The Singapore Maritime Foundation (SMF) today announced Team Meridian, a group of Year 3 Business students from the Singapore Management University as the winners of its inaugural MSC Maritime Summit Case Challenge. The case competition organised by the Maritime Singapore Connect (MSC) Office, a unit under SMF, drew participation from over 100 undergraduates in five local universities, of whom 75 per cent were non-maritime students. It was the first time that three maritime companies – APL, Jurong Port and Shell, had come together in such an initiative for undergraduates to solve real-world business challenges as part of the industry’s efforts to attract young talent.
The champion team comprising Mr Ng Zheng Han, Ms Jasmine Oh and Mr Ng Yan Hong had earlier emerged tops in the Preliminary Round for their proposal to Jurong Port on the restructuring of the Technical Services Department and recommendations to attract more locals to join the port engineering vocation. Participants also worked on APL’s case about digitalisation for operational efficiencies in shipping, and Shell’s case about the strategy and plans to tap on a new business opportunity in the Preliminary Round. The quality of submissions was very high, with a one point difference in scores for many teams.
For the Grand Finals, Team Meridian beat two other teams from NTU and NUS in a 24-hour challenge to solve key recruitment and talent management issues for the case study centred on strengthening Singapore’s position as a Global Maritime Hub for Talent. The SMU team’s proposal to enhance awareness and branding and boost opportunities for career development particularly impressed the panel of judges.
Apart from cash prizes, the three finalist teams also received an exclusive invitation to the MSC Maritime Summit Dinner on 1 April 2019 – organised especially for these nine students to network with C-suite level of representatives from APL, Jurong Port, Shell, SMF and the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore. Attendees included Ms Aw Kah Peng, Chairman of the Shell Companies in Singapore, Mr Ooi Boon Hoe, CEO of Jurong Port and Capt Lee Chee Seong, COO of APL, Ms Tan Beng Tee, Assistant Chief Executive (Development) of MPA, Mr Lee Keng Mun, SMF Board Member and Head of Shipping Asia at Hamburg Commercial Bank and Mr Loo Tze Kian, SMF Board Member and Managing Director at LCH Lockton Pte Ltd. The dinner was held at Artemis Grill, a fine-dining restaurant at Level 40 of CapitaGreen offering panoramic views of the Singapore skyline.
Speaking about their win despite this being their first foray into case competitions, Mr Ng Zheng Han, representative from Team Meridian, said, “As Business students, we honestly did not expect to win so we are really thrilled! We joined because we find the maritime industry interesting and this Case Challenge has helped us to see that there are so many opportunities in Maritime Singapore. What we appreciated the most from this experience was the direct two-way feedback we got from the industry about the challenges and our proposed solutions, which allowed us to apply what we studied in school.”
Mr Kenneth Chia, Executive Director of SMF, said, “In organising this inaugural MSC Maritime Summit Case Challenge, we sought to get a successful outcome for both students and our industry partners and I think we have achieved that.