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​NTU's MBA students score first Asian victory at world's largest business case competition

Published on: 16-Jan-2015

Nanyang Technological University (NTU) has come out tops at the 2015 John Molson MBA International Case Competition, the first Asian institution to win the world's oldest and largest business case competition.


Four MBA students from Nanyang Business School emerged champions from amongst 180 students representing 36 schools to win the top prize of C$10,000. Mentored by NTU's Prof Vijay Sethi, named Business Professor of the Year in 2013 by The Economist, they fought off tough competition from leading business schools such as University of Chicago's Booth School of Business, Queensland University of Technology's Graduate School of Business, and Schulich School of Business at York University, Ontario.


Professor Ravi Kumar, Dean of Nanyang Business School, said: "Winning the John Molson MBA International Case Competition is a historic and momentous victory for Nanyang Business School. I am extremely gratified that we have been able to achieve this honour, not just for ourselves, but also for Singapore, and Asia. My heartfelt congratulations go to the excellent team and their coach, Professor Vijay Sethi, for their brilliance and hard work."


Nanyang Business School's victory is the first by an Asian business school in the 23 years that the annual competition has been organised as a global contest. The John Molson competition first began as a national Canadian tournament in 1982 and was expanded into a global one in 1992.


Teams of four first compete in a round-robin tournament consisting of five business cases. One of these cases is a live case presentation by a major company about a real-life business challenge that they are currently facing. The NBS team won all five of the round-robin cases. After the round-robin, nine teams advance to the semi-finals, before the top three face off in the finals.


In the final round, the team had to strategically identify the growth markets for Marcopolo S.A. – a Brazilian bus manufacturer that has US$1.6 billion revenues and over 20,000 employees worldwide. The team came up with strategies to boost the company's share in selected emerging and developed markets that could potentially triple its current revenues in five years.


Prof Vijay Sethi who personally guided the team said: "This is the toughest and most gruelling case competition in the world. To come out on tops, undefeated, and become the first Asian team to win the competition is no mean feat. The experience is something the team will cherish for the rest of their lives. This is a small example of how the Nanyang MBA transforms students."


The NBS team was led by Cory Reid, 32. He was accompanied by Aswathi Suresh, 26; Sunitha Vijiyasingam, 35; and Jonah Wong, 29. Recent Nanyang MBA graduate Akshay Regulagedda assisted Prof Sethi in coaching the team.


Mr Reid said: "The experience was beyond anything I could have anticipated. Each round presented unique challenges and pushed the team to grow beyond what we thought was possible. We hoped to win some of the battles but coming out on top was surreal. The Nanyang MBA programme gave us the resources and tools to succeed. Combining this with coaching from both faculty and alumni really enabled us to perform on a global stage."


Mr Jonah Wong adds, "Our winning formula was team work. Everyone had a role on the team. But we always made sure we knew what everyone was doing so that all of us had a clear picture of what our solution would be, debated with each other objectively, and made sure we could answer any objections and questions about our recommendations. We supported each other throughout the competition and never lost focus on our goals."


NBS has participated in the John Molson competition since 2009. Its best showing previously was third place in 2010.


The Nanyang MBA has been ranked by The Economist as Singapore's top full-time MBA programme for the past 11 years. It typically admits each year 70 full-time students, and another 30 who take the course on a part-time basis.



Media contact:


Feisal Abdul Rahman

Senior Assistant Director (Media Relations)

Corporate Communications Office

Nanyang Technological University

Tel: (65) 6790 6687




About Nanyang Technological University (NTU)


A research-intensive public university, Nanyang Technological University (NTU) has 33,000 undergraduate and postgraduate students in the colleges of Engineering, Business, Science, Humanities, Arts, & Social Sciences, and its Interdisciplinary Graduate School. It has a new medical school, the Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine, set up jointly with Imperial College London.


NTU is also home to world-class autonomous institutes – the National Institute of Education, S Rajaratnam School of International Studies, Earth Observatory of Singapore, and Singapore Centre on Environmental Life Sciences Engineering – and various leading research centres such as the Nanyang Environment & Water Research Institute (NEWRI), Energy Research Institute @ NTU (ERI@N) and the Institute on Asian Consumer Insight (ACI).


A fast-growing university with an international outlook, NTU is putting its global stamp on Five Peaks of Excellence: Sustainable Earth, Future Healthcare, New Media, New Silk Road, and Innovation Asia.


Besides its main campus, NTU also has campuses in one-north, Singapore's science and tech hub, in Novena, Singapore's medical district, and at Gillman Barracks, Singapore's contemporary arts cluster.


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About Nanyang Business School

Consistently ranked among the world's premier business schools, we have been nurturing leaders for business and public service, advancing global management knowledge and practice for over 50 years. Being fully integrated into Nanyang Technological University, we draw on the strengths of one of Asia's most comprehensive research-intensive universities to provide holistic, interdisciplinary business education. We believe that responsible and culturally sensitive leadership in business and government is crucial to securing a sustainable future for a globalised world. Through teaching and research, we groom culturally intelligent leaders who pursue lasting success that seeks not only economic profit, but also the interests of the community and environment.

For more information, please visit


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