BELGRADE – In the organization of a leading world auditing and consultancy firm of the EU Ernst & Young, the final competition in the program "Learn Today - Lead Tomorrow" in resolving a case study, in which a total of twelve students’ teams took part – ten from Serbia and one each from Montenegro and Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), who had won local competitions held in their countries, was held in Belgrade this month.
Students’ stories of all 12 teams about how they learnt about the competition and solved the case study about the production of fruit and juices in a make-believe country, which would bring appropriate profits, will be published in several installments by the House of Good News, pleased that Serbia has such wonderful and talented young people, ready to show what they have learnt already during their studies, thereby fighting for their place in society and a job.
The competition, an integral part of the "EU Program of Future Leaders", held within a talent-developing strategy, was organized in Serbia for the second time.
Scholarships and possibility of employment in an EU company for the winning teams of "Learn Today - Lead Tomorrow" the EU makes possible two months of practice in a department of the company of their choice, while the five teams ranked highest enter a process of selection for EU scholarships during their studies, with a possibility of employment.
Students Offer Innovative and Well-developed Solutions
The case study, a qualitative method for finding solutions for a problem in the area of concrete production and organization of business, from finances and marketing to sales and distribution, provides for the students an opportunity to express their potentials in analyzing detected problems and offering the most appropriate business models.
As announced by the jury, made up of university professors from Serbia, Montenegro and BiH and respected business professionals, the competitors had different approaches in solving the complex problem and offered innovative and well-conceived solutions. This year’s subject was the “Story about Mutiraba Youngberries-Fruit & Young, case study".
The task was to find for the customer – the company Fruit & Young – an economically profitable model of production of Youngberry (a complex hybrid created by cross-breeding three types of berry fruits from the Mundis class: raspberries, juniper and blackberries from the rose family).
I am very impressed by the energy shown by all teams during the presentation, as well as the innovative solutions for the problem, said Steven Fish, managing partner of the EU company in Serbia, Montenegro and BiH. We are pleased that interest in the EU case study and standards to approaching solutions are ever higher, and we look forward to the development of the EU case studies in the coming years. We have no doubts about future business successes which await the participants in the competition, and the EU is ready to support them in their future development, Fish said.
The Winning Team from the Faculty of Organizational Studies
The winners of this year’s final competition of the Ernst & Joung (EU) case study are Branislav Bandić, Andreja Srećković and Tijana Stefanović, a team coming from Belgrade University’s Faculty of Organizational Sciences (FON).
Tijana Stefanović is a fourth-year student, of the Informational Systems and Technology Department. Besides her studies, she led the organization of the biggest case study resolution competition in Europe – the BBICC 2014 in Belgrade. In free time she rows.
Branislav Bandić is a third-year student, of the Operational Management Department. He is involved in solving case studies and has won one regional and one local competition. He plays volleyball in the faculty’s team.
Andreja Srećković is a fourth-year student, of the Management Department. He is the president of Europe’s biggest case study competition - BBICC 2015 – which will be held in Belgrade.
All three are members of the Case Study Club of FON.
To be quite frank, we never considered what the case study could involve, Srećković told the House of Good News. Once we had read the tasks facing us, the first thing to do was understand clearly what was wanted of us. The task was to develop the best alternative for producing the juice and creating a strategy of marketing the new product. We tried to establish a balance between creativity and analyticalness and have a well-rounded off integrity of solution. We understood that our first task was to define a detailed and accurate financial model. Initially we believed this would be a complicating factor, because we come from a faculty focusing on managerial capacities rather than finances.
We understood the financial analysis seriously and worked out in detail all the elements of the sustainability of the strategy. We also defined risk-reduction tactics and a detailed marketing strategy together with recommendations for the company’s future. We can guarantee that our solution is 100-per cent sustainable. What we learnt through experience is that the team spirit is the most important and that there is no problem which cannot be solved with hard work and faith in one’s self. Such was our support. From the very beginning we believed in our solution, we were knowledgeable about every detail and self-assured in our approach. We believed the jury especially liked that.
Second Place Also Taken by FON Students
Second place was also taken by Lazar Đelić, Jovana Milovanović and Stefan Ignjatović, also FON students, of the Management and Information Systems departments. Ignjatović told us that they had solved the case study whose first task was to define an optimal structure of the production of certain fruit depending on the production of a certain juice for which they made a financial model “which will depending on certain limitations and certain prohibitions and certain variables bring about an optimal solution in the form of profits and income”.
Our second task, he said, was prioritizing risks for both scenarios and where with our third strategy we managed to solve them. The strategy was implementing a long-term marketing plan of the company. We dealt with the launch of the new product, a new innovative juice made using our capacities from the financial model. Then we dealt with sales of the juice on the domestic market, after which we began exports. In that strategy we had defined in detail all our marketing activities, from the target group, sales channels, the distribution and logistics networks.
Lazar Đelić told us in connection with the innovative glass bottle for the juice that they had held it necessary to have such packaging because they had stressed in the strategy that the product would be the pride of Kortuga, the make-believe country in which the case study was taking place. For that reason they had decided that it was necessary to manufacture a model of the product and show it in the best light “because everything revolved around it and the bottle represented our country world-wide and we were recognizable by it”.
Asked how they had applied for the competition and why it was FON students that had taken first and second places, they told us that resolving case studies was practiced at the faculty, which has a Case Study Club, an organization recruiting and training young people ready for competitions both at local and international level.
"N Squared"– the Group Which Placed Third
The team which placed third was made up of Nađa Kozlovački, Nemanja Mihajlović and Dunja Radivojević, students of Novi Sad University’s Economics Faculty from the northern Serbian town of Subotica, Our team is named N Squared because we come from the Province of Vojvodina, from Novi Sad (literally: New Now), Mihajlović told us. In resolving the case study we focused on the financial segment, in an effort to understand where the key lies in the differences between fixed costs per unit and variable costs predefined for the fruit. Once we had realized to maximize monthly production, we reached the solution.
After that, the story developed early about the future potential expansion of capacities – diversified production of juice in other branches – sweets, juices, alcoholic beverages, smoothies and similar, in order to reduce risks.
As for the brand’s name, Veri Berry, as we called it, we thought it was catchy and attractive. We proposed that after three years of operation cooperation be established with a major company like EVIAN in order to make use of the synergy effect that “the healthy attracts the healthy”, that “healthy water attracts healthy juice – healthy berries”. Our aim would be that in the cooperation of two top world brands (because we plan to make a name for ourselves in the first three years of operation) we would create a giant on the juice market, to reduce the harmfulness of the existing over-sweetened and carbonated products.
The jury asked us how we would reduce risks, whether we would diversify our product in various groups, which we did, and another thing that was problematic in our plan is how we would react if demand was much bigger than supply. We are truly limited with our land and capacities. In that case we would establish cooperation with competitors and share our discovery and our monopolistic position so we would succeed together with someone else to satisfy demand, which we believe would exist. Nemanja told us his group had organized on their own for the competition, after they had heard about the competition from another student, and believed they could be successful. He said it was a new and enriching experience for them, because although all three had graduated from the faculty, they had never so far been in touch with something similar.
Source: House of Good News