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Get in the game

HKMA contest sees executives competing for glory

Hong Kong’s business executives are about to get a chance to outwit each other in a knock-out competition. Organised by the Hong Kong Management Association (HKMA) and sponsored by the AS Watson Group and Cathay Pacific, the Hong Kong Management Game 2014 enables executives to put their management skills to the test in a risk-free environment.

According to the organisers, the competition, in its 43rd year, has developed into one of the most sophisticated and challenging computer-simulated management training exercises available – one which develops and tests the teams in an exciting competitive atmosphere. “The participating executives have a risk-free opportunity to try and practise some new management strategies,” says HKMA senior marketing manager Glover Chan. “This realistic simulation of business is not just a game, but has serious training objectives.”

Contestants are judged on their ability to make sound business decisions consistently in a real-life business scenario. Executives compete by integrating financial, production, investment and marketing management skills to develop effective business decisions and gain market capacity. “This is not only a game, but also an experience in improving management efficiency and performance in a real-life business,” Chan says.

The game allows managers to relate to issues raised during the game without fear of failure. It enables them to see the big picture by revealing how all the parts of a company need to act in unison to achieve optimum results. It also stresses teamwork, teaches executives how to collaborate to form strategies, and allows them to foresee the consequences of their decisions. Chan says more than 400 managers and executives have competed in the game since it was launched.

“The game is a tool simulating the real world,” says Eric Chan, leader of the 2010 winning team KTMC Boys. “There is no absolute answer to a question and you should not only focus on your company, but also you should guess what your opponents will do, because the actions of the different players will affect the other teams. This is fantastic.”

A knock-out competition is played via e-mail correspondence before the Hong Kong final. Small groups of teams are then formed, which compete in a self-contained contest over a specified number of accounting periods. Before the start of the game, teams will be asked to first install software that they will use to input data to generate a report, which is submitted to the HKMA by e-mail. The trial round is played over the course of two weeks, while the official round consists of eight periods that are runs for two months.

While the game is intense and competition is fierce, the game’s designer, Russell Morris, has a few tips. “The best method for succeeding in the game is to know the rules of business as laid out in the participant’s manual and have a simple, flexible strategy,” he says.

“Add to this the need to think about the products and markets. However, the most important aspect is to think about your customers, watch your competitors and be proactive in responding to them.”

While most teams tend to come from companies, Chan urges people in the business community at large to take part. With each team consisting of four members, a team can be formed by executive personnel drawn from a real company or by individuals who want to get together and give themselves a fictitious company name. “Some participants are friends. [The game] stresses the value of teamwork, so colleagues or friends are encouraged to form teams to join the competition,” Chan says.

Registration for the 2014 Hong Kong Management Game, of which Classified Post is a media partner, closes on Monday May 12, 2014.


● Four round-trip tickets to Singapore,
● SCMP Perpetual Trophy
● Cash prize of HK$5,000
First Runner-up
● Cash prize of HK$3,000
Second Runner-up
● Cash prize of HK$2,000

Registration deadline May 12
Fee per team* HK$980

*The special fee for full-time university students is HK$380 per team. To be eligible, all team members must attach their university student cards upon registration.