Team JNAT Consulting became the first Business School team to win both the NUS-Shell Business Case Challenge and UOB-NUS Case Competition in the same year.
One reason for their win was that the students were able to act and think like real-life consultants, according to Associate Professor Tan Soo Jiuan of Marketing, who was a member of the judging panel for both competitions.
“We put ourselves in the shoes of a consulting team, and thought about what the client would want from us. From there, we came up with the strategy that our client would be happy with,” said Team JNAT member Jonathan Koh.
Team JNAT Consulting comprises year three students Andy Soh, Nguyen Phuong Tra, Jonathan Koh and Jonathan Kong. In the UOB-NUS Case Competition, fellow year three student Jason Ong stood in for Jonathan Kong.
The team came top against 108 other teams from the University in the NUS-Shell competition. In the UOB-NUS event, the team overcame 147 teams from Nanyang Technological University, NUS, Singapore Management University, and Singapore University of Technology and Design.
Another strength of the team was its strong presentation skills, said Professor Tan. “They have eloquent speakers who can present rather than just tell the audience what are on the slides.”
“The slides were well structured and uncluttered so that the judges could easily follow the students’ flow of thought,” she added.
During the Question & Answer segment, team members were able to defend their positions with confidence, and showed teamwork by complementing each other’s answers, according to Professor Tan.
Focusing as a team
The two annual competitions give NUS BBA students exposure to the oil and gas as well as consumer sectors where they are required to tackle real-life business situations.
In the NUS-Shell Business Case Challenge, the team’s winning entry was to provide a small South American oil and gas player with strategic recommendations about their business operations.
For the UOB-NUS Case Competition, the team had to propose strategies to a consumer goods distributor and retailer for gaining market share in Singapore and Thailand.
Another strategy employed by Team JNAT was to focus, as a team, on the analysis of the case and identify key issues. “That improved the coherence between our analyses and recommendations,” said Jonathan Koh.
Additionally, members of participating teams must be comfortable with criticising each other, said Jonathan Koh. “The proposal has to be a very coherent and convincing. It does not help if every member only focuses on his or her portion. We need to help each other, spot each others mistakes and question each others assumptions.”