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The Key to Success

The Key to Success

Wong Hiu Yau Akemi's Story
(Awardee of 23rd Recognition Ceremony)
Faculty of Business and Economics

Like many other business students, case competitions form an indispensable part of Akemi’s university life. Out of her interests in real estate and sustainability, she formed a group of five and participated in HKGCC Business Case Competition 2019 organised by the Great Eagle Group. They aim at developing a mixed-use development plan for Hong Kong after twenty years, in which they needed to amalgamate various land uses, commercial and residential, into a piece of land to make it sustainable. Their plan was shortlisted in the final, and after receiving comments and advice from a senior mentor of the Great Eagle Group, they eventually won the 2nd prize. The competition lasted for two months, but the salutary lessons from which she had benefited make lasting impacts on her life and career.

Photo of Akemi receiving the prize with her teammates

"The key to success is to find the right people for the right project.”

Innovation and sustainability were the two main pillars of this competition, but their research into both topics was not thorough enough at the outset. Their mentor suggested them to probe deeper into innovation and sustainability in their project. No one knows what our world will evolve into two decades later, she examined with her team the technological development of different regions around the world (e.g. Sweden). They sought to gauge the level Hong Kong would be up to twenty years later, as well as the technologies would be possibly used in its future city planning. This case competition, therefore, gave her greater exposure to the technological development of various countries and the real estate market in Hong Kong and impressed her with the importance of international experiences.

Photo of Akemi with her teammate

In contrast to the common perception that a team faring well in case competitions consist of elites from the same concentration, Akemi saw the importance of diversity. Her teammates came from diverse background, studying at HKU and CUHK and majoring in Accounting, Finance, International Business etc. She regarded this diversity as a decided edge of her team. “While some teammates are familiar with financial analysis, environment and sustainability, I am more interested in marketing,” she recalled, “and each of us offers unique perspectives to look into our projects”.

There are myriad types of case competitions, and each entails different skill sets. Finance case competitions require sound numerical reasoning with strong quantitative bent, whereas competitions in the fields of marketing and real estate place heavy emphasis on creativity and problem-solving abilities. The key to success, noted Akemi, is to “find the right people for the right project”.

Before this HKGCC Business Case Competition, she had participated in several competitions since her freshman year. Though it was hard to notch up any prizes in her first competition, participation accumulated her knowledge and experiences, taught her the ropes of better performances and indicated to her the type of competitions for which she fit. Akemi was convinced that these competitions, though time-consuming, were highly rewarding. Innovative ideas, familiarity with the market trends and acquisition of precise information are all preceded by in-depth research, and though it certainly takes time, it is well worth it.

Written by:
Andres Fok
Year 2, Faculty of Arts
April 2020 

The Key to Success