The Chartered Institute of Management Accountants (CIMA), founded in 1919, remains the world’s foremost professional body of management accountants that continues to help individuals and businesses succeed in the global marketplace by harnessing the full power of business and finance; management accounting. Staying true to CIMA’s vision to change the scape of business worldwide, CIMA Middle East recently hosted its University Business Champs Challenge 2018, a stimulating experience designed to enhance young minds with business competencies, financial acumen and leadership skills. The challenge was launched with the intent of giving new and existing CIMA students from universities around the UAE the opportunity to experience an authentic business atmosphere and gain invaluable exposure amongst top-ranking employers that would broaden their horizons and bolster their future career growth.
The challenge, sponsored by Unilever, PepsiCo, Coty and Dubai Duty Free, entailed the participation teams comprising of two students per team registering from across top UAE universities. Participants were made to undergo Financial Accounting training to prepare them for the three rounds the challenge comprised of. This year’s CIMA University Business Champs Challenge took place on the 21st April 2018 at the Dubai Knowledge and Human Development Authority (DKHDA) and had top teams from the University of Dubai, Herriot-Watt University Dubai Campus, Core Birla Institute of Technology RAK and Middlesex University Dubai Campus. The six highest scoring teams out of the thirty university teams competing entered semi-finals into the Buzzer round. Middlesex University Dubai Campus was crowned the esteemed University Business Champs title, with Core Birla Institute of Technology RAK, as runners up.
The distinguished panel of judges tasked with crowning the challenge’s winner comprised of Rajiv Ramani, the CFO of Coty Middle East, Eugene D’Souza, the Head of Corporate Planning and Control for Sony Middle East and Africa FZE, and Geetu Ahuja, Associate Director MESANA – CIMA. Speaking on CIMA’s University Business Champs Challenge and the plethora of benefits it affords participants beyond simply imbibing them with business knowledge, Rajiv Ramani shared, “I always enjoy the opportunity to engage with university students, graduates and overall, with millennials, as it helps me understand what their view of the world is, what they perceive to be opportunities and challenges and what the latest trends are. Call it reverse mentoring or coaching if you like. CIMA’s University Business Champs Challenge for me is a great foundation for students as they embark outside of their books and classrooms to the real world.”
Sharing his observations and experience at the challenge, Eugene D’Souza noted, “It was amazing to interact with such sharp minds who are the leaders and entrepreneurs of tomorrow. The first round tested students’ speed and accuracy while the deciding round tested their business and presentation skills. They had a very good understanding of the subject and were able to express their thoughts and ideas clearly. Their awareness of their surroundings and the practical application of concepts that they have learned demonstrated that this business challenge for college students most certainly attracted the best talent the UAE has to offer, as well as the country’s exceedingly high standard of education.”
Geetu Ahuja, Associate Director – MESANA, CIMA, Association shared, “Such platforms boost competencies and confidence of young talent who showcase their ability to start their journey in to the business world, business ready. It’s exciting to see the calibre that will be showcased through our potential future business leaders.”
Middlesex University Dubai Campus was bestowed with the prestigious Business Champs’ title, with Jay Ashwin of the winning team elaborating on the value the challenge has added to his life, saying, “The University Business Champs Challenge organised by CIMA, provided us with the wonderful opportunity to be a part of CIMA for a day. We as a team have learned that you should never give up, even when you are the last person to enter the competition, nor to be afraid of competitors as this will only lower your ability to cope with the situation. We were able to network with students from other universities and interact with people who are already a part of big organisations. The latter guided us and have helped us grown, throughout the event. I would like to thank CIMA for this invaluable opportunity and experience.” Shaista Mohammed Basheer, another member of the winning team, Middlesex University Dubai Campus, too shared her take on participating in the challenge, explaining, “The first round was a time-based quiz and coming up with the answers fast and getting them right with the clock ticking was challenging. Since we were well prepared for the case study, it was easier to go through the final round. We had to come up with short-term cost cutting measures. It helped us to understand the workings of business and how to deal with problems faced by all businesses.”
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Chartered Institute of Management Accountants
Nassima Kaddache, Regional Business Development Manager, +97143689432