Empowering Entrepreneurs of the Future – Maestro 2019
As written by Rtr. Kavishka Gunaratne
The youth of today will, in the future, pioneer the world towards better prospects. Providing an outlet at present for young individuals to discover their hidden potential and talents and train for the crucial roles they will play in due course will, in no doubt, be a wise investment for a secure future.
‘Maestro’, the annual business case study challenge competition of Rotaract Club of University of Moratuwa, was organized for the second consecutive time, this year, with the aim of providing young individuals possessing a flair for devising new and innovative solutions to challenging problems with a platform to put their brains and skills in leadership and entrepreneurship to the test, get exposed to the industry and recognized by professionals of the corporate world for the prowess they showcase.
The competition was built off of a case study on a proxy of a real-life company based on which a series of tests of varying scopes were formulated to evaluate the performance of its competitors in their ability to analyze a given corporate situation, shape a suitable solution to address the issue at hand and convey a convincing pitch regarding their solution and its feasibility.
This year’s instalment of ‘Maestro’ saw a total of 76 teams of three from all over the island signing up for the competition. As part of the first round, the registered teams were required to submit in-detail reports on the proxy company in concern, its corporate atmosphere, competition and customer base. Out of 52 submissions that ensued, 15 teams were shortlisted as qualified for the semi-finals.
The semi-finals of the competition were held on the 25th of September 2019 at Hatch, Colombo. Mrs. Mim Tansamrit (Implementation Coach at McKinsey & Company), Mr. Julian Hügl (Engagement Manager at McKinsey & Company), Mr. Dilina Fernando (Chief Product Owner – Clearing Systems at LSEG Technology) and Mr. Nilendra Weerasinghe (Head – Corporate Advisory at NDB Investment Bank) served as judges for the day. Each of the 15 teams were required to deliver a presentation on how the multinational proxy company from their case study could effectively penetrate the Sri Lankan market, based on which 5 teams: Team Nova, Team Divergent, Brain DED Zombies, Weborama and Phoenix, were chosen as worthy of proceeding onto the final round.
The Grand Finale of ‘Maestro 2019’ was organized at a grand scale and held on the 30th of September 2019 at the DHPL Auditorium, Colombo. The esteemed panel of judges for the finale comprised of Mr. Heminda Jayaweera (Chief Operating Officer at Sri Lanka Institute of Nano Technology, Director at Ceylon Graphene Technologies), Mr. Dilina Fernando, Mr. Nilendra Weerasinghe and the chief-guest of the day, Mrs. Zornica Zafirova (Senior Vice President at McKinsey & Company).
On the day, the finalists were first introduced to a new scenario concerning an issue that had transpired in the case study’s proxy company for which each team was required to come up with fresh and necessary solutions to resolve the problem, within the span of a few hours. Next, the team members of each team were made to pitch their ideas to an audience and the panel of judges and afterwards face a judges’ Q&A session regarding their pitch.
A vote was also carried out to determine the most popular team out of the finalists. Additionally, a feedback session was conducted to enlighten each team on the strong as well as weak points in each pitch and advise them on where they may improve.
Finally, the winners of the competition were announced to the loud cheers and applause of supporters and well-wishers gathered at the auditorium. Team Divergent, representing the University of Colombo, emerged champions of ‘Maestro 2019’, while Team Weborama of American National College was placed as First Runners Up. Team Phoenix, representing Rotaract Club of University of Sri Jayewardenepura, won the title for the Most Popular Team, while Shanora Wijetunga of Team Weborama was awarded the prize for Best Pitcher.
All in all, ‘Maestro 2019’ succeeded in realizing its objective of encouraging the skillful youth of the country to grab chances, take risks and awaken their hidden entrepreneurs. Through ‘Maestro’, Rotaract Mora will continue to strive to bring the gift of opportunity and empowerment to young Sri Lankan talent with a passion to lead, innovate and pioneer, and the entrepreneurial drive to steer the future of the corporate world and the industry at large, towards new possibilities.