Karlsruhe Business Masters Challenge 2009: Part II

This week’s blog is Part II from last week’s blog where I told you about seizing an opportunity and against odds making it into a reality, namely entering the Karlsruhe Business Masters Challenge 2009.

To our delight a number of weeks later we received an invitation to the Karlsruhe Business Masters Case Competition Final in November 2009, along with eight other teams from across the globe. The international flavor of the competition was set with a team from Finland, Denmark, China, USA, India and four German teams. The competition was to last three and half days, and no one was quite sure what we would be asked to do during those days. There was respectable prize money and prestige to be competed for. We were put up in an extremely comfortable 4 star hotel and were wined and dined on the first evening. Fun was had by all, but the anxiety level rose slowly too as we had no idea what kind of case we were going to be given the following morning to solve. Settling down to sleep I closely browsed through the itinerary for the next couple of days and realized that, goodness gracious me, we had a mere 24 hours to solve the case! Certainly a well-constructed pressured situation indeed.ööö The following day we had the case debriefing; we were to choose a mega-city and solve one of the city’s problems in the areas of energy or transportation. Our solution again was to take the form of a business plan with all the relevant financial statistics, marketing plan, sustainable essence, feasible realization and uniqueness—including a presentation of our conclusions. WOW!

Our team was given a room and all the necessary stationery to work on a solution. After much discussion we finally settled on an idea and worked on it at an intense pace until 3:30 am. After a couple of hours sleep we were back up and racing to meet the deadline with our presentation. Shortly before lunch we had to submit our presentations to the coordinators of the competition and pick up the presentation slots list. Low and behold we had been given the first slot to present our solution to the panel of judges. After a mere 45 minutes of practicing our presentation and grabbing a quick lunch, we lined up in front of a panel of five judges. The pressure was certainly there; all credit must be given to my team as we presented well and convincingly.

And then we had to wait and wait…

In next week’s blog I will tell you what happened…

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