The 2009 Microsoft Case Challenge was held in Beijing from January 5-6. Muthuramen Ganesan’s team emerged as runner-up, with the chance to implement their proposed business plan with funding from Microsoft.
Event: The 2009 East-West MBA All-Star Case Challenge
Venue: Grand Hyatt and Oriental Plaza, Beijing
Date: January 5-6
16 teams, 12 universities: needless to say the atmosphere was electrifying! Here we were in Beijing, to represent the NUS Business School in an exclusive “by invitation only”, non-profit case challenge organized by the Cheung Kong Graduate School of Business in conjunction with Microsoft “FirenzeChina”. We were enthralled and felt extremely proud to be the only team from Singapore to participate in this international competition. It had been hard work preparing for this contest especially given that all four of us were located in four different cities, teleconferencing day and night coordinating with each other.
IIMPact participant Neha Gupta shares her experience about joining the business plan challenge.
IIMPact – Who started with the thought of winning it!! The truth is we started because we thought that as MBAs we should participate in business plan competitions. Many others thought the same and hence emerged 5 teams from NUS, participating in IIMPact.
IIMPact is a Business Plan Challenge organized by the Singapore chapter of the alumni committee of the India Institute of Management (IIM). The competition is open to all Asian B-schools and the theme for our year was –
Suggest a business idea for an entrepreneurial venture that can justify social & economic returns on an investment of 5 million USD.
Neha Gupta talks about making it to the finals for the business plan challenge, IIMPact.
A month later the results were announced. To our surprise, we made it – one amongst 92 teams. 3 out of 5 NUS teams had made it to the 2nd round, so our first thought was that they would have selected almost everyone. Also, we knew that competition even from within NUS was not easy. In fact, we had seen other teams having stronger foundation than us.
The chances of us winning seemed bleak. But we wanted to put our best foot forward and fulfill our duty of sending the completed business plan. We adopted a better approach this time – we made division heads – Chief Financial Officer, Chief Technology Officer, Marketing Head, and yours truly – Head of Strategy. Only 2 short and sweet meetings for the round – work was divided according to the divisions. Everyone did his/her best for the respective division. Since it was December – no one wanted to take much pains. So no one questioned each other’s work too much. Though some changes were made in the end but broadly the final deck was pretty much a compilation of everyone’s individual work.
As champions of the business plan challenge, Neha Gupta talks about the problems her team faced along the way.
We had two major problems-
1) The deck that we had sent in the 2nd round was not presentable for the final round. Therefore, the entire presentation needed to be reworked.
2) Initially, the work had been divided between 4 and none of us had a clue about each other’s work. Now that we were two, we had to understand and re-work the entire presentation.