MBA students win big at Vancouver for Acumen Fund Case Challenge

Mar 27, 2012

Pragya Grewal, Shahneel Pirzada and Arjun Maruthi

A team of students from the full-time MBA program at the Beedie School of Business was the big winner at the recent Vancouver for Acumen Fund Case Challenge.

The winning team consisted of SFU MBA students Pragya Grewal, Shahneel Pirzada and Arjun Maruthi, whose presentation focused on Vision Springs, a company which provides low-cost, high-quality reading glasses to low-income communities in India.

The competition required teams to submit responses to a case based on a company from Acumen Fund’s investment portfolio. The cases are based on social enterprise, the provision of public health goods, and the role of the government.

Out of a total of 26 teams competing at the event, five teams made it to the finals, where SFU provided both the winning team and the runner-up. The runner-up team consisted of SFU MBA students Sreejit Narayanan, Vishesh Sawhany and Alice Longhurst.

“Competing at the Vancouver for Acumen Fund Case Challenge was a very rewarding experience,” said Grewal. “The Beedie School of Business had provided us with the solid foundation and the Acumen case competition gave us an opportunity to showcase our newly developed knowledge and skills. With two teams representing the MBA program in the final, the experience was exhilarating. It felt amazing representing the Beedie School of Business and making them proud.”

The competition was structured as a 48-hour take home “open” case. All competing teams were given a business case 48 hours prior to the competition and asked to submit their presentations at 9 pm before the competition day. Each team then has 10 minutes to present their analysis and recommendation to a panel of judges, consisting of industry leaders in finance and social enterprise.

In preparation for the competition, all teams participated in four separate workshops, covering the fundamentals of case analysis, Acumen Fund’s investment model, a walk-through case example and application of effective presentations.

About Acumen Fund

Acumen Fund is a pioneering not-for-profit venture fund, which aims to create a world beyond poverty by investing in social enterprises, emerging leaders and breakthrough ideas. Vancouver for Acumen, a volunteer-run chapter, supports this mission by actively championing and fundraising to support Acumen Fund’s innovative model of investing patient capital in enterprises that solve the problems of poverty. Since its founding in 2001, Acumen Fund has invested more than $50 million in enterprises that provide access to water, health, energy, housing and agricultural inputs to low-income customers in South Asia and East Africa.

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