All smiles, from left: Abigail Ho, Douglas Eu, Jerome Tan, Eugenia Lee and Assoc Prof Ang Swee Hoon
“The key to unlocking the potential of the future,” said Jerome Tan in his opening salvo that led the NUS team to 1st runner up position at the Citi International Case Competition organized by Hong Kong University of Science & Technology.
The NUS team wowed the judges with their professional consulting-style analysis and sleek presentation to unlock the branding and expansion potential for the Langham Hospitality Group (LHG), a Hong Kong-owned hotel chain consisting of The Langham, a five-star bespoke hotel; Langham Place, a modern luxury hotel; Eaton Hotel, targeted at the Millennials; and a soon-to-be-launched hotel for business travelers.
Besides Jerome, the NUS team comprising Abigail Ho, Douglas Eu, and Eugenia Lee, advised by Professor Ang Swee Hoon, flew our flag high as the only Asian team to make it to the finals. Jerome, a seasoned case participant, led the team. Abigail is in her final year, while Douglas and Eugenia are “newbies” to international case competitions.
“The HKUST Citi International Case Competition was an experience like no other. Having to work on a 22-hour case, as well as to compete in an interrupted Q&A presentation in the finals, definitely pushed the four of us to not only be analytical but also have agile minds,” remarked Eugenia. She added, “The competition brought together individuals from all over the world, and allowed me to forge new friendships that I am definitely going to keep. It was a grueling but rewarding week and I am glad to say that we did our best.”
A challenging competition indeed as there were 18 top universities from 11 countries and 5 continents, pitting against each other.
In the first round with 6 universities competing in each of 3 divisions, NUS emerged winners in their division. The first round chief judge, Mr Bob Van Den Oord, Managing Director and Vice President of Brands at LHG, was impressed with the team’s thought process, analysis and delivery.
In the finals where judges were allowed to interrupt their presentation, the team battled the onslaught of questions from 7 prominent judges representing LHG, Citibank, and consulting firms, Accenture and Oliver Wyman. The judges commented that they could not have delivered that high level of analysis as students at their age.
All in, a feather in the cap for the students and NUS.