AHATRED for grocery shopping was theinspiration behind team FNL Alliance’sbusiness idea.
As they were always busy with classes, assignments and examinations, there was often not enough time to drive out to the grocery store to get supplies.
“I’m sure we are not the only ones who face this problem; many corporate people must also have experienced problems trying to find time to deal with grocery shopping,” says Sunway University College ACCA student Foo Wai Lun, 20.
Along with his teammates, Taylor’s University College business student Ng Eng-Yoong and KBU International College arts foundation student Lee Hsien Wen, both 20, developed the concept of the drive-through supermarket.
Eng-Yoong, who is on the University of Technology Sydney programme, explains that their idea envisages users selecting their groceries online, then driving to a specific location to pick up the groceries that would already have been bagged for their convenience.
“We will display the nutritional facts as well as other necessary information on the website; it will be just as if you are at the store, looking at the products.
“There will even be a small section for users to provide feedback about whether they like the product or not,” says Eng-Yoong.
Team FNL Alliance is one of 11 teams shortlisted for the HSBC Young Entrepreneur Awards (YEA) 2006-2007.
Judging for the first round of the competition concluded recently. A total of 147 entries were received.
“We selected what we thought were the best of the entries for Round Two; we hope to see the ideas developed further,” says chief judge and HSBC Public Affairs head Elizabeth Wee.
The competition, aimed at Malaysian undergraduates, requires participants to come up with an innovative and viable business idea.
The entries were judged based on creativity and originality (50%) and its commercial viability (50%).
The panel of judges included HSBC senior service and channels manager Attar Salleh, Small and Medium Enterprises director of insurance and investment Darina Yusof, senior commercial banking manager Johnson Chang and HSBC Trustee (Malaysia) managing director Lim Liang Hwa.
Ideas that were chosen ranged from an online web system to manage household bills to a device that could trace the position of people in distress, using the Global Positioning System.
The 11 short-listed teams will have the opportunity to attend a business plan writing workshop in Menara Star on Feb 14.
The workshop, to be conducted by University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus Assoc Prof of Marketing and Strategy John Zinkin, will teach students the essential elements needed in writing a proper business plan.
This will be important to the success of the teams in the next stage of the competition, as Round Two will require them to submit a full business proposal based on their original idea.
“The workshop will assist the selected teams to improve and hone their ideas into a viable business model.
“We hope the students will take this opportunity to further enhance their business ideas,” says Wee.
The business plans will be judged based on certain criteria – innovation and creative thinking (40%), commercial viability and potential (40%), communication skills (15%) and competitive advantage (5%).
Five teams will make it through to the third and final round where they will formally present their business proposals to a panel of experienced industry expects.
The winning idea will bag the team the grand prize of a business development fund worth RM10,000 from HSBC to turn their idea into reality.
They will also get the opportunity to represent Malaysia at the regional finals in Hong Kong.
At the regional finals, the national winners will compete against winners from other countries including Hong Kong, Philippines and Bangladesh.
They will vie for the title of “Best of the Best”, as well as another business development fund worth HK$100,000 (RM50,000).
The silver and bronze winners will take home RM7,000 and RM5,000 respectively, as well as a tour of Hong Kong.
For more information, visit http://www.asiayea.com
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