From July 11th through August 5th, over 60 university students from nine countries participated in a virtual business case competition co-hosted by The Asia Institute and the International Business School Suzhou (IBSS) at Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University (XJTLU). During the program, students were divided into small teams and assigned to a company. Each company presented a specific challenge they were faced with, and each team was tasked with designing a unique solution that addressed both business and sustainability needs. The final presentations were judged by international company representatives and international faculty, and awards were given to the top team for each of the business projects.
The projects featured companies from Turkey and Indonesia and included challenges such as market entry and diversification, sustainable farming, and renewable energy. Students assigned to work with FERLED, a Turkish LED light manufacturer, researched the energy markets in Germany to devise a market entry strategy that emphasized the company’s sustainability goals. Students assigned to Duru Bulgar, a food manufacturer in Turkey, focused on an international marketing campaign to help global food consumers, especially those in Asia, become more familiar with the nutritional benefits, history and heritage of bulgur wheat. Finally, students working with Rinjani Mountain Coffee Company in Indonesia worked on the environmental impact challenges related to coffee byproduct waste and designed a new product to re-use the waste material to benefit the local economy.
Students that participated in the competition hailed from universities across four continents (North America, Africa, Europe and Asia), thus adding to the international diversity of the program. Aside from the competition, students enjoyed participating in cross-cultural communication workshops and small group mentor sessions, and lectures from international marketing experts. In the end, the multi-week project provided a terrific opportunity for students to learn from one another and develop key skills such as flexibility and complex problem solving, that will serve them in the future careers. In a post-event survey, participants commented that the competition was challenging, valuable and enjoyable. The Asia Institute looks forward to hosting another global business case competition in the near future!