University of Cape Town. Picture: MOEKETSI MOTICOE
University of Cape Town. Picture: MOEKETSI MOTICOE

A team of students at the University of Cape Town Graduate School of Business (UCT GSB) has won the John Molson MBA International Case Competition, the oldest and largest MBA company analysis competition in the world.

The team was led by Johannes Schueler, a senior lecturer on the MBA programme. He says entry each year is limited to 36 schools.

“The barrier for entry is high. The competition gave the UCT GSB, as the only business school from Africa, the opportunity to demonstrate its competence and strengthen its standing in the international context. I’m particularly proud of the fact that an African business school has prevailed against heavyweight competition from all over the globe.”

Besides Schueler, the team included students Shivani Ghai, Van Zyl van der Merwe, Jane Obree, Kate Herringer and Rihana Hoosain. This is the eighth time the school has taken part.

“Our team was amazing and hard-working,” says Ghai. The win has been “eight years in the making”, she adds.

“We took the responsibility of representing not just our school and country but also the entire continent very seriously.”

The competition is held annually in Montreal, Canada. Hundreds of MBA students, representing business schools from more than a dozen countries, compete for a first prize of C$10,000.

Schueler says the competition encourages thinking that can transform academic knowledge into practical, applicable tools and solutions.

“A key purpose of the competition is to bridge the gap between the academic and real business worlds,” he says.

The theme for this year’s competition, which took place between January 6 and 10, was “The future of business”.

A panel of more than 300 senior business executives from various industries assessed teams’ abilities to analyse business cases and come up with solutions in a set time.

A round-robin format allowed teams to analyse seven unpublished case studies, focusing on how culture, globalisation, environmental issues, technology, the economy and customer experience will affect business.

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