SMU’s business-case club, Team Cognitare, continued its strong showing this year when its team was awarded the title of Global Champion – over 19 others – at the prestigious Thammasat Undergraduate Business Challenge in October this year.
Organised by Thammasat University in Bangkok, Thailand, the competition pitted the team – undergraduates Megan Teo, Yew Jing Zheng, Ng Ding Xian, and Veronica Wong, all from the Bachelor of Business Management course – against competitors from Asia, Australia, Europe, and North America. In the competition, the team had to devise innovative store formats for Better Vision eyewear, for targeting new customer segments and fuelling rapid growth.
The road to victory was far from easy, with an intense 28-hour case-cracking session pushing their problem-solving skills to the limit as they took down technical difficulties in their way.
Edging out other heavyweights such as Erasmus University from Rotterdam in the Netherlands and the University of California, Berkeley, the SMU quartet secured the title of overall Global Champions, the University’s second podium finish at this competition in two consecutive years, made even more significant since Cognitare fielded a junior team (undergraduates) this year.
The value in new customer segments
The proposal that clinched the win for the team was intended to capture the rising trend of mid-price fashion enthusiasts who are seeking variety in their eyewear. The team came up with a brand-new concept store that catered to this group: practical, price-conscious customers who value transparency in their purchases.
Their offer? A range of cost-effective, budget-friendly frames, in a store format that would allow customers to easily discern the final price of frames with lenses – no more sticker shock at checkout.
This proposal showcased Team Cognitare’s ability to craft feasible yet highly creative strategies targeting a range of price points impressed the judging panel, made up of C-suite executives from the case company, Better Vision, as well as consultants and investment bankers.
On top of commending the team’s insightful recommendations, the judges also complimented the team’s strong display of teamwork and exemplary presentation skills.
“I am proud of our team for the unwavering dedication and resilience in representing our University and School,” commented team leader Megan Teo.
“We would like to express our immense gratitude for the generous support of LKCSB, our faculty advisor, Dr Ma Kheng Min, and senior members of Cognitare, for their steadfast support and guidance in our training. We deeply appreciate the invaluable advice and encouragement from everyone!”