The HSBC-IBA Business Case Competition, organised by HSBC-Bangladesh and IBA-University of Dhaka, is one of the most challenging competitions among the business students of our country. The winner gets the opportunity to represent Bangladesh in the regional competition to be held in Hong Kong along with other Gold Award winners from different countries.
This year 42 teams from 23 different universities from all over the country competed for the championship. Each team consisted of four members and universities were allowed to select a maximum of four teams. The competition was open to full-time undergraduate business school students.
HSBC-IBA Business Case Competition 2017 kicked off with a workshop which was arranged for the competing teams. The workshop took place on March 03, 2017 at the HSBC office. During the workshop, there were sessions about how to tell stories through presentation, a broad description about the format of case solving including the financial aspects, how the brain processes communication and other topics. Senior PR and Brand Manager of City Bank Ltd. Saifur Rahman, Senior Relationship Manager of BRAC Bank Ltd. Syed Niaz Ahmed and Founder & CEO of 10 Minute School Ayman Sadiq conducted the workshop.
The first round took place at IBA, University of Dhaka premises where the 42 teams had to solve a case within a specified time and then present their solution to a panel of judges. Following the first round results, 18 teams advanced to the second round. The second round, similar to the first round, was another on-spot case solving round. Six teams qualified for the grand finale of the competition.
The grand finale took place on March 24, 2017 at The Westin, Dhaka. The finalist teams were provided with a challenging business case which they had to solve within limited time. Afterwards, they had to present their solution and recommendations to a panel of judges. The panel of judges for the final round included Country Head of International- Commercial Banking of HSBC Bangladesh Tahsina Banu, Head of Marketing-Commercial Banking of HSBC Bangladesh Md Moniruzzaman, Chief Consultant & Business Manager of ProAms Ziaush Shams and Country Business Manager- Nestle Professional of Nestle Bangladesh Limited Masum Khan.
After a tense battle, the judges finally came up with the much anticipated result. El Patron from IBA, University of Dhaka clinched the title and won the Gold Award. They also received the opportunity to represent Bangladesh in the regional competition in Hong Kong later this year. Power Merge from North South University and Brand Edge from IBA, University of Dhaka attained the Silver and Bronze awards respectively.
Nihad Kabir, President of MCCI, was the chief guest of the finale. Director of IBA at University of Dhaka Professor A.K.M. Saiful Majid, CEO of HSBC Bangladesh Francois De Maricourt and Assistant Professor and Moderator of IBA Communication Club of University of Dhaka Md. Rezaul Kabir were also present in the event.
Words from the champions
The winner of the competition, El Patron, shared its experience regarding the competition. Mustafid Raiyan Khan said, 'The competition puts to test everything you thought you knew. At the end what you learn is that there is always a way to improve and get better.' The participants learnt how to work under pressure. The time constraints, challenging cases and highly interactive Q&A sessions forced the participants to bring out their best. Mohammed Shahriar Sharif further added, 'We could feel ourselves grow as the competition got tougher. I don't know about others, but I surely got a taste of what it feels like to be a business consultant.'
The competition provides a wonderful platform for business students to test their theoretical knowledge and skills. Syed Ahmad Nafisul Abrar, who regularly participates in international competitions, feels that the quality of the competition was at par with global competitions. He added, 'Due to its strict discipline and complexity of the challenges, I can confidently say that quality of the competition meets global standards.'
When asked about their preparation for the regional round in Hong Kong, Syed Sameem Shahriyar said, 'That is going to be on a different level altogether. On paper, we might be the underdogs, but if we can keep up the dedication and hard work that we've put so far, you can expect some good news from Team Bangladesh this year.'
Words from the organisers
This year there were teams from all over Bangladesh. Meftahul Arnob, President-IBA Communication Club (IBACC) said, 'Something new about this year's competition is the number of participating universities and the geographic reach.' As a partner of HSBC, this year IBACC tried its best to step up the quality to a different level.
When asked about his personal experience, he added, 'I have seen this competition from many different angles. Starting from being a volunteer in my first year to the head of organising committee in my fourth year, the whole experience was exhilarating and a big learning curve for me.'
The writer is a junior at the Institute of Business Administration, University of Dhaka. He can be reached at