Over the past few months, four of our very own ALU students participated in the HSBC/HKU Asia Pacific Business Case Competition. In March 2019, Tinashe Alpha Sibanda, Hossam Hamdy, Madani Napaul, Ngoni Gurure, and coach Salam Al-Khateeb, Business Management Faculty at ALU, won the HSBC 3-day country-wide competition in Mauritius, defeating the 3-time national champion, Middlesex University.
Their win set the stage for Team ALU to travel to Hong Kong to represent Mauritius and all of Africa—as the only representation from the continent — to compete at the 4-day global /HKU Asia Pacific Business Case Competition from June 3 to June 6, 2019.
Leaving on May 28, 2019, Team ALU traveled to Hong Kong where in addition to competing, they participated in dinners, resilience training, group training, and even opportunities to explore Hong Kong.
The HSBC/HKU Asia Pacific Case Competition is no ordinary competition.
To even participate in the HSBC/HKU Asia Pacific Case Competition, teams must win their local HSBC sponsored case competitions before receiving an invitation to attend the HSBC/HKU Asia Pacific Case Competition.
Annually, 24 teams are qualified to participate in the HSBC/HKU Business Case Competition. For each of the first three rounds, each team is randomly divided into six groups of four. And without any reference material, electronic device or any form of technology, teams have 3 hours to develop a solution and a presentation to each round’s prepared case study.
After each case, teams present their solution without a laptop or PowerPoint presentation but with an overhead projector. Judges assess each team on the calibre of their solution, depth of analysis, practicality among other criteria. At the end of the first three rounds, the four teams with the highest scores, compete in the fourth and final round.
Team ALU held its own over 3 days of competition.
During the HSBC Mauritius Competition, in March 2019, other competitors didn’t expect much from our team who was participating for the first time in this competition; but after hours of practice and coaching, they upset the HSBC Mauritius Board’s top seed and surprised our competitors with confidence, innovative solutions, and exceptional implementation plans, securing our seat at the global competition in Hong Kong in June 2019.
In Hong Kong, while ALU didn’t make it to the final fourth round, our team did an exceptional job! This was our first experience competing at the global HSBC/HKU Business Case Competition and we ruffled quite a few feathers.
During the first round of competition on June 3, Team ALU won second place. For round two, on June 4, Team ALU took fourth place, and for round 3, Team ALU scored second. The team made an unforgettable impact on some coaches, judges and many students. The coach of AUB, last year’s runner-up and the team who ranked 1 in the first two days, clapped for our team inside the hall even before they even finished their presentation. One of the judges – a Senior Partner at PwC – told the team that he didn’t think his own team could have come up with such innovative solutions!
From everyone at ALU, Tinashe, Hossam, Madani, Ngoni, and coach Salam, welcome home champions! We are proud of your performance and honored to have you represent each and every one of us in Hong Kong. Thank you for your months of hard work and dedication. What you did is nothing less than exceptional and we honor you.