Media Releases

Rotman teams take two of the three top spots in Manulife: Entry into Asia Challenge

May 23, 2013

TORONTO, ON – A team of stu­dents from the Morn­ing MBA pro­gram at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Toronto’s Rot­man School of Man­age­ment have won first prize in an inter­na­tion­al busi­ness plan com­pe­ti­tion while a sec­ond team of Rot­man MBA stu­dents land­ed in third spot.

The win­ners of The Man­ulife: Entry into Asia Chal­lenge were announced Tues­day at an awards cer­e­mo­ny at Man­ulife’s head office in Toron­to. Sev­en final­ist teams of busi­ness school stu­dents pre­sent­ed their busi­ness plans sub­mis­sions to an elite pan­el of inter­na­tion­al judges, with First Prize of $100,000 award­ed to: New Hori­zons (Aisha Bukhari, MBA’15, Aris­to­tle Solomon, MBA’15,  Lak Chin­ta, MBA’15 and Peter Cinat,  MBA’15) from the Rot­man School of Man­age­ment at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to who worked on a Com­mu­ni­ty Ener­gy Stor­age plan for Japan. Sec­ond and third place prizes of $50,000 and $20,000, respec­tive­ly were also award­ed.  The recip­i­ents were: Lumi Strate­gists (Jie­mi Gao and Kevin Zhou) from the Richard Ivey School of Busi­ness at the Uni­ver­si­ty of West­ern Ontario who worked on a med­ical tech­nol­o­gy plan for Chi­na. Fron­tier Con­sult­ing (Ryan Appo­tive, MBA’13, Meli­ta Cyril, MBA’13, Ian Sin, MBA’13 and Leslie Wong, MBA’13) from the Rot­man School, who worked on a telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions plan for Myan­mar.

The Man­ulife: Entry into Asia Chal­lenge asked under­grad­u­ate and grad­u­ate busi­ness school stu­dents at Cana­di­an uni­ver­si­ties to cre­ate a busi­ness plan for a Cana­di­an small or medi­um-sized enter­prise (SMEs) to expand into any mar­ket in Asia. Com­pet­ing teams demon­strat­ed their abil­i­ty to think strate­gi­cal­ly about entry into Asian mar­kets while demon­strat­ing their under­stand­ing of the unique attrib­ut­es, chal­lenges and real­i­ties fac­ing Cana­di­an SMEs.

“I would like to thank all of the stu­dents and busi­ness own­ers who respond­ed and entered the Man­ulife: Entry into Asia Chal­lenge. We hope all of the entrants will suc­ceed in turn­ing their busi­ness plans into suc­cess­ful ven­tures in Asia and ignite the imag­i­na­tion of Cana­di­an busi­ness­es over­all,” says Man­ulife Finan­cial Pres­i­dent and Chief Exec­u­tive Offi­cer Don­ald Guloien. “I would also like to thank the judges and the Rot­man School of Man­age­ment for their role in mak­ing this a suc­cess.” The judges of the Man­ulife: Entry into Asia Chal­lenge were:

  • Ramona Cheng: Exec­u­tive Direc­tor of Ernst & Young and the Amer­i­c­as Mar­kets Leader of Ernst & Young’s Chi­na Busi­ness Net­work.
  • Philip Leong: Vice Pres­i­dent and Direc­tor, and Chair­man’s Coun­cil mem­ber at RBC Domin­ion Secu­ri­ties and rep­re­sents Cana­da in the Asia Pacif­ic Eco­nom­ic Coop­er­a­tion (APEC) Busi­ness Advi­so­ry Coun­cil.
  • Jacque­line Sava: Founder and Direc­tor of Pos­si­bil­i­ties of Soak Wash Inc., whose prod­ucts are export­ed to Japan.

This one-time only com­pe­ti­tion was spon­sored by Man­ulife Finan­cial and man­aged by the Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to’s Rot­man School of Man­age­ment.

The Rot­man School of Man­age­ment at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to is redesign­ing busi­ness edu­ca­tion for the 21st cen­tu­ry with a cur­ricu­lum based on Inte­gra­tive Think­ing. Locat­ed in the world’s most diverse city, the Rot­man School fos­ters a new way to think that enables the design of cre­ative busi­ness solu­tions. The School is cur­rent­ly rais­ing $200 mil­lion to ensure Cana­da has the world-class busi­ness school it deserves. For more infor­ma­tion, vis­it


For more infor­ma­tion, con­tact:

Ken McGuf­fin
Media Rela­tions Man­ag­er
Rot­man School of Man­age­ment
Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to
Voice 416.946.3818
Fol­low Rot­man on Twit­ter @rotmanschool
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