The winning team comprised Edmond Lee, an accounting graduate from Baptist University, who recently began an auditing career with Deloitte; Louis Ho, a fourth-year civil engineering student at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology; Sam Wong, a City University finance graduate, who is now a corporate finance analyst at a local firm; and team captain Eric Chan, an actuarial science student who is in his first year at Chinese University.
They beat 23 teams, winning a total cash prize of HK$25,000, four round-trip airline tickets to Singapore, and a trophy. They will represent Hong Kong in the Asian Management Game to be held here next month.
The first and second runners-up received cash prizes of HK$10,000 and HK$5,000, respectively.
Prizes were awarded at the offices of the games' organiser, the Hong Kong Management Association, last Saturday.
The Hong Kong Management Game, first launched in 1971, pits competing teams of at least four people against each other in business simulations.
The competition consists of an elimination round and a final round.
In each round, teams are put in charge of a hypothetical company which must compete in a specific business - this year involving the production of e-books.
Contestants must make prudent business decisions across diverse fields of finance, production, investment, and marketing, with limited information. The goal of the game is to increase market share and produce the best results, whether they be accumulated profits, return on investment, or share price. Teams must do this within eight trading periods.
The elimination round is divided into six groups of four teams. Teams compete against others within the group. The winners from each group move on to the final round.
Team captain Chan says this year's competition was particularly fierce. "We weren't sure if we were going to win at all. We knew we were in the top three, but we had concerns that some of the other teams had bigger market shares."
He says his team's experience gave them an edge during this year's game.
"After winning the Hong Kong competition in 2007, we went to India to play against other teams in the region and we were exposed to some high-calibre competition.
"Some contestants were MBA students who had a number of years of business experience. Seeing how they performed was a valuable learning experience."
Chan says the team learned, for example, the benefit of dividing work among team members rather than involving each person in every decision.
"This was particularly important in the final round of the competition because we were only given 25 minutes to make decisions in each trading period. We had to digest the results of each trading quarter quickly and then formulate our reaction based on it," Chan says.
Team member Lee says that the competition has taught him skills he can use in his career that he would not have learned from textbooks.
"I plan to pursue a career in auditing, which is a job that requires working with a lot of numbers," he says.
"By participating in this competition, I was able to sharpen my sense for large quantities of accounting information. For example, I am now able to quickly understand and diagnose complex business problems by doing a quick survey of a company's financial statements."