BUFFALO, N.Y. – Toys were serious business to MBA students
in the University at Buffalo School of Management, as teams
analyzed and developed strategies for toymaker LEGO during the 17th
annual UB MBA Case Competition in February.
A team of four MBA students will share the $2,000 first prize.
Hongyu Hua of Wuxi, China, Hung Phan of Hanoi, Vietnam, Burhan
Saiyed of Karachi, Pakistan, and Siddharth Venkatramanan of
Chennai, India, made up the winning team, which was chosen from
among four teams of finalists who presented the results of their
case analyses on Feb. 15.
The second-place team received a higher-than-anticipated prize
of $1,600, thanks to the generosity of one of the competition
judges who was extremely impressed with the performance of the top
two teams. Todd Carter of Troy, Ohio, Christopher Maugans of
Tonawanda, Nicholas Notarius of Clarence, Sarah Tanbakuchi of Grand
Island and Brian Wagner of Clarence Center will share the
Prizes also were awarded to the third- and fourth-place
Sponsored by Columbus McKinnon Corp., Ernst & Young LLP and
Moog Inc., the competition enables second-year MBAs to hone their
analytic and problem-solving skills in a team setting as they
develop real-world business solutions and present their
recommendations to corporate experts.
The case focused on toymaker LEGO and the competition it faces
from MEGA Brands and Hasbro. Teams were asked to develop
competitive plans to continue LEGO’s financial success and
dominance in the building-toy market, including where to expand
product lines and business operations. Judges evaluated
participants on the quality of their analyses and use of case data,
the creativity and clarity of their recommendations, the quality
and detail of their implementation plans, the quality and style of
their oral presentations, and the quality of their question and
Judges for the final round of the competition were Joe Bell,
vice president-acquisition and strategy, Moog Inc.; John Carr,
senior director, sales and marketing, GROUP 4; Greg Rustowicz, vice
president of finance and CFO, Columbus McKinnon Corp., Rick Tan,
executive director, tax services, Ernst & Young; and Arjang
Assad, dean, UB School of Management.
The UB School of Management is recognized for its emphasis on
real-world learning, community and economic impact, and the global
perspective of its faculty, students and alumni. The school has
been ranked by Bloomberg Businessweek, the Financial Times, Forbes,
U.S. News & World Report and The Wall Street Journal for the
quality of its programs and the return on investment it provides
its graduates. For more information about the UB School of
Management, visit http://mgt.buffalo.edu.