The “VinUniversity Global Case Competition 2021” (VGCC), organized by VinUniversity, has just concluded. Three teams from the United States, Finland, and Vietnam pushed ahead of over a thousand teams from 200 leading universities in 30 countries to score the top three prizes.
The Award Ceremony of VinUniversity Global Case Competition 2021
The theme of the 2021 competition was “VinFast Goes Global”. The case, written by Professor Michael Dixon of Utah State University and developed in consultation with faculty members from Cornell University and VinFast executives, described the complex and highly topical challenges facing VinFast as it enters the US market with its brand new Electric Vehicles. Teams were required to develop strategies, solutions and implementation plans for this expansion, taking into consideration several challenges facing the Electric Vehicle market in general, and VinFast in particular.
Discussing the topic of the competition, Professor Edward McLaughlin – Professor Emeritus at Cornell University, and member of the competition’s judging Panel – commented: “The teams had many creative and outstanding ideas. Unlike other competitions that use hypothetical or past cases, VGCC poses a realistic and current problem facing a business.”.
Over 4,000 students from over 200 universities from 30 countries formed 1,085 teams to participate in the competition. The competition had three stages and teams had to qualify to move to the next round of the competition. Only ten teams were selected in the Final Presentation round of the competition. In addition to submitting a detailed twenty- page plan for addressing the six challenges presented in the case, the teams also presented their key ideas before a panel of judges comprising of VinFast senior executives, and faculty from other top US based universities, and answered many tough questions from the judges.
“We are delighted to establish this global case competition because it provides experiential learning opportunities for students and helps them develop critical thinking and problem solving skills, and brings people together to solve real world problems,” said Professor Rohit Verma, the Provost of VinUniversity.
True to the academic and student-centric mission of the VGCC, VinUniversity organized three informational webinars to help the students prepare for the competition attended by over 1,000 participants. Faculty from VinUniversity, Cornell University, the CEO of VinFast, and case writer provided valuable insights to students about how to make their case analyses compelling and their recommendations defensible. As Professor Dixon advised “This case is an opportunity for students to make persuasive arguments regarding the goodness of their solutions. We are not looking for one right answer. Instead, we are looking for how the students come with their answers, how well they describe it and how well they can defend it.”
To make the process of evaluation fair and objective, the judges developed comprehensive and multi-dimensional rubrics for each stage of the competition, designed to assess the depth of the research and analysis, the details of the proposed implementation plan and the quality of the team presentation in the final round.
The First Prize went to EVA – made up of 4 members from 4 different universities: DePauw University (USA), Tampere University of Applied Science (Finland), Fulbright University (Vietnam), and Foreign Trade University Ho Chi Minh City (Vietnam). EVA successfully convinced the judges with the team’s strategy to position VinFast as the best option for the “Wait and See” segment – customers who are careful with their finances and make purchasing decisions based on a car’s features and ease of use. This was considered a disruptive approach because traditional EV-makers tend to focus on early adopters of the technology.
The Second Prize went to VinFast WinFast – consisting of 4 students from VinUniversity, with their proposal to market the cars to the extended-Millennials (Gen Y) segment, with ages ranging from 25 to 56. The group’s core proposal centered around Vivi Smart Companion, which supports users in their entire customer journey with their VinFast car, designed to build a life-long, personal connection with the company and their cars. The Third Prize went to 4 students from Juniata College (USA), Villanova University (USA) and British University Vietnam with their “Influencer Marketing” strategy.
The total prize value for the 3 winning teams was approximately 400 million VND, equivalent to 17.000 USD, with the First Prize being worth over 200 million VND (equivalent to 10.000 USD).
The contestants came from the world’s top universities, such as Cambridge University (UK), Oxford Universities (UK), Duke University (USA), Cornell University (USA), National University of Singapore (Singapore), Nanyang Technological University (Singapore), Monash University (Australia), Yonsei University (South Korea), VinUniversity, etc., and the students collectively spent 14,000 hours researching and devising solutions.
Mr. Craig Westbrook – Chief Service Officer from Vinfast US expressed his impression “What a competition, what fantastic contestants you were, truly inspiring, and it’s exactly the kind of thing that I would say companies like VinFast are certainly looking for in our future talents.”