A team of five students from the Foreign Trade University are the first Vietnamese to ever break into the top 10 in the Global Case Competition at Harvard (GCCH).
The Vietnamese team, named Primo Partners, is comprised of sophomore and junior students at the university’s Ho Chi Minh City campus: Tran Anh Vu and Tran Thanh Phu who are majoring in international economics; Le Nguyen Quoc Hung, Hoang Gia Huy, and Quach Dinh Anh Minh who are majoring in international finance.
As described on its website, GCCH is “the world’s most prestigious student-organized case competition.”
An annual event since 2016, the competition is focused on a mergers and acquisitions (M&A) case, requesting an analysis of industries and companies, their financial valuation, feasibility, alternatives, and in the end, an ultimate recommendation.
In the past eight years, the competition has attracted more than 750 teams with over 3,000 students across the world to compete for a chance to win $10,000.
The qualifying round took place in February.
To participate, the team needs confirmation from the school and then must register with the organizers.
Teams are given three weeks to prepare and submit a solution, and the top 10 teams will be chosen for the final round, in which they will pitch their solutions to a panel of judges comprised of distinguished business executives and Harvard Business School professors on April 21-22.
For this year, the competition requested students to solve an M&A case related to the renewable energy market, in which they will have to find a way to solve a business case for a company that aims to lead the field.
Five students at the Foreign Trade University in Ho Chi Minh City that have broken into the final round of Global Case Competition at Harvard. Photo courtesy of the university
Phu said the team had to read a lot of documents to analyze the current world market and to come up with a plan. The group then assessed the risks and benefits of each option and it took nearly three weeks to complete a 75-page report.
“We joined the competition with the aim of learning, and we did not dream of entering the top 10,” he said on behalf of the team.
According to the team, when participating in the competition, they had to apply knowledge of many subjects, such as valuation, financial linkage, risk management, business administration, mergers and acquisitions.
In addition to what they learned from school, the five students have to study a lot on their own.
The final round will be held online before teams are invited to the Harvard campus to take part in “in-person” events April 28-30.
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