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Bowater Business Challenge gets postgrads into chocolate

Thanks to the support of the Bowater Trust, the Deakin Bowater Business Challenge has successfully run its first postgraduate edition.

For 12 years the Deakin Bowater Business Challenge has been a high point in the undergraduate calendar. Teams, or individual entrants, compete in devising and presenting creative strategic responses to a real-world business challenge, for a panel of judges. 

Now, in 2021, the postgraduate business cohort have had their first opportunity to compete, and seven teams seized their moment to impress the judges with innovative and sustainable business strategies.

A chocolate challenge

This year’s challenge was The Koko Black Employee Value Proposition – premium chocolate by accomplished chocolatiers. Responding to this authentic business challenge required teams to engage with external stakeholders and develop a strategy with a focus on entrepreneurship, innovation and sustainability.

The competition

Students could compete as individuals or as teams of up to four members.  The preliminary round in April saw seven teams vying for the four spots in the final round. Once through to the final round, each team was assigned an academic mentor to support them.  

The competitors attended a virtual briefing day led by Koko Black and an onsite visit to Koko Black’s Creative Centre Facility. They then worked on their solutions to present at the virtual finals on 19 May.  Presentations at the final were indeed impressive and made it difficult for the judging panel to determine the winners. 

Supporters who made it possible

A special thanks to Bowater Trust for their continued support and providing the prize money to our winning teams, Koko Black and company representative Rachelle Greer for providing the challenge, our academic mentors who supported our finalist teams and our judges who had the difficult job to determine the winners.  Congratulations and thanks to our student teams who participated in this year’s challenge entirely online!  

Final results

1st Prize: $2,000 awarded to A4 Consulting:

  • Girish Gupta, Keshala Sevvandi Wickrama Gunaratne, Simran Handa, Atulya Indu
  • Academic Mentor: Dr Matthew Lister

2nd Prize: $1,200 awarded to Team Chocoholics:

  • Alex Vu, Chloe Bui, Duy Lan Huong Nguyen, Ngoc Huong Ly Nguyen
  • Academic Mentor: Dr Cuc Nguyen

3rd Prize: $800 awarded to Team Dark Clarets:

  • Sampath Soora, Mallika Verma, Aakriti Koul, Pranjali Hajela
  • Academic Mentor: Dr Aydogan Ulker

4th Prize: $400 awarded to Team AmChoc Makers

  • Paritosh Umesan, Nymisha Siripurapu, Siddharth Patnaik, Binay Mahat
  • Academic Mentor: Paul Fallon

The Undergraduate Deakin Bowater Business Challenge will go ahead in Trimester 2 2021 with applications opening in early July. Applications will be advertised on the Faculty DSL Blog Here so keep an eye out! 

Our thanks to the Bowater Trust

The Bowater Trust is a public trust established in 1988 with a $250,000 endowment by the Bowater Corporation of Australia Limited. Annual income from the Bowater Trust is kindly provided to the Deakin Business School to support many initiatives which may not be possible under normal funding provisions.  The Bowater Trust has sponsored our annual Undergraduate Business Challenge for the past 12 years and kindly agreed to support a Postgraduate Business Challenge as a new initiative for 2021. 

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