14 July 2009
Four Global Business Studies (GBS) Year 1 students from The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) championed at the Hong Kong regional final of the CIMA Global Business Challenge 2009 on 20 June, a global event organized by the Chartered Institute of Management Accountants annually. This is the fifth championship in case/business plan competitions won by GBS students in the last six months.
Professor Gordon Cheung, GBS Programme Director, said, ‘Nowadays many parents send their kids to universities overseas. In fact, high-quality education is readily available here in Hong Kong. Our GBS Programme admits only 15 students each year and nurtures the cream of the crop. In the academic year of 2008–09, 20 out of the 45 GBS students from Years 1 to 3 have won championships in different local and regional competitions. We are most grateful to see the students successfully apply their learning to business cases with intelligent and realistic analysis. This also manifests the University’s devotion to provide top-notch business education in Hong Kong.’
This year, 120 teams participated in the Hong Kong regional competition of the CIMA Global Business Challenge, which started off in February 2009. Participants worked on a case about Solberri, a premier resort chain located in the Mediterranean Sea, which was once a global benchmark in the industry but suffered years of disappointing performance. They were asked to offer solutions to the problems observed at both the strategic and operational levels in order to build a better Solberri.
CUHK GBS Year 1 students (from left) Thomas Lai, Steven Chan, Katie Sham and Janie Fung
The GBS team, ANOVA, comprising Steven Chan, Janie Fung, Thomas Lai and Katie Sham, was one of the four finalist teams competing in the Hong Kong regional final. After thorough analysis, the GBS team put forward feasible proposals to restructure the company’s business portfolio, introduce new marketing package and channels, as well as strengthening the company’s service-oriented human resources training. Together with their remarkable performance in presentation, the team won the Hong Kong regional champion and was awarded the ‘Best Business Report’ and ‘Best Executive Summary’. Steven Chan also won the ‘Best Speaker Award’. The team will represent Hong Kong in the Global Final held in Singapore this August.
The winning team said, ‘The most challenging part of the case study was that Solberri was a fictitious hotel group and there was very limited information available. Another complexity was the retrospective nature of the case, as it happened in May 2008. To overcome these difficulties, we conducted extensive research, digging deep in news, reports and all sorts of analyses that emerged back in the first half of 2008 and tried to empathise ourselves into the scenario, which proved to be a hard task. Through the process, we realised the importance of cost-benefit analysis in making decisions. Apart from the hard skills developed, we also treasure the bonding and the team spirit developed among our team members.’
In addition to the CIMA Global Business Challenge 2009, GBS students also performed outstandingly in other competitions. Another team of three GBS Year 1 students, comprising Jeff Hui, Derek Sin and Juliana Tam, who won the Gold Award at the Hong Kong final of The HSBC Young Entrepreneur Awards this April, represented Hong Kong in the regional competition on 22 June. Being the only Year 1 team in the regional competition while most of the others are final-year students, they took home the Diamond Award (first runner-up) by defeating the other Gold Award teams from Bangladesh, Brunei, Malaysia and Thailand. Henry Keung, another GBS Year 1 student, who was in a team with four other CUHK business students, captured the second runner-up in the YDC Entrepreneurs’ Challenge 2009 organised by the Young Entrepreneurs Development Council.
(From left) Jeff Hui; Mrs. Laura Cha, Deputy Chairman, HSBC; Juliana Tam; Mr. Po Chung, Chairman & CEO, Giordano International Limited; and Derek Sin
Henry Keung (first from left), GBS Year 1 student, and his team capture the second runner-up in the YDC Entrepreneurs’ Challenge 2009