Tears of joy…

I have cried tears of joy today. I cannot remember the last time I felt this sense of pride and elation. I couldn’t speak for ages because I was in a state of positive shock – “what have I managed to do!”

I have changed the lives of five individuals. Five students who 6 weeks ago didn’t have passports, had never been in a different time zone or flown in a plane. They saw a poster on their university campus, had to verify that what was on offer was real. And then later on is when they realized that aside from the experience of running a virtual business, if they won the national competition they would compete internationally, in Macau SAR.

Ravi will excuse me for taking a slightly selfish angle on this write up.

Nine years ago, I took part in something that would change my business mindset, the Global Management Challenge. The international final was in Macau that year and our team got to the UK’s national final. Through three rounds we were consistently, though unknowingly at the time, applying long-term strategies to turn around the virtual companies we were given to run. We would make drastic changes to the situation, drop to the bottom of our investment performance ranking and then steadily go upwards, often with leaps. With the way the competition is played, we would never have enough time to truly show how good our long-term strategies were. The dream of coming to Macau was not to be…

Fast forward and I am in Macau as the organizing partner for the Kenya edition. I felt a sense of fulfilment in the fairy-tale of getting students to come this far. In changing their lives through the experience of decision-making and running a business – the experience of employing and setting wages, pricing products, resourcing marketing and distribution channels and all else that comes with running a business. It is my achievement to have made such an impact on the future of Oliver, Moses, Maureen, Julia and Silas. Right now I can’t think of another achievement to aim towards (Roshan, Nishi and Aparna will remember our conversation about this!)

Admittedly I was supposed to post this a few days ago, firstly before the team set off on Saturday. Then while they were en-route on Sunday. And finally on Monday before the opening ceremony. Something didn’t feel complete. After tonight, it does.

25 countries or regions have gathered in Macau SAR to participate in the International Final of the 2015 edition. Today’s semi-final round split those 25 into four groups and the top two teams in each group would go through to the final. Team Kenya has gone through to the final – we will finish in the top 8, globally.

Let me say that again, with added emphasis, in Kenya’s 2nd participation at the International Finals of the 35th Global Management Challenge, we have gone through to the Final round where the top 8 teams globally will be competing.

There are two friends I want to thank for making so much of this happen. Firstly, Ravi for turning up at what in hindsight looks like the perfect timing to have introduced GMC to Kenya. Secondly, Nadeem for the phrase, “You have to think big, Asim. The numbers are huge. The idea is amazing, you have to do it!” That moral support is priceless!

“Team Gladiators” is made up of students from Kenyatta University majoring in Finance or Accounting.
If you are interested in being part of the next edition either as a sponsor or participant please get in touch.

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