The Winners of the 2018 MBA Case Competition
Team Illusion from the Hanyang University Graduate School of Business
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Hosted by MTN and the Yonsei University Graduate School of Business, the first place winner for the 10th MBA Case Competition was team Illusion from the Hanyang University Master of Business Administration (MBA). They proposed a vision to create early on the components and the charging station for the future of hydrogen powered vehicles. Each year, a company is chosen to decide on a topic for that year. In the 2018 year, POSCO declared, “POSCO’s new undertaking project for the spread of future values and development of mutual interest” as the theme.
From August 6th, in which the application for participation began, the topic of competition was already chosen for participants. The contest itself has the preliminaries and the final round. The preliminaries took place in October, and eight teams were chosen to compete in the finals. The final presentation date was November 17th, in which all the teams produced a powerpoint and prepared their presentions. The awards ceremony was held on November 29th.
According to the latest update on the McKinsey Report, hydrogen powered cars that amount to $400,000 will be sold worldwide per annum by 2050. In this regard, team Illusion thought it would bring about a synergy effect for POSCO to produce components for hydrogen powered cars since they are already equipped with parts like battery or iron ore. Also, they believed that if POSCO could first create a movable charging station, then it would be possible to earn an enormous profit in the same sense that Rockefeller seized the gas station.
Iron ore takes up about 60 percent of the total revenue for POSCO. However, due to the growing sharing economy like uber and car pool, not many cars are selling, and the amount of components needed to build a car has significantly decreased as green cars prevail. Therefore, POSCO also faces a business transfer to green cars. Hydrogen powered vehicles have more prospects than electric cars, according to team Illusion. Electric cars have been put to practical use already, and their fuel is eco-friendly, whereas hydrogen powered cars act as air purifiers, benefiting our environment.
The eight teams that made it to the finals were given time to complement their research by absorbing the commentary from the judges. For team Illusion, the panel had commented on how there were too many broad suggestions for the company and lacked the logic behind why such a business strategy was to be fulfilled. Listening to and adjusting the shortcomings that the judges had pointed out made it possible for Hanyang University to win first place among the other prestigious schools.
The interviewees had all agreed that teamwork was the main reason that their team was able to win first place at the 2018 MBA Case Competition. “Other than the perfect balance between us as a team, we correctly identified the business trends that companies were interested in and suggested a realistic idea for POSCO’s future oriented project.” Team Illusion was the last to present among the eight teams in the final round, and they said that they had a feeling that they would win first place after seeing the reactions from the judges from the previous presentations. The head of the department at POSCO, who was one of the judges, asked the team if there was a POSCO employee among the team members, emphasizing how difficult it was to figure out precisely what POSCO wanted to see, as team Illusion had done.
The MBA Case Competition is one of the biggest contests for MBA students to participate in. Members of team Illusion recommended other MBA students to openly challenge themselves. Choi Chan-woo (Strategic Management, Master’s program) said that he learned more about his team members and was surprised by how they had creative new ideas and vision. For those who want to give it a shot at the competition, Lee Jong-wook (Art, Culture, and Entertainment, Master’s program) advised that since judges are mostly hands-on workers as well, that it would be important to know what is needed on a working-level and to be in their shoes when creating business plans for their company.
Kim Hyun-soo firstname.lastname@example.org
Photos by Kang Cho-hyun
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