Submitted by Dilina Fernando
The Amazon Customer Excellence (ACE) challenge, organized by Amazon India, was held in two phases. In Round 1, 18 top business schools across Asia were invited to form teams to solve and submit three case studies within 96 hours. The case studies were across 6 categories, namely Category Management, Operations, Product Management, HR, Sales, and Onboarding. According to the Amazon representatives, about 3800 teams submitted solutions in the first round, out of which 3 teams were selected from each category into the final round.
One team from the Nanyang MBA, Team Stormtroopers comprising of Dilina Fernando, Sharan Grover and Aditya Bhargava, was selected in the Product Management Category. It was the only foreign school team selected to participate in the final round.
In the finals, the teams were given 5 days to solve a case which involved giving solutions to real life problems of Amazon India. After submission of the solutions, Team Stormtroopers flew to Hyderabad, India to present their solution on 21st September 2014. The panel of judges comprised of Amazon Senior Leadership in India who evaluated the merits of the ideas proposed.
In the end, Team Stormtroopers did not win in the final round in the Product Management category, of which the team from IIM-Bangalore won. However, the experience was truly an enriching one, especially for a team just 2 months into the MBA program. Working as a team on tight academic deadlines, facing a panel of experienced judges, understanding what they look for and what details they expected provided valuable insights to competing even better in the future.
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