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NUS-SP Group Case Competition 2017

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Written by Pimphat Chandrema, BBA#24
NUS-SP Group Case Competition 2017  has long been one of the most prestigious business case competitions in Asia, organized by the National University of Singapore. The event this year was held from 4 September - 8 September 2017, and invited a total of 16 internationally renowned business schools from around the world, including BBA Thammasat University. What makes NUS Case Competition so unique (and has participants on the edge of their chairs) is their well-known and intimidating surprise format, where the format of the competition will only be revealed right before the case cracking time. What this means for participants is that they must be ready to take on whatever format they are given when the case cracking time comes, whether it be 2 cases in 30 hours or one short and long case together and all the other surprises they have in store like an interrupted presentation by the judges.
The representative team from Thammasat University consisted of BBA students Atis Srisa-an (BBA#23), Chanakarn Charinpanitkul (BBA#23), Dachpadung Wong (BBA#23), and Pimphat Chandrema (BBA#24), along with our advisor Ajarn Somboon Kulvisaechana.
The event kicked off with a casual opening dinner at the Republic of Singapore Yacht Club, which allowed us to get to know other participants more, and meet both old and new friends. It was also at this dinner that we were revealed to be the winner of the social challenge campaign, winning a team dinner at the Michelin "Long Shim" restaurant.

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The second day was the excursion day, where teams were mixed together and set off on an Amazing Race around Singapore. The day was everything but a race, as teams mingled, did activities, ate lots of Singaporean food and just casually strolled along the streets of Singapore getting to know each other more. But contrast to daytime, teams got in their serious mode by evening as the case format was about to be revealed. This year, the format was to crack one case in 38 hours including a Q&A session with the case company at the 25th hour. However, the uniqueness of this year’s format was that team advisors were allowed to ask questions to teams within their division in the preliminary round. Thus the Q&A consisted of 10 mins by advisors and 10 mins by judges.
Then came the long awaited case cracking time. As we opened the case booklet, the case company was confirmed to be Singapore Power or SP Group, Singapore’s top utility company providing electricity and gas transmission, distribution services, and market support services to Singaporean customers. They were facing threats from the upcoming liberalization of the electricity sector, and wanted recommendations on how to move forward, especially in the division of SP Services that provides market support services to its customers. After the 38 long hours, more than a day of discussions, debates, fun and frustration, tiredness and excitement, optimism and pessimism, we were ready to deliver our presentation in the preliminary round. We were confident in the solution we created and delivered what we thought was our best effort. But despite the rather positive feedback received from the judges in the preliminary round, we unfortunately did not advance on to the finals.
Regardless of the results, we believed that our team gave it our all. More than just the results of winning or losing, the beauty of case competitions lied in the process leading up to the competition, and the learning experiences gained throughout the whole journey from start to finish. Our team grew as individuals and as a team. But this whole experience could not have happened alone. Hence, we would like to express our gratitude to all our advisors, notably Ajarn Somboon Kulvisaechana, Ajarn Supawat Likittanawong, Dr. Worapong Janyangyuen, DrNopporn Ruangwanit, and Asst.ProfDrOrapan Yolrabil for your guidance and training. As well as the BBA Office for all the help they have given us. Thank you to the NUS Case Competition for their hospitality and for organising such a superb and challenging competition. And lastly, we would like to thank BBA Thammasat for allowing us to gain this enriching learning experience.
Posted on September 28, 2017