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Learning strategy and negotiation: The Solvay Business Game
FS Life / 16 May 2024
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Master in Management Class of 2025
Rahul Jain is currently studying for a Master in Management at Frankfurt School, specialising in Data and Business Analytics concentration. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Mechatronics Engineering and currently works in the Pricing department at Döhler Group.

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We, Rahul Jain and Prabhash had the opportunity to represent Frankfurt School in the 17th edition of Solvay Business Game in Brussels this month. With over 300 bright-minded students selected from top B-schools world-wide, Solvay Business Game is a two-day event and one of the most prestigious of its kind. The selection starts with a CV shortlisting and selected students then have to give an aptitude test. Results of the aptitude test is combined with the CV to make the final decision.  It was an exhilarating and transformative experience that challenged us to think critically, collaborate effectively, and develop innovative solutions to complex business problems.

As participants in this prestigious event, we had the opportunity to tackle three distinct cases, each of which pushed us to the limits of our abilities and expanded our understanding of the corporate world.

Pitch Challenge by McKinsey & Company

In this challenge, participants were required to bring solutions to the government to implement AI in one of personal finance, education or mental health sector. Our mission was to present innovative strategies to leverage technology, aiming to elevate our country’s knowledge on personal finances, improve children’s learning paths or help corporate employees to work on their mental health and fitness – depending on the sector we chose. This challenge honed our ability to craft viable, forward-thinking solutions and helped us gained knowledge about trending technologies.

Negotiation Challenge by BDO

Our personal favorite, the Negotiation Challenge by BDO, presented the most formidable test. Stepping into the shoes of a buyer negotiating the acquisition of a rival company demanded strategic insight, negotiation prowess, and adaptability. Engaging with sellers intent on securing the best deal, we navigated complex negotiations, gaining hands-on experience in valuing companies and negotiating fair terms. It was an intense yet immensely rewarding experience that sharpened our negotiation skills and provided a glimpse into real-world deal-making dynamics.

Strategy Challenge by CACEIS

The Strategy Challenge, facilitated by CACEIS, thrust us into the intricacies of mergers and acquisitions. Tasked with developing an HR strategy amidst a merger with Royal Company, we grappled with the complexities of team cohesion, corporate culture, and talent integration. It was quite tricky to merge two entitiezs with varying work strategies, leadership mottos and organisational resources. This challenge served as a profound learning opportunity, fostering collaboration and innovative problem-solving while navigating the complexities of organizational change.

Key Takeaways

Throughout these challenges, we were pushed to the limits of our abilities, but the experience was invaluable. We developed a deeper understanding of the complexities of business strategy, the importance of effective communication and negotiation,  the critical role of technology in driving innovation and the importance of agility whilst working with various teams with diverse capabilities. We witnessed real-time challenges faced by big firms and the interaction with the senior representatives from those firms helped us understand their perspective and approach to solve the problem.

Conclusion

We would like to thank the frankfurt school for its wonderfully structured Master in Management program that equipped us with several relevant strategies and methods to compete in such a rigorous business event. Organizational behavior, leadership and sustainability module taught by Prof. Halil Sabanci helped us interact and lead the team in a cohesive manner while the Financial Analysis and Performance Management module by Prof. Hari Ramasubramanian equipped us with the knowledge to understand the financial aspects of the BDO and CACEIS cases. We are still in awe of the place and the connections we bring back with us and are eternally grateful to frankfurt school for providing us with a scholarship for the event. We look forward to attending next year’s edition and would urge everyone to participate as well.

 

Co-authors

 

Prabhash
Master in Management, Class of 2025

 

 

 

Prabhash, with a keen interest in exploring global cultures, successfully completed his undergraduate education in Geography at Delhi University. Alongside his studies, Prabhash is working as a Working Student in marketing analytics and aims to build a robust foundation in business and management.

 

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