Last month, four students represented York University’s Schulich School of Business at the inaugural IE Global Innovation Challenge, hosted by IE Business School, in Madrid, Spain.
Open to current graduate students, this case competition attracted business schools from around the world to solve the challenges faced by the retail sector in today’s digital age. For this year’s challenge, students were asked to improve Sephora’s customer experience through innovation and creativity.
The Schulich team included Abhishek Pandey (MBA ’20), Raeanne Cardoza (MMKG ’19), Naomi Huisman (MMKG ’19) and Srikanth Raghava (MBA ’20).
The competition was held in three phases. It began with a qualifying round consisting of online submissions, with 22 participating universities. Schulich was one of eight schools invited to participate in the finals held in Madrid. Finalist teams presented their solution to a panel of top executives from Sephora and consulting firms, and senior faculty members from IE Business School. The teams were then given an “emergency” challenge in the final round, in which they had less than 12 hours to formulate a revised proposal.
“We entered this competition as a group of four strangers; however, on the final day of the event, one of the judges remarked that our team was the most put together,” said Huisman. “The ability to work effectively in any team is something that I learned from Schulich and will take with me into the rest of my career.”
Schulich placed in the top three, behind IE Business School and the University of Cambridge.
“Our team members developed a very innovative digital solution,” said Marketing Professor Joe Fayt. “I am very proud of their accomplishment.”