry experts and faculty members.  They proposed a framework for Mani to keep their product pipeline alive and relevant.  To circumvent the challenge of counterfeit products, the team also recommended a unique outreach strategy targeted at medical schools in the emerging markets to educate potential consumers about the quality of Mani’s products.

The above two teams’ outstanding performance on the international stage once again showcased the excellent quality of SMU undergraduates.  The stellar results were truly a culmination of many months of tireless training and rigorous preparations.  Well done, teams!

[Photo: SMU Lee Kong Chian School of Business]

 

[Feautured photo: (L-R) Tan Jing Han, Ian Chua Yong Kwang, Faculty Advisor Senior Lecturer Ma Kheng Min, Michelle Ann Lim Pei Ying and Sashikumar Kannappan, winning the TUBC championship title in Thailand.]

Last updated on 08 Nov 2017 .