Strathmore University students Ashna Patel, Winnie Onsiero and Nishita Bakrania in a team‘Raging Achievers’ were the winners in the just concluded ACCA Business Challenge, defeating 112 other teams drawn from 19 universities. Following in position two were Esther Saya, Slade Ochieng and Billy Atela from ‘Achievers team’ also Strathmore University students.
The ACCA business challenge was a three-month nation-wide competition that was organized by Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) in partnership with Standard Chartered Bank; it was a first of this kind.
The winning groups found out about this business challenge through social media just 2 weeks to the deadline, and they worked hard to submit their proposal within the deadline. The teams comprising of three students , were classmates and this made it easy to draw on each other’s’ strengths.
The first stage of the competition was to carry out research on Standard Chartered Bank, while in the second stage, the teams were given ‘Kshs 500,000’ to think of viable investment projects. The winner came up withMobile Banking Application, an application which would allow customers to transact on mobile phones.
The second group came up with the Mobile Phone Trading Application that would allow investors to trade directly at Nairobi Security Exchange (NSE) and Teller Laptops, where laptops substituted the tellers in the bank hence enabling potential customers to use laptops for transactions.
At this second stage the students needed a mentor and Dr James McFie, Dean School of Accountancy – Strathmore University, took up both teams for mentoring. “Dr McFie as a mentor was demanding, he wants to bring the best out of you and ensures perfection in a soft but hard way… he wanted us to be very practical in whatever we were presenting as ideas.. We had to be practical in the ideas we presented. He was a practical mentor.”
Dr. McFie won Kshs. 80,000 for the mentor’s award which he donated for scholarships.
Stage three which was the final round of the competition, involved the teams implementing their ideas. Everyone in the team had to assume roles of either being, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Chief Financial Officer (CFO) and Chief Operating Officer (COO). These enabled the students to role play and implement their theory into practice and face the real world challenges.
“The expectation from the Strathmore teams was very high because Strathmore is recognized as a good business school. It was not until we were mentioned as winners that we acknowledged we had done it,” says Billy from Achievers team.
From the win, all participating students earned a chance to be interviewed by Standard Chartered Bank for internship opportunities with the bank. Aside from the interview opportunity, each participant won a gift. The winning team won iPads while the second team won laptops.
The students, full of smiles were grateful for the opportunities that this challenge presented to them and they felt that it inspired them to dream big. Excited about the future, they all hope to get more opportunities and hopefully become the real CEOs, CFOs and COOs.
To other students interested in taking part in such challenges, the team advice’s them to; believe in themselves and take courage in taking the first step, they should not assume the challenge is for a specific group only and the students should seize all opportunities presented and do their best.