RqC bags se­cond and fourth in the re­gional Mekong busi­ness chal­lenge

Bhutan Times - - Home - Staff Reporter

Two teams of stu­dents, rep­re­sent­ing both Royal Thim­phu Col­lege (RTC) and Bhutan, have won se­cond and fourth in the re­gional Mekong Busi­ness Chal­lenge held in Cam­bo­dia on Satur­day, March 12, 2016.

The Mekong Chal­lenge is a “busi­ness model” con­test, with over 100 teams from South-East Asia com­pet­ing (Thai­land, Cam­bo­dia, Viet Nam, Lao, China, and Bhutan for the first time this year). This is greatly dif­fer­ent from the tra­di­tional “busi­ness idea” or “busi­ness plan” type of con­test. The “busi­ness model” con­test re­quires each com­pet­ing team not only to de­velop an idea or plan, but also re­quires very ex­ten­sive field work to talk with po­ten­tial cus­tomers, sup­pli­ers, fi­nanc­ing sources, po­ten­tial com­peti­tors, govern­ment of­fi­cials, etc.). This work was dili­gently ac­com­plished by the RTC teams over the past three months af­ter they were con­firmed for round two of the com­pe­ti­tion. Each team con­tin­u­ously re­vised their ini­tial plans and as­sump­tions as they gained more in­sight and data from th­ese sources. In this way, the process mir­rored that of a real en­tre­pre­neur, who is con­tin­u­ously learn­ing from, and adapt­ing to, new in­for­ma­tion from the mar­ket.

Re­mark­ably, two of RTC’s ini­tial three teams won in the first round of the com­pe­ti­tion in Novem­ber: Bhutan In­ter­lock­ing Bricks, and Men­jong Pasta. Only 11 teams out of over 100 in the ini­tial round were cho­sen for the se­cond round, held in Ph­nom Phenn, Cam­bo­dia.

The Bhutan In­ter­lock­ing Bricks team won the Sil­ver Medal (2nd place) along with a Smart­phone each to the three team mem­bers, and an all-ex­pense paid trip to Sin­ga­pore, to meet with the Google of­fice.

The Men­jong Pasta team came fourth, with the jury par­tic­u­larly im­pressed by the team’s serv­ing of their ac­tual pasta prod­uct – this re­ceived con­sid­er­able ap­pre­ci­a­tion for their orig­i­nal idea.

In light of RTC’s very strong per­for­mance, of­fi­cials of the Mekong Chal­lenge are ex­plor­ing the pos­si­bil­ity of RTC be­ing the host for next year’s re­gional com­pe­ti­tion. Fur­ther­more, both teams will con­tinue com­pet­ing for a wild­card en­try into a global busi­ness model com­pe­ti­tion in the USA.

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