UC Graduate Students To Tackle Global Poverty in Case Competition

Four MBA ’12 students in UC’s Carl H. Lindner College of Business have been selected to compete in the Third Annual Hult Case Competition Regionals in Boston on February 24 and 25.

Team members Anurita Bhatnagar, Suresh Nair, Gerren Peterson and Sridhar Sankranti were selected from thousands of applicants to generate a solution that would tackle a global social issue.

Acceptance into the competition is a UC Lindner College of Business first and a huge honor, Bhatnagar says.

“It is a matter of immense pride to be the first team to represent the University of Cincinnati Lindner College of Business on a global platform,” she says, noting that her team will compete against teams such as MIT, Duke and Cornell University.

The theme of this year’s Hult Global Case Challenge is global poverty. The competition will take place in five cities—Boston, San Francisco, London, Dubai and Shanghai—and is divided into three social subject areas of education, energy and housing. Students whose economic or physical means prevent them from attending will compete via Facebook.

The Lindner College of Business students, who merely had met this fall as part of their MBA studies, will compete in the housing track.

“The students who entered this competition had come together only this fall in a budding new graduate student chapter of an international organization called Net Impact,” says F. Robert Dwyer, Joseph S. Stern professor of marketing and academic director of MBA programs at Lindner College of Business.

The UC Net Impact Chapter is part of a larger mission that spans six continents to unite business professionals to use their skills to drive social change in the workplace and the world.

“The Hult Case Challenge proved to be a natural springboard for us as members of the Net Impact team to showcase our interest, expertise, and commitment to making the world a better place,” Nair says.  

The Hult Global Case Challenge is the world’s largest international case competition. The annual event brings together the brightest college and university students from around the globe to help solve one of the world’s key social challenges in partnership with non-governmental organizations.

The Hult International Business School (formerly the Arthur D. Little School of Management), headquartered in Boston, is host to the international competition. The global business school has campuses in the cities where the competitions will take place. The school is named after European entrepreneur Beril Hult, founder of EF Education First, the largest private education company in the world. Hult is ranked in the top 20 business schools in the United States and the top 100 in the world, with more than 1,300 students enrolled across its campuses from nearly 100 countries.

Participating teams had to submit an application as to why they should be chosen to compete. The Lindner College of Business team outlined their understanding and approach to providing affordable housing to the world’s poor.

“In the essay, we emphasized the importance of effective collaboration between public, private, and non-profit sectors in raising the required capital and also in the development of best practices and innovated business models,” says Peterson, whose family received a Habitat For Humanity home. He now volunteers his time and appreciates the importance of giving back to those less fortunate.

Upon selection, teams then receive a real-world housing problem faced by Habitat for Humanity. Teams have until the regional competition on February 24 and 25 to craft a potential solution.

One winning team per track from each region will then be invited to an all-expense paid Global Final at the New York Public Library in New York City on April 26.

“The finalists will consist of six very unique and insightful business concepts for every challenge track, one from each region of the world and online,” says Ahmad Ashkar, founder and executive of the Hult Global Case Challenge in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

One winner from each track will be selected and crowned global champion and be awarded a commemorative victory cup. Former President Bill Clinton, a judge in the final round, will be on-hand to award the prize.

The Clinton Global Initiative, a partner to the Hult Initiative, will receive $1 million from the Hult family to implement ideas developed by the winning student teams.

Learn more about the HULT Case Competition, visit:



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