Release Date: April 7, 2015
BUFFALO, N.Y. – A team of four first-year MBA students in the University at Buffalo School of Management have won the annual Whitman Case Competition on March 27 at Syracuse University.
Rohit Sallagundla of Hyderabad, India; Erin Dings of Hamburg; Ryan Fogle of Buffalo; and Seong Hee (Luke) Kim of Qingdao, China, were awarded $2,000 for taking first place.
This is the fifth consecutive year a UB School of Management team has finished in the top two at the prestigious case competition. In earning first place, the UB squad bested teams from Case Western Reserve University, Syracuse University and Binghamton University.
Another School of Management team nabbed third place and collected $750. Ashith Shetty, MBA ’15, of Mangalore, India; Frank Koelbel, MBA ’15, of Islip; Alison Lee Williams, JD/MBA ’16, of Rochester; and Aditya Yellapantula, MBA ’15, of Visakhapatnam, India, made up the third-place squad.
Several MBA programs from across the country were invited to enter the competition, sponsored by the Whitman Graduate Student Organization, and eight teams made the final round.
Competitors analyzed a business case about Spencer’s Retail, a chain of stores in India that changed brand positions from a high-quality retailer to a high-value, low-price outlet. The winning UB team devised a new merchandising mix and promotional strategy that would improve store traffic and profit margins without tarnishing the chain’s well-established reputation.
Registration and travel expenses for the UB teams were funded through a donation by Steven C. Verney, ’80, MBA ’81, executive vice president and chief risk officer at Allstate Insurance Co., and a matching grant from Allstate.
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 also has been ranked by Bloomberg Businessweek, the Financial Times, Forbes and U.S. News & World Report 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 mgt.buffalo.edu.