DESCRIBED as interesting and challenging, the recent Asia Pacific Institute of Information Technology (Apiit) IT Business Challenge drew more than 40 teams from schools and companies in the Klang Valley and Penang.
Apiit corporate services director Geoff Evans said the challenge, in the form of a business game, provided a rich learning experience in terms of the business and human aspects of an organisation.
''The competition was a stimulating and enjoyable way of developing business awareness,'' he said.
The game moderator was John Handley, general manager of Cranfield Business Games at the Cranfield School of Management in the United Kingdom. He has developed and run management games in the UK, Asia, Europe and the United States for corporate companies and schools.
''Business games are simulations which test the quality of business decision-making in a realistic, fully interactive but risk-free environment. They provide an opportunity to develop management skills without the risk of commercial fatality.
''In a competitive market place, teams acting as boards of directors need to take a series of strategic and operational decisions to achieve corporate goals,'' said Handley.
Feedback is given after each set of decisions, and this is used as the basis of the next set of decisions. The games are ''team-interactive'' and decisions taken by one team will automatically affect the total market and performance of the competitors.
''The games are a powerful learning experience which develops and enhances your team-working, decision-making and business skills,'' he added.
The business challenge was run in stages over a five-day period, with preliminary heats, semi-finals and finals.
Lower Six students from SMK Taman Sea in Petaling Jaya – Samuel Leong, Wong Wei Seng, Daniel Lim, Wong Horng Yang and Sharon Kong – described the challenge as a ''thrilling experience''.
''We had no strategy actually, as we came for fun. We found it very stimulating,'' said Sharon, the sole female in her group.
The team had won in one of the preliminary heats and ultimately won the gold award in the school category in the finals. The silver award was won by a team from SMK Chung Ling in Penang.
In the corporate category, the gold award and the Best of the Best Award was won by team The Corporation, comprising Kalvinderjit Singh Rekhraj, Apham Nasir, Savinder Singh Rekhaj, Ganeshkhanna Subramaniam and Diong Chee Wei. Team Armada, comprising Cheong Tak Hoe, Michael Low, Goh Hieng Kok, Lim Poh Nee and Alan Shin Chee Hoong won the silver award.
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