Daily updates from the NIBS Worldwide Case Competition: Avans makes it to the quarter-final!

    Nick, Lisa, Sonja en Lene, second-year International Business students, traveled to Canada to participate in the NIBS Worldwide Case Competition,for students of world’s best business schools Lecturer Virgil van de Gevel accompanied the Dutch team and gave Punt daily updates.

    Since 1996, a key component of the NIBS portfolio has been the Worldwide Case Competition. The process begins with a qualifying round, involving more than 30 top business schools from across Canada and around the world.

    Day one
    After a long journey with delay and lost luggage, we finally arrived in Charlottetown. Yesterday we discovered the city of Charlottetown and today the Opening ceremony took place. We met all the students and coaches which represent universities from the US, Canada, Guatemala, Denmark, England, Ireland, Germany, Belgium and The Netherlands. Also we met Shareem our student ambassador for this week. She is a 1st year student from UPEI and she will be with us to help and guide us.

    We are very proud to share that we (again) qualified top 4 from all the universities trying to qualify for the finals. Talking about a confidence boost….

    The draw placed us in Division 1 together with University Prince Edward Island (Ca), St Mary’s (US) and Ephec from Belgium. Our first match (Monday) will be against St Mary’s. Preparation starts at 9:10h and presentation at 13:55 (NL 18:55).

    The wishes for success from the lecturing team were appreciated. They further fine-tuned their deck and went to bed early.

    Day two
    Today was the day. St Mary’s from the US was the competitor and Nick, Lisa, Sonja and Lene got their first case. They had waited long for this moment. With a mix of ‘okay let’s bring it on’, ‘what will it be in real’ and ‘could we really do this’ they started their four hour preparation.

    This first case was one with many sides: do-able and following recent trends like digitalization but on the other hand raising many options and questioning all assumptions and ideas. But above all involving all aspects of international business.

    The students had to come up with a strategy for the Yoox group, the largest luxury online retailer in the world which was not growing as fast as it used to. Moreover, a new threat emerged: Farfetch, a luxury platform that aggregated the inventories of over 500 luxury boutiques all over the world.

    Our team developed a customer experience strategy for Yoox group to provide rich and unique experiences. This would appeal to their core, luxury, customers and this strategy would improve the EBITDAT by 50%. This triggered serious questions which our team was able to answer adequately. Especially Lene’s answers to finance questions convinced them and made the difference.

    After feedback both teams were called in again and the result was announced….. 7-4 win for Avans. Yeah! This result brings them to the top of the group.

    Tired, excited and satisfied they watched some of the presentations of the other competitors in the group. Tonight they enjoyed a deserved dinner in a nearby restaurant and mingled with the other students and ambassadors.

    Day three
    Today’s case was about the Lebanon Mountain Trail Association (LMTA) that was looking for a recommendation on hiring a new executive director or not. A great example of ‘what is the question behind the question’: in essence it was about how socially and responsible tourism practices should be organized to sustain itself financially, to protect and maintain the trail, and to secure the succession of the board.

    They presented a great recommendation and had elaborated on elements we discussed yesterday night and also improved on other. And thus showed thus a clear example of a strong learning curve! They nailed the jury with a strong analysis and a ‘first organize then focus’ strategy’ that resulted in a significant (financial) growth in the next years. After the deliberation of the judges, both teams were called in for feedback and to announce the result: 6,5-4,5 win for Avans! Yeah! Avans leads now leads group 1.

    On the fourth day there was another case day, but unfortunately we lost the quarter-finals.

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