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  • Peter Kam Fai Cheung SBS

Sensing Business

I have been helping out as a judge in the HSBC/HKU Business Case Competition since I was discovered in 2016. Deploying the case study method, competing teams played the role of corporate management consultants. They identified the hidden risks of a business model based on a factual case, formulated a strategy and an action plan to resolve the challenge and grow the business.

The challenge upon the competing teams was that they had three hours to design and prepare for the structured presentations, using overhead projector transparencies as visual aids. The judges had 30-45 minutes to go through the case and pose reasonable questions in the end. Instructors who coached the teams would be among the audience in a competition, and an official camera would roll.

The sitting arrangement in my case suggested that I was the Chair and I assumed the lead to stand up and shake hands with the participants. Apart from jotting down notes, I maintained eye-contacts with them throughout, and thanked them when they finished their presentations. I initiated rounds of questions and suggested to fellow judges which teams, based on merits, should be screened in.

While participants were already the best in their countries of origin, I required deep analysis, creative solutions, convincing arguments, reasonable forecast and credible financials. I expected them to play team roles, as the sum of their skills evidenced how good was the team. The engaging process, I believe, was exciting and delightful to all, as we learned from each other how to do better in sensing business!

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