Hitotsubashi ICS Students (Mariko, Ken, Sovannka, and Nat from Class of 2014 (1st year student) were runners-up in the JMBACC case competition!
The Japan MBA Case Competition (JMBACC) is an international event jointly organized by Japanese and international business schools, including Aoyama Business School, McGill University, and Hitotsubashi ICS, who founded JMBACC last year. Three students/alumni from Hitotsubashi ICS participated as organisers of the competition as well.
The competition aims to provide a learning experience for future business leaders by encouraging healthy competition, professionalism and interaction, both amongst themselves and with the business community.
JMBACC 2014 was held at Aoyama Gakuin University on 30 November, with teams of MBA candidates from the following 12 schools, including some international schools from Hong Kong and Singapore, making a presentation on a pre-selected business case in front of nine judges from various industries.
• Aoyama Business School (ABS)
• Doshisha Business School
• Globis University
• Hitotsubashi ICS
• Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) from Hong Kong
• International University of Japan (IUJ)
• Keio Business School (KBS)
• McGill University
• Meiji University
• Nanyang Business School from Singapore
• Tsukuba University
• Waseda Business School (WBS)
After some heated competition, the team of Mariko, Ken, Sovannka, and Nat from Hitotsubashi ICS Class of 2014 (1st year student) were, along with Waseda Business School, announced as runners-up to event champion, McGill University.
We interviewed Hitotsubashi ICS team members (Mariko, Ken, Sovannka, and Nat) to find out more about how they utilized their learning at Hitotsubashi ICS, their efforts and the gains they made through this competition. They have certainly grown as future business leaders through participating in this competition!
Mariko, Ken, Sovannka, and Nat, congratulations on your marvelous result!
Please see the interview below for more details.
Q: What was the toughest part of the competition?
Time management was one of the toughest as we had many other school projects to tackle at the same time as this competition. In fact, we stayed at school until the last train for two weeks. To manage this issue, we discussed and agreed on our priorities by dividing up tasks, and allocating the right person to the right job.
Another tough aspect of this competition was that as the case itself dates back to 2007, data mining was difficult. To overcome this, we made several relevant assumptions in order to progress our analysis and recommendation.
Q: Did you utilize your learning at Hitotsubashi ICS in this competition? If so, what learning?
We used the combination of several learning to practically solve the problem of the business owner's situation. Thus, we could apply the theory in a real business context.
1) Marketing: Marketing mix, customers' value proposition, ADDING Model, etc.
2) Strategy: Strategic positioning recommendation to differentiate ourselves from competitors as well as implementation strategy.
3) Finance: Budget forecasting, Pro Forma financial statements.
In addition, we learned to put ourselves in the company's shoes. We have studied the importance of going directly to 'Genba' to better understand the company and create knowledge. Therefore, we went to observe several actual retail outlets. In doing so, we got a very clear picture of the business and felt more committed and motivated to develop solutions for the designated company.
Lastly, we have learned how to look beyond the short-term financial goals of a company into the realm of long-term sustainability. Therefore, we deliberated deeply and sought to introduce a solution that would sustain the company's competitive advantage.
Q: What did you learn from participating in this event?
1) Learning from our teammates
We learned to understand and build on each other's idea, skills and knowledge. We ensured that our strengths, patience, commitment, and passion for success were dynamic elements of our team spirit. We believe this achievement is a step that will help shape the roadmap for our successful MBA life.
2) Learning from participating teams
Each team has different ways of delivering a solution. We learned how to better package our solution, engage the audience during our presentation, and present data in a concise yet impactful manner in order to better highlight our unique solution.
3) Learning from judges & advisors
We also learned greatly from the Q&A, and judges' and advisors' feedback. We learned how to frame issues and tackle them in a convincing way using relevant supporting data. In addition, we learned to simplify our ideas by using a single storyline to create impact. That is, less is more.