On Monday and Tuesday, November 18-19, nine teams of talented students competed against each other and the clock in the first ever QVARTZ Case Challenge. During the course of 24 hours, the students worked intensely in teams of three, aiming to solve a challenging case on how to develop the ideal omnichannel retail strategy provided by SPORT-MASTER, Denmark’s largest sporting goods chain.
The 27 students came from eight different countries and six top universities, representing a wide array of study fields ranging from maths, physics and nanotechnology through law to strategy and finance.
The great diversity of the contestants contributed to valuable and high-quality findings throughout the teams, corresponding nicely with the core purpose of the Case Challenge: to give the participants an opportunity to test their skills within strategic analysis while unfolding a real-life business problem on the one hand; and to let the participants test their capabilities under time pressure and learn from others in a teamwork setting on the other.
The three judges, Jens Høgsted, CEO of SPORT-MASTER, Michael Haaning, Principal in NC Advisory, Advisor to the Nordic Capital funds and Hans Henrik Beck, Managing Partner in QVARTZ, were quite impressed with what the three final teams had overcome in 24 hours.
“An event like this shows that there is definitely no lack of talent in Scandinavia. There are plenty of young talents showing an eagerness to perform and create change both on a personal level and on a business level, so it’s been a great experience”, says Hans Henrik Beck.
And while all teams skilfully combined analysis with teamwork, drawing on each other’s strengths and experiencing on their own flesh the challenge of working against the clock, the winning team managed to give their presentation that extra touch – a stroke of excellence which tipped the scale. So, after having heard three persuasive case presentations, the judging panel voted and announced the team from Stockholm School of Economics as the winner.
Michael Haaning comments on the challenge: “As the owner of SPORT-MASTER, I’m proud to see so many good ideas which the management team can work with. It’s nice to see that most of the students really understood the challenges we are facing”.
So, all the hard work was by no means wasted. The management of SPORT-MASTER was excited about the result and intended to continue working on some of the solutions and ideas provided by the participants. Jens Høgsted elaborates: “It was a very good experience. I actually learnt a lot today, and I will try to implement some of the ideas starting tomorrow morning”.
Besides the credit and exposure to a top management judging panel, Bob den Hartog, Radu Trandafir and Carsten Hensel from the winning team brought home cool sports and skiing equipment.
Thank you to all participants and congratulations to the winners!