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Variety of skills add up to success

One of the key reasons behind the success of the QP Case Analysis Competition 2012 winning team is its variety of backgrounds, team members Ezon Guo, Carey Cai, Hanson Liu and Eric Yang said.

Team leader Guo is an engineering student, while the others major in finance, accounting and economics.

"We have a good mix of students in the team, which allowed us to tackle the case from various perspectives," Guo said. "The economics students are better at analysing numbers, while I am more focused on the implementation of the business plan. I think having inputs from different perspectives was one of the keys to our success."

Cai added that brainstorming ideas as a group helped the team's performance. "None of us stopped contributing ideas at any point. We kept improving our presentation right until the final moment before we went onstage," she said.

Another reason for their success was their ability to justify the financial position of their business proposal.

"We focused on improving the current business rather than giving suggestions that were too ambitious. Our proposal gave clear justification as to where the money would come from and I guess that made a good impression on the judges," Cai said.

Guo said the Q&A section with judges was difficult, but with a good team effort, they were able to get through it.

"The adjudicators were giving us a tough time with difficult questions, but we answered them as a team and were able to build on each other's responses. Whatever the challenge that adjudicators set for us, we were able to hold our stance," he said.

"I worked really hard on practising the presentation and familiarising myself with the materials. I was trying my best to promote the company to the adjudicators and audience - as they were my customers - by presenting my ideas clearly and at the right pace. I think that impressed them and that's why they selected me as the best presenter," Guo added.

The victory was a pleasant surprise for the team members who were not even sure if they wanted to join the contest because of a heavy school workload, Guo said. It was Cai who eventually managed to talk the team into competing.

The team members have not yet decided on what to do with their prize money, but they're planning to host a meal for the teachers who helped them throughout the competition.