Ryan McCuaig - MMA student at Ivey Business School, Western University
"The Retail Innovation Challenge is an exceptional example of how to run a virtual case competition. By developing real local business cases linked to the COVID pandemic, it added a real world element that made our decisions feel important and time sensitive - akin to a Model United Nations Crisis Situation. From a pedagogical perspective, this kind of applied learning format paired with high stakes for participants and clients can help students prepare for the workplace while having a positive impact on the local community. Our team enjoyed the opportunity to apply our business case skills, meet new people, and strengthen our existing relationships. Overall, it was a very rewarding and challenging experience that we would recommend to any school, business, or student interested in participating in future challenges hosted by the Bensadoun School of Retail Management."
Team MaLaChai overall comments – MMA students from Queen’s and McGill Universities
- “It was a unique opportunity, especially in case competitions, to work on a live case, especially making sure that we tailor our solutions and implementation plan that resonates with who we are speaking to, in this case the co-owner who is probably not as data analytics savvy as we may be;
- The overall format over three weeks- ideation, implementation and business plan
- The ability to build and develop from the foundations at the end of each phase
- The opportunity to deliver an overall solution that was meaningful and implementable to Can Am;
- The insights and inputs that we gained from Sean at Can Am, from McKinsey mentoring sessions, from the two Townhalls (Lightspeed and Canada Post) and from the detailed feedback that we received from the case writing team;
- The fact that we were able to express our preferences as to which stream within food retail that we wanted to work on.”
Jean Francois Saine – CEO & Founder of FoodChain
“The Retail Innovation Challenge gave us the opportunity to review our situation from the outside looking-in. It made us reassess our forward moving strategy and response to this crisis - from multiple angles”.
Sean MacDonald - VP Can Am Food Service
“Since this was our first opportunity to participate in student competition, I was not quite sure what to expect. I was pleasantly surprised and happy by the whole experience from writing the case on our online grocery business to hearing the student teams present. It was flattering and inspiring to see how much work, dedication and passion the student teams put into this challenge. And since we entered the online grocery business as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, we got, in particular, some great ideas on how to improve our website and other suggestions to attract new customers (and retain) in our quest to double the business in the next year or so”.