Collaborative, creative skills win regional challenge

PROVING that they have the skills to succeed in a borderless world, young, budding entrepreneurs from China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, the Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Vietnam, and Malaysia did their countries proud at the 2021 FedEx Express/Junior Achievement (JA) International Trade Challenge.

Tasked with creating a product that will enable people to recover from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, the 60 finalists, who had to fend off more than 4,000 hopefuls at the national rounds of the competition, were randomly paired with their peers in teams of two to promote cross-cultural exchange of ideas during the regional finals held virtually from Aug 9 to 11.

Team Peak Performers (Princess Cecile F. Gurrea from the Philippines and Chaerin Park from South Korea) came out tops with their scented greeting cards to help the elderly relax and feel connected during the lockdown.

“We are overjoyed to be crowned champions. It’s a great honour. Every stage of the competition was a great learning experience.

“All the presentations, collaborations and mentoring sessions have really inspired us and made us even more committed to begin our entrepreneurial journey,” the duo said in a press release on Aug 13.

A DIY concert kit won Team Kanina Jurong Ligers (Wong Yong-Cheng from Singapore and Aastika Jain from India) first runner-up honours while Team Felicity (Seojin Ahn from South Korea, and Riefka Azka Aulia Hasna from Indonesia) was named second runner-up for their artificial intelligence-powered teddy bear that enables distance learning through big data.

FedEx Express (Asia-Pacific, Middle East and Africa region) president Kawal Preet said it was inspiring to see so many bright talented students apply their creativity, innovation and drive to solve some of the toughest, real-world problems in today’s post-pandemic world.

“This programme is designed for all students to grow on their paths to entrepreneurship regardless of how they place in the finals. There are no losers, only learners,” he said.

Representing Malaysia at the regional challenge were Team Venerable from SMK Seafield, and Team Shamsi Co. and Team Pyara from SMK Bandar Utama Damansara 3.

They were winners at the national finals where they presented fashion products targeted at the Pakistani consumer market.

FedEx Express Malaysia managing director of operations S.C. Chong said the top 15 teams who made it to the Malaysia finals demonstrated thorough market research, creativity, smart pricing strategies, high quality financial analysis, and practical supply chain design.

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