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SDGs figure in business case solutions

Raiysa Zuwairiyah | April 11, 2019 00:00:00

The HSBC-IBA Business Case Competition 2019 champions with the guests

"HSBC-IBA Business Case Competition 2019- in Partnership with UNDP" concluded with its grand finale on April 05. Team Inmates, comprising Ishrat Jahan Ikra, Syed Fatin Ishraq, Tamzid Ibrahim, and Naeem Abrar from the Faculty of Business Studies (FBS), University of Dhaka, became the champions and took home the Gold Award. They will be representing Bangladesh in the regional round with other countries of Asia.

About the competition

HSBC-IBA Business Case Competition 2019 is one of the most esteemed and stimulating business case competitions. The competition allows four best teams from universities to participate, after going through an intra university round. This year, teams from twenty-two different universities arrived for the first round at Dhaka University's IBA premises. The first round was a two-day event on March 22 and 23. The teams were given a case to solve within two hours and then present it to the judges. Twenty teams qualified for the second round.

In the second round, held on March 30, top five teams qualified and went on to the finals. The grand finale convened at The Westin Dhaka on April 05. The judges' panel at the grand finale consisted of Ahmed Saiful Islam, country head of retail banking and wealth management of HSBC Bangladesh; Ali Ashfaq, partner of KPMG in Bangladesh; Nafees Anwar, director of beauty and personal care of Unilever Bangladesh and Rajiv Bhattacharya, senior vice president of business operations, Shohoj Limited.

The top three teams were awarded the gold, silver and bronze prizes along with the prize of Taka 100,000, Taka 75,000 and Taka 50,000 respectively. Team Inmates, Team XS and Team Dream respectively were presented with their awards by the chief guest SK Sur Chowdhury, banking reform advisor of Bangladesh Bank. The ceremony was attended by Francois de Maricourt, chief executive officer of HSBC Bangladesh, Prof Muhammad Abdul Momen, director-in- charge of the Institute of Business Administration, and Sudipto Mukerjee, resident representative of UNDP Bangladesh. They all shared their words of wisdom at the ceremony.

The partnership with UNDP this time enabled a new learning opportunity for all the participants. The business cases had an underlying aspect of fulfilling some of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG). Ishrat Jahan Ikra from Team Inmates said, "We were allowed to learn in depth about sustainable development goals (SDG). We incorporated the SDGs in our solutions for the case, and it has been a real eye-opener."

Ecstasy of the champions

The members of Team Inmates are second-year students at FBS, DU. They are ecstatic, to say the least, to have won among the best teams from so many universities at such a vast platform. "When you finally find out you've won, you don't want to believe it. However, eventually, you accept that you did it. Your hard work paid off."

When asked about the competition, Syed Fatin Ishraq commented, "You have two hours to win it. The adrenaline rush is high. You don't get this in any other competition, where everyone plays in a level playing field."

Ishrat Jahan Ikra said, "I had known about HSBC-IBA business case competition ever since my A-levels days. It had been an absolute dream since then to participate and win this coveted title." It is a dream come true for her.

Team Inmates will represent Bangladesh at Hong Kong in the regional rounds of the business competition later this year. "Up until this point, we were only representing ourselves and the university. The pressure was high, but now, it is out of the scale high because we have to represent our country at an international platform. The stakes are higher than before. If we can repeat our performance, it will be Bangladesh's victory. It's stressful, but we are excited and looking forward to it."

Overall, it has been a great learning experience for all of them. "The competition gave us a comprehensive view of the challenges faced by business and industries and thorough learning on how to tackle the issues in a way that is sustainable for the business and the society."

Words from the organisers

The competition was organised by the IBA Communication Club (IBACC), with HSBC and in partnership with UNDP this time. IBACC has maintained its excellent record of accomplishment in organising yet another successful event. "HSBC-IBA Business Case Competition has to be one of the well-organised events. Thanks to IBACC for being such a gracious host," remarked a participant.

Taqi Tahmeed Sakib, the current president of IBACC, said, "It is always an honour to partner with an organisation like HSBC. With UNDP coming on board as a partner this year, I believe the competition has reached new heights. It has been a learning experience for all of us at IBA Communication Club."

Raiysa Zuwairiyah is a second year student of BBA programme at IBA, University of Dhaka. She can be reached

at [email protected]

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