MSc students win major international case competition in Dubai

A team of four MSc students from Aarhus University, Business and Social Sciences has just beaten a number of MBA teams from some of the highest-ranking universities worldwide in a major competition in Dubai.

2012.03.06 | Marianne Gammelgaard

Four MSc students from Aarhus University, Business and Social Sciences, have just won the regional final in the Hult Global Case Challenge 2012 in Dubai. Winning the regional final is the team’s ticket to the global final in New York, where it will compete for a total prize sum of USD 1 million against 17 other teams from around the world.

The Aarhus team beat several MBA groups from some of the best universities worldwide, despite the fact that four of the five team members are still students. Their assignment, which was part of the ‘Education’ track, is about the NGO ‘One Laptop Per Child’ (OLPC). It has been a challenge for OLPC to achieve its goal of educating children in developing countries using laptop computers by, for example, cutting costs and making the product affordable for these countries.

Strategy plan for the NGO
The Aarhus team’s task entailed devising a complete strategy for what OLPC needs to do differently to achieve success in future. By studying the BoP (bottom of the pyramid) concept and conducting field research in India, the group has drawn up a proposal for a new business model which focuses more on governments, as they usually finance and plan basic education. At the same, the team is proposing a new way in which to finance the concept.

“In the long term, it is possible to develop a self-sufficient ecosystem that enables developing countries to develop through educating their young generations,” explains Victor Bradu from Romania, who is studying for an MSc in Strategy, Organisation and Leadership at Aarhus University.

Global final in New York
The win in Dubai earns the team a ticket to the global final in New York, which is taking place at New York Public Library on 26 April. Here, the competing teams will face a tough test, as the panel of judges and the assembly will feature prominent names such as former US President Bill Clinton, Nobel Peace Prize winner Muhammad Yunes as well as the Chair of the Board of McKinsey & Co.

“We are extremely excited about the competition. It is undoubtedly a massive challenge competing against such prestigious colleges and presenting our project to such distinguished names. Therefore we will be working extremely hard over the next couple of months to get ready for the event,” says Victor Bradu.

Strong Danish study programmes
The students are enrolled on the MSc in International Business, the MSc in Strategy, Organisation and Leadership and the Executive MBA in Sustainability programmes.

Associate Professor Morten Rask teaches on the MSc in International Business and is Head of MSc Programmes at the Department of Marketing and Organisation at Aarhus University, Business and Social Sciences:

“We are proud of how well the students have performed, and we are, of course, also delighted to see that our MSc study programmes can compete at the highest international level.”

Morten Rask explains that the teaching on the International Business programme has focused on a high level of core expertise, while students are also constantly challenged by having to optimise international companies’ sustainable business initiatives.

“Designing a successful, global, sustainable business model is an extra big academic challenge as it has to be ‘profitable’ in financial, social and environmental terms while also making sense in a wide variety of contexts,” says Morten Rask.


FACTS:

  • The 17 other teams consisted, among others, of MBA students from the renowned universities Instituto de Empresa (ranked no. 8 MBA worldwide by the Financial Times), Hong Kong UST (ranked no. 10 MBA worldwide by the Financial Times) and the University of Cambridge.
  • The Aarhus University team consists of Nikolas Bakke (MSc in International Business), Mia Møller (MSc in Strategy, Organisation and Leadership), Victor Bradu from Romania (MSc in Strategy, Organisation and Leadership), Rajiv Basaiawmoit from India (Executive MBA in Sustainability) and Jan Lindhøj (MSc in International Business).
  • Hult Global Case Challenge is the biggest crowd-sourcing initiative worldwide, and this year’s competition has seen more than 4,000 teams applying to participate. Each team consists of 4-5 members, who must all be studying at the same university. The challenge is internationally recognised with almost all the top-100 universities represented. The 2012 Hult Global Case Challenge is themed around global poverty, under which the teams compete in three tracks: Education, Energy and Housing.
  • Hult Global Case Challenge has gathered a world-class panel of CEOs from the world’s top companies to select a winner from each track. Former judges have included senior executives from JCI, Phillips, Johnson&Johnson, Natura, Bunge, Alibaba, General Electrics, McKinsey, Bain & Co, Boston Consulting Group and many more.

> See CNN video clip about Hult: www.hult.edu/en/news/2012/february/hult-on-cnn/

> Read more about Hult Global Case Challenge: www.hultglobalcasechallenge.com


Contact:

Victor Bradu
MSc in Strategy, Organisation and Leadership
Aarhus University, Business and Social Sciences
Department of Business Administration
Email: bradu.victor@gmail.com
Mobile: +45 50 13 20 96
Mobile (Romania) +40 723 18 29 19

Morten Rask, Associate Professor
Aarhus University, Business and Social Sciences
Department of Business Administration
Email: mra@asb.dk
Tel.: +45 8716 5161
Mobile: +45 5180 7508
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