The competition, which is considered as the world championship of case competitions, was held between 29 January and 5 February in Auckland, New Zealand. The organisers invited twelve universities that achieved the best summarised result in prestigious global case competitions held in the previous calendar year. The members of the Corvinus team were Fanni Fakli, Zsanett Őrsi, Szabó and Péter Zombori, who all won gold medals at global competitions in 2022. Their preparation was controlled by Miklós Kozma, associate professor.
‘The Champions Trophy is the highest level competition in the global category of general business case competitions. Consequently, preparation for the competition is an extreme challenge and we always learn from each other, irrespective of the result. The top of the profession is renewed every year in the solution based on analysis, successful communication, highlighting crucial professional issues, and in the original nature of the proposed solution. We added the knowledge of the Corvinus workshop to all that in this year and drew our own conclusions from the common knowledge. This is an experience of a lifetime, for both students and teachers”, said Miklós Kozma.
The competition had a special format: on 3 consecutive days, the teams had to solve 3 pieces of 5-hour cases, with slides written and drawn on paper, without internet access, and presented their solutions with a projector. Each case focused on the problems of a New Zealand company, and the aboriginal Maori culture and its values also played an important role.
‘The Champions Trophy was a very special experience for me, primarily not because of the location in New Zealand, but because of the world-class competition and competing teams. It was definitely exciting to work out solutions for the problems of three extremely different companies, and the method of using paper, without any electronic device, meant new challenges and excitement, as it was really professional knowledge coupled with talent, routine, and common sense that played the key roles during the competition, said one of the team members, Péter Zombori.
The first case company was the ANZ Bank, i.e. the bank with the highest market share in New Zealand. The teams had to work out how the bank could keep more of its customers in the future and also attract new customers, mainly from the 18-30 age group, despite the newly introduced open banking and new customer demands and behaviour. The team came up with a solution that improves the financial awareness of the customers, as a result of which ANZ can offer them better offers, so they will be more committed to the bank. With this solution, our team came first in their division.
The second case company was NTKMADE Ltd., a design company founded in 2011 and involved in fashion and accessories, manufacturing high-quality and fashionable Maori clothes and accessories. The task was to find out how the female entrepreneur could further expand her business while maintaining the values and authentic nature of the company.
The third case was the New Zealand Sailing Trust non-profit organisation, which wishes to make young generations, especially elementary school children, devoted to navigation, sailing, and the sea, while learning useful skills, too. The teams had to answer two questions: how could the company increase its presence within New Zealand, and how could they maintain a committed HR team and attract new members.
By the end of the three rounds, our team was in the second place of the division, with the same number of points as the students of the Copenhagen Business School, but based on the performances on that day, the Danish team qualified for the next round. In spite of the fact that they could not deliver a presentation in the final, our students received high recognition and learnt valuable tools and approaches during the week of the competition.
This is how Fanni summarised her experiences: ‘Although we did not take home one of the cups depicting a Maori figure, we are proud of this week and have happy memories about it. It is great that the Corvinus was able to be there among the best case-solvers. It was good to experience that professional arguments played the key roles in the competition, and we could learn a lot from the other teams. Now it is our turn to pass on the experiences collected so far to the ‘future generations’. I think we performed well, and this proves that our case-solving community is on the right track to making sure that the Corvinus can be represented in the Champions Trophy competition in the future, too, as many times as possible. ‘
The team has collected a lot of experience, jointly with the best students of the best business schools, as a competition like that is attended by talented students from all over the world.
‘It was a fantastic feeling to be part of a stimulating and ambitious community and test myself in a competition with the best of the best. I have been enriched with international connections from Canada to New Zealand and made lifelong friends. We managed to extend the set of tools learnt in the Case Track, as we were able to try a new, paper-based, off-line style. I will never forget the competition and the time our team spent travelling in New Zeland’, summed Kíra,
The Ka Pai Cup is an old tradition of the Champions Trophy. Every year, the team that displays the most enthusiasm and positivity in the competition and is the best at identifying with the values of the local kiwi culture is rewarded. This year the Corvinus team won the Ka Pai Cup, which was brought home with pride,
Students who participated in the competition were selected from our teams that completed the optional Cases on International Business Strategy (CIBS) course and were placed first in other case competitions last year. Following that, they took part in a several-month special and customised preparatory course, which focused on the features of the given competition. The preparation enriched with a number of workshops and a trial presentation was tailored to the individual characteristics of the four students and to the features of the expected international solutions. The preparations included learning about the local culture and business practices. In addition to other CIBS teachers, the process was also supported by several experienced former competitors, too, with their advice and feedback.
I think we have already learnt a lot from our study programmes, especially in the Case Track subjects, which prepared us specifically for the business case study competitions, so that we could perform well in an international environment full of challenges. During the courses, we also learnt a lot from our teachers and former team members, and we will elevate this process to a higher level every time we prepare for a competition. We learnt a lot again during the preparations, and at the competition, also’, said Zsanett.
Congratulations to the team on their outstanding results and for representing our University.