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Global Business Case Challenge 2017

Written by Bhan Janejarassakul, BBA #25
The 3rd Global Business Case Challenge, held by Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University, spanned over the period of the 2nd October to the 8th of October with a total of 12 invited teams from around the world. Thammasat Business Schools representatives included Atis Srisa-an (BBA #23), Bhan Janejarassakul (BBA #25), Chanya Temkampol (BBA #24), and Charudej Lertsumitkul (BBA #23).
As we arrived at Fukuoka airport in the rainy morning of the 2nd of October, the organizing committee of GBCC gave us a warm welcome at the airport and took us up to the hotel. We spent the first day in Fukuoka city to adjust for the time zone, and the second day at Groovenauts company, a cloud-computing solutions service and the naming sponsor of GBCC. Then, we gradually travelled to Beppu Wan Royal Hotel, where most of the event would continue to occur.
The competition format was for teams to complete two cases, one short 5-hour case and a twenty-four-hour long case. The purpose of the short case was to assign teams into different divisions. However, the long case was the real decider.
On the third day, the 5-hour case was on the friendly math tutor, Kumon, who needed more ideas on their English Immersion Camp. We had a short thirty-minute Q&A session before we could start reading the case booklets. As we delved into the case, we generated many concepts and recommendations for Kumon to take their program forward. Working up to the last minute given, we felt like we had done our best and that the only regret was that we could not receive constructive comments or know how well we did on the case.
Next, on the day of the main event, the long awaited twenty-four-hour case was to be announced and Thammasat University was placed into division B, along with the host Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University and The Hong Kong Polytechnic University. As teams anticipated that the case company was going to Groovenauts, after learning much about them for the past few days, the room was in awe as they announced the case company.

The case company for GBCC 2017 turned out to be MANI INC, a multinational medical and dental instruments manufacturer. The company had just moved its manufacturing plant outside of Japan to lower production costs, but their operating profit margin was still low. Moreover, they wanted to maintain its extensive growth that it had throughout the year, and needed a way to adapt to the changing market environments of the wound closure market. Digging down into the case, we faced various dead-ends in finding solutions for the company. We discussed, debated, and researched our way throughout most of the first twelve hours of case-cracking session. After much hard work, we gave all of what we had to the presentation, and fortunately made it into the finalists. When the announcement was complete, we received comments on our presentation from the judges and were given an hour to change or modify our slides for the final presentation.
The final presentation took place in Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University’s hall with sixteen judges, all of the teams, and a crowd of university students spectating. All of the hard-working hours eventually came down to a fifteen-minute presentation that we performed our best. Although we had made it into the final round of GBCC 2017, we unfortunately only did not make it to the top three.
The journey of Thammasat University’s team in GBCC could not have had happened without the generous support and advice of many advisors, which not only included their mentorship on case-cracking but guided us on self-development. Thus, we would like to express our greatest gratitude for notably, Dr. Aurathai Lertwannawit, Ajarn Supawat Likittanawong, and Dr. Nopporn Ruangwanit for guiding us. In addition, we would like to also thank the GBCC committee and BBA Thammasat for such an honorable and valuable opportunity. All in all, the Global Business Case Challenge 2017 was a memorable learning experience for the team.
Posted date:  November 7, 2017 by Sochaya T.