Congratulations to SBE students Alena Klatte, Kevin Nissen, Judith Schöpfner and Anne-Catherine Meincke for winning the Brazil Case Competition!
The Brazil Case competition, held on 12 – 17 January 2014 at the Business Administration School of São Paulo at the Getulio Vargas Foundation (FGV-EAESP), was the first international case competition to take place in Latin America and the first international case competition in the world focused on business with social impact .
The BCC consisted of a five day competition involving 11 top business schools around the globe invited to solve and present real business cases under time pressure.
Alena, Kevin, Judith and Anne-Catherine wrote the following testimonial about their experience.
“As members of the case competition team we had the great opportunity to participate in the first Brazil Case Competition.
One of the highlights of the event was to get to know people from different parts of the world such as Singapore, Ghana, Chile and the US. In addition, we gained many interesting and valuable insights in the area of social business. At the opening ceremony of the competition we had the chance to listen to social entrepreneurs from Brazil and to talk with them about important topics concerning social impact.
We were able to visit one of Brazil’s many favelas, which was an emotional experience for everyone. It also gave us the chance to have a first glimpse at what making a difference towards the bottom of the pyramid really means.
The most important aspect, when you take part in a case competition, is to realise that you are looking at a different world. This means that you need to leave all the standards and prejudices that you may have back in Europe and adapt to the host country, its people and their spirit.
The enthusiastic executive committee made this task a lot easier for us. From the first moment we set foot in São Paulo, the committee members took great care of us and introduced us to their culture. We tried the great variety of Brazilian fruits, enjoyed some Caipirinhas, bought Havaianas and visited the beautiful Iberapuera Parque in São Paulo. Our buddy Artur, a student from FGV, made us enjoy our stay even more by inviting us to his house, introducing us to his family and helping us with any problem we encountered.
After two days of social activities, it was time for business.
Our advisor Bas van Diepen had prepared us for the competition and accompanied us to São Paulo. He gave us great support and guided us through the whole competition. Thanks to a preparation time of approximately 8 weeks, we had a rough idea about Brazil, its industries and current problems.
Telefônica, the main sponsor of the event, presented us a business case with a social impact: how to provide populations in remote areas with access to communication. We had 24 hours to solve and finally present the solution in front of company representatives and other industry experts. During these 24 hours we discussed, we fought and we laughed and in the end came up with what we thought was the best solution – a solution that the company could take home and put into action.
We believe that adapting to the local culture, becoming a strong team and enjoying every moment of this week are what made us win this competition. This is exactly the message we would like to pass on to future case competitioners: learn, develop but most of all HAVE FUN!”
By Alena Klatte, Kevin Nissen, Judith Schöpfner and Anne-Catherine Meincke