Published on: 02-Jun-2020
A team of our current Nanyang MBA participants recently participated in SCG Bangkok Business Challenge (BBC) hosted by Sasin School of Management, Chulalongkorn University, Thailand. This event is Asia's Longest-Running Global Student Start-up Competition, where participants of all disciplines from around the world were welcomed to submit business plans and pitches for investor-ready start-up ventures.
Nanyang Business School (NBS) is very proud to announce that our Nanyang MBA team, Mycobuild, has won the Best Business Plan title for the Sustainability round of the BBC @ Sasin. Mycobuild, comprising Sai Krishnan, Vanishika Dixit, Wang Peiqian, Srushthi Sumesh and Brij Bharatbhai, shared their journey and experiences from this competition with us.
L to R: Wang Peiqian, Brij Bharatbhai, Srushti Sumesh, Sai Krishnan and Vanshika Dixit.
A pool of 208 competing teams from 83 institutions of 24 countries from 6 continents participated in this year's BBC @ Sasin. The competition, which began in last December, started off with a submission of a preliminary presentation of the team's start-up. Mycobuild was one of the 20 teams to be shortlisted for the Semi-round. Their proposal eventually brought them to the finals – Sustainability Award Round – along with three other teams from Cambridge University, United Kingdom; National Chengchi University, Taiwan and Chitkara University, India.
As the first step of preparation, Mycobuild reached out to Professor Hortense Ferrand from Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore) for her work on alternative construction materials. She introduced the team to her collaboration with Dr Nazanin Saeidi. Together, they held multiple meetings to understand the product and refine their business plan. The support provided by Professor Ferrand and Dr Saeidi and their impartial feedback greatly helped Mycobuild in their venture, as it allowed them to gain complete knowledge of their product, the market and the environmental impact of their product; which was the primary reason for their win.
Along the way, Mycobuild faced a fair share of struggles. One of them was getting interviews with prospective customers in the construction industry. However, they overcame this by reaching out to stakeholders via LinkedIn, personal contacts and leads from NTU faculty. Another struggle was on the team collaboration front; with the on-set of COVID-19, they could not meet each other for face-to-face discussions. Fortunately, online collaboration tools like Zoom and Microsoft Teams were life saviours during this period. Although they had a rather tough time, spending hours sharing their screens, working on documents simultaneously and finalising their deliverables, it is safe to say that their hard work paid off.
Mycobuild's achievement would not have been possible without NBS faculty and alumni, who played major roles in their journey. Professor Vijay Seithi guided them in refining their venture, starting from the vision to the finer details like defining the beachhead customer, coming up with pricing strategies. Associate Professor Lewis Lim put the team in touch with construction industry experts to validate and improve their product offering. Alumnus Haridesh, from 2019's winning team, reviewed their entire pitch deck and gave valuable pointers. In the finals for the sustainability round, Professor S Viswanathan helped the team to sharpen the concepts of sustainability which really scored with the judges who came from an ESG background.
By partaking in the BBC @ Sasin, this competition had provided the MBA participants invaluable opportunities for them to hone their business acumen, and apply the latest business thinking and insights learnt in the classroom to address real-life market opportunities and business challenges.
Having gained a real feel of entrepreneurship and exposure to the start-up environment, Mycobuild highly recommends the next batch of MBA participates to challenge themselves in the BBC @ Sasin competition. The winning team shared some advice for future MBA participants: ensure the feasibility of an idea before embarking on it, consult as many industry experts as possible, and be confident in addressing the judges.
The win reflects what NBS stands for: Innovate. Lead. Transform. It establishes how NTU's tech and innovation ecosystem can be leveraged in every domain of business to accelerate enterprise transformation, smart economy, and urban sustainability.
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