For the first time in its history, the Corvinus participated in the Chulalongkorn International Business Case Competition in Thailand for undergraduate students, where our team came first among the teams of 20 leading universities of the world.
The international case competition called Chulalongkorn International Business Case Competition was held in the last days of May in Thailand – this year, because of the pandemic conditions, it was organised online. The Corvinus was represented by a team of four, namely Fanni Fakli, György Gáspár, András Koleszár and Dániel Kostyal. Dr. Miklós Kozma associate professor prepared the students for the competition. The preparation started in January. The members of the team were selected from students, who completed the Cases on International Business Strategy subject. The team of our University, with their outstanding professional performance in the competition, won first place. Our students proved to be the best among 20 leading universities of economics of various regions of the world. The value of the result achieved is proved by the fact that in the past seven years of the competition, there had been no European teams among the best three.
It is an outstanding achievement that the team of our University was able to win a case competition in Asia, which only a few European teams have been able to do so far. One of the key features of the competition is that the majority of participants are from Asian universities. Apart from Europeans, there were teams from the Universities of Australia and Canada that are leading institutions in case competitions. This is why learning about Asian culture formed an important part of the team’s preparation. The objective was to be able to create a strategy that satisfies the demands of Asian consumers and companies. The professional jury highlighted the well-founded and relevant nature of the solution from the aspect of local culture.
The final ranking in the competition was determined by the results of solving two cases. The problem in the short case of 8 hours was provided by the company called Agoda which is an accommodation booking platform. The international teams had to invent a new product or function that facilitates sustainable travel. The longer, 24-hour case was sponsored by Thailand’s leading digital bank, Kbank, who were expecting ideas to reach and attract Generation Z. The solution of our team was unique with regards that the presentation addressed the various needs of the age groups of this generation and the team’s proposed strategy was built on that.
’As far as I am concerned, the best part of the competition was the solving process, when it was really obvious that the hard work done in the weeks and months before the competition had its results and we were really able to create something memorable’, said György Gáspár.
Because of the different time zone, the team started to work on the cases in the middle of the night and had to deliver the presentation in the very early hours. In spite of fatigue, the preliminary presentations went so well that they came 2nd in the short case, and 1st in the 24-hour case in their own division. Based on the aggregated results, the Corvinus team won the division and got into the final. ‘The moment when they announced that our team got into the final, after being awake for almost 30 hours, I will remember even in 10 years’ time. That was the point when we started to feel that this could be a really big success’, explained György.
Our team in the final was accompanied by leading universities of the region, and, as the team considered, this made the value of the result even higher. ‘In the final, our opponents represented some of the best case competition schools: last year’s third-place winner, the Singapore Management University, the previous winner, the National University of Singapore and the University of New South Wales teams were our competitors. Hearing the names of the best four teams, I got excited first, then this anxiety was replaced by incredible motivation, as I fully believed that our solution could be the winner’, said Dániel Kostyal, the most experienced member of the team.
The presentations were heard and evaluated by a consistent and strict jury, and this was pointed out by Dániel about the competition:
‘In the final, in addition to the fact that the executive president of the Thai commercial bank that provided the case listened to our presentation, a number of regional managers and acknowledged business professionals listened to our 24-hour solution. It was an honour to perform in front of such an esteemed jury.’
In the end, in the final, the team of Corvinus came first, before Singapore Management University who came third and the University of New South Wales came second.
After the final, András Koleszár evaluated the result as follows: ‘the preparation of a meal requires two things: good ingredients and masterful execution. Although I think I still have room for development in both aspects, the result, and primarily the journey shows that we witnessed something really special. The university courses completed in the Case Track, especially the Cases on International Business Strategy case-solving course gave good foundations for the competition. However, the joint preparations with the team and our faculty coach gave the finishing touch to the whole process. I am grateful to my teammates and Professor Miklós Kozma for being part of it!’
The example of the team shows that in the course of case solutions, with steady work, everyone may be able to participate in international competitions and achieve a result that everyone will be proud of. The thoughts from Fanni Fakli show the potential in case solving:
‘The participation in an international case competition is a great honour and responsibility in itself. This competition has proved to us that with proper preparations and a great deal of motivation it is possible to win a competition where you first feel that you have a disadvantage. This is due to solving cases at night, reputable opponents and the unique culture. Nothing compares to the moment when they announced Corvinus as the winning team. I wish that all the motivated present and future case solvers reached the end of the Case Track, and experienced what it feels like when the invested energy bears fruit.’
We are proud of our students, who represented our University in an international competition with excellent results, competing with leading universities of economics from all around the world. Our heartiest congratulations to the contestants on their excellent results!